Obama using Drupal

This afternoon, in Denver, Colorado, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, also known in US political circles as the "stimulus bill".

The bill provides new spending, tax cuts and aid to state and local governments all totaling almost $800 billion US dollars, making it the largest spending bill in that nation's history. Designed to create jobs and provide a boost to a sagging economy, the bill focuses on green, renewable energy and investments in health care technology.

Of immediate interest to us, however, is the accompanying website, recovery.gov, which -- you guessed it -- is using Drupal!

Drupal is no stranger to the political arena, and has been used for many campaign and government sites before. Recovery.gov, though, is a definite coup for Drupal -- there are not many Drupal sites that have their own post on Whitehouse.gov. Or on the Huffington Post. Or is featured on CNN all day long. Or has its own YouTube promo by the US President. Unbelievable!

Recovery org


KeVroN (not verified):

Good site, but someone should turn on clean URLs ...

February 17, 2009
Tim Millwood (not verified):

This is great news for Drupal and the community.

February 17, 2009
Caleb G (not verified):

Very nice - great to see Drupal is continuing to build on its (already renowned) social-political web portfolio.

Hm...now how about that WhiteHouse.gov site, Mr. Obama... ;-)

February 17, 2009
boegel (not verified):

Wow, that must feel really good, being the guy who started this all...

February 17, 2009
Johnclave (not verified):

The entry of drupal as one of the CMS only reminds us that technology is keep on going swiftly. What matter most is that webmaster should understand the basic and sites should deliver its main service.

February 25, 2011
Silona (not verified):

This is awesome! Congrats Dries and congrats to the whole Drupal community.

I have to say I have been rooting for them using Drupal in the wings for awhile.

Now if we can get the to expose the versioning information and create the permalinks I have been asking for!

This will make my next 3 codeathons even easier! So exciting I'm off to find new coders...


February 17, 2009
Alex UA (not verified):

They still seem to be getting the hang of this Drupal thing. No clean urls? No pathauto?

Either way, this is awesome. Glad the Obama folks are finally seeing the open source light.

February 17, 2009
Joshua Powell (not verified):

This really fantastic and a huge notch on the ego belt for the Drupal community. I have been using Drupal for only a year and a half, and I love to hear when large organizations and companies use Drupal.

This is really great, congratulations to you Dries and to everyone who has made Drupal the amazing framework that it is.

February 17, 2009
Gerard McGarry (not verified):

I'm seeing Drupal installations absolutely everywhere these days. Funny how you become such a geek, hovering over the register links to see if the path gives away the CMS, or viewing the source to see if there are a zillion CSS files linked in.

February 17, 2009
Jaap (not verified):

Congratulations Dries! You can't reach higher than this I guess. Perfect example of cutting the budgets with Open Source. Few years ago such a website would have been built by one of the big IT companies for a lot of tax payers dollars. Need arguments to use Drupal? Obama uses it, enough said?

What's next? The Olympics?

February 17, 2009
greggles (not verified):

@AlexUA - it uses Pathauto - http://www.recovery.gov/modules/pathauto/pathauto.js

Though it does appear to have been built by someone who is either new to Drupal or hasn't worked with Drupal much since Drupal 4.6 (when we used to put all the contrib modules into the modules directory).

February 17, 2009
Fred Gooltz (not verified):

A for effort.
Though they should hire a team of Drupal experts to get it squared. mod_rewrite, anyone?

February 17, 2009
Keith Smith (not verified):

I also see signs of both CCK and Views.

I'm imagining the content types, fields and views necessary to track 800 billion dollars, arranged to show disbursement "to which states, to which congressional districts, even to which Federal contractors."[1]

[1] www.recovery.gov

February 17, 2009
Gilles P. Bailleux (not verified):

Drupal rocks for good, for sure, forever !

February 17, 2009
Sean (not verified):
February 17, 2009
Nathan Gasser (not verified):

Actually, they're not using the timeline module, they're using the same JS code, but it's called from an iframe, and they're loading their data in from a flat XML file rather than via Drupal nodes:


They've actually done a lot of things to speed up the site. I'm wondering if lack of clean URLs points to a 3rd party front-end cache.

And think DrupalCon DC case study guys! :)

February 19, 2009
Usamah (not verified):

Using a free (cutting expenses) open source (advocating transparency) CMS to power a website for a "recovery" crisis initiative is way well on spot and very smart move, to tell the truth.

Very nice to see this website up and running on Drupal. Now here's the quote of the year for Drupal:

"Once the plan is put into action, a new website – Recovery DOT gov – will allow any American to watch where the money goes and weigh in with comments and questions." - Barack Obama

Weigh in with comments and questions? Whoa, what is next? Dragging Mr. Obama into the "comments as nodes" controversy? :-D

February 17, 2009
Tim (not verified):

Doh the elusive/node lives on

I also enjoy the

February 17, 2009
Tim (not verified):

Someone must have seen this post or caught them by themselves, both of the above are fixed now.

February 21, 2009
Jamie (not verified):

The Obama administration seems to really be up on OSS. There's even a provision in the new stimulus bill saying that open source software should be investigated for government programs.

February 17, 2009
JohnForsythe (not verified):

It's possible they're not running Apache, hence the lack of clean URLs (I know there are workarounds, but they're not always available on tightly controlled government servers).

February 17, 2009
edde42 (not verified):

They are using Apache, at least according to the domain details plugin I use in Firefox.

Maybe a nice email from the Drupal Association offering a few tips on how they can easily improve the site using clean URLs and a few other things would be a good idea.

February 17, 2009
Andrew (not verified):

@JohnForsythe: according to the "Live HTTP Headers" Firefox extension, it is running Apache.

Congrats to Dries and to Drupal!!!

February 17, 2009
Linea Rowe (not verified):

This is fantastic! The Obama team depends on Drupal to tell people about the most important effort going on in the US.

When the economy is back on track, can Drupal get some of the credit? :)

February 17, 2009
zapikoe (not verified):

Seems like recovery.gov is blocked to all search engines

# Deny all search bots, web spiders
User-agent: *
Disallow: /

February 17, 2009
Tomer Tishgarten (not verified):

Looks like they removed the robots.txt file. I was thinking that the WayBackMachine would not be able to archive the site but that's no longer the case.


March 01, 2009
Johnny van de Laar (not verified):

Sent them a mail with the contact form about the clean URLs. so lets see if they "fix" it now. ;)

BTW, the timeline module doesn't seem to work for me.

February 18, 2009
Chrys (not verified):

Very nice.

I would almost bet my next paycheck (or a beer) that the team who is working on this will be at Drupalcon DC, so perhaps a session with them and some in the community who are interested in seeing this site succeed/grow, and have a background in using Drupal for government-related instances, could be organized?

My hope is that they bust out the RDF modules to really make this information as re-usable as possible...

February 18, 2009
Fred Gooltz (not verified):

Is Tim O'Reilly the CTO yet?

Open Source my government!

February 18, 2009
Jesse (not verified):

I just lost some respect for Obama, but suddenly glad I didn't take him up on his job offer last Fall.

February 18, 2009
Keith Smith (not verified):

Recovery.gov is obviously getting a lot of press. Some of it even about Drupal.


February 18, 2009
charlesc (not verified):

BTW, the 2008 Taiwan Presidential election campaign site of Ma Ying-jeou, was powered by Drupal :)

The archive : http://2008.ma19.net/

February 18, 2009
Zamir Gori (not verified):

Its good to know that now Obama is also using the Drupal CMS for his government work , as we all know that Hillary clinton is also using the Drupal for her Official website..

Its Very encouraging for the governemnts abroad and for the governements of Devlopinng Nations like mamy in Asia to learn from it....

Now many governments portal in india has also started using Drupal e.g http://cidcoindia.com/cidco/home.aspx
to mention a few...

February 19, 2009
Dan DeGeest (not verified):

Someone should have invited Obama to speak at Drupalcon DC!

February 19, 2009
scimonx (not verified):

Does anyone know what the starter theme is?

February 19, 2009
loomar (not verified):

Go Drupal ... I'm proud to be a Drupaler

February 20, 2009
dv (not verified):

Nice site indeed, but I echo peoples' statements above about the absence of clean urls and pathauto.

February 21, 2009
Drupal Develop… (not verified):

It sure is nice to see the use of Drupal in US administration and also for high security sites. However the site Recovery.gov has much Drupal integration that are missed, many pointed above like:

* Clean URLs
* Not using any of the natural search optimization elements, blocked from search
* The timeline block could be done better with CCK and views, with more details behind the events listed

At any rate, this is a good start and sure helps Drupal Development companies around the world. Now only if I could get more people trained on Drupal than the demand, this would be great. Suggestions?

February 22, 2009
Arkadian Collection (not verified):

Pair that design team with a Drupaler who can flip the ON switch for Clean URLs and knows the tweaks for generating traffic and they're truly Big Time!

Hope this is a harbinger for the type of (potentially) low-cost, (certainly ;) high-value solutions that we'll need to permeate the spending of this eco-nomic package!

February 23, 2009
Blippitt (not verified):

I noticed this. The recovery.gov site looks pretty slick too. They've done a nice job with it.

February 26, 2009
Brad West (not verified):

I am totally liking the drupal sites. I am so tempted to set one up just to do it. But I am refraining untill i get a nother project in my sites.

Totally cool
Brad West ~ onomnoney

March 04, 2009
golchi (not verified):

This is very cool !! One more good reason to stay with drupal :-). By the way guys you are doing an amazing job...

March 07, 2009
dibbert (not verified):

Sleek. Love the theme. Can anyone suggest a free theme with a similar look? I'm quite new to theming, you see...

March 15, 2009
Curtis Craig (not verified):

barackobama.com and change.gov must be the first Drupal-sites with an acceptable graphic design. Are there more to come?

Let's say that I'm tired of being able to figuring out if a site is made in Drupal at the very first glance. Drupal is definitly a remarkable and outstanding CMS-system (I totally agree with that), but websites that are using it mostly look like exact copies of each other, with poor and even careless graphic design. Recovery.gov is a good example of -another- easily recognizable Drupal site.

With all the respect for what you've done and are still doing for Drupal, but you can't expect companies to use a CMS with very limited graphic capabilities when that is one of of the most important elements of their campaigns.

Time for change.

May 02, 2009
Anonymous (not verified):
May 06, 2009
Anonymous (not verified):

I believe you are mistaken about barackobama.com and change.gov

Barackobama.com definitely isn't drupal.

May 09, 2009
David (not verified):

That's a staggering achievement. Congratulations Dries; congratulations everyone.

June 04, 2009
dan (looking f… (not verified):

This is great. Obama using Drupal! This is something for drupal. Great!

Click here

June 13, 2009
Jarod (not verified):

It looks like the redesign is done? Recovery.gov isn't using Drupal anymore? $18 million approved to redesign the site and they decided NOT to use Drupal. :(

September 28, 2009
Druplicate (not verified):

Recovery.gov has a new design. Doesn't look like Drupal anymore.

Lots of .aspx and the head metadata shows .net stuff.


September 28, 2009
Anonymous (not verified):

Why did recovery.org stop using Drupal?

October 08, 2009
Korey (not verified):

Looking at the website of the company that got the redesign contract http://www.smartronix.com/, it seems like military industrial contract bloat that probably proved inescapable for the Obama administration. You can only fight so many battles, might as well give in to the cult of Microsoft.

October 09, 2009
Ankit Jain (not verified):

It's not Drupal...
It's Sharepoint server, a Microsoft CMS

October 25, 2009
james povolotski (not verified):

another great achievement for drupal & their community.it will definitely gonna boost up their confidence & hopefully their creativity too,so that they can give us more amazing software in future.also plz do check my site graphic design jobs,Graphic portfolios,Logo portfolios

October 26, 2009
Joe (not verified):

OMG Nooooo! Now it's SharePoint! .aspx! That's soooo bad! An outstanding example of how much money the US government wastes. They go from a free open source CMS to a highly expensive proprietary one, and on the Recovery site too, how ironic, and sad.

October 27, 2009
Anonymous (not verified):

"Why did recovery.org stop using Drupal?"

Because they could.

June 30, 2010
Picture To Painting (not verified):

Yes, true. The Bill went well, the stimulus picked up, but what to do now with Japan and Lybia?

March 29, 2011