Whitehouse.gov now powered by Drupal

Word is out that Whitehouse.gov is now powered by Drupal. The Washington Post has the details of this big win for Drupal and Open Source:

"The online-savvy administration on Saturday switched to open-source code for http://www.whitehouse.gov meaning the programming language is written in public view, available for public use and able for people to edit.

"We now have a technology platform to get more and more voices on the site," White House new media director Macon Phillips told The Associated Press hours before the new site went live on Saturday. "This is state-of-the-art technology and the government is a participant in it.

Under the open-source model, thousands of people pick it apart simultaneously and increase security. It comes more cheaply than computer coding designed for a single client, such as the Executive Office of the President. It gives programmers around the world a chance to offer upgrades, additions or tweaks to existing programs that the White House could - or could not - include in daily updates.

Yet the system - known as Drupal - alone won't make it more secure on its own, cautioned Ari Schwartz of the Center for Democracy and Technology.

"The platform that they're moving to is just something to hang other things on," he said. "They need to keep up-to-date with the latest security patches."

UPDATE: More coverage of this choice along with information on who worked on the site here.

UPDATE II: Dries (Drupal founder and project lead) blogs about it
UPDATE III: MSNBC has an article about Whitehouse.gov. Slightly misleading title to it though.

24 October, 2009


you've got a dash at the end of the URL that shouldn't be there. click on it and try it.

I would hope that the White House would apply their cyber-security experts to the problem of securing Drupal and contribute their changes back to the community.

I don't find it surprising that more and more people are turning to Drupal on which to build their sites. A couple of months ago, I managed to build a full hotel comparison site based on the Drupal platform and I definitely wouldn't be considered a coder.

The fact is you can save a heck of a lot of time by using Drupal - use the modules and customise them rather than reinventing the wheel. Drupal sites also seem to be a haven for SEO and backlinks - a number of my sites are now PR4 and above without any major SEO work being done on them.

I always use Drupal for these reasons.

I agree with paul. Drupal is extremely easy to navigate around and SEO absolutely loves it. If you don't have to do nearly as much SEO work, that saves you a lot of time. Drupal is definitely taking a step in the right direction here and as it progresses, it'll become even more powerful. Good on the government!

Wow that's impressive work for Drupal. My question is, what happens when there are security problems found on Drupal and someone hacks Whitehouse gov?