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Book Review for Drupal, Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals and Community Websites



Author: David Mercer
ISBN: 1904811809
Publisher: Packt Publishing
267 pages
Published: May 2006

Setting up and maintaining a simple website is easy to do with HTML and a little elbow grease. On the other hand, a huge site with hundreds of pages of content is difficult, if not impossible, to do “by hand”. Drupal is an open source content management system that many people use to build and maintain medium to large websites. Its task-based modular system makes it very flexible for many types of websites from blogs to business sites. However, mastering the Drupal content management system is not a task that can be accomplished in a few steps. In this book, David Mercer takes you step-by-step as you learn what Drupal has to offer and how to use it to your best advantage.

As you would expect, Mercer starts with an introduction to Drupal. Next, he discusses the decisions you make when planning your site and how these decisions determine which Drupal modules you will need. Throughout the book, he uses a fictitious project website as a working example.

But before you can get started, you need to download and install ApacheR, MySQLR, PHP and Drupal. Mercer takes you through these steps and then discusses how to solve the most common problems you might encounter. Once that is done, he helps you work on the basic layout and management decisions for your site such as error handling and email setup.

Next, he shows you how to increase the functionality of your site by adding several modules for an RSS feed, blog, forum, poll and site search. Moving on to more advanced features, he discusses how to use Drupal to categorize the content on your site and how to manage access (permissions) to your site.

Now that the content for your site is completed, you are ready to consider the “look and feel” for your website. Mercer discusses how to start with a basic theme, customize it to your needs and incorporate this with Drupal.

Finally, you are ready to move your site onto your host server and set up your database. Mercer also discusses how to use the Drupal administrative interface to facilitate everyday tasks such as backing up your site and scheduling maintenance.

David Mercer is a programmer, technical writer and student of Applied Mathematics. Over the past seven years, he has written and collaborated on many books and projects.




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