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Drupal – Powering UK Government Websites With Open Source

2012 April 10

From Student House to the White House

In 2009 when the White House was looking for a more flexible system to power their website, a wide range of applications were evaluated and the decision was made to use Drupal, a popular Open Source licensed content management system (CMS).

The system that was picked to power the website of the U.S. President started life a decade earlier in a student’s residence in Antwerp University, as a bulletin board for students to post personal news and discuss where to meet for diner and drinks.

It’s creator, Dries Buytaert, continued developing it further to experiment with newly emerging Internet technologies, and when he released it under an Open Source license, other developers from around the world joined in with their own experiments. Drupal quickly developed into a cutting edge application that was powering major websites.

10 Years Of Growth

The success of Drupal can be attributed largely to it’s very modular framework, which enables new features to be added cleanly and easily by installing discreet modules, and there is an impressive library of over 10,000 modules now available.

The modularity of the system has also led to the growth of a huge community of individuals and organisations contributing to Drupal and providing a range of support services. The drupal.org website currently has 800,000 registered users and almost 5,000 people attend yearly Drupal annual conferences.

Major organisations such as the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, MTV, Unilever, and Comic Relief are using Drupal across a variety of projects.

Drupal For Government

In the UK Drupal is popular with local councils, and national government is increasingly adopting it also as part of it’s commitment to use open source software “where it delivers best value for money”, most notably on high profile projects such as data.gov.uk, Cabinet Office, and Royal Mail.

The London Drupal Community is therefore organizing -

Drupal For Government

Drupal For Government is an event showcasing the Drupal work of several government departments with an evening of presentations and discussion organised by the London Drupal Community in association with Capgemini.

Entrance is free, please register here to attend.

Monday, April 16, 2012 at 6:00 PM
Capgemini, 40 Holborn Viaduct, London  EC1N 2PB
http://drupal4government2012.eventbrite.com

2 Responses Post a comment
  1. Robert Castelo permalink
    April 11, 2012

    Drupal does have it’s own approach to theming, and the cost of having such a flexible presentation layer is that it can be complex to get to grips with. Approach I always recommend is to start with a good base theme such as Omega and build your own sub theme on top of that:

    http://omega.developmentgeeks.com

  2. April 10, 2012

    I have recently started using Drupal and so far I am very happy with it. I am using it for my music website. As you mention in your article modularity is very important because there so many available that you can make your own polls, modules for adding pictures and cropping, there are modules for making newsletters and lots more. The only thing I find hard about Drupal is theming the page – changing the appearance. What influenced me to try it was knowing big websites like the whitehouse, mtv and in my case lots of music websites like Beyonce, Rhianna, Avril Lavyne all use Drupal as their CMS. I recommend people to try it if want to make a small or large website.

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