book cover

I'm pleased to announce the immediate availability of Packt's new book: Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites. Written by David Mercer, this book is a complete guide to every aspect of creating a variety of different websites using Drupal. The book has been written against the latest release v4.7.

Packt are big supporters of open source and are keen to support the Drupal project in more ways than just publishing a book on the subject. Therefore, as part of their Open Source Royalty Program, the project will receive a percentage of every book sold.

"From top to bottom, Drupal is the type of project that makes the Internet work as a medium for communication" explains author David Mercer. "With powerful and flexible functionality, it is the ideal tool for people to begin creating their own Websites, without being subject to the burden of learning how to program."

He goes on to say that he "would not hesitate to recommend Drupal as the tool of choice for anyone wishing to have their own Web presence. Accordingly, I hope that the book I have written will prove to be an invaluable tool for a whole new generation of people switching on to Drupal."

Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites is published by Packt and can be ordered now from their website at

Chapter 2, "Setting up the Development Environment" has been made freely available to download [544KB]. A full table of contents can be viewed here. For more information, please visit


iraszl’s picture

Hopefully this book will bring even more users to Drupal.

One question. Does this book contain anything other than available from the Drupal handbooks online?

Creativine: Brands coming alive as Drupal themes

bwynants’s picture

From the example chapter my conclusion is this is a windows oriented book....what would it help me as a mac user for installation/configuration on my mac (for test/development) and on the unix/linux based computer from my internet provider for real sites?

Eddie’s picture

I'm also wondering if steps are given for using WebDAV. That's the only way my hosting provider provides, and that's one reason why I chose my provider. But it is more complicated than using FTP.

We shall see...

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox

arz’s picture

There's no mention of WebDAV in the book.

universeinside’s picture

I just bought it (book and ebook). Let´s see how good it is. :) Is cool that part of the book sales go back to Drupal Project.

I have the previous book as well from Robert Douglass et al. It´s great that there are already two books published on Drupal, this will help higher adoption.




shrill’s picture

Hi Nicolas.

How in depth is the coverage of themes? Does it walk you through creating a new theme or does it just explain small changes to existing themes?



arz’s picture

I'm a complete newbie to Drupal and I purchased the PDF version of David Mercer's book tonight. I haven't gone through in great detail yet, but my first impression is that it has just the right amount of hand holding for beginners. It's a good companion to the information available online; even if there's a lot of overlap between the two, the layout and presentation of the book is easier on my eyes than the online info. Bottom line: for me, it's definitely worth the $22.99 price.

Cheryl: it doesn't really go too deep into themes. There are about 10 pages in Chapter 8 on customizing themes and they don't go beyond what's listed in the TOC -- images, colors, page modifications (a brief discussion of layout changes).


harriska2’s picture

I'm curious if this book would be useful for someone coming from postnuke with a weak background in php. I've started a small site with drupal and really appreciate how lean the program is:

robertDouglass’s picture

David's book is now available on Amazon as well.
- Robert Douglass

My Drupal book: Building Online Communities with Drupal, phpBB and WordPress

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

SME Pals’s picture

Hi folks,

I thought I would drop you all a line now that the book is out and address a few things...

I cannot stress enough that the book is aimed towards the beginning half of the user spectrum, and people who are already experienced users will not derive much benefit from it. Please don't buy the book if you are looking to uncover profound secrets about life and Drupal.

That said:

I would like to make it clear that I have written the book in a method oriented manner. So, in the case of deployment, for example, you wont find headers like this:

Deploying from Windows to Linux
Deploying from Mac to Linux
Deploying from Linux to Windows

Instead, I try to isolate the most important aspects that are applicable to everyone and demonstrate how it is done via the use of what I perceive to be the most common or "clear" example.

This really reduces redundancy in the book and hopefully you will find that of the 280 odd pages, most, if not all are applicable to you, the reader. In the end, I aim to provide the best value for money there is (in order to stay in a job), and hopefully you will agree that I have achieved this.

Because we decided to focus on the beginning side of things, I have tried to keep anything that involves writing code to a minimum so that readers can focus on getting the site the way they want without getting sidetracked by making more difficult modifications. We have found (the publisher and I) that more often than not, people want to achieve a certain goal and anything extra in the book above and beyond this is not a bonus, but redundant.

So, hopefully people will find that the book provides the information they need in a thoughtful, clear and precise manner. Allowing them to quickly and efficiently get a good Drupal based site up and running in the smallest amount of time possible.

If they need anything out of the ordinary then, because of the book's method oriented pedagogy, readers should know "how to go about it", even if the text hasn't specifically mentioned that task.

I hope that clears up any queries you might have, and I look forward to hearing all your feedback...

All the best,

DanielMD’s picture

We need a new book just for themes... adn toehr topics like module development

Eddie’s picture

"Item ... Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites"
"Status ... In despatch"

"Items paid for and in dispatch process"
"Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites
... Available in 3-5 days"

"Order ships from US via UPS in 2-7 days"

"From when you order, books are despatched
from our locations in UK, US and India within 3 days"

It's been 3+ weeks. I preordered.

"Tracking ... you can trace your parcel
using the tracking number we emailed to you."

No such e-mail.

Does the Packt Publishing computer tell them about
orders that are paid for
but still waiting to be shipped?

Does Packt Publishing realize that
every day they delay shipment of
"Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums,
Portals, and Community Websites"
is another day of Down Time
for each site that is waiting for us to
get educated on this stuff?

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox

Eddie’s picture

Today, I have received a second communication from Packt Publishing. Apparently, it is not their computers who are incompetent or are not being conscientious.

Packt Publishing has provided me a free e-book of "Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums,
Portals, and Community Websites", which I appreciate. I did tell them, though, that such attempts at "making up" does not fix their people problems of competency and conscientiousness.

I still wait for my preordered and paid for paper copy to ship. 3+ weeks...

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox

Eddie’s picture

Packt Publishing, 2 JUN 2006:

Dear Mr Maddox

I apologise for this mess, and understand your unhappiness

I have refunded the complete value of your purchase and have arranged
for the book to be sent to you at our cost.

While it may be true that UPS can ship to a PO box, our printer and
shipper in the US cannot do this and we are constrained by this.
Therefore I have sent it to your street address without the PO box
number. I hope this works.

You are correct that we need to improve our communication and
responsiveness. We now have a dedicated person looking after these
issues in Abhishek so this will improve.

I apologise for the inconvenience this has caused.

David Maclean

Packt Publishing has had my correct Shipping Address
on file since 2 APR 2006 in the following format
as I provided it when I preordered
"Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums,
Portals, and Community Websites":

my name
PO Box address
street address
city state

Finding no errors or ommissions in my Shipping Address,
I therefor had thought there must be another reason
for the hold-up in sending me my pre-ordered and paid for
paper copy, such as a computer goof. Not the case, I guess...

I still find no errors or ommissions in my Shipping Address
as I entered it on 2 APR 2006.

Nevertheless, Packt Publishing has initiated a refund.

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox

Eddie’s picture

Packt Publishing has refunded my money, and sent me the book anyway! That is very nice of them.

It came yesterday, 7 JUN 2006, four weeks after being published and my pre-order paid for.

Thanks to David Maclean, Packt Publishing, it appears they have taken steps to correct certain social and technical deficiencies in their infrastructure and operations.

I highly recommend "Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites" (available in both e-book and p-book formats), whether you obtain your copy directly from Packt Publishing ( ) or a vendor of your choice.

Thank you,
Eddie Maddox

axzolotl’s picture

It looks like there are 2 diffrent cover/titles for this book.
The one in Amazon and the one in PHAKT site.
They have different cover/title and subtitle.
Actually the ISBN is the same.

Is it the same book?
Am I dreaming?

I personally prefer the drop cover. :)

Walt Esquivel’s picture

I'm 99.99% sure that it's the same book if it has the same ISBN regardless of different covers, titles, and subtitles. With regard to this particular book, I do recall the cover having been changed at least once just before it was officially published as the original cover was for a draft.

From Footnote 1 at -

Occasionally publishers will use an ISBN in error for more than one title (for example, the first edition of "The Ultimate Alphabet" and "The Ultimate Alphabet Answerbook" have the same ISBN). Conversely, at least one book has been published with four ISBN numbers printed inside, depending on the binding and which of the two joint publishers were deemed applicable to a particular copy.

Also, the following from the same URL above:

The International Standard Book Number, or ISBN (sometimes pronounced "is-ben"), is a unique[1] identifier for books, intended to be used commercially.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

boo_lolly’s picture

i was actually wondering the same thing after doing a little bit of research on the content of this book... are there two books? which one is the most recent? i would take either one, however, i am aware of the fact that it is important to stay abreast of the new syntax and uptading your drupal as often as possible. what's the deal?

doodis’s picture


I am a noob considering drupal for the redo of our (huge) site and just downloaded the sample chapter of your book, where a big light went off when I read your advice about creating a development platform.

I am wondering....if we are redoing our site on a web server using just an i.p. address, i.e. we haven't transferred the domain yet, will the search engines pick us up?

For a variety of reasons I'd rather use a webhost as our development platform rather than a local box, but don't want our site made public until we're ready.


mango’s picture

Use .htaccess and robots.txt to block the search robots.

Make users login and set access control to block people who shouldn't have access. Don't grant anonymous users any rights. You can grant access to anonymous users when you want to go live.