Focus on Collaboration

With its built-in workflow management and versioning tools, Drupal is ready for collaborative websites. Many Drupal sites are built by a single person, but many others are team efforts. Even when a single person develops a Drupal website, that person usually plays a variety of roles, such as writing and collecting content, planning the site, uploading files, monitoring the logs, and wishing that there were someone else to help out from time to time.

Because Drupal is ready for collaboration, and because there is no Drupal software to run (you just use your browser), Drupal collaboration happens easily on the website itself. By setting access controls, you can let people manage different features of the site without worrying about security problems. You can set up workflow management so that the various people know what is going on as they work together; you do not have to rely on separate email messages because Drupal will send the right messages to the right people at the right times after the workflow is set up.

With traditional websites, allowing people to create and edit pages means that you have to give them access to the web server—usually by giving them the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) login information for the site so that they can move files to and from the site as well as within it. With Drupal, you can allow specific users to create, modify, delete, and use different types of content: There is no single FTP login information to pass around.

Because Drupal is ready for collaboration, you can seriously consider constructing websites in a new way. Being able to allow people to modify the site without having to turn the keys of the website kingdom over to them expands the pool of people who can create and maintain your site. Not only does this spread the work around, but it also can create a different type of site, a site with multiple creative and editorial viewpoints.

After you set up the security settings of who has what type of access to what parts of the site, and you have implemented workflow management as needed, people can focus on maintaining the site. And that is all good.

Except that there can be a problem. Do not go looking for trouble, but in the back of your mind, tuck this little thought: After the access and workflow rules are set up, you may have automated tasks out of existence. Having the keys to the website kingdom can be a bit of a thrill, or at least a power trip for some people, and when the responsibilities are spread around and automated, a bit of push-back may occur. It may even be you who feels a bit threatened as other people gain access to the site's internals that heretofore were yours alone.

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