This post is a complete eye-opener for the ones who are looking to build your first website using Drupal. Let us see that in steps on how to achieve that.
Drupal is one of the most powerful Content Management System and leading web building platform on the internet. You can create amazing, fast and powerful websites using Drupal.
The only thing is that you will have to face few difficulties while creating your website using Drupal if you are a beginner.
So gain some basic HTML, PHP and other programming language knowledge before start. You need not be an expert to do this but it is necessary to know the basic better handle your website in case of errors.
At the time your website pulls heavy traffic and hits up, it’s time for you to hire a technical person to maintain your website in a smooth condition.
Apart from this, there are lots of advantages with Drupal which we will discuss below.
Advantages of creating a website with Drupal
The pages and posts created with Drupal loads extremely faster when compared to other CMS. They have the quickest response time. It is because Drupal is less resource-intensive, meaning it requires a less expensive server or hosting service.
Easy to Customize
Having an out of the box idea to your site? You can easily achieve it with Drupal. With the plenty of free plugins and themes customizing your site becomes so easy. You can even edit or alter the root directories and customize them which is perfect for developers.
Drupal is freely available. You can download it and install on your server. It is perfect for beginners which could cut down some cost.
Having known the positives of Drupal, let us begin the process of creating a website. Follow the step by step guide below to easily create a website with Drupal.
How to Create a Website with Drupal: The Step-by-Step Guide
#1 Get your Domain Name
The first step in creating is a website is with buying a domain name for your website. It is the first impression of your site, so it may be positive if you choose the right one.
Let us see in short on How to Select a Domain Name?
Short and Sweet
Always try to shorten the name as it would be easier for others to remember your brand or URL. Limit it to the maximum of 15 characters.
Have in mind the future plans of your website or brand before choosing the domain name. Because changing the domain name in future may affect your SEO ranking and branding.
Easy to Use
Your visitors should be easily able to type or pronounce the domain name and URL.
Avoid Special characters
Try not to add any numbers or hyphen in between your domain name. Which will make the domain name less likely to remember as people usually don’t remember symbols, they only have your name in mind.
#2 Get a Web Hosting Serice
After successful selection of your domain name, buy a good hosting service.
Consider these major factors before buying a Domain name.
Uptime is a major factor in choosing a web hosting. Always choose a hosting that has or exceeds the industry standard of 99.90% uptime. Because uptime may directly affect your website’s performance, rankings and so on.
Page load time
Your hosting must load your pages within 850 ms which is the current average. An analysis says that 3 out of 5 people leave the site when it takes more than 2 seconds to load.
To solve the issues you face with your website you will need a hosting with quality and responsive customer support.
Cost of Service
Hosting services are available all price ranges. Choose the one that you can afford and also that satisfies the above factors.
#3 Download and Install Drupal
The process of downloading and installing Drupal is an easy and simple process. Just follow the step by step process below. You can also find the Drupal installation process from the Drupal website itself.
Another way of installing Drupal is through the hosting service you use. Almost all the hosting services provide ‘one-click-installation’ which you can use to perform a hassle-free Drupal installation.
#4 Pick a Striking Title for Your Site
Now let’s begin the actual process of building your website with Drupal.
Drupal will display its own “My Site” as the title by default which you can change by entering the name of your site. Don’t forget to add a catchy tagline to our site.
To do so, go to Configuration > Site Information. Enter your site name in the Site name field and add a tagline or slogan to your site in the Slogan field. This is to better expose your site to the audience.
You will see your e-mail address entered during istallation is shown in the “Email field”. Save the changes you made and get back to the homepage. Refresh the page to see the applied changes.
#5 Choose an Elegant Theme
The default Drupal theme will be boring if you are expecting a dashing theme. You can also find new themes from the Drupal site and here’s how.
In the Appearance menu,
- Click “Install New Theme”
- Click on “Themes” and you will land on a page with over 2500 themes for your site
Got confused with this huge list to choose the theme you want? Consider the following factors before choosing yours.
Easily customisable: Any theme you choose should be customisable according to your convenience. With less coding involved, easily updatable content and also to reposition the elements of the page.
Highly responsive: Your theme should be elegant with all the devices like phones, tablets and laptops. In this digital era, responsiveness on various devices is a mandatory one.
Neat and Simple: Most successful websites have the most simplest UI and loot simple. This makes your target audience to grab the content they want, easily flow through the site and fulfil their needs.
Check out this video to install the theme easily as this comes from Drupal itself.
#6 Have a Significant “About Me” Page
Your “About Me” page is the most important page where your visitors find who you are what is your vision and mission. So make this page more compelling and attractive. Now let us see how to create one to your site.
- Click Content > Add Content > Basic Page
- Add “About Me” or any other relative phrase to your title
- Add relevant content to better explain your site
- To make this page appear in the main menu, click the checkbox under “Provide a Menu Link” under settings. After saving the page you will be able to see the page under the main menu.
- To relocate the menu positions, go to Structure > Menus > Main Menu. Grab the little crosses with the mouse and shift them up or down to relocate them.
Follow the same process to create as many pages you want within your site.
How to make your Personal page interesting?
First, decide what you are going to present to your audience and try adding these points within.
- What is your website for
- What will the audience learn from you
- A short bio
- Links to famous posts
- Subscription link via email
#7 Access Contributed Modules
Drupal has an active community which provides extensive support to its users. Another benefit of that community is that they contribute modules to the Drupal users. Access the whole list of the modules here
By this way, you can add those modules to your Drupal website
- Download the Zip or tar file to your system
- Use an ftp client to upload them to sites/all/modules directory of the Drupal on your webhost.
- Extract or unzip the files
- Navigate to Admin > Modules section to make use of the modules.
It is better if you have these modules installed beforehand on your Drupal before you could get into the next step.
#1 Admin Menu Module
The default ‘Toolbar’ will give you hundreds of waste pages just to load a single function. By using this admin module you can create drop-down menus to your site.
Also turn off the default ‘Toolbar’ from the admin menu module.
#2 CKEditor Module
The editor is the main thing which you use on your website and it should be simple enough to create your text. WYSISYG is an acronym for What You See Is What You Get. Drupal doesn’t come with a WYSISYG editor. WYSISYG editors are visually more demanding similar to popular word processors and easier to handle and format text.
To make this module work:
- Download the CKEditor and install the Drupal Module from the CKEditor.com.
- Unzip the contents in the sites/all/modules/ckeditor/ckeditor directory on your Drupal site.
#3 IMCE Module
This Module is for making your site’s appearance better with images.
To make this module work:
- Install the IMCE Module and enable it.
- Go to “Configure –> Content Authoring –> CKEditor –> Profiles –> Advanced –> Edit –> File Browser Settings”.
- In the drop-down menus of the link dialog window, image dialog window, and flash dialog window, select IMCE.
- Save the Settings finally.
#4 Token Module
Tokens are simple parts of text placed using a placeholder system. With Drupal 7, the major functionality of the Token Module has been written into the core.
#5 Pathauto Module
The built-in pathauto module helps you to create better URLs but it may be time consuming to do manually for every post, and pathauto helps you with that. Features such as custom replacement patterns and user account page paths help the URLs match with the SEO. You should have Token Module for pathauto to work.
#6 Views Module
Drupal 8 which is a successor of Drupal 7 has Views developed into the core. Views is a great companion with Drupal 7. It lets your content display as slide shows, lists and much more. It is a bit complicated than other modules but if you are once used to it you will get to know its features. Views require Chaos Tools Suite module.
#7 Chaos Tools Suite Module
Chaos Tools Suite which is shortly known as CTools is required to use the Views Module. But there are also other reasons why you should use it. With Chaos Tools Suite module you can create your own modules, forms, dialog boxes, clear CSS scripts, and more.
Once you install the Quicktab module, you will find that under the Structure Menu.
#8 The Blocks
After setting up all the module, you will now have to set up a sidebar with “Blocks” of different features. Blocks are content that displays on header, footer, sidebar, and other parts on your page. After creating a block you can change its appearance, shape, size, and position.
Here’s an example of how to add Recent Content.
- Click the Structure Blocks and it will display the blocks available and its current status.
- Parallel to the Recent Content, under the Region column.
- Choose the region where your content wants to be located.
- Save the changes after the editing.
- To add content, click Add New Content, click Article and give a suitable title. Fill the tags add your text to the body.
- Save the article and check your site. You will see your article as well as the block with recent content.
Thus the article about How to Create a Website with Drupal has given you the most out of Drupal setup. You may find your site faster, easily customizable with Drupal. Also, you can make big changes with few bucks on your new Drupal Site.