How best to learn Drupal?
July 17, 2006 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend a book, group and/or person who can help us and give tips about developing a website in Drupal?

My company's website is very basic, but serves its purpose. We are currently using a service called Web Medley to update the web site each week. But that does not allow us to do major things, like add individual components and so forth.

Here is the website

We are interested in putting something together in Drupal. We are looking to rebuild the web site by Nov 06.

I would like your advice on books, services, or people that we can speak to/contract with for Drupal work. I would also like to learn Drupal and their website is like a labrynth to me. Also, if you could tell me what you think should maybe change when we do the site, it would be great.

Help appreciated.
posted by parmanparman to Computers & Internet (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Email me.
posted by unixrat at 8:11 AM on July 17, 2006

If you're not for some reason already married to Dru, see also WebGUI.
posted by baylink at 8:52 AM on July 17, 2006

baylink, is that the right, er, link? Cos that looks like a search-engine gaming spam site.
posted by bonaldi at 9:07 AM on July 17, 2006

I'm going to bet unixrat probably has more Drupal hours under his belt than I do, but if you are decently familiar wtih Apache and MySQL, then the install of a basic Drupal 4.7.2 release is pretty straightforward. You should do that on a test box before anything else just to get the feel for it. 4.8/5.0 should have a much friendlier installer.

You can grab a good book on installing/configuring Drupal (that link also has an PDF version for instant gratification and edification) and the folks on their forums are pretty much always very helpful and kind, especially to newcomers willing to learn and work a bit.

After looking at your current site, Drupal would definitely work pretty well for you. They have a decent number of modules for things like podcasting and newsletter distribution and you could have separate blogs for all your staffers/hosts/etc.

Drupal also supports all of the current "blogging standards", so you'll get RSS/Atom feeds generated for your posts and it works well with blogging software and sites such as flickr (flickr's moblogging support works like a charm in Drupal).

I suspect the default install and one of the many off-the-shelf themes will get you going rather quickly.
posted by hrbrmstr at 9:32 AM on July 17, 2006

I've found the support from Bryght pretty helpful when I was starting out with Drupal.
posted by godawful at 9:49 AM on July 17, 2006

Embarassed now. No, that link should have been WebGUI.

Sorry all.
posted by baylink at 10:22 AM on July 17, 2006

Response by poster: These are all great posts. It's difficult, because the way our IT guy talks Drupal, it's like "You're going to be endlessly tweaking it...but it's great." I have seen some great media sites in the language and they all look great. I will check out Bryght's forums and hope to get the stuff downloaded today or tomorrow. Keep comments coming, all feedback really helps!
posted by parmanparman at 10:29 AM on July 17, 2006

Lullabot offers training and consulting for Drupal.
posted by jjg at 10:55 AM on July 17, 2006

Regarding books, I noticed that a couple of books on Drupal have recently been published. I have no idea if these are any good, as I have no personal experience with them, but they might be helpful.

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

Building Online Communities With Drupal, phpBB, and WordPress
posted by Rhomboid at 3:15 PM on July 18, 2006

parmanparman: your IT guy's comment about endlessly tweaking it is probably correct if you don't have a very clear idea of what you want to do. there's a pretty high level of flexibility in the core software, and in the add-on modules. As such, the 'install a bunch of modules that sound good, turn them on, and see how things go' approach can lead to option overload very quickly.

Learn some of the basics about how Drupal deals with content, figure out what specific features you want and what the workflow will be on your site, and go from there.
posted by verb at 1:45 PM on July 19, 2006

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