What is a Development Environment? Why do we need one in order to develop a Drupal website? What are the requirements for you to start developing for Drupal? Why Drupal instead of Wordpress or Joomla? I try to answer all those questions on this introductory video.
Following is a transcription of this video:
This video series was created to help you setup a Development Environment on your local computer so you can safely try the Drupal CMS.
But, before we go any further, we need to discuss the reasons behind the need for a Development Environment.
In the past, if a webmaster needed to make a change to his website, he would log into his Web Server and edit the HTML right there. Once he had saved the changes, the live website would reflect those changes right away!
Things have gotten much more complicated since those early days of "FrontPage Extensions". In the past a website was viewed as no more than a brochure to help promote real brick & mortar businesses. Today, websites are astronomically more complex and, most importantly, they have become more critical for their owners. Downtime on a website can literary translate into financial losses.
The complexity and importance of today's websites is what generated the need for a Development Environment where changes can be safely tried and tested.
What we will be setting up here is a "Drupal Development Environment"!
Drupal is a Content Management System or CMS for short. A CMS is like a full fledged sophisticated website in a box. When a web developer uses a CMS to create a new website, he avoids the more mundane tasks that would take him months to create on his own.
Now a days, a web developer doesn't have to spend time and effort designing a website from the round up. His job now is to customize a plain CMS website so it meets the specific needs and tastes of his clients.
But, why Drupal?
That's a relevant question. Drupal is just one of may options for CMSs.
If you did your homework, you may have heard of Wordpress or Joomla! Drupal, however, is the most promising open source project in its category.
Drupal is gaining tremendous momentum on the last few years and all the hype around this CMS is well founded.
The largest companies around the world have been adopting Drupal as their CMS of choice. Just to mention a few examples of Drupal websites:
Intel, the famous chip maker, has adopted Drupal as their CMS. Check them out at http://www.intel.com
The Universal Music Label website was built around the Drupal CMS. Their website is at http://www.UniversalMusic.com
Drupal has been adopted by the Sony/RCA Music Label to create websites for all their artists!
The 20th Century FOX Movie Studio uses Drupal. Their website is at:
The Emmy Television Awards website was designed in Drupal. Their website is at:
Every year the Grammy Music Awards website receives massive traffic when they announce the nominees!
It is no surprise that they have chosen Drupal as their CMS.
Their website is at:
Also, The White House adopted Drupal as the platform for their website.
The last few website examples clearly illustrate Drupal's level of performance on high traffic environments.
It also illustrate how much Drupal is trusted when it comes to security.
You, as a web developer, may be facing a crossroad in your career. Deciding where you will invest your future as a developer is a serious matter. You don't want to invest your time and effort familiarizing yourself with a CMS that will become obsolete.
If you are planning on betting your future as a web developer on Drupal, I would venture say that the odds are in your favor.
There is no question that today's web development world demands the use of some sort of CMS and I hope that I was successful in making a case for using Drupal as your CMS.
Now is time to talk about the requirement for having Drupal running locally.
Not only Drupal but most popular CMSs are dependent on what is called an AMP.
What is the AMP?
AMP is an acronym that stands for Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
In order for us to set up an AMP on our local computer, we will go through 5 steps.
- Install a Virtual PC
- Install Linux
- Install the Apache web server
- Enable PHP on Apache
- Install a MySQL Database Server
But we will go much farther than that. We will go over the applications that you will be using to create your website.
Here is a list of the applications that we will be talking about:
- You should have an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) so you can create your own Drupal Modules & Themes in PHP.
- You will need a Version Control System. We will install GIT.
- You will need Graphic Editing tools such as Gimp, Inkscape, and Blender 3D
- You will need some sort of Office Suit. LibreOffice is my choice.
This will be taken care of on our next video...