Drupal is a powerful tool that is backed by a passionate community. You've made an excellent choice in deciding to have a look at Drupal!
Start Your Drupal Journey Like a Guru and Learn How to Tap Into All the Resources at Your Disposal!
The first step in your research process is to install Drupal. You will also connect yourself with Drupal's passionate community.
Install Drupal in the environment of your choosing
You will learn about five different options to install Drupal, including three no cost options.
Learn the proper foundation from the get-go
The "Understanding the Drupal Way" section ensures that you will use Drupal in the way that it is intended to be used so that you will build sites that are easy to maintain, easy to extend and easy to upgrade.
Start using your Drupal site
The best way to learn Drupal is to do Drupal. Work your way through the sections that show you some of the nuts and bolts of Drupal and then proceed to actually building a simple Drupal site.
Get started now and get ready to harness all the power that Drupal puts under your control!
Thanks so much for enrolling in the course. It means a lot to me that you have placed your trust in me. I will do everything I can to reward that trust.
I want this course to be absolutely delightful for you. If it's not, then please let me know what I need to change to make it so!
Drupal's motto is "Come for the software. Stay for the community."
One of the best things about using the Drupal content management system is interacting with members of the Drupal community. It's hard for people in the community to get to know you if you don't have a "Drupal nick." Additionally, you must have an account to do certain things like participating in the issue queues and forums and updating the documentation. So, the first thing you should do when you are thinking about using Drupal is to create an account on Drupal.org.
This lesson will show you how to create your account.
Test your knowledge about when you need an account.
It's so much fun to be a member of the Drupal community! Show your Drupal pride and capture a screen shot of your "birthday" picture of your member profile and share it via a discussion topic to this lecture.
After you create your account, you will receive an email to verify that you have used a valid email address. You must click the link in the email to fully activate your account.
This lesson will take you through the required steps to validate your newly created account.
Test your knowledge about the process of validating your user account.
The Drupal community looks to be both welcoming to newcomers and careful about preventing spammers. As part of this effort, when you first create an account on Drupal's website you will start out as "New". Being "new" means that there are some things you won't be able to do until you have been "Confirmed" or have established yourself.
There are only a few fields that you are required to enter in order to create your account. There is a great deal more information that you can enter later on.
This lesson will cover some of the optional fields, how they are used and what you might wish to enter in those fields.
We're all human and sometimes we forget things! If you forget your password, don't worry. Drupal provides a feature that allows you to reset your password.
This lesson will walk you through resetting your password.
Test your knowledge of what to do when you forget your password
You have completed the first step in your Drupal journey! Welcome to the community.
Let's look at what you have accomplished in just a few minutes of your time.
Your personal Dashboard gives you a quick overview of what's happening on Drupal.org. You have the ability to add, remove and rearrange items on your dashboard so that you will know about what's most important to you.
This lesson will show you how to use and customize your personal Dashboard.
Test your knowledge of the Dashboard on Drupal.org
Each project on Drupal has a project page and an issue queue. (Drupal itself is one of the projects.) The issue queue is where you can report bugs or ask for support.
This lesson will show you how to use a project's issue queue.
Test your knowledge of Drupal's issue queues.
No matter what project you examine on Drupal, you are sure to find that there are open issues in the issue queue. Even with your limited Drupal experience, there is still something you can do to really help out the module maintainer. And, you don't even have to be a coder to do it!
The forums on the main Drupal site are grouped into the broad Containers (to use the Drupal terminology) of Support, General, Services and Newsletters. Within each container there are the individual forums. Within each forum there are individual topics. Each topic may have a thread of comments associated with it.
As a person who is new to Drupal, you may find the forums in the Support container to be helpful. The Documentation provides some tips on posting to the forums.
This lesson will give you a brief look at the forums and their potential as well as pitfalls.
Test your knowledge of Drupal's Forums.
There are many forum topics created every day. You can always find somebody who is looking for some help. So, whenever you feel like making a valuable contribution to the Drupal community you can head over to the forums and look for a topic to which you can contribute.
The documentation on the main Drupal site is comprised primarily of a number of "Guides."
This lesson will give you a brief look at how you can use the documentation as well as how you as a total beginner can make a great contribution to the Drupal community by writing and updating the documentation.
Test your knowledge of Drupal's documentation.
Documenting the Drupal project is an all-volunteer effort. Whether you are totally new to Drupal or an experienced hand, there is a lot of opportunity for you to make a significant contribution to the community by updating or creating some documentation. See, you don't have to write a line of code to be able to contribute to Drupal!
Now you now a little bit about how you can find out more about Drupal. Make sure you take advantage of the opportunities to connect with the people behind the code. Don't be afraid! Be Bold!
All modules are first-class citizens
Thou shalt not hack
There's a place for everything
When there is a theme that is very close to what you want you site to look like, but is not exactly what you want, you can use that theme as a base theme and create a subtheme from it and the customize as you desire.
People choose to learn and use Drupal for many different reasons. What's yours? It's really fun to learn about why people "do" Drupal.
Add a discussion topic to this lesson to share with the group!
No matter what type of computer you own and what operating system you use, you will have the option of creating a local environment or using a hosted environment into which you can install Drupal. There are benefits and drawbacks to each choice. You may even choose to do both!
This lesson will take you through the benefits and drawbacks of choosing to use a local installation and choosing to use a hosted environment.
Many web hosts provide an interface called cPanel. Additionally, they will often provide one-click install scripts.
This lesson will look at using the Mojo Marketplace installer script to install Drupal.
Pantheon can be classified as a Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is built using Drupal and it is designed to make it easy to install Drupal as well as do ongoing development. In this course we are interested only in the ease of installing Drupal. Pantheon provides you with two free environments when you create an account.
This lesson will take you through signing up for Pantheon and installing Drupal.
Acquia can be classified as a Platform as a Service (PaaS). It is built using Drupal and it is designed to make it easy to install Drupal as well as do ongoing development. In this course we are interested only in the ease of installing Drupal. Acquia creates a free environment when you create an account. You can also add more free environments.
This lesson will take you through signing up for Acquia and installing Drupal.
Even if you have access to a one-click install script to install Drupal, you may choose to install Drupal manually. There are a number of reasons that you may not want to use a one-click installer.
This lesson will walk you through manually installing Drupal in a hosted environment and will provide you with a list of reasons why you may choose to do a manual installation.
There are a number of different options available to create your local environment for running Drupal. XAMPP is free of charge and available for all operating systems.
This lesson will walk you through installing XAMPP.
Be forewarned that you are being truly adventurous taking this route. Now you will be dealing with much more than just installing Drupal; you will effectively be getting into a bit of server administration.
One of the essential pieces for running Drupal is a database. "phpMyAdmin is a free software tool written in PHP, intended to handle the administration of MySQL." This tool comes pre-installed with XAMPP and is ready for you to use.
This lesson will walk you through creating a database with phpMyAdmin.
Another essential piece for running Drupal is the set of programs that make up the Drupal product. You need to download the programs from Drupal's main site to your computer and extract it before you can use it.
This lesson will walk you through the process of downloading and extracting the programs.
The process of installing Drupal in your local environment is very similar to installing it in a hosted environment. But, there may be a few additional things that you will need to address.
This lesson will walk you through the process of setting up all the necessary pieces and installing Drupal in your local environment.
When you initiate the process of installing Drupal you are prompted to choose an Installation Profile. In all of the previous examples in the course we have chosen the Standard profile. The Standard profile is a good choice for people new to using Drupal; there is no need to concern yourself with other profiles at this point. You may feel free to skip this lesson. But, in case you are curious . . .
In this lesson we will compare a site that was created using the Minimal profile and examine the differences between this profile and the Standard Profile.
Test your knowledge of installing Drupal.
It's time to put what you now know into practice! Fire up a Drupal website.
It would be great if it's internet accessible. You can use shared hosting, Pantheon, Acquia Cloud or any other option of your choosing. You don't have to have an official domain name that you've registered. If you have created an internet accessible site, leave a discussion topic in this lecture with the URL for the site. If you have created one in a local environment, capture a screen shot and share it with us.
You did it! You have successfully installed Drupal. Now the fun really begins.
But before we move on, let's just review the three main things that happen when Drupal is installed via any mechanism. Then, just in case you are curious, I'll tell you a bit more about how Drupal knows when it needs to be installed.
Drupal has a system for naming itself. There are versions of Drupal and there are releases within a version. Updating Drupal means that you are taking it from an earlier release to a more recent release within the same version. Upgrading Drupal means taking it from an earlier version to a more recent version.
This slideshow will provide some more details about versions and releases.
Essentially, Drupal is just a bunch of programs (or software). Like all programs, sometimes the people who write the programs change them. There are many reasons that they may change the programs: fixing a bug; adding new functionality; addressing a security vulnerability.
In order to ensure that you maintain the security of your Drupal site, you need to make sure to apply the changes to programs that have been changed to address security vulnerabilities. The process of applying those changes is part of what happens when you update your Drupal site. But, how do you know when there are security updates for your site?
This lecture shows you the ways that you can check your site manually as well as how to be notified automatically.
Updating Drupal essentially means changing the code base and performing any required database updates. At its core (no Drupal pun intended) that's really all there is to it!
There is a consistent set of steps you will follow to ensure that the whole process goes smoothly and protects you from any mishaps. This brief text lecture details those steps.
The main point of including the next two lectures is to show that it's possible to update from one release to another release that is non-contiguous. I show the database capture just to conform to best practices and not send a mixed message. Don't worry about whether you follow everything I'm doing on the command line for the database backup or updating the code base. Just pay attention that I updated from Drupal 7.1 to Drupal 7.36.
The process happens pretty quickly. There is only one command that I need to run:
mysqldump -u root drupal71 > drupal71.201504182324.sql
This is telling the database server to execute a backup of the drupal71 database using the root user credentials and save that backup to a file called drupal71.201504182324.sql.
As I mentioned in a previous lecture, the main point of this lecture is to show you that you can update Drupal from one release to another release that is not contiguous. I updated Drupal 7.1 to Drupal 7.36.
Initially, there are some warning that appear on the screen that are a result of some technical details related to how I have my computer configured. Those warnings disappear with the update, though.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy the command line goodness of updating a local Drupal site that is running on Ubuntu 14.04!
Once you have successfully installed Drupal, you are taken to the home page of your site. You will be logged in (as the "root" user). While it is not strictly necessary for you to ever log out of your site, it is helpful for you to understand the difference between being an "authenticated" user and an "anonymous" user.
This lesson will show you how to log out of your Drupal site.
You may find that when you visit your site you will no longer be logged in and you will have a need to access some of the functionality of your site that is granted only to "authenticated" users.
This lesson will show you how to log in to your site.
Test your knowledge of how to "authenticate" yourself to Drupal and how to view a Drupal site as an "anonymous" user.
If you visit your Drupal site as an "anonymous" user, then all you have access to is the "Front End" of the site. However, it's also possible to access the front end of the site even as an "authorized" user.
This lesson will show you how to access the front end of your site.
In order to perform many types of functions on your Drupal site, you will need to access the "Back End" of the site. If you are visiting the site as an "anonymous" user you should never be able to access the back end. If your site is properly configured you must first sign in to the site to access the back end.
If you are familiar with other content management systems, you may be accustomed to using a separate back end of your website. With Drupal it's all the same site.
This lesson will show you how to access the back end of your site.
When something isn't working on your site and you need to get more information about what's happening you can use some of the reporting features that Drupal provides.
This lesson will walk you through looking at some of the administrative reporting features as well as some of the other functionality you can access from the back end of your site.
Test your knowledge of using Drupal's administrative functions.
Thanks for taking this course. I hope that it has enabled you to get off to a great start! Let's celebrate just how much you have accomplished even though you haven't actually added anything to your site, yet.
I look forward to continuing to be your guide and mentor as you progress on your Drupal journey.
I was an AS/400 RPG application developer from 1989 - 2001. Then I pursued some other life interests, including teaching High School math, before returning to programming in 2010. I spent approximately 6 months, 7 days a week for 12 hours a day teaching myself to use the Drupal content management system prior to launching my web development business in July of 2010. Since that time I have become a highly sought after Drupal web developer. I specialize in using Drupal as a framework to build custom web applications for clients.
My "Drupal nick" is vegantriathlete.
I am both a vegan and a triathlete and successfully completed my first IronMan distance triathlon on August 2, 2015.
If there is anything you would like to know from or about me or anything you would like to tell me, please do get in touch!