My new book, Drupal for Dummies, is now available. My intended audience is non-technical, so if you've got a friend who wants you to build a Drupal site for them, this might be worth mentioning to them. The companion Web site, was created using only the information presented in the book.

You can find out more about the book here:
Click for Drupal Association affiliate link to Amazon!

I'd love to hear from you with any comments or questions.

About the Book

Like other books in the for Dummies series, Drupal for Dummies is for beginners. As my publisher puts it:

Everyone has to start somewhere. Before you can go about modifying the Drupal code base by writing PHP scripts and creating your own custom themes, you first have to download Drupal, install the LAMP stack; organize and create your site's content; apply templates, get your first site up and running, and administer the site.

That's precisely what Drupal For Dummies shows readers how to do, and much more Designed for non-programmers, Drupal For Dummies shows readers how to take advantage of everything in Drupal that is ready to use, including modules and third-party templates. For those readers who have been tapped to administer a Drupal site designed and programmed by a third-party developer, Drupal For Dummies provides the plain English instructions necessary to make changes across the site, manager user access and privileges, and many other high-frequency administrative tasks.

Intended Audience

I wrote this with the non-coder in mind. I plan on giving a copy to everyone in my life who wishes they had a Web site or asks me to build them one. Don't buy this book if you need a guide to locating PHP functions, creating themes, or making modules. But if you know absolutely nothing about Drupal and want to build an out-of-the-Drupal box Web site with great modules, this may be the book for you.

Topics Covered

  • Start here — find the free software and get simple solutions on things like setting up a database and installing Drupal on a Web host
  • Who's in charge — manage an administrator account, establish rules, and control site users
  • What's on your site — create, manage, and edit your content, and decide whether to allow comments
  • Where's your region? — work with themes and regions and manage menus
  • Open forum — create a site with a blog and forum and set up appropriate security
  • Stay current — keep Drupal up to date, monitor activity on your site, and locate new modules and themes to use
  • Cover your bases — maintain your database, back it up, and know how to restore it
  • Move up — see how Drupal can build a robust site that interacts with other sites and how to set up an online store with Ubercart


  • What Drupal is and what it's not
  • Tools you need to install Drupal
  • How to decide on rules and settings for your site
  • Advice on choosing, changing, and configuring themes
  • All about modules
  • How to use reports


It's definitely for sale on Amazon, and shipping to bookstores right now. Click for Drupal Association affiliate link to Amazon!


jinlong’s picture

good work!

new year, new drupal, new book....

JohnForsythe’s picture

Looks like you've already made it into the top 5 Drupal books, based on current sales. Congrats :)

KoverPL’s picture

Very nice book, I am beginner with Drupal, so I think it will be very useful :)


tiensestore’s picture

Drupal for dummies very interesting i like it. Great

Drupal9.9’s picture

My intended audience is non-technical

Very smart move, A+ for business sense. I would say it's mostly non-technical people who even have a need for things like Drupal and Wordpress (CMS). I am one of them people too but already learned how to install Drupal back in v4.7

trojan99’s picture

a few years ago when i first started playing around with cms, i knew i wanted to use drupal so i just did it without ever looking back. there were some.....growing pains :P having a dummy book to refer to would have made my first few months so much less painful. while drupal has evolved and become much more user friendly since i first installed it, there is still room for this book.

redben’s picture

comment #comment-2445014 is spam.
First time i see a spam on d.o.

On the other hand congrats for the book !

rusloc’s picture

I should have paid more attention to the "Intended Audience" part. Even though I am a total beginner, after reading another popular book on Drupal, I found this one too simplistic and uninteresting. Repeated explanations of what will be explained later in the book looked like a waste of space, and were very irritating. Thank goodness BN took it back for a full refund.

lynnbeighley’s picture

Sorry it didn't work out for you. Out of curiosity, which book was the one you preferred? What made it interesting to you?

If anyone else out there would like to sample before purchasing, you can preview some excerpts from the book here:

rusloc’s picture

I didn't mention it, because I thought I would be bad manners.
I borrowed that book from a local library first, then bought it because I am sure, I'll want to revisit some chapters in future. When I read it, I constantly felt like I need to bookmark/underline this or that part, because it was such a valuable piece of information.

Very well written (though not all chapters are equal), great as a step-by-step guide... In short, it's my mini-bible of Drupal.

lynnbeighley’s picture

O'Reilly books are great. I should know, I've written a couple. :) Using Drupal is a very good book. It has a narrative approach and a great deal of depth that clearly appeals to you. (You should definitely check out the O'Reilly Head First series.)

But I'd like to defend my book. I agree that my approach is simple, that's intentional. And I never assume that you are reading from front to back, even though you can. Each chapter is designed to stand alone. I anticipate that the majority of people who buy my book have never picked up anything by O'Reilly. More likely they have never even heard of O'Reilly. This doesn't mean they are dumb, or that my book is lacking.

Instead, Drupal for Dummies is intended for people who are intimidated by technology, but willing to try to build a site. I've written it as clearly and simply as I can, not because I assume my audience is dumb, but because I don't want my readers to waste a moment trying to figure out technical concepts. When you finish reading the book, then you can go out and get one of the more advanced books on the subject and learn more. But by the time you finish Drupal for Dummies, you know how to build a fully-featured site, install modules, customize a theme, and build a storefront with Ubercart. I think Drupal's pretty amazing, and I hope my book creates an entirely new group of confident Drupal fans who never dreamed they could build their own sites.

WorldFallz’s picture

As a completely neutral bystander, I would say you don't need to defend your book. imo it sounds like the commenter simply chose the wrong book for their skillset or level. You shouldn't buy a 'for dummies' book and then be surprised when it's written from that perspective, lol. I've found a number of the dummies books useful-- just not the technology ones. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them, just that I'm not the right audience for them-- though I will make a point of paging through yours the next time i'm in b&n or borders ;-)

justapersona’s picture

WorldFallz: agreed. As a non-technician, I find the For Dummies series also helpful to clarify vocabulary I've learned 1:1, working with technicians. I *theorize* it can go both ways - upgrading ways you communicate DOWN to non-technicians concisely. Fwiw, I just ordered it. :-) I also really like the author's statement "when someone says they want a website, I have them read this first."

confetti’s picture

I think there definitely is a need for such a book for total newcomers. And "Using Drupal" from the Lullabot crew is known as THE book on Drupal. There are other good ones, too.

But there are more and more people who just want to get Drupal running without any knowledge at the start so they should read this book "Drupal for Dummies" before invading forums and asking questions they could answer themselves by reading a book like this before asking. And for them it is good: 1st to be able to go to the middle of the book for a specific topic and 2nd even when reading from the start that things are repeated. When you are new to a subject you usually do not remember it the first time it is mentioned. ;-) That does not mean your are dumb.

The problem by buying a book online is to understand and read carefully for which audience a book was written. Sometimes they are really bad but often it is just that they were written with another group of readers in the mind.

No "b&n or borders" around here, but I will definitively check your book. ;-)

MSGeek’s picture

I disagree. I am using several CMS/blogger platforms and I can say for sure that WordPress is a definite platform "for dummies" and anybody non-technical.

Drupal has its advantages and I personally use it on a couple of my site, including my main personal site/blog, but honestly, it has gaping problem in functionality: embedding rich text editor is pain, it's not optimized for moderating and monitoring comments - a critical problem, it's too much of "make your own flavor" as opposite to "enjoy out of the box"... Yes, like with Linux you can get something that fits your needs much better with a little effort (in a case you are unemployed and have a lot of time to waste for getting "exactly" what you want), but that's not something "for dummies"!

rusloc’s picture

In the 'politically correct' US, you cannot tell an idiot, who he/she is without inflicting everybody's wrath on yourself. Even within your own family...
But "... For Dummies" series is aimed at international markets, right?

Kazillian’s picture

I think the series is for everyone that's smart enough to know they're not that smart in all fields.

But back to the book - good, clear guide to getting started in Drupal. Good work Lynn!

areatopic’s picture

this series. I will definitely buy it. cheers.

guy_incognito_uk’s picture

We purchased three copies for our office - highly recommended!

lynnbeighley’s picture

Wander over to and check out Mike Anello's interview with me about Drupal for Dummies.
Leave a comment and you could win a free copy of the book!

mcvictor’s picture

Thanks for posting the link, that was a good interview.

RuudVanEck’s picture

I like the book but since i am using Drupal 7 and your book i based on Drupal 6 I am looking forward for your new release.

Greetings from the Netherlands,
Ruud van Eck

bryanhiggs’s picture

Ruud --

This whole forum seems way out of date, but in case you didn't already know, the 2nd Edition of this book covers Drupal 7 (at least that's what it says).


bryanhiggs’s picture

Lynn --

Were you aware of the fact that is not accessible?
When you go there, you get:


You don't have permission to access / on this server.
Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Is there are more up to date version of the web site that is accessible?


zalex8783’s picture

good work!
it is a good reference for every one who is new to drupal and wants to learn step by step.

easy and well explained

Douglas22’s picture

We, beginners, need more books like this one.