Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6

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Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6
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Table of Contents
Sample Chapters
  • Set up, configure, and deploy Drupal 6
  • Harness Drupal's world-class Content Management System
  • Design and implement your website's look and feel
  • Easily add exciting and powerful features
  • Promote, manage, and maintain your live website


Book Details

Language : English
Paperback : 380 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date : April 2008
ISBN : 1847192971
ISBN 13 : 9781847192974
Author(s) : David Mercer
Topics and Technologies : All Books, CMS and eCommerce, Content Management (CMS), Drupal, Open Source, Web Development

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Drupal
Chapter 2: Setting Up The DevelopmentEnvironment
Chapter 3: Basic Functionality
Chapter 4: Site Configuration
Chapter 5: Access Control
Chapter 6: Basic Content
Chapter 7: Advanced Content
Chapter 8: Drupal's Interface
Chapter 9: Advanced Features and Modifications
Chapter 10: Managing Your Website
Appendix A: Deployment
  • Chapter 1: Introduction to Drupal
    • Drupal—An Overview
    • How Drupal Came to Be
    • What Drupal Has to Offer
    • Uses of Drupal
    • Building a Drupal Site
    • Planning Your Site
      • Analyzing the Proposed Solution
        • Feasibility
        • Phone a Friend
        • Critical versus Desirable Criteria
    • The Drupal Community
      • Documentation
      • Download
      • Support
      • Forum
      • Contribute
      • Contact
    • The Drupal License
    • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Setting Up The DevelopmentEnvironment
    • The Drupal Environment
    • Obtaining and Installing PHP, Apache, and MySQL
    • Obtaining and Installing Drupal
    • Troubleshooting Common Problems
    • Drupal's Post-Installation Status
    • Administrator's Overview
    • Creating a Basic Drupal Page
    • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Basic Functionality
    • Adding Modules
    • Third-Party Modules
      • Downloading Modules
      • Installing Modules
    • Configuring Modules
      • Forum
      • Comments
      • Search
    • Working with Blocks
      • Adding Blocks
      • Configuring Blocks
    • Menus, Primary and Secondary Links
    • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Site Configuration
    • Before We Start
    • Clean URLs
    • Error Reporting
    • File System and File Uploads
    • Logging and Reports
    • Site Information
    • Site Maintenance
    • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Access Control
    • Planning an Access Policy
    • Roles
    • Permissions
    • Users
      • Administering Users
      • User Settings
    • Access Rules
    • Summary
  • Chapter 6: Basic Content
    • Content Overview
    • Content Types
    • Working with Content
      • Working with Content Types
      • Creating Content
      • Administering Content
    • Content-Related Modules
      • Aggregator
      • Book
    • Summary
  • Chapter 7: Advanced Content
    • Taxonomy
      • What and Why?
      • Implementing Controlled Taxonomies in Drupal
        • Introduction to Vocabularies
        • Dealing with Terms
        • Posting Content with Categories Enabled
        • Hierarchies
        • Content Structure
    • Implementing Thesuari in Drupal (Tags)
    • Content Construction Kit (CCK)
      • Installing CCK
      • Working with CCK
        • Adding Fields
        • Adding Groups
        • Displaying Fields
      • Export & Import
      • Adding Contributed Fields
    • HTML, PHP, and Content Posting
      • Input Formats and Filters
      • HTML
      • Creating a Feature-Rich Page
      • Posting a Feature-Rich Page
    • Summary
  • Chapter 8: Drupal's Interface
    • Planning a Web-Based Interface
      • Visual Design
      • Language
      • Images
    • CSS
    • Themes
      • Theme Anatomy
      • Choosing a Base Theme
      • Configuring Themes
      • Customizing Themes
        • Images
        • Colors
        • Page Modifications
    • Summary
  • Chapter 9: Advanced Features and Modifications
    • OpenID
    • Actions and Triggers
    • Language Support
      • Localization
      • Content Translation
    • Performance
      • Caching
      • Throttling
    • Dynamic JavaScript Features
      • jQuery
        • jQuery Basics
        • jQuery in Action
      • Scrolling News Ticker
        • Obtaining the Ticker
        • Adding the Content
    • Summary
  • Chapter 10: Managing Your Website
    • Backups
      • phpMyAdmin
      • The mysqldump Utility
    • Cron and Scheduled Tasks
      • The Crontab
      • Windows Scheduled Tasks
    • Website Activities
      • Path and Pathauto
      • Uninstalling Modules
      • Maintaining Users
      • Search Engine Optimization and Website Promotion
    • Upgrades
      • Upgrading Drupal
      • Upgrading Modules
    • Summary
  • Appendix A: Deployment
    • Getting Ready to Deploy
      • Make Sure the Host is Ready
      • Get the Files Ready
      • Get the Database Ready
    • Transfer the Files
    • Setting Up the Site
      • Set Up the Files
      • Set Up the Database
      • Configure the Site
      • Access Problem?
    • Testing
    • Summary

David Mercer

David Mercer was born in August 1976 in Harare, Zimbabwe. Having always had a strong interest in science, David came into regular contact with computers at university where he graduated "cum laude" with majors in applied math and math. His technical books are now sold worldwide and have been translated into French, German, Polish, Greek, Spanish and many more. His book on Drupal 6 was reviewed on Slashdot and went on to become a best seller. Mercer's books are recommended reading at higher learning institutes like MIT, and he has a write-up on Wikipedia. David divides his time between consulting for companies and organizations in a wide variety of industries, helping them to develop and implement cutting edge systems. He also contributes to interesting web-based projects like design-a-webpage ( that allows people to create beautiful, effective landing pages in minutes - absolutely no code or Web experience required. He also maintains a blog, training and support site for his readers at Site prebuilder provides quizzes and exercises that accompany his books, and serves as his primary online presence and contact point. When he isn't working (which isn't that often) he enjoys playing guitar (generally on stage and unrehearsed) and getting involved in outdoor activities ranging from touch rugby and golf to water skiing and snowboarding.

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Sample chapters

You can view our sample chapters and prefaces of this title on PacktLib or download sample chapters in PDF format.

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What you will learn from this book

  • Plan and consider various design aspects of your site
  • Install, set up, and configure a Drupal development machine
  • Find your way around the vast array of Drupal settings with ease
  • Add and work with modules to enhance your website’s functionality
  • Control and manage your site's content
  • Deal with security issues, users, and access control
  • Implement a customized interface for your website
  • Add powerful new features and learn advanced techniques
  • Deploy, manage, and maintain your website

Chapter 1 introduces you to the world of Drupal and looks at where Drupal comes from, where it’s going, and what it can offer you. We also scrutinize the Drupal community and learn how to make the most of Drupal as an organized, living entity and not simply a piece of software.

Chapter 2 deals with how to get everything you need up and running on a development machine and also briefly looks at how all the requisite technologies gel together to produce a working Drupal site. Once everything is up and running, and after looking over some of the more common installation problems, the chapter presents a brief tour of Drupal in order to give you an idea of what to expect.

Chapter 3 sees us adding functionality to the newly created site. The focus of this chapter is on modules and blocks and how to add and enable them, and even how to obtain modules that are not part of the standard distribution. Given that menus and primary links are closely associated with a site's functionality, these are also covered here.

Chapter 4 looks at the most general settings that all Drupal administrators need to contend with. Everything from determining your site's name to dealing with the file system settings gets treated here.

Chapter 5 concerns itself with the topic of access control. Drupal has a sophisticated role-based access control system, which is fundamentally important for controlling how users access a site. This chapter will give you the information you need to implement whatever access controls you require.

Chapter 6 gets to the heart of the matter by beginning the book's coverage on content. Working with content, what content types are available, administering content, and even a discourse on some of the more common content-related modules serve as a basis for moving to more advanced content-related matters that follow in the next chapter.

Chapter 7 gives you the edge when it comes to creating engaging and dynamic content. While this chapter doesn't require you to be an expert in HTML, PHP, and CSS it does introduce you to the basics and shows how, with a little knowledge, extremely powerful and professional content can be created. That's only half the story, because it also looks at categorization and how this particular feature of Drupal sets it apart from everything else out there.

Chapter 8 gives you a run down of how attractive, functional interfaces are created in Drupal through the use of themes. As well as discussing briefly some of the considerations that must be taken into account when planning your website, it shows how to make important modifications to your chosen theme.

Chapter 9 really adds the icing on the cake by looking at a host of more advanced topics. From dynamic and responsive content using JavaScript and native jQuery support to supporting opened  and implementing actions and triggers, you learn to enhance your website and add that something special.

Chapter 10 takes a pragmatic look at the type of tasks in which you will need to be proficient in order to successfully run and maintain a Drupal site. Whether it’s setting up cron jobs or making backups of your database, everything you need to do throughout the course of running your newly created website is covered here.

Appendix A deals with the all-important topic of deployment. Because all major work should be done on a copy of your website on a development machine, this appendix presents a sound process for taking the finished product and making it available for public consumption on your live domain.

In Detail

Drupal is a hugely popular and widely celebrated open-source Content Management System that is day-by-day becoming the first choice of people for building blogs and other websites. Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the father of the Internet), Hillary Clinton, and many others utilize Drupal to fulfil their online requirements.

Drupal is an elegantly designed, well-supported and flexible platform that anyone can use in order to create their own website. With such a powerful tool at your fingertips there is no longer any need to pay professionals to design a site when you can do the same job yourself absolutely free. All it takes is a bit of practice!

This book meets the booming demand for well presented, clear, concise, and above all practical information on how to move from knowing you want a website all the way through to designing and building it like a pro, and finally successfully managing and maintaining it.

Experienced technical author David Mercer expertly guides the reader through all the stages of building a professional website in a plain, articulate manner. Aimed in particular at beginners to Drupal, this book will allow readers to advance rapidly up the learning curve to the point where they can tackle any problem with confidence.

This book updates the bestselling Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites released for Drupal 4.7. David Mercer revisits the hugely popular Drupal CMS and expands, concentrates, and upgrades the original book to bring it line with the vastly improved latest version, Drupal 6.


Written in the same style as the original Drupal title, this book is a pragmatic look at the steps necessary to get a website up and running. Drawing on years of writing experience, David Mercer utilizes a friendly, engaging style that is both clear and concise – perfect for the Drupal newbie.

Who this book is for

This book is for people with little or no experience in website design, people who are not familiar with PHP, MySQL or HTML, and above all people with little to no experience in using Drupal. Even intermediate Drupal users will find this book of interest although it is specifically aimed at pushing beginners up the learning curve.

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