Whenever I talk to a customer for the first time I bring up a word that they've probably never heard before.  That word is: "Drupal".  If you don't know it then you're definitely not in the minority.  Usually, I just throw it out there without much explanation.  Sometimes it's intentional, sometimes it's just because I'm so used to talking about it.  Often, people will act as though they know exactly what I'm saying and just continue to feign interest with whatever conversation comes after, but their faces plainly say what their mouths won't: "What the heck did he just say?  Should I know this?  Am I stupid for asking that question?".  Nope.  You're perfectly fine.  You've never had a reason to know about Drupal, but (if you hire me) you soon will.

Drupal is what is known as a "content management system".  Basically, it gives you the ability to login to your website and edit pages, upload images, create forums, blog, and monitor users' site usage.  It puts the power back into the hands of the users so that they won't have to be as dependent on their web developer.  Simply put, you are finally in control.  Now, there are many content management systems out there in the world.  So, why do I think Drupal is better than all the rest?  Here are my top 5 reasons:

  1. Power.  You can do anything with Drupal: build e-commerce sites, communities, blogs, or create multisite installations for corporations that run off the same database.  And, if you can't figure out a way to do what you wanna' do with already existing tools, then you can just write your own and connect it to Drupal (but that has been rare in my case).
  2. Number of Users.  There are a vast number of people using Drupal.  That means that there are a lot of individuals hammering away at code, improving things, tweaking things, checking out security issues, and generally just making Drupal better.
  3. Documentation.  Don't know how to even start with Drupal?  With just a little bit of googling you're well on your way to becoming a master.  There are books, videos, blogs, and simple tutorials all over the web.  You can also see how many books have already been written by doing a simple search on Amazon.
  4. Forums.  The forums at drupal.org are vast.  I've run into plenty of questions while using Drupal and only rarely do I have to ask a question that hasn't already arisen, or that doesn't already have an answer.  Plus, the forums are soon to get better with the brand new Drupal site that should be out soon. 
  5. Customization.  Any site that you need built can be built with Drupal.  When I design a site for a client I don't have to say: "Well, Drupal sites just don't look that way.  We have to make a different design decision.".  Nope.  I just make it happen, all with Drupal.

So, that is why I use Drupal.  Are you a developer, designer, or total web newbie?  What do you use?  Are there different tools that you use for different reasons?  Please let me know in the comments.