I see many websites create by Drupal, but I don't know how to create it? Show me step by step, please.


syawillim’s picture

Your first stop would be the handbooks, this is where you will find step by step instuctions.

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Gypsy505’s picture

Thank you for this, I have 4 websites and I am considering Drupal, but another move sounds terrifying. I need to see if I can wrap my head around this before I jump.

Muslim guy’s picture

Go to handbook


Then if that doesnt help.....visit sites already running on Drupal in `showcases' ranging from basic blogs to full fledged like the snowboarding magazine (video and user galleries)

Internet for ISLAM, get to know Islam and Muslims :) May Allah brings you to the Straight Path

semivagrant’s picture

I have to say, good luck - you're going to need it. In the past I've used other open-source solutions.

I've just started playing with Drupal for a new site. Try reading the handbook. Much of it is unfortunately poorly-written and incomplete. It's a little disappointing and I think it owes to a lot of frustration people have with this piece of software.

ca_grover’s picture

May I suggest you revisit the handbook again after you have setup a couple of Drupal sites? You'll probably find that it's pretty simplistic in it's approach.

Of course, Drupal is a community based project, which means that anyone can contribute So, if anyone finds a problem with the documentation (i.e. maybe it needs a section that doesn't assume some background knowledge?), then go ahead and submit the changes or new content.

It's too easy to complain about bad documentation (I'm guilty of it myself), when a little bit of our time can be taken to make said documentation better.

(Not meaning to pick on you semivagrant - just commenting in general)

helsinki’s picture

To be fair, reading the handbook in hindsight after having already set up a few drupal sites is no help. If you don't understand the handbook, how can you even set up one site?

If new users say the documentation sucks, then their opinion is more true than that of people who have worked with Drupal for months or years. Of course, there are always those that virtually want you to build the site for them. To work with Drupal, you have to be a little proactive by nature, I think.

The problem with writing handbooks is you have to figure out what you yourself already take for granted—what you already know—and also anticipate what the reader doesn't know and needs to know. Every time you say something, you may have put question marks in the readers mind. You have to reread with this in mind. Should I reword it to make it clearer, or add a little parenthesis to clarify the question that may be in their minds?

It's not easy writing documentation, a slightly different skill to coding perhaps. ;-)
WILBA ¦ what's it like to...?

ttolleson’s picture

If one must first know how to build a website with Drupal and have experience with Drupal to be able to understand the beginner's guides, then the beginner's guides are poorly written. I've not read the handbook, I'm just explaining that your logic is bad. I work with instructional design, and we have to explain this to people constantly, think like a beginner, someone who understands nothing and then shape your instructions to that mind. Open-source software is the worst violator of basic educational principles because of the esteem placed on how much knowledge and expertise one has and can demonstrate (as well as the elegant and sophisticated solutions one can create). That's a necessary value for designing and maintaining software, but it's of no help to someone who wants to sell shoelaces online and needs to quickly build a site.

Heine’s picture

Please < ahref="http://drupal.org/node/add/project_issue?project=drupal&category=bug">file specific issues against the documentation project or add to the docs.

Tips for posting to the forums.
When your problem is solved, please post a follow-up to the thread you started.

Brian@brianpuccio.net’s picture

Instead of saying its poorly written and incomplete, please file bugs and maybe even contriubte what you've learned. It doesn't get better by itself.

sepeck’s picture

Start here http://drupal.org/node/21951 and keep clicking next and you readlly should have a reasonable shot at getting something going.

In the mean time your ability to provide constructive comments on specifics seems to be having some serious issues and may be a skill you wish to look into acquiring.

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

helsinki’s picture

This post is a brief walkthrough about setting up Drupal for 'newbies' and 'non-techies'. But check the documentation in the Handbook as well, because there you will find the 'step-by-step' instructions. This is just a quick overview to give you some idea of what to expect.

If you want to experiment with Drupal, then it's good to know that it WILL take you a few weeks to get comfortable with the general working environment (modules, blocks, taxonomy, FTP, CSS, phpMyadmin, etc..), but that once you do, you will be very happy with what YOU will be able to do. THAT is why Drupal is becoming more popular now even with non-developers, because when you stick at it, you learn a lot about the possibilities of dynamic content-driven websites.

A basic installation is quite easy to set up, especially if you have Fantastico from your web host. After that, a good next step is to run through the modules page here on drupal.org and make a list of the modules that offer the functionality you would like to have on your site.

Installing modules generally involves:

  • downloading module folder from Drupal, upload via ftp to your server folder (yourdrupalsite.com/modules)
  • Add new tables to database (only for some modules, always read the module's INSTALL/READ ME file), which means access to your database (MySQL and phpMyAdmin, e.g.)
  • Enabling module in admin/modules
  • Setting access and control permissions and in admin/access
  • Configuring the modules settings in admin/settings
  • Enabling blocks and configuring if the module also produces blocks admin/block
  • Sometimes a module will automatically add links to your menu and sometimes you will have to enable these links via the admin/menus.

Then you have to sort out your site navigation (site menus) and how you want to 'file' your content (taxonomy). The taxonomy is a way of organising your content: which 'folders' to put your stories in. The taxonomy can be very flexible, one piece of content can 'belong' to more than one folder. But this 'folder' idea doesn't quite capture the full capability of taxonomy; it is also a way of adding a kind of semantic tag to your stories as well.

For example, if you want to add useful labels (e.g. moods - 'happy', 'sad', 'frustrated', 'rocking' etc) to your stories, then you can create a special branch in your vocabulary and just attach these (a category menu appears on 'create content' forms) along with tags from another branch of the same vocabulary, such as 'technology', 'news', 'articles' etc.. (NOTE: 1. to add more than one tag to stories (or to put it in Drupalspeak, to 'add a node to more than one term'), enable 'mulitple parents' in the vocabulary's main config, then on the 'create content' form, press CTRL+ while you choose your categories from the menu (haven't seen that documented anywhere), and 2. you can create other vocabularies and link to them as well via distant_parent.module.). To create your first vocabulary, got to admin/categories - and choose 'add vocabulary'.

Your users can navigate these content categories either via links automatically put at the bottom of stories, via a custom menu (taxonomy_menu.module adds links automatically to your menu after you have added a term in your category - you can always delete them afterwards admin/menus), or the breadcrumbs or a site map (taxononomy_dhtml, site_map.module etc), or even a context-sensitive block that only appears on certain pages (taxonomy_context.module).

This is perhaps the most flexible part of Drupal and definitely one of its core strengths, but the terminology takes a little while to get used to. And if you want to create your very own type of page (a form for stamp collectors to detail their collections for example!) with your own fields, then flexinode.module is just kick-arse good!

That is the very basic stuff. Once you get the hang of that, you can start to think about a static front page (front_page.module) and custom blocks and php snippets to fine tune some of your dynamic content.

Then there is the question of modifying your theme, where you will need to be reasonably okay with modifying CSS (FYA, there are great plugins for Firefox which help you track colours on a page and identify the name of css attribute). The more customizing you plan to do to your site, the more you are likely to be tweaking code and css (it's the same as any other cms in that respect). If you want to change the wording of static headings, for example, you can use the localisation.module to create a 'new' language strings, which could in fact be the same as your install language, but where you can rename things, e.g. a 'create content' heading can be changed to 'Submit Article' etc..

If you are like me, you are not a coder, but like to 'play' and make your site look a bit less generic. A basic understanding of PHP is helpful. The forum is quite helpful, but you can understand that most of those that understand the code are busy developing new modules or advancing the core code. But if you persevere with your challenges, you will get there. Slowly I have come to realise just how powerful Drupal is, and that little old ME can actually do something with it.

When I first had the idea for my most recent site, I tried quite a few other CMS's (I've used quite a few before), and was left thinking, sugar, I'm going to have to find a professional PHP coder to get this idea off the ground. Then I tried Drupal (actually I'd already had a quick look and thought it looked 'basic'). Now, my drupal site is nearly finished and I'm positively glowing with how close to my original vision I have been able to make it, both in terms of how dynamic it is and how much database manipulation you can achieve. There really isn't another CMS to touch it at the moment.

Truly awesome software!
WILBA ¦ what's it like to...?

Muslim guy’s picture

Only that, Drupal has no CENTRALIZED admin control panel (like Xoops or PHPNuke). However, Drupal is superior, IMHO, with regard to two things:

CATEGORIZATION OF SUBJECTS (Here it is called Taxonomy, Vocabulary, Term)

User Friendly URLs - it is even friendlier to Google, and it is catchy when you read a SERP, people will see clean URLs instead of strange urls or session IDs

sepeck’s picture

Centralized control panels complicate things tremendously
In the meantime, if you really need one, http://drupal.org/node/32400

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide -|- Black Mountain

-Steven Peck
Test site, always start with a test site.
Drupal Best Practices Guide

Muslim guy’s picture

If this question confuses newbies, sorry in advance :)

How for example we want to insert an image into a module block, isi it possible to just insert an HTML img src tag into a module file (example og.module can you insert < img src="myicon.gif" >

How to insert graphical buttons apart from editing style.css (managed to do that with pushbutton theme)

Example, the XML.png icon appears in `Syndicate' block. So if this is possible, why not add icons into module blocks - all these are some kind of eye candy and is not really necessary.

When adding blocks, I could get only 1 block.

Some people say Drupal looks boring, maybe because there is lack of icons and graphicals.

helsinki’s picture

A lot of the themes are deliberately generic. In other words they serve to be used by many different people for very different reasons, that is why the colour schemes are conservative.

However, look at a site like this to see just how beautiful a drupal site can look:


Too many CMS themes are like walking into candy stores, you are just overstimulated by all the graphics. Anyhow, maybe you should read up on the theme development or play around with the theme generator

WILBA ¦ what's it like to...?
Drupal Forum: It's impossible to give a clear answer to an unclear question!

helsinki’s picture

A dedicated menu with links to all your settings...that is pretty centralised. And it doesn't disappear when you are moving around your site, as a 'CENTRALISED' panel does. It means that you can have all your admin links there on the screen as you are moving around your sight (set administer to expanded in menus). I think its a really good system.

The one thing that confused me to start with is people referred to it as admin/settings, admin/modules etc.. whereas on the menu, it says administer. Of course they are referring the URL, but I didn't figure that. I did wonder though when I couldn't find an 'admin' folder in the back end. I'm so used to seeing one on OS, phpBB, Nuke, etc..

WILBA ¦ what's it like to...?
Drupal Forum: It's impossible to give a clear answer to an unclear question!

Ethan’s picture

I am a "Newbie", aspiring to be a "Techie". I read English very well and I am very proactive. I have uninstalled and reinstalled Drupal twice and I read each of the individual pieces of documentation. My problem was I had no idea how to get my chosen theme to my Drupal website.

But I refused to give up as I was convinced I had the best CMS system available. Besides, I wanted to learn the code and become proficient at website building. So I reinstalled Drupal a third time and returned to this Forum. Your "brief walkthrough..." is the first writing that gave a solid overview of the software. Your explanation is clear and concise - in other words, EXCELLENT. It placed all the pieces I read in context and now everything I have read in the last 11 hours makes sense. THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH.

I now finally understand that I must first download my theme to my C-drive, then FTP up to my Drupal theme folder. Keep up the good work.


dman’s picture

That is a worthwhile write-up.

If this is useful enough to others (it reads well enough as a concepts overview) it's a fine idea to just go and add it to the documentation yourself! I'd suggest over in tutorials next to the beginners cookbook.
Or maybe over by Drupal core concepts. Seeing as the beginners here don't seem to think that those three chapters are readable or useful enough on their own (I do, but apparently newbies don't) then this entry-level overview may be something we can link the next folk to. ?

I'd suggest the page be annotated a bit more with actual links to the concepts mentioned. I do think that most of it is already covered wonderfully in the Drupal Cookbook, so link to that liberally.

See, that's how documentation gets better! - not by complaining about things in Yet Another Bitch Thread.
Thanks for your pro-active contribution here!

kae’s picture

aloksinha’s picture

I see many websites create by Drupal, but I don't know how to create it? Show me step by step, please.

WorldFallz’s picture

Please see the extensive documentation:

Documentation -> Getting Started

Then post again if you encounter issues/questions.

MXM’s picture

hey, wel i have to admit, this isnt a piece of cake.... even thou i was recommened drupal by a very good friend of mine, now after doing the whole search for the installing in windows i have now no idea how to setup up my intranet site.... dont know how to edit the page that point when i type the servers ip nor the ip/drupal page... i want to work with forms and databases, dont know just how to add pages and links and wel "BASICS" that i shouldnt be asking, really... and just have not a clue... the handbook... i can say i have given it a good overview and some specific reads, and still...
i am not just complaining i think some one made a point here before, something like: is easy to say the handbook works when someone who made it uses it, but if a newbie uses it and ends up more confused, then theres something going on...

i guess i concur with that idea.

i am not a complete noob on webdesign, not on programming either, but i am on drupal and how to create everything from zero and believe me this is not just that easy. (as many people has stated).

just my 2 cents.


mradcliffe’s picture

So when you read the front page of your newly installed Drupal site you don't see any indication of what to do next?

Take a look at that page again. There are four suggestions. The fourth even has a link to "create content".

MXM’s picture

i guess i could continue this arguement/discussion, thing is...

i finally installed that drupal and everything that is suppoused to be needed ok now i type localhost on my browser and it shows a page i want to change completely and i just cant, i am not able and dont even know where to look, not new programming, not new to html, not new to php, not even new to apache nor MySql, just new to drupal and guess what... i cant or dont know how to actually get hands to work, where and/or how to start coding or how to do it instead, and lets not talk about adding my databases or using em cause im definetly blank. and etc, this could just continue, the point is not what i cant or not know how to do, the thing is....

end of story, it just is not "that" easy.

and believe me, i REALLY want to use drupal.
(so bad that i am still looking how to solve my problems before thinking on going back to MS. reading, re-reading and reading, again)


MarcElmer’s picture

Well besides the help from the Fntastic folk in the community - checkout the learning Video's from Lullabot- is you get totally stuck,

They might not be for all - but to help you get going these videos will help

I hope that this helps



mikefyfer’s picture

the drupal forums is always a good place to start, a pretty good source for a basic install that should get you up and rolling is here http://drupalforbeginners.com/

tiggeron’s picture

The biggest hurdle I am having is that there is no "Step by Step to creating a site". I am a newbie to web development. I know html. But would very much like to learn Drupal but I am wired to learn by doing. Is there a very basic step by step to creating a site starting with

1. How to Build a Home Page.
2. Adding additional pages.

I understand the Relational Data Base from a conceptional perspective and was told that one does not need to be a DBA to use myphpadmin.

3. How to build a Database
4. How to add more modules

and so on and so forth. Baby steps.

If there isn't something like this; Then I would ask if any of you Drupal Gurus out there would be willing to work with me to possibly build one of these.

Thanks Much


WorldFallz’s picture

It's a bit difficult to create a step-by-step site building guide. Every single site will be different-- which type of site do you write it for? But there are some docs that are more generic (both of which are available directly from the 'Documentation' link above):

Site Building Guide
The Drupal Cookbook (for beginners)

Every registered user of drupal.org has the ability to edit and/or add documentation to the handbooks-- as you go through the process, feel free to update and/or correct those docs. The people in the best position to update and write those docs are newbies-- people can't 'unlearn' what they've learned so experienced users generally don't make very good newbie documentation authors. Unfortunately, newbies usually don't feel empowered to change or add to those docs and by the time they do they're no longer newbies, lol.

ellabella’s picture

I have just gotten envolved with web design and I have used dreamweaver and coded in html. I have a client who has asked to have some new pages designed for there website which was done using drupal and I am unsure of how to start and where to get the information that I need to be able to find out weather there website will be able to support the pages that they would like designed???? they are asking for drop down boxes also to be able to hide some information and only show if required the pages they requested are for a points calculator and assement applications relating to applying for visa. can any one point me in the write direction as to where I might be able to find the information that I need PLEEEEEEASE HELP!!

maast28’s picture

can i get with drupal the same website than if i made it with a software that ive to pay like web to date (www.todate.com)?

syawillim’s picture

You can most likely get a much better site using drupal, it won't cost you in dollars but it will cost you in time. But you must ask yourself how much time is it going to cost you on top of the dollars for the non-free option.

atlurianu’s picture

I see many websites create by Drupal, but I don't know how to create it? Show me step by step, please.

Michelle’s picture

No one is going to do that level of hand-holding unless you are paying them. There are lots of resources out there to help you with Drupal. Start by clicking "Get Started" at the top of the page.

John_B’s picture

Exactly. Just to repeat what Michelle said in other words, there are video courses and books which take you step by step. They are not free but no expensive. You can come here for free support on points which are not already covered there.

I have sometimes given personal tuition on Drupal (and I would like to receive personal tuition in areas where I have more to learn) but it takes many hours, and most (not all) of the people who know enough to teach you well depend on Drupal work to eat and pay the rent, so you would probably need to pay for this help, just as you would pay for someone to train you in any other profession.

xanderol’s picture

I found the video courses at “www.lynda.com” to be very helpful.
There is a monthly subscription to view the courses but it is fairly cheap.

The Virtual Training Company “www.vtc.com” also has video courses for the same monthly price.
I have watched the Drupal 6 course and it was pretty good. I have not seen the Drupal 7 course.

You can also try “buildamodule.com” for more videos. This site also has a reasonable monthly charge. I've watched most of the videos on this site and found them to be very helpful.

Another good place for videos is “drupalize.me”. This site also has a reasonable monthly charge although you can find quite a few free videos here.

For free videos go to “dev.nodeone.se”. You will find lots of information on contributed modules here including Organic Groups, Rules, Views and so on. This site has been a huge help to me and I recommend it to anyone starting out.

There are more out there if you do some searching on google.

Unfortunately I don't have any books to recommend. I tend to learn more by watching something done as opposed to reading it in a book.