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New Version of Drupal to Integrate Symfony Framework

Drupal CMS logo

Dries Buytaert, the founder of the Drupal CMS, recently announced the launch of the French branch of the commercial open-source software company he co-founded in 2007. He also unveiled some features of Drupal 8, the new version of the CMS that should be released next year.

Drupal Gets Closer to Symfony Framework

Following his interview given to, Dries revealed that the new version of Drupal would be more cloud-friendly and natively integrated with the PHP framework named Symfony.

The Symfony framework is built around independent modules which can be activated at any given time without needing to interact with each other.

This allows the website to better handle its workload and use its resources more efficiently.

Improve Mobile Experience

Moreover, the development team is focusing on providing a better mobile experience through using responsive tools offered by the HTML 5 standards. This was to be expected as more and more people are now reaching websites via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

In this new version, you won’t need to include special modules to allow visitors to browse websites, unlike in version 7.

Multi Language Support

Last but not least, the team has also confirmed that the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative (D8MI) will help web developers to easily build websites in several languages.

This will allow content managers to easily switch from one language to another. Drupal 8 is expected to be released in August 2013.

Read more about our Drupal development services.

25 Free Drupal 7 Themes

Drupal CMS logo

At our web agency THEM, we love Drupal. And we are actually not the only ones in the world to love it: 670,000+ people are part of the community, and thousands of websites worldwide are powered by Drupal.

Drupal may be not as popular as the two other major open source web Content Management Systems (CMS), namely WordPress and Joomla, but it is undoubtedly one of the most powerful. It can suit any kind of website, from corporate website to e-commerce platform. 

Not only is Drupal easy to maintain and flexible to future evolutions, the platform is also very SEO-friendly (read how important SEO is for your online business).

Another great advantage of Drupal is the way web design can be easily modified. In only one click, you can totally change the look of your website by using templates.

Here are 25 free themes compatible with Drupal 7 ranked by alphabetical order (click on titles to visit project's page):

  1. Acquia Marina

Acquia marina drupal theme

Acquia Marina is a very popular Drupal 7 theme for businesses that is easy to customize. It is developed by TopNotchThemes in partnership with Acquia.


2. Acquia Prosper

Acquia Prosper drupal theme

Also developed by TopNotchThemes, Acquia Propser is an Ubercart e-commerce theme with great look and clean lines. 


3. Alphorn

Alphorn Drupal theme

Originally available for Drupal 6, Alphorn is now compatible with Drupal 7. It now supports displaying in mobile devices, including tablets. Alphorn is developed by SymphonyThemes.


4. Analytic

Analytic Drupal Theme

Designed and developed by Pixeljets, Analytic is a clean, modern and free theme, ideal for blogs, online media and communities.


5. Blue Masters

Blue Masters Drupal Theme

Originally based on a PSD template designed by Wendell Fernandes, Blue Masters is a beautiful Drupal template supported by More than Themes.


6. Busy

Busy Drupal Theme

Busy is a simple and clean theme for companies only available for Drupal 7, and sponsored by Undpaul.


7. Colourise

Colourise Drupal Theme

Based on the work from Erwin Aligam, Colourise is a dark theme aimed at online communities.


8. Conch

Conch Drupal Theme

Conch is a free theme with a vintage style. Like Alphorn, it is developed by Symphony Themes and suits any screen, from mobile devices to desktop computers.


9. Corolla

Corolla Drupal Theme

Corolla is an awesome and very popular theme among Drupal community. Highly stylized colorable, it allows you to totally customize the look and feel of your website. 


10. Corporate Clean

Corporate Clean Drupal Theme

Corporate Clean is one of my favorite themes for Drupal with simple, clean and professional web design. I especially like the slideshow with the call-to-action buttons. Based on a PSD template designed by Zsolt Kacso, Corporate Clean is now supported by More than Themes.


11. Crystalline

Crystalline Drupal Theme

Released a few months ago, Crystalline is a transparent theme that allows you to easily customize the style. Crystalline is sponsored by Rocket Theme.


12. Danland

Danland Drupal Theme

Danland is an elegant theme for Drupal 7.x with an image slideshow (the feature can be switched off). This free theme is provided by Danetsoft.


13. Jackson

Jackson Drupal Theme

The Jackson Theme is an extremely professionally designed theme. Its great layout is perfect for SMS businesses.


14. Koi

Koi Drupal Theme

Originally designed for WordPress by Nick La, Koi is an elegant free Drupal theme for online communities.


15. Libra

Libra Drupal Theme

Libra’s clean design consists of blue sky colors reminding us the colors used by Twitter. It is designed by Glidea Web Agency and Drupal Soul, and only available for Drupal 7.


16. Marinelli

Marinelli Drupal Theme

Marinelli is one of the most famous Drupal theme. It features a 3 column and tableless layout. 


17. MD Construction

MD Construction Drupal Theme

MD Construction is an original under construction theme for Drupal. Very useful when you modify something in your website.


18. Newswire

Newswire Drupal Theme

Newswire is a 4 column, table-less, and fixed width theme for Drupal.  It offers many color options for the navigation bar and other blocks.


19. Omega

Omega Drupal Theme

Omega Drupal theme is a powerful  HTML5/960 grid base theme that is highly configurable. Thousands of websites use it as their design theme. A few other themes are based on Omega.


20. Pixture Reloaded

Pixture Reloaded Drupal Theme

Pixture Reloaded is a re-colorable theme powered by Adaptivetheme. It has great features such as mobile support, powerful layout engine and many more.


21. Sky

Sky Drupal Theme

Similar to Pixture Reloaded, Sky is a center aligned theme with multi-column layout theme and some configurable color options.


22. Titan

Titan Drupal Theme

Originally designed on WordPress by Drew Strojny, Titan is a free, classic, and efficient theme for Drupal 7.


23. Typebased

Typebased Drupal Theme

Typebased is a modern and relecorable blog theme. Original WordPress theme was designed by WooThemes.


24. Urban Solice

Urban Solice Drupal Theme

Urban Solice is a professionally designed and well-organized Drupal 7 theme. Its neutral color scheme and clean layout make it an ideal theme for small or medium-sized businesses.


25. Zero point

Zeropoint Drual Point

Zero Point is an advanced and clear theme developed by Dr. Radut to be ideal for a wide range of websites. 


Which one is your favorite? If you want to see more Drupal themes, you may be interested in reading our previous article on where to download the best Drupal templates.

Open Source CMS Market


What are the most used open source CMS used worldwide ?

According to a recent study by web consultancy firm Water&Stone conducted on 4,000 users, WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal were leading the open source CMS  market in 2010.

The analysis focuses on several metrics such as rate of adoption and brand strength among 20 open source CMS .

For example, the study shows the systems that see the most downloads. Here is the top 10:

Average Weekly Downloads in 2010
WordPress 983,625
Joomla! 113,836
Drupal 33,671
DotNetNuke 13,000
CMSMadeSimple 9,948
Liferay 9,435
TYPO3 7,461
eZ Publish 7,031
Alfresco 7,000
Umbraco 5,420

Source : Water&Stone


Moreover, trends on Google Insights for search highlights the variation of web searches related to WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal  over the last 12 months:

Google Insights for Search: WordPress, Joomla! and Drupal

Clearly, users have more interest in WordPress, followed by Joomla! and Drupal.

In addition to those three systems based on PHP, the study highlights two tools, namely DoteNetNuke and Umbraco, that use .NET, as well as three JAVA CMS, namely Liferay and Alfresco.

Drupal is used for at least 1% of all websites wordwide

Drupal CMS logo

In an interview for the French newspaper Le Monde, Drupal's founder Dries Buytaert claims that the CMS is used for at least 1% of all websites worldwide ranging from personal blogs to larger corportate sites.

What is Drupal?

Founded in 2001, Drupal is a free and open source CMS (Content Management System) written in PHP. It's used as back-end systems for all kind of websites, such as blogs, corporate and political sites.

According to Dries Buytaert, more than 1% of all websites worldwide use Drupal, the most famous one being the site for the White House (

Drupal's strength: modules

The main advantage of Drupal is the usage of modules. They enable webmasters to add new functionalities to their site.

There are currently almost 6,000 free third-party community-contributed modules available for download in order to add new features or customize Drupal's appearance. By the way, you can read our article about the top sites where to download Drupal themes.

However, Drupal may be difficult for beginners, notably compared to other blog-oriented CMSs like Joomla! or WordPress. But Drupal offers more possibilities to build complex websites.

Drupal 7 to be released

Many efforts have been made to make the next version of Drupal (Drupal 7) easier to use. It's expected to be released in the following months.

The problem is that there will be many changes between the latest version (Drupal 6) and the new version, notably regarding the API. Modules will have to be updated, so it may take some time before all of the modules will be compatible with the new version.

In 2007, Dries Buytaert founded a company called Acquia that provides products, services and support for Drupal. As you know, we're also big fans of Drupal within THEM. Check out our web development services as well as our web design services.

20 free eCommerce software packages


When you want to open an eCommerce site, one time or another comes the question of choosing your shopping cart software. You should carefully think through it since it wouldn't be easy to change it.

Shopping cart software is used in eCommerce to assist people making purchases online.

In this post, I'll provide you with a list of the top free online shopping cart software packages in order to help you make the best choice for your business, as well as a list of online shopping cart modules for Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal.

Top free eCommerce software packages


OsCommerce online merchant is one of the best known open source eCommerce solution that is available for free. It features a rich set of online shopping cart functionality that allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain online stores with minimum effort and with no costs, fees, or limitations involved. OsCommerce's community include more than 235,000 shop owners and 6,000 add-ons.

osCommerce screenshot


Zen Cart is an off branch of osCommerce that comes with several of the most popular modules built into it.

Site powered by Zen Cart


CubeCart offers version 3 of their software for free but charges for version 4 (after a free 30 day trial). Its features include upload, inventory management, shipping modules, etc.

CubeCart screenshot 


Magento is a feature-rich eCommerce platform built on open-source technology that provides online merchants with great flexibility and control over the look, content and functionality of their eCommerce store. Magento's intuitive administration interface features powerful marketing, SEO and catalog-management tools to give merchants the power to create sites that are tailored to their unique business needs. The professional and enterprise versions include many more offerings.

Magento screenshot


PrestaShop is a free professional eCommerce shopping cart enabling store admins to manage the inventory, orders, customers & payments easily. You can create unlimited categories, sub-categories and image pictures.

PrestaShop screenshot


Digistore is a fully featured open source eCommerce solution based on osCommerce with improvements notably in administration and end user experience.

 Digistore screenshot


OpenCart is an eCommerce solution enabling merchants to create their own online business at a minimal cost. It's designed feature rich, easy to use, search engine friendly and with a visually rather appealing interface.

Opencart screenshot


JadaSite is a bit unusual since it’s Java based, as well as fully integrated with a CMS.



Quick Cart offers a free version allowing you to build a simple online store. Two more robust levels of the same program (premium versions) have more features.

Quick cart screenshot


CRE Loaded is an e-commerce system that makes your store fully compliant with all Payment Card Industry (PCI) security rules. You can easily organize, manage and ship your products from your online store. It also accept credit card transactions safely.

CRE Loaded screenshot


Spree Commerce provides one of the most flexible commerce platforms available.

Spree Commerce screenshot


Shopping cart modules for Joomla


VirtueMart is a free shopping cart solution built specially for integration with Joomla and Mambo CMS. It can work in store and catalog mode.

VirtueMart screenshot


RokQuickCart is a simple shopping cart for Joomla. It takes a simple, yet elegant, shopping cart script and integrates directly into Joomla. It allows you to showcase products, inclusive of images, descriptions and additional options, and purchase these items, with support for shipping and tax calculation.

RokQuickCart screenshot


Seber Cart is a free shopping cart solution allowing any Joomla site owner to sell products on line via their web site. One of the primary goals of Seber Cart is to allow the store owner complete control over their store. Orders and products are easy to manage via an easy to use interface.

Seber Cart screenshot


Shopping cart modules for Wordpress


ShopperPress is a fully featured shopping cart plugin for Wordpress CMS, allowing you to sell any types of products, services, and digital downloads online. ShopperPress has built in support for multiple payment gateways allowing you to accept product payments online.

ShopperPress screenshot


FatFreeCart is a free shopping cart which can work inside your website, blog and MySpace page. It's simply a copy-paste cart and it doesn't require any installation. It works with PayPal and Google Checkout and supports product variations, shipping, handling and sales tax.

Fat Free Cart screenshot


WordPress e-Commerce is a shopping cart plugin for WordPress making easy to sell your products and services online.

WordPress E-Commerce screenshot


eShop is an accessible shopping cart plugin for WordPress, packed with various features. It gives you notably the ability to add a PayPal powered store to your site and allows one item per post or page.


eShop screenshot


Quick Shop is a shopping cart plugin for your WordPress blog.

Quick Shop screenshot

Shopping cart module for Drupal


Ubercart is a full-featured shopping cart that can be integrated within a Drupal-powered site so that you can build a community around your store or featured products.


Do you know other great free eCommerce software packages?

WordPress released its 3.0 version


World's most famous blogging software WordPress unveiled its 3.0 version named Thelonious a few days ago.

Founded in 2003, WordPress is an open source CMS. Its latest major update dates back to March 2008 with the launch of WordPress 2.5.

Among the new features, we can notice a default theme called 'Twenty Ten' which is replacing the rather old-fashion previous one, along with new APIs allowing customized menus, post types, headings, backgrounds, and more.

Another major change is the merge of WordPress Multi User (MU) and the core WordPress install. WordPress MU enables users to administer several blogs. It was a separate tool from WordPress install until now.

Here is the official video presenting WordPress 3.0's new features:

Drupal themes: top websites to download templates

Drupal CMS logo

In this post, you'll be able to find a collection of websites offering free and premium Drupal themes that can be downloaded and used as templates for your Drupal powered website.

Drupal is a free and open source Content Management System (CMS) largely used from small personal blogs to large corporate sites. It is maintained and developed by a community of thousands of users and developers.

Themes allow you to change the look and feel of your Drupal site. These contributed themes are not part of any official release and may not work correctly. You have to use matching versions of themes with Drupal. For example, themes released for Drupal 5.x will not work for Drupal 6.x.


Free Drupal themes

You can find below a collection of websites offering free Drupal templates:

  • Drupal's official website, hundreds of contributed themes are available for download. You can search for themes and filter by compatibility (from 4.7.x to 7.x). Each theme is well documented (features, developers, versions, etc.).

Drupal official website


  • 120 Free Essential Drupal 6.x Themes by tripwire magazine : collection of themes organized in 5 categories (flexible multi-column, 1-column, 2-column, 3-column and 4-column themes).

 120 Free Essential Drupal 6.x Themes by tripwire magazine


 Free Web Designs for Download


  • Drupal-theme, dozens of themes can be downloaded from the website. Useful themes categories : version, number of columns, corporate, blog, etc.

 Free Drupal themes


  • Drupalthemes, website where users can submit their Drupal theme and rate the others. If you look for templates, you can filter by version, number of columns and color.

Drupal themes


  • Themebot, more than 100 Drupal templates available for download.

 Themebot Drupal


  • Drupal2u, more than 230 Drupal templates, possibility to filter by version, number of colums, color, category, etc.



  • SiteGround, a few Drupal themes (various templates for preview and download)

 SiteGround Drupal


Premium Drupal themes

For those who are willing to pay for theme custom development, some websites offer premium Drupal templates:

  • Templates Hunt, almost 500 Drupal themes offered on the website. You can pay a regular price or a unique price (meaning you're the last one who can download the template).

 Templates Hunt Drupal


  • WooThemes, only 2 Drupal themes available. One (Bueno) is nevertheless free.

 Woo Themes


  • Themesnap, a few but very well design themes. The sites announces one or two new premium Drupal templates per month.

 Themes snap Drupal


 Beautiful Drupal Acquia


Showcase Drupal powered websites

Among the websites showcasing Drupal powered websites, I'd like to mention:



  • Drupalbased, offering hundreds of examples that can be filtered by category.



  CMS Showcase 31 Remarkable Drupal Powered Websites

Besides, Drupal Worx offers an interesting tutorial about how views theming is done.

How to optimize your chinese urls for Baidu (1/2)


How to use Chinese urls, or pinyin url? In this post you will learn SEO tips and discover very useful tools to automatically transliterate your chinese title into pinyin and make your internal urls search engine friendly !

First let's go through some basics and theory.

1- SEO friendly URL
You certainly already heard that urls are taken into consideration by search engines like baidu or google in the page ranking. A page with keywords in it's url would have a better ranking than the same one without keywords. That's why a classic first step of SEO experts consist in enhancing urls of a website.

Let say you are in charge of a wine e-business, a good SEO compliant url for your product would look like :
This way search engines will be able to associate keywords "red wine", france, bordeaux, fronsac, chateau richelieu, to your page.

2- URL Encoding
According to the RFC1738 (, urls should only use ASCII character-set.
( It's a bit annoying cause this set is very basic, it contains only 128 characters : alpha-numeric characters and some special char.
But since the ASCII character-set is used to send information between computers on the Internet, urls have to comply this rule too.

To ensure we use the right encoding, webmasters use url encoding functions when they create internet pages and when they display urls.
URL encoding replaces none or unsafe ASCII characters specified in the rfc, with "%" followed by some hexadecimal digits corresponding to the character values in the ISO-8859-1 character-set.

Let see what we get :

"vins français" will be alter to "vins+fran%E7ais"
...not very user or SEO friendly

"葡萄酒" turns to "%26%2333889%3B%26%2333796%3B%26%2337202%3B"
hmm... not user friendly and certainly not SEO friendly

So how to deal with that ?
How to enhance your url for SEO when you are using a non ASCII character set language (like french or chinese for example !)

Well, simply by contacting SEO professionals Them ( ;o)

...or read the next post, I will explain in details how to automatically transliterate your chinese page title into pinyin and use it for your urls with CMS drupal. so, stay tuned...