I have a question which may seem rather bizare to the more frequent users of Drupal, but I am running into a bit of difficulty understanding how to fully utilise drupal.
The main problem I have had is that when I install the Drupal software on my server and load it up, the page looks like a blog. It makes me think that all I can do is make a blog and it's frustrating when I see that it is actually possible to make a website and I don't understand how.
My main question is: Can you all please provide me with some useful links to tutorials/documentation on exactly HOW I make my new drupal installation work like a proper website? What I want to be able to do is the following:
1) Have a variation of pages throughout the site. Most would follow a similar layout, but I need about 3-4 variatons
2) How do I set-up the page and create "zones". I know there is the block feature and I've looked through the .tpl (i think) files, so do I just have to edit those or what? I normally code my web-pages with css/html by hand to get the layout and then use php to fill in the spaces
3) How do I add custom code to certain areas? Am I fully restricted to installing modules that other people provide? Or can I add my own content into a block (i.e. query the database and get information on the current user and display custom information from the DB in a panel somewhere). Basic example, but I'd like links to content for this too.
I think that is all the basic things I would like to know. I am not so much worried about the quantity of links I am given but I really want high quality links to stuff I can read that will really make me understand. I am REALLY struggling to get my head around how to use Drupal to make websites efficiently. So far it seems so much faster to make them the way I have with hand-made code, but I am expecting to be proven wrong :)
Many thanks in advance