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Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals, and Community Websites

David Mercer

How to setup, configure and customise this powerful PHP/MySQL based Open Source CMS
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Book Details

ISBN 139781904811800
Paperback284 pages

About This Book

  • David Mercer's new Drupal 7 book is now here!
  • Install, configure, administer, maintain and extend Drupal.
  • Control access with users, roles and permissions
  • Structure your content using Drupal’s powerful CMS features
  • Includes coverage of  release 4.7

Who This Book Is For

This book will suit anyone who has a need to create a content rich website. Whether you are:

  • Adding a personal web page
  • Building a forum
  • Writing a collaborative book
  • Retailing goods
  • Creating a blog
  • Launching a community Website

This book will prove to be an indispensable companion. Both experts and beginners to computing alike will find the information contained herein to be accessible and easy to intuit.

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
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
Upgrading Drupal
Troubleshooting Common Problems
A Short Tour of Drupal
Chapter 3: Basics I: Site Configuration
Before We Start
General Settings
Error Handling
Cache and File System Settings
RSS Feed Settings
Date Settings
Site Maintenance
String Handling
Chapter 4: Basics II: Adding Functionality
Adding Modules
Third-Party Modules
Configuring Modules
Menus and Primary Links
Using Modules
Working with Blocks
Chapter 5: Users, Roles, and Permissions
Planning an Access Policy
Access Rules
Chapter 6: Basic Content
Content Types
Working with Content
Content-Related Modules
Chapter 7: Advanced Content
HTML, PHP, and Content Posting
Chapter 8: Drupal's Interface
Planning a Web-Based Interface
How Drupal's Interface Works
Chapter 9: Advanced Features and Modifications
Advanced Site Modifications
Chapter 10: Running Your Website
Cron and Scheduled Tasks
Website Activities

What You Will Learn

Chapter 1 introduces you to the world of Drupal and looks at where Drupal comes from, where its going and what it can offer you. Because it is important to understand the nature of the tasks which lie ahead, it also discusses how to plan and build your website, taking a sneak preview of the book's demo Website in the process. Finally, we scrutinize the Drupal community and learn how to make the most of Drupal as an organized, living entity and not just 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 your working Drupal site. Once everything is up and running, and after looking over some of the more common installation problems, the chapter presents a short tour of Drupal in order to give you an idea of what to expect.

Chapter 3 looks at the most general settings which all Drupal administrators need to contend with. Everything from determining your site's name to dealing with the cache or file system settings gets treated here before we look at more focused and complex issues in the chapters to come.

Chapter 4 sees us adding functionality to the newly created site. The focus of this chapter is really on modules and how they can be added and enabled, or even how to obtain modules that are not part of the standard distribution. Since blocks are often required to display the functionality provided by modules, this chapter ends off with a discussion on how to control blocks.

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 your 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 later on it 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 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 ends off by looking at 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 creating flexible content types and generating revenue from ads, all the way through to building dynamic content using Ajax, you will find something to enhance your website and add that something special.

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

Drupal Hosting:


In Detail

Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems on the internet. Based on PHP/MySQL, its power and flexibility combined with its exceptional design mean it is already on the way to becoming the de facto standard for CMS Websites. Drupal’s modular design and structured source code make it both highly flexible and easily extended and modified. Drupal is extremely scalable, making it ideal for both a simple personal website as well as an industrial strength commercial or institutional web presence.

Drupal is a model open source project in that it has a large, friendly community of people who contribute to the project in various ways.  Drupal is not only free and easy to use, but this community provides on going mutual support.

Drupal’s power means choosing an initial pathway can be daunting. The flexibility and power of its content management features mean the right approach needs to be taken.  This book takes you from initial set up through site design and creation in a series of carefully structured steps. While there are a few advanced topics that are beyond the scope of the book, all of the core stages of creating a website using Drupal are covered in detail.



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