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Building Powerful and Robust Websites with Drupal 6

David Mercer

Build your own professional blog, forum, portal or community website with Drupal 6
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Book Details

ISBN 139781847192974
Paperback380 pages

About This Book

  • 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


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.

Table of Contents

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
The Drupal Community
The Drupal License
Chapter 2: Setting Up The Development Environment
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
Chapter 3: Basic Functionality
Adding Modules
Third-Party Modules
Configuring Modules
Working with Blocks
Menus, Primary and Secondary Links
Chapter 4: Site Configuration
Before We Start
Clean URLs
Error Reporting
File System and File Uploads
Logging and Reports
Site Information
Site Maintenance
Chapter 5: Access Control
Planning an Access Policy
Access Rules
Chapter 6: Basic Content
Content Overview
Content Types
Working with Content
Content-Related Modules
Chapter 7: Advanced Content
Implementing Thesuari in Drupal (Tags)
Content Construction Kit (CCK)
HTML, PHP, and Content Posting
Chapter 8: Drupal's Interface
Planning a Web-Based Interface
Chapter 9: Advanced Features and Modifications
Actions and Triggers
Language Support
Dynamic JavaScript Features
Chapter 10: Managing Your Website
Cron and Scheduled Tasks
Website Activities

What You Will Learn

  • 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.


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