Drupal is an open source content management system written in the PHP programming language originally by Dries Buytaert. It can be connected to various database software such as MySQL to store the website data, Drupal settings, and user data. Since Drupal is open source, there are no licensing fees to use it, and can be modified without issues. Drupal also works with various HTTP servers like Apache, Nginx, and IIS.

Drupal has since become a fairly large open source community project with over 25,000 developers from countries all around the world. It is considered to be one of the top CMS platforms, and currently powers some of the top websites on the planet including The White House, http://whitehouse.gov, and many other top organizations and businesses around the world.

Drupal Modules

Instead of modifying Drupal core, which is frowned upon in the Drupal developer community, one can easily find a large collection of contributed Drupal Modules to add new features and functionality to a Drupal website. Drupal Modules are the building blocks of any Drupal based website, which are installed in a plug and play type of manner on top of the base, or core Drupal CMS platform. Contributed Drupal modules are created by PHP developers and Drupal developers and submitted to Drupal.org for approval. Some end up being used on thousands of Drupal websites. Modules can enable new functionality, allow one to do things easier within the Drupal user interface, or be used to integrate with 3rd party services within a Drupal website.

The limitations of Drupal and Drupal modules are really up to the developers' skills with PHP and knowledge of the Drupal APIs. Outside of the contributed Drupal module space, there is also a large library of documentation for the Drupal APIs, which will allow anyone with working knowledge of PHP and MySQL programming to create very powerful modules that can be used within the Drupal CMS without having to build one's own PHP framework.

If one were to really feel the need to modify Drupal core, they should consider creating an issue and posting a patch that can be reviewed by the community. All code is inspected and approved by the community as a whole, so new features and security fixes are being applied constantly. This is one of the reasons that it is used by many top organizations and countries around the world.

Drupal Themes

A Drupal theme is a totally separate component of a Drupal website from it's content. This allows for the design to live independently of the website's content, and allow for easy updates to the design without a full website revamp. The theme layer is what makes a Drupal website's look and feel like the designer intended. It uses template files, images, and CSS to bring a web design to life in Drupal. There are also a growing collection of contributed Drupal themes available on Drupal.org.

Custom Drupal themes are becoming a large market these days as more and more Drupal websites are looking for that unique look and feel for their website. There are a growing list of companies that offer custom Drupal theming services, as well as premium Drupal themes which are less unique than a custom Drupal theme, but more unique than a contributed Drupal theme.

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