Drupal: Drupal 7 Primer: Creating CMS-Based Websites: A Guide for Beginners
In the past, in order to make a website, you had to manually assemble all the files and develop a fair amount of technical expertise; however, an open source content management system (CMS) like Drupal can automate and significantly simplify many parts of the process. This book contains an easy-to-understand introduction to related concepts and a series of step-by-step examples that can help you learn how to use Drupal to create and maintain a website. The coverage also includes using a “quick-install” Web hosting account, which can greatly reduce the complexity of installing Drupal. You’ll find that this book is written with beginners in mind; no prior expertise is required, except some familiarity with how to browse the Internet and use a PC. By the end of the book, you’ll have a working knowledge of content management systems, installing and building a site in Drupal, and various Web promotion tactics that can help you share your new site with the world.
About Drupal 7 Primer
An open-source content management system (CMS) like Drupal can be a great resource for anyone who would like to develop and maintain a website. In the past, in order to make a website, you had to manually assemble all the files and develop a fair amount of technical expertise; however, a CMS can automate and significantly simplify many parts of the process. Adding content to a site is easy with Drupal, including text and pictures. The book walks you through the process with step-by-step examples.
- Explores everything needed to help beginners start creating and maintaining a website with the latest version of Drupal.
- Provides complete coverage of all the essential features of Drupal 7.
- Helps you develop technical and critical skills to navigate the fast-moving world of CMS.
A content management system (CMS) can automate and simplify many website tasks. It can make it easier to create and maintain a site, as an alternative to manually creating one. There are a variety of CMS systems, and Drupal is one of the best. The book is designed for beginners, so you don’t necessarily need to know anything about code or websites; it’s an opportunity to explore what it’s like to create a website.
Using a CMS like Drupal requires a hosting account, and the book shows how “quick install” tools help make it easier to install Drupal software. As with any kind of software, there are updates and important security issues; the book discusses what you need to do, in easy-to-understand language.
One of the great strengths about CMS systems like Drupal is the flexibility you have to change things around as you like on your site. It used to be that when you wanted to make any changes to your site, you’d need to painstakingly change the code on every page; now, you can use an interface to drag and drop various features into place on your website’s page.
CMS systems like Drupal make it a lot easier to try a new look and feel for your site, using “Themes.” You can download and enable new themes, and customize them, to get your site looking how you like. The book discusses the options and limitations of CMS systems, and also talks about the question: at what point would you need to work with a designer?
There are a variety of modules and wizards that you can use to add new features to your site. An example is a free tool from Google that allows you to create a panel with automated news. You can choose what type of news to have Google look for, and the latest items are automatically displayed on your site as they become available. It’s a nice way to have fresh content.
Later chapters talk about promoting your website on social media, such as making a post on Facebook that introduces your site to your friends. Readers are also introduced to making a Facebook page, which can be a nice complement to your own website. One way to connect social media to your website is to make a Facebook page, and then make posts on it, to tell people who like your page about your website, and to update them with articles that you’ve added to your site.
One of the things you might like to try when making your website is to promote it on Facebook with a Facebook ad. They’re easy to create, and fun. The book has an introduction to “social advertising,” including Facebook and Google ads.
From the Introduction
What You’ll Find in This Book
This book contains an easy-to-understand introduction to related concepts, and a series of step-by-step examples that can help you learn how to use Drupal to create and maintain a website. The coverage includes using a “quick-install” Web hosting account, which can greatly reduce the complexity of installing Drupal. (Drupal software is free, but you need a monthly Internet hosting account to run it.)
Who This Book Is For
You’ll find that this book is written with beginners in mind; no prior expertise is required, except some familiarity with how to browse the Internet and use a PC. For example, in order to help build confidence and experience, an early chapter introduces readers to Google Sites (a basic alternative to Drupal), which is entirely free and can be a good place to start learning about content management systems. Like any software, Drupal is not perfect, and its limitations are discussed openly, with suggestions especially suited for beginners on how to overcome them.
How This Book Is Organized
The first part of the book introduces the reader to content management systems, including taking a look at Google Sites, to help build confidence. This section also provides an introduction to opensourcecms.com, where you can try a live demo of an open source CMS, and takes a look at a live Drupal site, to provide further exposure to CMS concepts.
The second part is focused on starting an account, installing Drupal with a timesaving “one-click” installation tool, and covering important basics such as security and basic configuration. Then the reader is introduced to adding content to the site, which includes learning about various modules that can add additional features and functions.
The third part introduces some techniques and concepts for promoting a site once it is created, using social networks and social advertising. This section also explores the concept of integrating content from Facebook onto a Drupal site and vice versa.