Joomla vs. Drupal


Well, after setting the site up with Joomla, I decided also to experiment with Drupal. Drupal doesn't have a one-click installation on DreamHost, but the installation was pretty straightforward. You download the install file from the Drupal site, upload to your server and unzip, and then just go to your site in a browser where you are prompted to run the interactive installer. You will need your database information (name, username, and password). I installed Drupal in the /drupal subdirectory on my server so that I could have a Joomla site and a Drupal site running side-by-side.

After the installer ran, Drupal was running, but something was wrong. There were no images (all the menus rendered in text) and the links were all broken. I had to do two things to get Drupal up and running properly after installing:

  • First, I had to map the subdirectory that I had installed Drupal in. The directory - /drupal - doesn't actually exist on my server. We map this virtual directory to the actual file location so the server knows where to look for the files. This fixed the obvious brokenness - now the Drupal menus and interface showed up, but clicking on any link gave a 'Page Not Found' error
  • To fix this problem I had to specify directory rewriting in my .htaccess file. I simply uncommented an existing line and added my directory (/drupal), so that line looks like this now:
    RewriteBase /drupal


That let the web server know that this is the base directory for all links, includes, etc. Now everything is working fine:

Now that Drupal is up and running, I can migrate my existing Joomla site so that I can see what the existing content looks like in Drupal. More on this once I have a chance to try the migration.