How to make a website on Drupal yourself

According to Web Technology Survey for March 2018, Drupal ranks third in the world among the most popular CMS. This engine runs 2.2% of all sites on the web. Among the resources using CMS, the share of Drupal reaches 4.3%. Why is this content management system worthy of attention? How to use it to make a website yourself?

Why choose Drupal

Drupal is a content management system distributed under the GNU GPL license. Due to this, the engine can be used free of charge for the implementation of any projects, including commercial ones.

Because of the flexibility and multi-tasking, Drupal is often referred to as a CMF rather than a CMS: a content management framework or framework for content management systems and web applications. This determines the versatility of Drupal. On its basis, you can implement any project: create an online store, company website, blog, forum or portal. Here are some resources that work on Drupal:

  • French government.

That there Forbes and the French government, even works for Drupal.

Drupal is developing a community of enthusiasts. Volunteers regularly update the kernel, instantly find vulnerabilities and release patches, create specialized assemblies and modules, and support beginners. This ensures the friendliness of the engine to the owners and administrators of sites.

How is Drupal better than WordPress and Joomla? This question is improper. Do not rate the engines on a "good - bad" scale to avoid falling into the trap of subjectivity. Choose a CMS in accordance with the features of the project and the needs of the audience.

The main feature of Drupal is flexibility. To explain this, the authors from the official Drupal website used a good image. They compared most CMS with toy cars. You can play different games with them, but toys are always machines. And Drupal is not a finished car, but a designer. From it you can collect a model of a passenger car, truck or fire truck. Moreover, you can also make a plane or a ship with it.

Flexibility and functionality do not prevent Drupal from remaining a simple CMS, with which you can work without special technical knowledge. But working with it is still more difficult than with Joomla! or WordPress. This is a fee for flexibility: you didn’t pick up a finished machine, but a constructor. First you have to lay down the car, plane or ship, and then you can play with it.

This guide will help you understand the details of the designer.

How to install Drupal

The easiest way to solve this problem is to choose a hosting service with a pre-installed engine or the ability to install CMS through the hosting control panel using the auto-installer of scripts. You can also download the distribution from the official Drupal site and install it yourself on the server. You can choose the third path: installation and configuration of the engine on a local server and subsequent transfer to the server hoster.

To install a CMS on a hosting server, proceed as follows:

  1. Download the Drupal distribution from the official project site. On the Drupal Core tab you will find the base engine of the engine. And in the Distributions section you can find specialized CMS assemblies, for example, Drupal for online stores, corporate sites, content projects and even religious communities. You need a constructor, not a complete machine model, so choose a base core.
  1. Unzip the archive.
  2. Upload content to server. Use any FTP client, for example, FileZilla. The distribution kit needs to be loaded into a root folder. The path to it is marked on the illustration with a yellow marker.

NB! Steps 4, 5 and 6 are needed if the provider did not create the database automatically when ordering hosting.

  1. Create a database. Find the "Databases" section in the hosting control panel. Enter the name of the database and click the "Create" button.
  1. Create a new database user and specify a password.
  2. Delegate management rights to the profile. Use the "Add" button, and on the page that opens, check the box next to the "All Rights" field. Click "Make Changes."
  1. In the hosting control panel, select the version of PHP 7.1. This is necessary for Drupal 8 to work correctly. You can select the PHP version in the “Software and Services” section of cPanel.
  1. Launch the CMS installation manager. To do this, enter in the browser address bar the site URL. In the language selection section, select a language.

In the next step, specify the standard installation profile. Specify the database, username and password. Click the Save and continue button.

After the installation is complete, the site configuration settings window will open. Enter the necessary information: administrator's email address, resource name, technical account information, region and time zone. Save the changes.

If everything is done correctly, the installation wizard will redirect you to the main page of the new site. Now you can work with the engine.

How to configure CMS Drupal

At this stage, you will select and install a design template and theme for the administrative panel, create a menu, choose a way to display content blocks, Russify the CMS and define user roles. Start with the site Russification.

Russify Drupal

Go to the module management section and install the modules in the Locale section. They are needed to Russify CMS. In the future, they can be used to make a multilingual resource.

Go to Configuration - Regional and language. Select the Language menu.

Click the Add Language button and use the drop-down menu to add Russian to the site.

Download the translation file from the official Drupal site. In the section Configuration - Translate Interface select the Import tab. Upload the translation file to the server.

In the Configuration - Regional and language - Language section, set Russian as the default language. Save the changes.

Now the menu of management and the user interface of the site are Russified.

Install themes for the site and admin panel

In the "Appearance" section of the administrative panel are the default themes of Drupal. To enable the downloaded template, use the "Set as default" option.

You can choose an alternative design template on the official Drupal website. By default, themes are listed in order of popularity. Use filters to sort them by additional criteria.

NB! Choose a theme with responsive design. This is to satisfy the needs of mobile users.

Download the distribution of the selected theme to your computer. In the "Design" section of the administration panel, click the "Install a new theme" button. Upload the archive to the site.

After downloading, install and activate a new template.

To change the theme of the administrative panel, in the "Design" section, use the appropriate menu. Select the appropriate template and save the changes.

For the convenience of readers, standard Drupal themes are used when working on tutorials.

Customize logo

In the "Appearance - Appearance Settings" section, select the "Logo Image Settings. Uncheck the box next to" Use the default logo supplied by the theme. "Specify the path to the logo file on the server or upload an image.

To ensure that the logo is displayed correctly, use the image size recommended by the theme developer.

In the "Design - Settings" section, select the site favicon. This is the image that browsers display in tabs next to the site names. Also favicon can be displayed on search results pages.

Configure Content Display Blocks

The display of content on sites managed by Drupal is organized using blocks or containers for content. Blocks can be placed in the so-called regions, the number and position of which is determined by the chosen topic. To see the number and location of regions in your topic, go to the "Structure - Blocks" section in the administrative panel. Use the "Show block areas" menu.

CMS Drupal supports default and custom content blocks. To use the default content containers, in the "Structure - Blocks" menu, select a display region and add a block to it.

For example, imagine that you want to add to the site information about visitors online. The appropriate block is appropriate to place in the footer of the site. Select the appropriate region in the footer and click the "Arrange block" button. Select the block "Now online".

On the block settings page, select a language. On the Materials Types tab, select the type of pages on which the block will be displayed. These can be articles and main pages. On the "Pages" tab, you can specify specific URLs on which the block will be displayed. On the Roles tab, determine who sees the published block. For example, allow content to be viewed by administrators and authenticated users. Save the changes.

You can create a block yourself. Imagine you want to publish links to useful resources in the sidebar. To do this, in the "Structure - Block" menu, click the "Add block" button. On the edit page, specify the name of the block and add information. Select block display region. Save the changes.

Check the correctness of the display element.

Set user rights

Each visitor to the site running Drupal gets a certain role. By default, the CMS supports the administrator, registered and anonymous user roles.

Go to the "Users" section of the administrative panel. On the "List" tab you will find a list of registered users. On the Access tab, you can familiarize yourself with access to site functions for existing roles. On the "Roles" tab, you can edit existing and add new roles.

Imagine that you need to add a user who will publish articles. To register an account, use the button "Add user".

Specify registration data, including email address and password to access the site. Leave the role as default. Check the box next to the option "Notify user" and register an account.

In order not to give the journalist all administrative rights, create a new role for him. To do this, on the "Roles" tab, use the "Add" button. Click the permissions tab and check the box of the functions that the user with the corresponding role will get access to. In particular, allow the user with the role of "journalist" to create publications and edit their own materials.

Return to the "List" tab. Select a new user profile and click the "Edit" button.

In the "Roles" section, check the box next to the desired option and save the changes. The new user role will appear in his profile on the "List" tab.

With the help of roles with different access rights, you can effectively control group work on sites managed by Drupal. You can also encourage user registration. For this, you can grant additional privileges to authenticated visitors.

Customize the site menu

In the administrative panel, select the section "Structure - Menu". Click the "Edit Menu" button next to the main navigation menu.

On the page that opens, you can edit existing links or add new ones. Imagine that you need to add a link to a page with contact information in the main menu. To do this, click "Add link".

In the "Title" field, specify the name of the link that users will see. In the "Link" field, enter the URL of the page. In the description field, add text that users will see when you hover the mouse over a link in the menu. Use the Weight field to control the order of links in the menu. The higher the link weight, the lower it will be displayed in the menu.

You can create an arbitrary menu. For example, it is possible to make a new navigation menu and publish it in the footer of the site. To do this, in the "Structure - Menu" console section, click the "Add" button.

Specify the name and description of the menu, as well as select a language. Save the changes. You have created a menu. Now on the edit page add links to it.

To publish the menu in the footer, go to the "Structure - Blocks" section. Select a region and place the appropriate block in it.

Check the correctness of the block display.

With the help of the described functions you have chosen the basic CMS Drupal settings. Now pay attention to the functionality of the resource. Start with seo-friendliness.

How to ensure SEO-friendliness of the site on Drupal

Drupal meets the key requirements of the default search engines. Using technical optimization, you can increase the visibility of the resource in the search. To do this, you need to set up aliases, ensure the correct display of metadata, create a site map and implement microdata.

Set up aliases

By default, in CMS Drupal content is organized using nodes (the node is a node). A node is a content unit that has a separate URL. For example, a node can be a static page, a blog post, a category page.

The engine displays the standard Drupal URLs of the form For new publications, only the number at the end of the network address is different.

For machines, this is not a problem, but for people such URLs are not suitable. You can adjust the CNC using aliases.

Aliases are synonyms for URLs that refer to one address. For example, the addresses and are aliases.

To set a human-readable synonym is necessary when creating a publication. This can also be done on the edit page of existing materials. To do this, in the "Content" section, select the desired material and click "Edit." Select the "Address Settings" option and specify the alias.

Note that using the URL you can emphasize the difference between static pages and publications. For example, you can add an article or a blog element to articles.

In this case, the URL looks like this (see illustration).

In the "Configuration - Search and Metadata" menu, enable clean links.

This function removes the element "? Q =" from the URL (see illustration).

After the inclusion of clean links, the URLs are understandable to people.

Creating synonyms can be automated. To do this, install the Token, CTool and Pathauto modules. The first two are necessary for the correct operation of Pathauto. To install a module, use the corresponding button in the "Modules" section of the console.

After installing and activating the modules, go to the "Configuration - Search and Metadata" section. Select the "URL Synonyms" menu. Click the Patterns tab.

Create a pattern for articles. To make the URL of articles look like, use the blog / [node: title] template. For base pages, use the [node: title] template.

After setting up the templates, create aliases for all existing pages. To do this, go to the Bulk generate tab, specify the content types and click the "Update" button.

Verify that the URL is displayed correctly. Note that Drupal uses the default as canonical CNC. Therefore, you can not fear the sanctions of search engines for duplicate pages.

Pay attention to an important nuance: the engine substitutes Cyrillic characters in the URL.

If that suits you, adjust the templates accordingly. That is, instead of blog, use the prefix "blog" and so on. If you want a URL of Latin characters, when publishing articles in the "Address Setup" section, uncheck the Generate automatic URL alias option. Enter the URL manually and save the changes.

Provide metadata mapping

This can be done using SEO modules, for example, Metatag bundles and Real-time SEO for Drupal. Install and enable software add-ins for CMS in the Modules section of the console.

After the modules are enabled, the Metatags section will appear on the content editing page. In the Basic Tags section, you can set the rule for forming page headers. By default, it has the form "Publication name / site name". This is the best option, so do not change anything.

By default, the Metatag module using the [node: summary] token automatically uses the description text of the article as a description. This is not the best option, since the functional purpose of the announcement and descript is different.

In the "Description" section, manually add a brief information about the publication. It can be displayed in a snippet on the search results page. If necessary, enter keywords in the appropriate section. This option can be ignored, since search engines do not take into account the keywords meta tag when ranking pages.

In the Advanced tags section, you can add meta tags that control search robots. If you want search engines to index the page, ignore the section.

In the Open Graph section, you can control the data that is displayed in the snippet when you publish content on social networks.

Create a sitemap

Карта сайта в формате XML-файла помогает поисковым системам корректно индексировать ресурс. Создать ее можно с помощью модуля XML Sitemap.

Установите и включите генератор карты сайта. Чтобы настроить карту, перейдите в раздел консоли "Конфигурация - Поиск и метаданные". Выберите меню "XML Карта сайта".

На вкладке "Настройки" установите частоту обновления карты сайта. Разработчик генератора рекомендует выбрать значение Daily. Обратите внимание, файл sitemap.xml автоматически обновляется после публикации или редактирования контента.

By default, the module adds only the main page to the site map, and this is not enough. Click on the "Content" tab. Enter the Article and Basic Page sections one by one and include all the articles and pages on the site map.

In the XML sitemap section, include the content type in the sitemap. Do not change the priority settings. Search engines will decide what content to index with what frequency.

Click the Rebuild Links tab and update the sitemap. After that, check the availability and correctness of the site map display. It can be found at

Embed microdata

Install the Metatag module. It extends the functionality of the Metatag module. With the help of Metatag, you can implement microdata through the JSON-LD format.

After installing and activating the module in the edit menu of publications on the Metatags tab, markup options appear that can be added to the material. Select the desired type of markup, fill in the data and publish the article.

For example, select the type of markup Review. Specify the data: the name of the review, the type of the object, the name of the object, the canonical URL, the date of publication.

Publish the article and check the correctness of the micromarking.

For more ways to embed micromarking, see the article on extended snippets.

In the admin section "Configuration - Development - Performance" enable site caching for unauthorized users. Set the cache lifetime to 12 hours. Also check the options for "Combining and Compressing CSS Files" and "Combining JavaScript Files".

You have increased SEO-site friendliness. Now take care of the security of the resource.

How to secure a resource on Drupal

In this section you will find information about backing up information and protecting against spam.

Set up site backup

Install and activate the Backup and Migrate module. Go to the add-on settings page. It can be found in the "Configuration - Development" section of the console.

On the BackUp tab, you can quickly create and save a backup copy of the database to your PC's hard disk. Using the drop-down menu, you can select additional copy objects: a public folder and a directory of user files. Copy these objects if visitors store some content on the site.

Use the Restore tab if you need to restore data. On the Shedules tab, you can configure automatic backup. To do this, click Add Shedule. Fill in the "Task Name" field, check the box next to the "Enabled" option. Select the copy object and specify the frequency of backup.

When choosing, be guided by the frequency of updating the site. If you publish dozens of new materials per day, set up a daily copy of the database. If the site is updated once a week, a copy can also be made once a week.

Install the CAPTCHA module to combat spam

Download and activate the CAPTCHA module. Go to the configuration menu, which is located in the Configuration section of the console. Using the drop-down menu, select the type of test. Add a description and save the configuration.

Check the correctness of the CAPTCHA. To do this, log in to the site in incognito mode, since by default for site administrators the confirmation form is not displayed.

As an alternative to the standard CAPTCHA, look at the reCAPTCHA module. This security tool is owned by Google. After registering the site you will receive a secret activation code. Enter it on the module settings page on the reCAPTCHA tab. You can then select the appropriate type of scan. It reliably blocks robots, but practically does not impair the user experience.

With the help of CAPTCHA and backup, you protected the site from automatic spam and data loss, respectively. Now provide an opportunity to monitor the effectiveness of the resource.

How to track the effectiveness of a resource on Drupal

To set up monitoring, you need to connect the website to the Google Analytics and Yandex.Metrica services, as well as register it in the Google Search Console and Yandex.Webmaster.

Connect the resource to Google Analytics

Register your resource with Google Analytics and get the tracking code. Then install the GA module on the site. After activation, go to the settings page in the "Configuration - System" console section. Specify account ID.

On the Roles tab, exclude tracking of the activity of administrators and editors of the site. This will make the statistics more reliable.

Save the settings and check the correctness of Google Analytics. To do this, select the Google Analytics section "Reports - Real-time Overview." If the code works correctly, you will see the number of active users on the site.

Please note that after adding the Google Analytics code, you can quickly verify the ownership of the site in the Search Console toolbar. To do this, simply select the appropriate confirmation method.

To track the performance of a site using Yandex.Metrics, use the Yandex.Metrics module.

To track site indexing using Yandex.Webmaster, register a resource and confirm management rights. Select the verification method using the html file. Download the proposed document to your hard drive and use the FTP client to upload it to the root directory of the site.

Check whether you have chosen the correct location of the file. To do this, open the link suggested in the Yandex.Webmaster office.

In the webmaster's office, click the "Check" button. If everything is done correctly, you will see a message about adding the site to the queue for indexing.

You have connected the site to monitoring systems. Now you can publish content.

How to manage content using CMS Drupal

In this section you will find information about the Drupal taxonomy and content publishing.

Systematize content using the Taxonomy module

Drupal organizes and displays content using the Taxonomy module. You will find its settings in the section "Structure - Taxonomy".

Content categorization is performed using dictionaries and terms. The dictionary is a category of the first level. Terms - categories of the second and next levels.

By default, CMS Drupal organizes content using the Tags dictionary. Open it to create categories for future publications. Use the "Add term" button to create a parent category. To create a child category, select the appropriate value in the Relationship menu.

To add a publication to the created category of the Tags dictionary, at the editing stage it is enough to indicate the corresponding tags in the editor.

You can organize publications using the default Tags dictionary, as well as create additional dictionaries with term sets.

Create publications

Unlike earlier versions, Drupal 8 has a convenient default WYSIWYG editor CKEditor installed by default. If you are using an earlier version of the engine, install and activate the appropriate module. To extend its functionality, install and activate the IMCE module. It simplifies working with visual content. You can customize the editor toolbar in the "Configuration - Work with Content - Text Formats and Editors" section.

To post material, select the Content section of the console. Click the Add Material button. By default, Drupal offers to choose the type of material: article or main page. Use the type "Home Page" to create static pages, for example, the sections of the site "About Us", "Services", "Portfolio". Type "Article" is suitable for creating news, notes, articles.

Imagine posting an article. In the Title field, specify the name of the material. Click on the "Edit Announcement" button to add an arbitrary announcement. You can skip this option. In this case, the system will create an announcement automatically.

Add content to the editor. You can edit the publication in visual format, as well as in limited and full HTML formats. Specify publication labels.

In the field meta tags specify the description of the publication. Publish the material.

If you publish a static page, in the "Menu Settings" section you can schedule the creation of a menu link. To do this, check the corresponding option and specify the name of the link.

If necessary, you can create arbitrary types of materials. To do this, select the console section "Structure - Types of materials."

Instead of the conclusion, or When should choose Drupal, and not Joomla! or wordpress

Drupal, like Joomla! and WordPress, is a universal open source CMS. It is neither better nor worse than the engines mentioned. You can take "Wordpress", "Joomla" or "Drupal" and make almost any project on their basis: a corporate website, an information resource, an online store, a personal blog. What are the main features of Drupal?

Compared to WordPress, it is more flexible. But this does not mean that Drupal is a universal constructor, and WordPress is just a finished model of one toy. Flexible settings "Drupal" for the most part laid in the core engine. To get the same features with WordPress, you have to install plugins.

A simple example: role settings are conveniently implemented in Drupal. This allows you to easily manage access policies. This is useful for forums, online stores, online services. In WordPress, the default settings for user roles are fixed. But with the help of plug-ins like User Role Editor in this CMS, you can get flexible role settings, as in Drupal.

Another example: Drupal caches and compresses content by default. In WordPress, these tasks are solved with the help of additional plugins.

Compared to Joomla, Drupal is more stable. Here is an example: setting up the JCE editor in Joomla! I had to mess around for a long time. He just did not want to work. In Drupal 8 integrated functional editor, which requires virtually no settings.

In which case Drupal is definitely better than Joomla! and wordpress? Only in one thing: if you like this engine more, it seems more convenient and suitable for the implementation of your project.

By the way, do not be afraid of the reputation of a difficult to understand CMS. The administrative console of Drupal is intuitive, and any user without technical training can master it. To create a site with basic functionality, you do not have to use all the features of Drupal. Just focus on the features you need at the moment. Then you get a reliable, flexible, stable, secure and free engine on which you can do almost any project.

By the way, you can order website creation on Drupal at our agency. We make websites that are optimized by search engines and meet all the canons of modern design and usability. Interested in the details? Follow the link.

Watch the video: Ep. 1 - Homepage Slider - Advanced Drupal Development (April 2020).


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