Last updated October 9, 2010. Created on March 6, 2004.
Edited by arianek, kattekrab, k8n, sepeck. Log in to edit this page.

Welcome! This guide describes how to get started using (as opposed to administrating) a Drupal-powered web-site. This naturally includes, as well as most other Drupal web sites. The guide covers basic topics such as registering for an account, logging in, changing your account settings, and creating content.

Drupal is a content management system. Its goal is to help users compose and present web-site content such as articles, photos, and other content types. Drupal is a "dynamic" system; rather than forcing users to specify a fixed, pre-declared arrangement of content, Drupal takes care of the details of how information is arranged and presented, and lets users focus on the actual content to be displayed.

Most of the content on a Drupal-based site (the text of this page, for example) is stored in a database. Text and images are submitted by filling in forms via a web browser. When visitors view a page, Drupal gets the relevant bits of content from the database and composes all of the components of the page in a template. This makes it easy to quickly add or change content, without requiring knowledge of HTML or other web technologies on the part of the person providing the content.

Depending on the configuration of the Drupal site and the user-roles you have on that site, you may be allowed to contribute or edit content. Fortunately, Drupal is designed to make this relatively easy. Very little technical knowledge is assumed. Though details may vary with a site's configuration, the basic process involves these steps:

  • register with the site
  • log in by typing the user name and password you supplied in the registration step, and
  • create content such as articles, stories and basic pages

This user guide will explain these steps and familiarize you with the basic information you need to use Drupal successfully.

This section can also serve as a foundation for a set of instructions customized to your site's specific needs.

Looking for support? Visit the forums, or join #drupal-support in IRC.