Building a Website with Drupal 6 – Part 1: Introduction
As 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)
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 – http://drupal.org/node/157602
Tasks to do
- If you’re going to be developing locally on your computer, install your webserver (WAMP, or MAMP, or whichever you want to use)
- Get an FTP program. I prefer FireFTP, which is an addon to the Firefox browser
- 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.