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Let's assume that you have decided that Drupal is right for you, but are you right for Drupal? Do you have everything it needs? Drupal isn't a demanding partner but it does require some technical knowledge resources from you. This video will show what those requirements are and how to get those that you don't already have. First let's start with those things that are useful to know. Not the things that you need to know but the things that are useful to know. HTML is first and foremost because you will be using it to post content. However, there are also rich text editors that are available, that make it less necessary for you to know HTML.
The programming language PHP is also very useful to have, that will let you change themes that you have and perhaps eventually add your own functions via modules. Third, it's useful if you know the database language SQL. With SQL you will be able to go in and change things directly in the database in case your Drupal installation is starting to have problems. Fourth of all, it's helpful if you have some system administration abilities because you may have to move files to and from the server, you may have to change permissions on the server and so forth. But what you need to know to run Drupal? Not much.
Aside from the four things that are useful to know Drupal is a pretty self-contained system and you can do everything that you need through its web interface. Aside from knowledge requirements Drupal does have some technical requirements for installation. First of all, if you are working on a remote server you will need an FTP program that is File Transfer Protocol. There are many of these available in the market and many of them are free. Secondly, you will need access to a server, which allows you to make directories. Because you are going to be putting your Drupal installation and it's reporting files into different directories or folders on that server.
Third of all, you have to also be able to change permission levels on that server. So if for example, Drupal needs to write information to a certain file you have to be able to change that file so that Drupal is allowed to write to that file. Fourth of all, I recommend that you get some sort of server where you have access via the Shell. The Shell is the command line access system that lets you type things in instead of using a graphical interface. There are many things that are possible on the server only through a command line interface. There are four things that Drupal needs already installed on the server. First and foremost of these, and this should be obvious is a Web Server. Apache is the one that's preferred by Drupal, although it is possible to do using Microsoft IIS and it might be possible using other web servers.
However, Apache is the one that's most discussed in drupal.org and within the Drupal project, so if you have any problems you will be better off running Apache since more people will be able to help you. You will need an SQL server. The preferred one is MySQL although PostgreSQL is also possible. Third, you will need certain other supporting programs, primary among them is cron. cron is a program available for the server that runs certain procedures at a periodic interval. So for example, every hour it might send out mail from the Drupal system or every hour it might fetch additional news from another server.
If you don't have these three things, you may be able to get them all in one integrated package. This is known as LAMP, MAMP or WAMP. LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. MAMP stands for the same thing but starting with Mac, and W stands for the same thing starting with Windows. MAMP is available from mamp.info and WAMP is available from www.en.wampserver.com. Although if you go directly to wampserver.com, you should be able to get there by clicking on the appropriate language flag link.
If you don't have all these things there are a number of Drupal consultants out there and you can see a directory of these at drupal.org/drupal-services. You can see a directory of who's available to help you with your Drupal installation by going to drupal.org/drupal-services. If you are unable to install Drupal on a server, there are some Internet service providers who are already hosting Drupal or will let you install it very easily. There is a list of such services at drupal.org/hosting.
As I said earlier, you don't really need that much to run Drupal, and what you don't have now is easy to get whether through a package like MAMP or in the most hands off way possible through the help of experts and hosted services.
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