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What is Drupal?

From: Drupal Gardens Essential Training

Video: What is Drupal?

So, before you start with Drupal Gardens, you might be wondering, why should I use it rather than WordPress or any of the other dozens of hosted CMS programs? This video will look at both Drupal's advantages and disadvantages to help you figure out whether Drupal Gardens is your best option. To start with, let's talk a bit about the software Drupal Gardens is based on. Drupal was created in 2000 by the Belgian Computer Science student Dries Buytaert to help him and his college buddies share information. People kept asking for more features, and he couldn't keep up with the demand by himself, so he released the software, renamed, Drupal as free software under the GNU Public License in 2001.

What is Drupal?

So, before you start with Drupal Gardens, you might be wondering, why should I use it rather than WordPress or any of the other dozens of hosted CMS programs? This video will look at both Drupal's advantages and disadvantages to help you figure out whether Drupal Gardens is your best option. To start with, let's talk a bit about the software Drupal Gardens is based on. Drupal was created in 2000 by the Belgian Computer Science student Dries Buytaert to help him and his college buddies share information. People kept asking for more features, and he couldn't keep up with the demand by himself, so he released the software, renamed, Drupal as free software under the GNU Public License in 2001.

A technology site named kerneltrap.org was the first site outside of Mr. Buytaert's university to use it. From there, the word spread. As a matter of fact, KernelTrap is still using Drupal to this day, ten years later. It now runs many high-profile sites, including the United States Government-- for example, at commerce.gov--the Canadian Rail Service at viarail.ca and many others, including quite a few artists on Sony Music. A good place to see who is using Drupal is on Mr.

Buytaert's own web site at buytaert.net/tag/drupal-sites. Here you see quite a few, and he keeps adding them. Every week there is a new one, pretty much. I want to reiterate that this software is completely free. You can download it from drupal.org, and install it as often as you like. And you want be alone; Drupal gets about 300,000 downloads every week. Well, that's the history. But how does Drupal work? Well, I'll show you. I'm using the original version, often called core Drupal, that I've already installed on my computer.

This isn't exactly what's used in Drupal Gardens, as I'll explain in the video "What is Drupal Gardens?." But core Drupal and Drupal Gardens are very, very similar. Learning one will help you do what you want in the other. If you want to learn core Drupal better, watch my series from lynda.com, "Drupal Essential Training." I'll show you how to do something very simple in Drupal. This is core Drupal, once again. I'm going to add some front-page content. Right now, there is nothing. There is just this basic default page that comes when you first install the software.

To do so, I'll click on Add content, and I'll also a Basic page. Just say "Hello, world!" In the body, "Hello again, world!" Go down to the bottom, publish it on the front page, and save. Now when we go to our front page, there it is. Besides being able to change content into Drupal, you can also change the way the site looks by going up to Appearance and scrolling down and taking a look at all of the other different ones that are available with Drupal.

In addition, there are quite a few other appearances available on drupal.org. These are called Themes. In Drupal Gardens, you can change from one theme to another, but then you can also modify themes quite a lot. You'll see how to do that later on in the course. By the same token, you can download and extend Drupal by using modules, which you download from Drubal.org. That's one difference between core Drupal and Drupal Gardens. On Drupal Gardens, you have only the modules that they allow you to use. On Drupal, you can extend it quite a bit.

A similarity between core Drupal and Drupal Gardens is that both excel at mixing up static content-- that is, like that page we just created, which says the same thing no matter when you visit it--and dynamic content, which is things like latest content and who is online right now and so forth. I can show you that by going to Structure > Blocks, and then down toward the bottom we have quite a few choices here: Recent content, Recent comments, and we can make those appear on the page in a variety of locations. Finally, Drupal is a multi-user system, so you can build a true online community.

In both core Drupal and Drupal Gardens, you do that by going up to People, and then you have a list of all the people who are available. It works a little bit differently in Drupal Gardens than it does in core Drupal, as I'll show you later in the course. Additionally, you can separate people according to their roles, so that some have more permission on your site than others. That's really useful, because let's say that you've built your site, and it's too big for you to handle by yourself. You could, for example, create a role that lets somebody else add content or manage users while you handle some of the more technical aspects of the site.

If you go up to People and then click on Permissions and scroll down, you can see all of the different permissions that you can change. Again, we'll discuss this more later on in this course. I know that was a whirlwind tour, but I hope it gave you a sense of how vast your web-creation abilities become when you use Drupal--whether that's core Drupal or Drupal Gardens--and how different they are from other systems you might be used to. I didn't talk about how Drupal interacts with your web server or database server, any of those other system-level things, because you never have to mess with any of that with Drupal Gardens.

The video "What is Drupal Gardens?" will tell you more about the differences between it and core Drupal.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal Gardens Essential Training
Drupal Gardens Essential Training

65 video lessons · 11918 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 29m 56s
    1. Welcome
      1m 39s
    2. Previewing the finished project
      1m 29s
    3. What's new in the late 2011 update?
      5m 28s
    4. What is Drupal?
      5m 8s
    5. What is Drupal Gardens?
      5m 57s
    6. Getting started with Drupal Gardens
      5m 35s
    7. Getting help
      4m 1s
    8. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 17m 40s
    1. Using the administrative overlay
      2m 54s
    2. Using the dashboard, toolbar, and shortcut bar
      5m 36s
    3. Touring the newly created site
      3m 55s
    4. Configuring the site
      5m 15s
  3. 59m 47s
    1. Creating and managing content
      11m 11s
    2. Creating and managing content types
      10m 35s
    3. Embedding YouTube videos and other media
      4m 5s
    4. Subscribing to RSS feeds
      4m 49s
    5. Categorizing RSS feeds
      5m 1s
    6. Managing tags and taxonomies
      5m 50s
    7. Creating dynamic pages with simple views
      4m 29s
    8. Creating complex information collections with Views
      8m 59s
    9. Creating image galleries
      4m 48s
  4. 37m 50s
    1. Working with blocks
      10m 26s
    2. Setting up rotating banners
      7m 45s
    3. Understanding menus
      7m 27s
    4. Setting up contact forms
      7m 7s
    5. Adding and removing functionality
      5m 5s
  5. 54m 54s
    1. Managing users
      6m 28s
    2. Adjusting user permissions
      6m 35s
    3. Managing comments
      7m 7s
    4. Slowing spam
      5m 20s
    5. Starting discussion forums
      9m 3s
    6. Creating blogs
      4m 41s
    7. Setting up mailing lists
      4m 50s
    8. Allowing users to rate content
      4m 21s
    9. Using best practices for online clubs
      6m 29s
  6. 44m 35s
    1. Getting feedback with webforms
      6m 14s
    2. Publishing RSS feeds
      6m 40s
    3. Taking advantage of social media
      9m 33s
    4. Emphasizing external links
      2m 44s
    5. Improving search engine optimization (SEO)
      7m 30s
    6. Internationalizing sites
      8m 6s
    7. Tracking site usage with Google Analytics
      3m 48s
  7. 34m 40s
    1. Understanding Drupal themes
      5m 44s
    2. Understanding the Theme Builder
      5m 25s
    3. Switching, saving, and copying themes
      7m 13s
    4. Introducing custom CSS
      6m 51s
    5. Refining selections in the Theme Builder
      5m 48s
    6. Exporting themes
      3m 39s
  8. 48m 31s
    1. Changing the site's color palette
      2m 32s
    2. Changing the site's main logo and favicon
      5m 22s
    3. Changing the column number and arrangement
      5m 7s
    4. Adding background colors and images
      6m 29s
    5. Changing element spacing and borders
      6m 11s
    6. Adjusting typography
      4m 24s
    7. Using fonts from outside sources
      5m 7s
    8. Inserting raw CSS code into themes
      6m 57s
    9. Adding visual effects with JavaScript libraries
      6m 22s
  9. 14m 18s
    1. Finessing theme design
      7m 51s
    2. Eight ideas for modifying themes
      6m 27s
  10. 23m 38s
    1. Monitoring sites
      4m 11s
    2. Duplicating and deleting sites
      4m 23s
    3. Adding custom domains
      3m 48s
    4. Using exported sites outside of Drupal Gardens
      3m 46s
    5. Hosting exported Drupal Gardens sites
      7m 30s
  11. 51s
    1. Goodbye
      51s

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