Drupal is a very good open source CMS that you can build modern web pages; personal blog or an ecommerce site if you like. If you're looking for a Drupal 8 tutorial for beginners, you've come to the right place.
Compared to WordPress, Drupal is more powerful and flexible with more customization or configuration possibilities. So creating a website with Drupal 8 can be a little tricky, especially for beginners. However, do not do that prevents you from receiving the benefits that Drupal brings. May be followed as:
- More functions: Compared to other sources today, Drupal offers more features. So that programmers prefer this source code.
- Greater customization: The ability to customize Drupal with themes, plugins and configuration options makes programmers realize their ideas. Drupal core files that can be easily edited are also a plus point of this CMS.
- Security: Drupal has built-in commercial security and can produce detailed security reports. The White House main website (https: //www.whitehouse.gove) also uses Drupal. Also easy to understand because of its high security capabilities.
After you have followed the steps in our Drupal tutorial, you will have enough knowledge to build your first Drupal website. From installing Drupal 8 to knowing what modules are, how to use them. You will know it all.
Note: This Drupal is based on the Drupal version 8.xx However, the steps in this tutorial can also be applied to the core version of Drupal 7.xx.
Step 1 - Installing Drupal 8
Option 1 - Use Auto Installer
The first step to getting your website up and running is of course to install Drupal 8 on your Hostinger hosting. It's easy and the steps are the same for all hosting providers. You only need to follow these steps to install Drupal:
- Access the control pane of your hosting
- In the search bar, type auto-installer and select this tool from the search results
- Select Drupal .
- Enter the information to install (name, password, URL, yes yes.) And then Install .
- That should do it!
Note: You will have to wait a few minutes for the installation process to complete.
Option 2 - Install Drupal 8 manually
Don't worry if your provider doesn't have auto installer or you want to install Drupal on localhost / VPS. Below are instructions for installing Drupal manually
Step 1 - Download the Drupal 8 installer
To download the file needed to install Drupal, visit the Drupal official website, find the latest version and select Download zip .
Step 2 - Extract the installation file and upload it to the installation directory on your hosting account
First, you need to extract the file you just downloaded. Create a new folder on your computer for this to do everything neatly.
Next, you will need to transfer the extracted file to your hosting account. There are many tools to upload files, such as FTP clients or File Manager of the hosting account.
Note: to upload files, we will use Hostinger's File Manager. However, the whole process is similar to other FTP clients.
Once you have access to your hosting directory, you will need the exact path where you want to install the application. For example, we will install Drupal 8 into the domain hostinger-tutorials.com , so the line in this case is / public_html /.
Just upload the .zip file and extract it, it takes a few minutes to complete. When completed, the directory will look like this:
Step 3 - Prepare the database to install
Now you can continue and create a new database and assign all permissions to a user to the database.
On Hostinger, the MySQL database is created in the MySQL Databases section . Save the MySQL information to prepare for the next steps.
Step 4 - Continue to install Drupal 8
When the preparation steps are complete, you can proceed with the installation. Enter the URL in the browser to the directory where you uploaded the installation file, and you will see the message below:
Select the language you want and click Save and continue .
Next step you can choose Installation profile :
- Select Standard if you want to use the features of the original Drupal. This profile includes all the most used and user-friendly standard modules.
- Minimal profile gives you more customization ability to build a website. This profile is intended for use by professional programmers.
Next, click the Save and continue button and continue to confirm the server configuration parameters to see if the software meets the requirements.
This step will display the most ideal configuration so don't worry if the screen has some mismatched " recommended " values . For example:
You can ignore it if it shows the same message, the script will still work normally. However, performance is certainly better if you meet all of Drupal's recommended requirements.
The next step you will need to enter the database parameters you have collected in step 3 include: Database name , Database username and Database password as an example:
Note: You can review the MySQL host information in the control panel of Hostinger -> MySQL Databases section .
Double check your information and click Save and continue . This action will activate the installation until it is complete.
In the final step, you will see the configuration window, where you can fill in the website information such as the Site Name and the like.
Be careful when filling in the Site Maintenance Account area , this is where you enter admin information in the Drupal 8 management area:
Once you have entered the required information, the installation will be completed. Now you can go to the admin page of Drupal and start building your own website!
Step 2 - Building a Website with Drupal
So you have installed Drupal, we will continue to build the real Drupal website. You will learn almost all the steps needed, so buckle up and start this journey!
Understand the Drupal Administrator dashboard
To power Drupal, you need to log into the administrator area. You can access it by adding user / login at the end of Drupal URL. For example, in the case, the Drupal admin dashboard can be accessed via http://hostinger-tutorials.com/user/login .
Once logged in, you will be the admin page. Here you will have the full rights and ability to set up and customize your website. It has the following areas:
- Content: This section allows you to add and edit your content, comments or files.
- Structure: Here, you can manage block layout, comment type, contact form, content type, modes to display, menus, taxonomies and views.
- Appearance: The appearance item allows you to install or delete themes.
- Extend: From the extend tab, you can download and install other modules to increase the functionality of your website.
- Configuration: This section allows you to configure websites.
- People: You can manage user accounts, grant permissions or assign functions.
- Reports: View high-level reports and view message logs from the Reports section.
- Help: The help section will contain all instructions that can help you during site building.
Create Drupal Taxonomies
Before knowing what a taxonomy is, you need to know the following two words:
- Term: In Drupal, term is the word used to describe and manage content.
- Vocabulary: Collection of terms.
Now, a taxonomy in Drupal uses terms to represent specific content. Basically, taxonomies are used to classify the content of Drupal website.
Creating a taxonomy is very simple. You can do this for you:
- Go to Structure tab .
- Click the Taxonomy button .
- Now click on the Add vocabulary button to add new vocabulary.
- Enter the name (required) and description (optional) for your vocabulary.
- Click the Add terms button to add a new term to vocabulary.
- Enter the name, description, text format, URL alias (another URL to access the term directly) and the relationships of the term. Click Save .
- Repeat step 6 to create multiple terms.
- It is done. Your taxonomy is ready!
Create Articles and Basic Pages
By default in Drupal, there are many types of content:
- Articles: The type of articles that were previously called stories. Articles are used to display the information you write over time and are often categorized.
- Basic pages: Basic pages are used to display essential information and do not need to be updated as many times as articles.
- Blog entry: The type of blog content that is discontinued in the original Drupal 8 version and now becomes a secondary module. It gives users the ability to create blogs on your website. Like a journal or online article.
- Book page: Book pages are not enabled by default. Like its name, book pages are the type of content used to create books or co-authored books.
- Forum topic: With this type of content, a discussion topic can be used. Users can discuss topics on comments.
- Poll: Lastly, polls can be used to ask questions that have a viable answer set.
Create article in Drupal (Spoiler: very simple). Follow these steps:
- From the dashboard, click Content .
- Now click on Add content .
- From the display window, click Article . You will see a screen showing a template for you to enter the title, tags, body, text format, and image of the article.
- If you want to link article to a menu, click the Menu Settings button and then check the required link menu. Here you can add the link, title, description, parent item and weight of the menu.
- You can also add extra information like URL path settings, comment settings, authoring information and publishing options for article.
- Then review the view of the article and click the Save and publish button to get it running normally.
- Your article has been published.
Now let's see how to create a simple "About Us" page:
- Click on Content and select Add content .
- Continue to select Basic page .
- Enter the title and content of the page. Since this is an About Us page, you can enter "About us" in the title and enter the required information in the body.
- Select text format and adjust menu configuration if necessary.
- To link to the menu page, select Provide a menu link . Enter the title, content, weight and parent item (since this is an abou us page, it can be placed under the item as "company history") in the menu.
- You can add other information, URL path settings, comment settings, authoring information and publishing options for your page.
- Then review the view of the article and click the Save and publish button to get it running normally.
- Your article already works!
Menus is very important no matter what kind of website you create. They help categorize and structure the overall website. With Drupal, you can add, delete, rename menus and extra items. Follow these steps to add a menu:
- Select Structure and select Menus .
- Some of the menu's default features like tools, administration and footer are available and can be edited.
- Click the Add menu button .
- Add titles and content to the menu and click the Save button .
- Click the Add link button to add the link menu.
- On the next window, you will be asked to add the link title, path, description, parent link, and weight to the link. You can also choose whether you want to activate the menu or if you want to display it in an expanded format by Enabled and Show with the checkbox e In this link, you can add links to the page. If you are creating the main menu, you can add the About Us page link here.
- When all the adjustment options have been made, click the Save button .
- You can repeat step 7 to add more links to the menus.
Create Drupal Blocks
Blocks can be viewed as a container object that is used to handle the functionality of the Drupal website. For example, a login user ( block) may be added to the footer ( region ) website .
Follow the next steps to place the block on the region:
- Click the Structure button from the main menu.
- Now click on the Block layout button .
- Here you can see where you want to place the block. For example, we will place a block in the header region. So click the Place block button next to Header . Note: You can also create custom blocks by clicking the Add custom block button and then entering the description and title in the sub-window.
- From the list of blocks, click the Page Title button .
- Confirm the title, visibility, region of the block and click the Save block button .
Step 3 - Install Drupal Modules
Drupal has some very useful modules available in the original version but to expand the functionality of the website you can install other modules. In this section, you will learn how to install Drupal modules.
First, you must go to the Drupal search page module and find the module. When you have reached the website containing the module you need to install ( eg: Chaos tool suite , link is: https://www.drupal.org/project/ctools ), go to the download section at the bottom of the page.
Note: The first number is the module version that represents the Drupal core verion. So if you are running Drupal 8, be sure to download the version module starting with 8.
Now continue with the following steps to install the module on Drupal 8:
- Right-click the module and select Copy link location
- Go to the Drupal homepage and click Extend
- Click on Install new module
- Install from a URL , paste the link in step (1)
- Install and wait for the process to complete
Note: If the Install new module is not activated, you will have to activate it in the Update manager module first. You can see it in the Core section in the Extendmenu .
Now, take a look at some of Drupal's most useful modules:
- Chaos tool suite : Chaos tool suite contains a range of tools and APIs that can enhance the developer experience.
- Admin toolbar : With the admin toolbar, the default toolbar is turned into a drop-down menu. This module is lightweight and contains all the basic features on the toolbar.
- Metatag : With the metatag module, you can add meta-tags and metadata to your website automatically. The module also supports meta-tags to manage how content is displayed when it is shared on social media (you can add meta-tags and structured metadata to your website automatically. The module also supports meta-tags that allow you to control how content gets displayed when it's shared on social media (Twitter Cards from Twitter, Open Graph Protocol from Facebook).
- Google Analytics : With this module, you can add Google's web stats trackying system to your website. You can find more information about the module here.
- Webform : With Webform, you can create surveys in Drupal. You can find other useful information there.
Step 4 - Install Drupal Themes
What your website looks like will determine your visitors' first impressions, so make sure you invest in it. By default, Bartik is installed, but there are many pre-installed themes that you can choose. You can view installed themes and select them in the Appearance tab .
If you want to install a new theme from the web, you can find many themes from third parties, but you should use themes in the Drupal website .
This source has useful tools, you can filter the most appropriate theme. The important point is that compatibility with Core Drupal, you need to choose the right version for your current Drupal installation.
Note: Just like modules, make sure the theme is compatible with the current version of Drupal
Installation process is similar to installing modules:
- Right-click and select Copy link location
- Click Appearance on the Drupal homepage
- Click on Install new theme
- Install from a URL , paste the link in step (1).
- Click Install and wait for the installation process to finish.
By default, the installed themes will be disabled. To enable it, click Install and set as default near the Bootstrap theme.
If you want to adjust the theme, click on the Settings button
Step 5 - Create a Blog on Drupal 8
In this section, we will show you how to create a complete blog on Drupal 8
As mentioned before the blog is not in the Drupal 8 main installer. So you have to download it and install this to set up the blog on Drupal 8.
Once installed, the blog module will be displayed in the modules section. To see it click on the Extendbutton . from the dashboard again. Click on Blog and save the configuration to activate.
Now you can access Content -> Add content. Here you will see a new type of content is Blog post . Add a title, content and publish a blog by clicking the Save and publish button . The blog will now appear under the blog section of the homepage.
Step 6 - Back up Drupal
It is very important to backup Drupal. To do so when using Hostinger's very simple. You just need to follow these steps:
- Log in to your Hosting control panel account
- Select Backups under Files .
- You should see some backups. To create a new one, click the Generate a new backup button
- A dialog box asks if you want to delete the old version and overwrite the new one, click Yes .
- It is done. You can download the backup now.
Step 7 - Updating Drupal
When using Drupal, updates and upgrades are two different parts. Updating means updating minor updates, for example from Drupal 8.0, 8.1, 8.2, while upgrading means upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. in this section. We will go through the steps to upgrade from Drupal 8.3.7 to 8.4.
To see if there are any updates for Drupal, select Reports -> Available Updates .
There are several ways to grant Drupal, for example you can use SSH or FTP for manual updates or composer . The following steps can be used to update Drupal from minor new releases in the same major version.
Before starting the update, we recommend enabling Maintenance mode :
- Go to the Configuration section and click on Maintenance Mode
- Select the Put the site into maintenance mode feature
- Click the Save configuration button
It can be difficult because Drupal needs to replace the entire core files to update except .htaccess , robots.txt and the Sites directory . The easiest way is to use an FTP client like FileZilla :
- Download the new version of Drupal and extract the archive file onto your computer.
- Connect to the FTP account and access the folder where Drupal is installed. In most cases it is the public_html directory .
- Select cores and vendor folders and all files (not folders) in Drupal's root directory and delete them.
- Now go to the directory where the Drupal update file is located, select all files except m odules, profiles, sites and themes and upload it to your hosting.
- When the upload is successful, visit http://yourdomain.com/update.php, click Apply pending updates to complete.
- Turn off maintenance mode
Instructions for using Drupal 8 - summary
Drupal is a powerful and widely used CMS because of its advanced features and advanced and effective security. This Drupal tutorial covers all the basic steps for beginners and a few are also needed for experienced programmers to create the Drupal website. Other information about Drupal 8 can also be found at the home page containing the official Drupal documentation .Read more :
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