Building a Website with Drupal 6 – Part 1: Introduction

drupal-logoAs promised, we are going to be moving on to Drupal 6, which is the current version of Drupal.  Instead of converting the Drupal Pad to version 6 as I had planned, I have decided to keep that website in Drupal 5 and create a whole new website in Drupal 6 for these series of tutorials because there is still sufficient interest in using Drupal 5.  I will tag the tutorials “Drupal 6” and “Drupal 5” so that you can choose which ones you’re interested in.

So let’s get right into it.  We are going to be working with Drupal 6.10, the current version as of this writing.  There are many ways to write a tutorial. I could introduce you to ALL the elements of a Drupal site and explain them all in theory, but then you’d probably get bored and maybe feel overwhelmed. Instead, I will introduce them as we need them so that you can know what they are as well as see them in action.  For example I will introduce the concept of modules when we start enabling modules, themes when we start enabling themes, blocks as we use them, and so on.

What are we going to build?

Through this series of tutorials we will be creating a Drupal Resource Site.  We’re going to create a place on the web where we can add tutorials, news about Drupal, articles, and so on.  We may at a future date include other features such as a user forum and more.

What can you expect to learn?

How to build a fully functional website from the ground up using Drupal.  If you’re a seasoned Drupal user, this series might be a little elementary for you, but you’re welcome to follow along, and share your knowledge as we go.

What do you need to follow these tutorials?

You don’t need any programming knowledge, or any knowledge of Drupal to follow these tutorials. Just an eagerness to learn and experiment.  You should also not be shy about asking questions.

What you will need is a webserver of some sort where you can create a website as you follow along with these tutorials.  I will be creating the Learning Drupal website live so you can watch as it grows, but you can work along and build it on your computer using either WAMP or XAMPP (if on a PC) or MAMP (if on a mac).   You should also know how to create a MySQL database and how to transfer files to your localhost folder, or your hosting account.  If you have specific questions on any of these things please leave them in the comments and either myself or someone else will help you out.

If you are joining us later in the series after our website has taken shape and changed in appearance from your basic installation, don’t fret.  I will be including plenty of  screenshots as I go so that even if you join us later in the series, you can see what your website should look like at each stage in the tutorial.

Home Work (yes, there will be some homework for you)

Further Reading:

For now, I am going to give you some reading to do.  To see what Drupal can do and whet your appetite to learn, you can read my post on Kings among Content Management Systems.

For installing and setting up your local server for Drupal, some good reading can be found right on the Drupal website –

Tasks to do

  1. If you’re going to be developing locally on your computer, install your webserver (WAMP, or MAMP, or whichever you want to use)
  2. Get an FTP program.  I prefer FireFTP, which is an addon to the Firefox browser
  3. Go to the Drupal website, download Drupal, unzip it onto your desktop and upload the files to where you intend to install your website. If using WAMP, it will probably be in wamp/www/mydrupalsite or something similar.

11 thoughts on “Building a Website with Drupal 6 – Part 1: Introduction”

  1. I’m a Brazilian citizen, I’m 53, and 30 years working with IT IBM Mainframe Programmer Analyst with COBOL/DB2/CICS.
    I build a simple website with a template and Dreamwever, this site belongs to Christian organization where act as religious agent, visiting prisons in Rio de Janeiro using a projector to play Christian Movies.
    Said that, I learn about the American David Goldman history, who is fighting a famous Lawyers Brazilian Family (Lins & Silva) to recovery his son Sean Goldman with 9 years old now, who was taken to Brazil on 2004 with his Mather, without David(the Father) consent.

    I’m in David side, as father, as a man, as my faith, as my justice believers, said that, what I need:

    1)I’m going to build a site as soon as possible, because the judgment is approaching. To tell the sad history from the beginning, and also the latest news.
    2)Create a big score with originated Brazilians I.P. Address, with green background of who is in the David side and another one with red background with who is against him, but the person need to have a confirmed email, because I’m sure the majority of Brazilian are in the David side, but the Brazilian Press big player not.
    3)Be able comments from accounts with confirmed email, from every where.
    4)After finish in Portuguese, if I have time I will duplicate the history and the score in English
    but if is possible, with the comments also separated from the Portuguese comments.
    5)I’m asking for suggestions, any kind, strictly because the short time I have, to publish.

    I bought already from, the host space and two domains to be pointed to same site:


    I just started to read this tutorial(part1), and I’m going to follow the instructions to finish the tutorial this weekend. Please, any help is welcome.

    If someone want to learn abou this case, go to:

    I believe the site I want to publish, because I’m Brazilian, will be with more repercussion here in Brasil, then this one above, and that is my big point.

    1. Barce

      Excellent! Hope you find the tutorials helpful and that they give you a nice launching pad to learn more. Drupal is a great CMS and you will see it’s benefits and power as you progress, so don’t give up. Feel free to post questions in the comments if you have them 🙂


  2. Just found this site upon my quest to learn Drupal “slooowly.” Looks great, and is exactly the way I like to learn, i.e. “ground up” with a specific practical project to work through.

    So, I’ll buy you a beer and commence study tomorrow. Cheers

    1. Mick
      The beer will be much appreciated 🙂 Enjoy the tutorials and don’t hesitate to ask if you have questions. I do my best to respond to all comments and when I don’t know the answer I’ll try to point you to the right resources.


  3. Sorry, I can follow your instruction because I installed the XAMPP. I tried to install WAMP, but it did not work. For that I install XAMPP.

    I am familiar with the installation of HTML website on Apache server. The sites/default folder in this case must be htdocs. But when I look for phps in that folder, there is only one php file, named index.php.

    Would you please, give me some help to continue.

    Thanks in advance

    1. Juan
      The sites/default folder is part of the Drupal setup. You have to place the Drupal files in your htdocs folder, and then go into the sites folder, which has the default folder in it.

      Hope that makes sense.


  4. I am new in website builder.. and I used Joomla, but I’m interested in drupal, thanks for the information.

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