To learn more about how to get started with Drupal, see our What is Drupal? guide.
With the release of Drupal 8 approaching, it’s time again to answer and update the age old question: What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open source website development platform. It simplifies the online management of content and users, and it runs millions of sites—both small and large—around the world.
Drupal is open source software (OSS) released under the GNU Public License. This means it has inherent benefits—cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and accountability—that are unmatched by proprietary software. For example, Drupal is free to download from Drupal.org. Anyone can modify and extend the platform. This ensures freedom from vendor “lock in” and it empowers users worldwide to monitor Drupal’s underlying code for compliance and security issues. These benefits sustain Drupal and keep the platform at the cutting-edge of Web technology.
As a result Drupal is a powerful website development platform. Drupal adheres to modern object oriented programming patterns, PHP best practices, HTML5 and YAML standards. It incorporates the best available Web technologies, including CKEditor, Symfony2, Twig, jQuery, Backbone.js, and Guzzle. And it has a robust assortment of add-ons in the form of modules and themes. These add-ons are common building blocks. They eliminate the need for developers to continually reinvent the wheel.
Drupal shines as a content management system (CMS). The platform accommodates unlimited content types, including audio, video, image, and text content. It dynamically retrieves, filters, and presents this content with powerful, yet simple-to-use tools. Drupal is search engine friendly—it can automatically create human readable URL aliases—and increasingly accessible. Drupal supports a common set of schemas for structured data markup. The administrative interface is fully responsive, which facilitates optimal viewing on any Internet-connected device and makes Drupal sites easier to use and manage from anywhere.
In fact, Drupal was built for users. The platform contains intuitive "What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) content creation tools and powerful in-place editing tools. You can even configure guided tours for new users. Drupal controls access to these tools and dozens of others with its sophisticated user role classification and permissions system.
So it’s obvious why Drupal is the platform on which millions of websites run. Small blogs and Fortune 500 companies use Drupal. It’s as bespoke and beautiful as you need it to be, and it scales. Drupal continues to tackle the largest performance challenges on the Internet. So what are you waiting for? Download Drupal today.