Drupal User's Guide

By the same author of last year’s well-regarded Front End Drupal; this similarly-sized book is aimed more at beginners.

By: Staff


Drupal User's Guide is by the same author of last year’s well-regarded Front End Drupal; but while Front End was aimed at experienced Drupal developers building themes, this similarly-sized book is aimed more at beginners building websites from scratch (modules actually) using Drupal 7. The author talks about how they got into Drupal after building their own framework which is kind of interesting and serves as a bit of a warning to trying to build complex websites from scratch.

Like many books, this one starts with an overview of Drupal, installing, administrating and putting together a simple site. After the basics are covered, the book goes into planning a site and figuring out what you want your site to do and who will use it.

The heart of the book is the case studies that follow in the third section. Case Studies, takes the reader though building two websites: a community forum and a business directory. These two are fairly complex projects that might have caused users to investigate Drupal in the first place. The projects make use of core and contributed modules that are listed at the beginning of the section.

After the case studies, the next two sections expand on material covered earlier in the book. Section four, Build Anything, goes deeper into modules, content types and covers some essential modules, such as the very useful Views, in more detail. Then part five, Extending Drupal, covers theming, SEO and accessibility. The theming section takes readers though creating a new theme on top of a base theme. Readers of this section should be familiar with HTML, CSS and some basic very basic PHP to make use of this section.

Hogbin describes this book as a "prequel" to her other book, and it is, while Front End Drupal was written for experienced developers, this book is aimed more at beginners to Drupal who are familiar with web design and are comfortable with of HTM, CSS and maybe a bit of PHP for the later sections. While one of the unique features of Drupal is how much can be done from the GUI, it’s probably best be comfortable with editing HTML without the help of Dreamweaver.  One criticism of the book is there occasionally there are mentions of things like a single mention of Drush (a powerful command-line interface for Drupal mentioned on page 166) but no further information, leaving it as an exercise for the reader to investigate. The layout is good, a few black-and-white screen-shots and some diagrams.

Overall this a good book for web designers taking Drupal for a test drive. The example projects presented here aren’t too simple to be completely removed from the kinds of websites they are be hoping Drupal will help them build.


Date published: 05-Nov-2011





Front End Drupal

Tools and techniques for learning to create themes for the Drupal 6 CMS.

Drupal 6 Themes

Learning the many ways to theme with Drupal 6

Sam's Teach Yourself Drupal in 24 Hours

If you have 24 hours to spare, why not learn Drupal?

Drupal's Building Blocks

One question that is going to come up is how current is this book with the recent arrival of Drupal 7? With the exception of CCK, most of the content is still relevant.


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