Drupal is often the go-to Content Management System when it comes to advanced systematic solutions designed especially for the developers. I say this because Drupal is a flexible CMS tool that comes with its complexity as a package. And that is why most of the developers and the advanced users prefer Drupal to develop safer, expandable, and aspiring blogs or websites. We will now closely get into knowing all about Drupal.
Why use Drupal?
There are three prominent reasons as to why one should use Drupal.
- Drupal is known for its amazing functionality. There are modules available with which you can expand your site. For example, Google Analytics is one of the modules that can add up statistical features to the website.
- There are over 2000 themes that can make your site look appealing to visitors. The core files in Drupal can be altered. On the whole, this Content Management System is highly customizable.
- The security reports are produced routinely. The security team is available all the time if you need any help concerned with security issues.
The first thing to do is the Installation
You can install Drupal either with AutoInstall or just manually. Using AutoInstall is the easiest way if you own web hosting. Let me show you how to do it.
- Get into the hPanel.
- You will find the Auto Installer option in the Website section. Click on it.
- Select Drupal from the Most Popular List.
- Fill up the details and press the install option. And you are done.
Manual installation is not much difficult. This is the go-to method if you don’t find the auto-installer option in your web hosting.
- Go to Drupal’s official site.
- Download the Drupal zip file from there.
- You can find the .zip file in the Files Manager under the files section. Extract the zip file by uploading the .zip file in the directory of public_html.
- Enter into the Database from the main menu and select MySQL Databases. Enter all the necessary details and press the create option.
- Visit your site to begin the installation. Select the language you prefer and press the save and continue option.
- Now it’s time to choose your installation profile. If you are an amateur, you can go ahead with the standard as it comes with pre-configured features. If you are an advanced user and have got enough experience with this Content Management System, then go ahead with a minimal installation profile because it comes with options for customization.
- There are certain requirements when it comes to server specifications. You can go to the next step only if they all get satisfied.
- In the next step, you should fill all the details about the already created database. Press the save and continue option.
- The next step is to configure the site where you will be filling in the information regarding the site and the maintenance account for the site. The username and password you save in this step will remain the login credentials for your site. Press the Save and continue option to complete the installation.
These installation methods are suitable for both the Drupal 7.x.x core version and the Drupal 8.x.x core version.
Let us now get into creating a website.
Content is the most important thing for the website. Before that, you should have basic knowledge about the dashboard of Drupal. You will find the dashboard as soon as you log in to your site. Click on the manage option. You will find the following sections there.
- Content: This section allows you to add new articles or a page. This section will direct you to the interface where you can add new content.
- Structure: The layout, comment types and content types can be managed in this section.
- Appearance: This section is completely about themes.
- Extend: Extend section allows you to add or remove modules to improve the functionality of your website.
- Configuration: Site settings and account settings are usually managed in this section.
- People: Permissions, user accounts, and the roles are managed here.
- Reports: The status report and the log messages are usually stored here.
- Help: If you are caught up with any difficulties regarding your site, you can visit this section.
All your contents in Drupal are usually categorized based on the taxonomy you use. Taxonomy is generally a word that expresses the content.
Click on the taxonomy option in the structure tab.
Here you should enter the vocabulary and the optional description. Vocabulary is a cluster of taxonomy. In other words, vocabulary tells on what basis the contents should be classified.
Now you should add terms with the add terms option if you want to add a vocabulary. It is the parent category. Name, text format, description, relations, and URL alias for the term can be entered here. The name you enter here will be considered as a subcategory under which the content can be found. Press the save option.
Talking about the pages, you can literally create two types of content. Articles and Basic Page. Articles are usually blog posts or press releases. These contents are susceptible to frequent edits. The contents that are static are usually on the basic pages. These contents don’t have many edits. Apart from this, you can create a book page, forum topic, and poll.
Let’s now get into creating content.
- Click on “Content” in the admin bar. If you cannot find the option, search for it under the “Manage” option. Now you will be directed to the Content page.
- Click on the “Add Content” option and select the type of content you are going to enter.
- After selecting the type of content, you will be directed to Drupal’s editor window.
- Most of the features in the editor interface are self-explanatory.
- The Body field is the space where you should enter your content. You will have exclusive fields to add tags and images for your article.
- The menu bar to your right is made for you to configure the article’s settings. Under each section, you will find several options. You can also enable or disable comments, decide the author of the article, and decide if your content should be displayed on the front page.
- The revision log message is one of the significant fields which allows you to make changes to your article while maintaining a log of the alterations made.
- As soon as you are done creating your article, click Save. You will find the article published on your site.
There is another feature called Blocks.
- To create blocks, click on “Structure” in the main menu.
- Click on Block Layout.
- You can place the blocks wherever necessary on your page. Click on the placed block to determine what kind of block it is. For example, if you are going to place a block for entering the Title, then choose the Page Title option.
- Enter the details like title, visibility, and region to configure your block.
- Press the “Save Block” button.
Modules are more or less like expansions added to the site to expand the functionality of the same. You can find the modules if you browse the Drupal Modules. Apart from the core modules, there are provisions to install new modules. There are more than 40000 modules on the Drupal Modules site.
- The drop-down menu is for filtering your search. By clicking on the search results, you can get more details about that particular module. At the bottom of the page, the download option is available. Once you finish the download, install the module on your website.
- Click on the “Extend” option. You can find the “Extend” option in the admin toolbar. The “Extend” window initially displays all the core modules that are installed on your site.
- Click on “Install New Module” to add new modules. Doing so will direct you to a new page where you should either insert the direct link of the module or upload the module from your computer. Select Install. The Content Management System will install the modules to your website. You will finally receive a success message.
- The next step is to enable the module to activate its performance. For this, you go back to the Extend page. Select the module you need to activate and press the “Install” button at the bottom of the page.
Now you are all set to use the module to the maximum extent.
Another factor that attracts visitors to your site is the way your site looks. With themes, you can make your site look appealing. There are several themes and layouts in the Drupal repository. Themes are similar to the modules but they do not enhance the functionality. Instead, they change the appearance of the site. There are a lot of sources that provide free and premium themes on the internet. But the easiest way to find the themes is to search in the official theme repository.
- Browse for the themes and click on the search result. You will get the details of the theme on the result page. At the bottom of the page, you will find an option for downloading the theme.
- Click on “Appearance” in the admin toolbar. The Appearance page will let you know the list of themes that are already installed on your site.
- To add a new theme, click on “Install New Theme”. This will direct you to another page that looks familiar.
- Here you should insert the direct link of the theme or upload the downloaded theme from your computer. Click install.
- As soon as you receive the confirmation message, you are done with the installation of the theme.
- The next step is to activate the theme of your desire. Go back to the themes page. Go to the Uninstalled Themes section. Here you can find the freshly uploaded theme.
- Click on the “Install and set as default” option under the desired theme to apply that theme and the accompanying layout to your website.
This guide might have helped you to start your journey with Drupal. To be honest, Drupal is an amazing choice of Content Management System for any advanced users who have got prerequisite knowledge in programming. Drupal has even officially put up guides on their site to make it easier for the users to get their hands on the tool. Due to its complexity WordPress or Joomla are often preferred over Drupal. But for any advanced user, Drupal might be a go-to option to design a unique site.