Drupal is a popular Content Management System that has so far come up with various versions. Drupal 6 is yet another version, which is comparatively a bit older when spoken in reference to the current version of Drupal 7 or the upcoming Drupal 8. Through this article, you can understand the various features of Drupal 6, the process to set up a new website using Drupal 6, some of the important features of Drupal 6 and the differences between Drupal 6 and Drupal 7 (the latest and current version of Drupal available in the market).

System Requirements

Before actually proceeding with the process of installation and the steps involved in it, you will have to check if your system meets all the basic requirements or not. The list of basic system requirements for installing Drupal 6 are listed below:

  • Web Server Requirement: The most recommended web server option would be Apache while Ngnix and Microsoft IIS are also compatible.
  • Database Server Requirement: Drupal 6 would require MySQL 4.1 or higher and PostgreSQL 7.1 as a database requirement.
  • PHP Requirement: A PHP of version 4.4.0 or higher is required for Drupal 6. The best-recommended version of PHP would be PHP 5.2.
  • Disk Space Requirement: A minimum of 60 MB of disk space is required to run your Drupal website that would have certain number of modules and themes in it. You should always remember to provide space to the database, backup files, media files and many more while you calculate the disk space requirement.

Installation of Drupal 6

The steps involved in installing Drupal 6 to develop your website are detailed below:

  • Downloading the Appropriate Version: You can download the version of Drupal, say Drupal 6 from the official website under the download section, which would be available on the right hand side of the page, or from the download tab available on the page.
  • Handling the files on your system: You have to save the downloaded files to your local system and then unzip the compressed files to install Drupal 6 on the server from which you would be hosting your website.
  • Using the Control Panel: You can use the cPanel to create your database, username and the password required.
  • Accessing your website URL: You should now access your website URL by running the install.php file. Now, select the necessary options such as the Default Profile, Default Language, Username etc. Finally, click the Save and continue button to save all the details set and continue with the procedure of setting up your website account.
  • Viewing the installation complete screen: You will find a screen that states you have successfully installed Drupal and provides you with a link that navigates you to your new site. Click the link and view your website.

Comparison of Drupal 6 and Drupal 7

A comparative analysis in this section provides you with the reasons for the necessary upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. In the list that follows, you will understand the better options provided by the current version Drupal 7:

  • Documentation: Drupal 7 has the hook API Documentation as the same has been included in Drupal Core. Drupal 6 does not include the documentation part in its core.
  • Security: When compared to Drupal 6, Drupal 7 provides you with a more secured login system, password system and provides a secured way of implementing the scheduled tasks through cron.php. You can even update your entire module through web.
  • Drupal Commerce: Drupal 7 is the only version to which Drupal Commerce Module is made available as the module has been constructed using the Drupal 7 API entity. Therefore, you can construct your complex e-commerce site for various functionalities such as partial payments, donations, crowd funding and many more through Drupal 7 and not Drupal 6.
  • Support and Release: Drupal 6 come up only with certain maintenance releases that fix major bugs if any. You will not find any new features added to the versions released. Whereas, Drupal 7 has a longer support and is newer in the market. All the fixes such as bug fixes and security fixes are updated immediately.
  • File and Image Handling: When compared to Drupal 6, Drupal 7 provides you with better ways and options to handle files and Images. You can edit images using options like crop and resize and even manage your add-on image galleries in an improved fashion. Drupal 7 includes certain objects for files such as file_load(), file_validate() and file_save().
  • Performance: Drupal 7 is designed in such a way to improve the website performance through the changes made to Drupal core by the addition of the Pressflow 6 feature line. You serve your website visitors faster through advanced caching, master-slave replication and CDN.

In short, Drupal 6 is a wonderful version but definitely lacks many features available in Drupal 7. With the awaiting release of Drupal 8, it is high time for you to upgrade to Drupal 7, as Drupal 6 would no longer be supported after the release of Drupal 8. If you’re looking for Drupal optimized web hosting, GreenGeeks offers excellent web hosting plans that will support all versions of Drupal.

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