Leaving Drupal is Hard to Do

Two years in the past I started a process to take into account how finest to evolve CMSReport.com past the place it is at present. I’ve identified for a while that I wanted to take some dangers, get out of my consolation zone, and maybe change how I preserve and run the positioning. Given the chance and within the spirit of taking dangers I’ve determined to now not run CMS Report on Drupal. That’s proper, after operating this web site on Drupal for greater than six years on Drupal I’ve determined to use one other content material administration system.

For those who don’t need to be left hanging, I point out the CMS I’ve chosen to run the upgraded web site on towards the tip of this text. In a separate article I’ll get into the specifics for why I made a decision on this different CMS and focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each info techniques.

My major goal with this put up is not to discuss one other CMS, however as a substitute to deal with Drupal and mirror on how a lot I owe a debt of gratitude to the Drupal group. I additionally need to make it clear that my choice to use one other CMS is not a mirrored image of my opinions relating to Drupal. On the opposite, I’ve plenty of previous and future tasks the place Drupal stays the answer for my content material administration wants. 

My History with the Drupal CMS 

Six years in the past I properly picked Drupal because the CMS to run my web site. Not solely was this open supply software program an ideal answer for me to handle my content material, Drupal additionally gave me the liberty and management I wanted to run the positioning the best way I noticed match. Over the years Drupal allowed me to choose and modify my very own themes, select my very own modules, and host my web site on servers of my very own selecting all below the banner of the wonderful GPL. Excluding my time and expertise, I’ve by no means had to spend greater than $50 a month to run this web site and there have been instances I even gambled on the finances shared internet hosting plans and paid as little as $10 a month. Drupal’s energy and affordability is why I’ve and can proceed to suggest Drupal for plenty of tasks. 

My introduction to Drupal was within the period of Drupal 4.X which was a time when level variations actually mattered. I began CMS Report on a improvement model of Drupal 4.7 and for a couple of years I used to be on the chopping fringe of utilizing new variations of Drupal in manufacturing sooner moderately than later. I feel Drupal builders visited my web site not only for the content material however as a result of they might see how effectively their new code was acting on a manufacturing server. For awhile, CMS Report turned a guinea pig and testing mattress for varied Drupal tasks. In 2007, Dries requested me to beta check his “secret Drupal venture” on my web site which later turned often known as Mollom. In 2008 and 2009, Acquia invited me to check and run this web site on Acquia Drupal, Acquia Network, and Acquia Search. My enthusiasm with widespread Drupal modules equivalent to Views, Search Lucene, XML Sitemap additionally spurred mutual respect and a few nice conversations with the venture leads of these modules.

Eventually, my web site turned too widespread to take the dangers of operating the positioning on unproven upgrades and someplace between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 I performed it extra secure. Not putting in the most recent and best model of Drupal with out absolutely testing was the accountable selection to make however I miss these geeky enjoyable years of operating the positioning. As I write this text, I’ve been operating the positioning on Drupal 7 since June 2011 and have had nearly no issues with the CMS after resolving my the preliminary points after the improve from Drupal 6.   

It’s a Drupal Community Lovefest

When I look again I’m in awe of the folks that invited me to the desk and grateful when being served I used to be nonetheless proven nice respect after I did not know the way to correctly maintain my fork and knife.  Despite my lack of lively participation within the Drupal group, wherever I am going the Drupal people have nearly all the time given me their ear to hear to my opinions, their voice to information me alongside the best way, and their time to lend me a hand to remedy points I’ve uncovered. I do know of no different open supply group within the enterprise of content material administration that has been extra welcoming, extra useful, and extra skilled than these within the Drupal group.

Not all of us are able to being Drupal rock stars, however we’re all able to contributing by giving a easy thanks for all those who work so arduous to make Drupal pretty much as good because it is. I’ve all the time understood the worth of Drupal and the Drupal group which is additionally why in 2007 I turned one of many very first members to be part of the Drupal Association. If you have not but contributed effort and time to making Drupal higher, maybe the Drupal Association could be the possibility for you to give not less than just a little one thing again to the group as an entire? If for nothing else, your membership entitles you yearly to figuring out the change price between the U.S. Dollar and the Euro 🙂 .

The Drupal group looks like household to me. Some will argue I’m overdoing it by calling an open supply group household however take into account for a second the examples for why I make this declare. Earlier this yr I misplaced the handle to a VIP dinner invite at CMS Expo in Chicago, however I feel I ended up at a greater place. As luck would have it there was additionally a Drupal meet-up that evening hosted by native Chicago Drupalers and I used to be greater than welcomed to be part of their get together. Then there is the truth that I smile everytime I hear phrase of Drupalers getting married, having youngsters, or beginning for their very own Drupal enterprise. Nothing made me happer figuring out the day my son discovered one among his very first songs, the “Drupal song“. Over time I’ve additionally shed tears when unhappy information arrives of a Drupal member fighting sudden challenges or unwelcomed heartache. I’ve been haunted most of this summer season with the information of Aaaron Winborn’s battles with ALS and want I may do extra for him and his circle of relatives. I do not know the way higher method to describe the Drupal group apart from household, do you? Drupal is the tie that binds us all.

Why go away Drupal?

As I indicated earlier than, I’m not abandoning my bias opinion that Drupal is still the best open supply CMS in the marketplace. However, as a result of CMS Report is within the enterprise of reviewing content material administration options, my enthusiasm for Drupal has additionally grow to be a distraction for others that would really like to take the positioning extra significantly. The reality is that to ensure that my opinions relating to Drupal to have any credibility I even have to present a willingness to publicly work with different CMSs on the market. I do know, that sounds unusual however that is the best way this market typically works.

Two years in the past, I wrote a weblog put up indicating that I yearned to companion with others to construct a much bigger and higher CMSReport.com. Since that put up, I acquired plenty of affords however most of the inquiries did not perceive Drupal effectively sufficient nor the magnitude of what they have been proposing to migrating my content material to one other Drupal web site or one other CMS. Finally, I acquired a name from Michael Assad, Co-founder and CEO of Agility Inc. It was apparent to me from the beginning that Mike and I had the chance to problem one another on this venture in ways in which could be useful to each of us. Over time, Mike satisfied me that he was the particular person I ought to collaborate with so as to evolve my web site to one thing higher than it is at present.

When somebody tells you they’re a advisor, analyst, or reviewer of content material administration techniques what they do not let you know is that there are comparatively few CMSs they really work with themselves on a day to day foundation. Despite the a whole lot of CMSs I’ve talked about through the years, I’ve solely labored hand-on with a dozen or so on precise tasks. I used to be impressed that Mike had the balls to suggest shifting my web site away from Drupal to Agility CMS, a semi-proprietary content material administration answer, whereas remaining assured that when the migration was full I might be pleased that I made such a transfer. When it was all mentioned and performed, I ran out of excuses to not take the chance in attempting out and studying one thing new. If I’m going to go away Drupal behind then I undoubtedly need somebody like Mike with the imaginative and prescient and the means to making it occur.

Migration of the positioning from Drupal to Agility is nearly full and I anticipate the brand new web site to be on-line the second half of September.

Once a Drupaler, Always a Drupaler

Although I could now not be utilizing Drupal for CMSReport.com I proceed to work with Drupal on plenty of further tasks, particularly behind the firewalls of my major employer. However it is the longer term and figuring out that 2013 will carry us Drupal 8 that excites me most. I’ve owned an unused Internet area for a pair years that I’ve held very shut to my chest figuring out that the area identify alone has nice worth. The thought of constructing a totally new web site on Drupal 8 round this area with no legacy content material obligations is a uncommon alternative and one thing I would like to make occur.

In the meantime, I nonetheless have to discover a new Drupal house to host my contribution on Drupal Planet. I’m a giant believer that if you happen to’re going to have your content material aggregated on Drupal.org then the very least you are able to do is use a Drupal CMS. I have never determined whether or not I’ll host my new private web site by myself or use a Drupal SaaS supplier.  I’m leaning towards Drupal Gardens however as all the time, I’m open to listening to different choices.


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