So you want to be a Web publisher? First you’ll need the modern equivalent of a printing press: a content management system (CMS). There are many to choose from, each with its own committed proponents.
If you’re a big company, you might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an enterprise-class system like EMC’s Documentum. If you’re a lone alpha geek, you’ll write your own CMS, or even hard-code your site in HTML. If you’re a small organization and you don’t care what’s under the hood, as long as it’s easy and it works, you may gravitate to a souped-up blogging platform like WordPress or Joomla.
But if, like a growing group of publishers, you’re somewhere in the middle—with a moderate budget, ambitious technical requirements, a willingness to tinker, and some familiarity with open-source infrastructure tools like Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP—you will likely be drawn to Drupal. Originally authored by a Belgian named Dries Buytaert, Drupal is a free, open-source content management system that powers something like half a million websites around the world, including the Federal IT Dashboard recently launched by Vivek Kundra, the Obama Administration’s chief information officer.