A software package a day: Drupal
This blog is hosed using Drupal, and open source content management system that runs on the most commonly available open source stack: Linux (the operating system) Apache (the web server), MySQL (the database) and PHP (the language). This open source stack is so common that it is referred to as LAMP (although back in the day the “P” meant Perl more often than PHP).
The advantage to using Drupal is that this common hosting environment means that you can use very inexpensive hosting and get a raft of features. As an infrequent blogger, I don’t really use it to the full potential. Still, it is easy to host, easy to configure, easy to upgrade and easy to use. There are other content management systems out there that are better in various ways, but Drupal remains my favorite for getting up and running and then use. With the large library of modules that can be added to the site, I haven’t found it to be limiting even on sites where it is use more extensively.
The only downside I have found is that Drupal doesn’t seem to be as fast as some content management systems, probably due to the open design that uses modules for so many of even the core features. Even that can be mitigated by using the caching system, and it your site is popular enough to slow down, you probably can scrape together enough advertising dollars to afford an upgrade host.
One of my favorite modules for Drupal is Storm. If you want a shared project management system that has good flexibility and don’t want to spring for Basecamp, I recommend checking it out. I will do a full post on Storm in the near future. For now, suffice to say that it has quite a few quirks and is slower than Basecamp, but provides a fairly complete project management solution that can be setup in an hour. Modules like Storm make Drupal a good fit for far more than just blogging.