Building your own Drupal website

Drupal is one of the giants in the CMS market – it goes toe to toe with WordPress and Joomla and performs comparatively very well. It should be noted that WordPress is the most intuitive of these tools, if you aren’t willing to spend hours tinkering with the look and feel of your website then Drupal probably isn’t the solution for you. However, it does power many of the worlds most popular websites and so it is certainly worth taking a look at.

The below steps will take you through installing Drupal and running a very basic blog style website. There are more guides to come on this topic, we hope this will be a good starting point.

  1. Choose a web host that supports one click installs of Drupal (in this example we will use TSO Host – but the process is much the same for all hosts)
  2. Install Drupal to the root (/) directory of your website
  3. Use the login form on the left hand side of your new site to login to the admin panel
  4. Let’s configure the site to your preferred settings. Click the “configuration” menu item at the top of the page
  5. Within this menu, click on “site information”
    site info
  6. Within the site information page, make sure you update your site name and your admin email address – click “Save Configuration”
  7. You can verify your site name change by re-loading the homepage of your site. The name in the header should now be updated.
  8. Under the appearance menu, you can select a pre-made theme for your site & you can upload custom ones here too (there are loads on the Drupal website).
  9. Under the “settings” tab of the appearance menu, uncheck the box that says “use the default logo” and upload your own image – remember to click “save configuration”.
  10. Here is a look at what I had customized (this was just rough to show what could be done).
  11. In the top left of your admin menu, click “add content” and select “article” from the subsequent pop up.
  12. Fill out the article details and add an image
  13. Make sure you click save & then re-load your homepage. You’ll now see the article on the page with the featured image

It will take some tinkering to get the look and feel you want and Drupal certainly isn’t as robust and intuitive as WordPress. However, with a bit wrestling with the tool you can make some excellent websites – Drupal supports some of the biggest and most profitable websites in the world, so they’re worth a shot!

Image used under creative commons

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