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Definite guide to kick start your Drupal learning

Do you want to learn Drupal but not sure what is it? or you have little information about Drupal but not sure if it is the right tool for your next project or not? Well this guide is intended for people who just want to start their Drupal learning process and need a direction. We hope this guide will clear your doubts.

This is going to be a long blog post. It should take around 20-30 minutes to read it.

Who should read this guide?

This is most important question. Who should read this guide and watch videos on our website? If you are a website developer or want to try best CMS for creating great website in short period of time then Drupal is for you, and this is what this guide is all about. Here you will find all the information you will ever need to kick start your Drupal Learning process.

If you are reading this guide right now then probably you have some idea about Drupal or you are just eager to learn how to create a website. You should spend time learning Drupal if any one of the below is true.

You are a Web Developer looking to expand your expertise

Are you a web developer who works on PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP? Then you are probably aware that creating a website from scratch in these technologies takes lot of time, plus scaling the website is a huge issue when you have developed a custom solution. You have to take care of all the best practices in writing and organizing your code. Drupal already has a well defined architecture. When you start developing your own Drupal Modules then you will really love writing code that fits so easily with the existing functionality. All this is possible because of strict coding practices implemented in Drupal code and its contributed modules.

The advantage of using Drupal is that you can easily create a website in very short time and there is a module for almost every functionality you can think of. Drupal is based on PHP and the designing is done using CSS, so if you have a programming background then you can easily understand it and start making amazing website in few days only. Adding Drupal to your skill set will surely be very helpful in your career. Many software companies are now using Drupal and the demand of Drupal Developers is increasing these days.

You do Freelancing and create websites

Are you a freelance website developer? If yes then you are probably aware that maintaining a website for a client all alone is very difficult when you are working on a custom solution. These days most of the websites are dynamic in nature and client ask for new features and changes every time. When you using Drupal for your client’s website then one thing you can easily manage is adding new features. Drupal has plugin known as modules that you can install and add new functionalities very easily. When you start learning Drupal you will realize that there is a module for almost everything you can think of. Whether your clients need a simple website for their company profile or a big portal with online forums, user registrations or an e-commerce website. The possibilities are endless. If you are in a situation where you can’t find the module you are looking for then you can write your own module that can extend the functionalities of your website. As a freelance web developer learning Drupal will expand your horizon.

You are a student starting your career in few months

In the past few year there has been steady growth in number of websites created in Drupal. It clearly indicates that Drupal is becoming one of top choice for creating a web portal. If you are in college or a fresher in the industry, then by not learning Drupal you are missing lots of job opportunities. Just go and search Drupal on any job portal and you will come to know that there is a huge requirement in the market. Do you know that there is a shortage of skilled Drupal developers in the market? Yes there is absolutely no reason to not learn Drupal. In the beginning you might need to pay close attention to learn the basics but once you master that you can easily pick advanced Drupal topics like Views easily. To begin the learning process you don’t even need to understand PHP. As we have said before that you don’t need to learn PHP language for creating a great website in Drupal. Of course learning PHP comes into picture when you want to develop your own modules.

You are a client looking to get a website developed by some vendor

Are you looking for a software vendor to get a website developed? If yes then probably it is a good idea to do some research about the web technologies. Most of the companies do extensive research before giving their project to a software vendor. Most of these companies will charge more in developing a Drupal website as compared to other CMS like Wordpress or Joomla, although that extra money you spend will be worth thousands and will probably save lot of time in future but in any case you should do extensive research about the web technologies.

If you are comparing Drupal with some other CMS then it is indeed very important that you understand what Drupal is and its capabilities. You can read this guide now to know more about it. Probably it is a good idea to search on google about Drupal projects. It will surely help you to make a wise decision!

Do you want to start a blog?

These days it just takes few minutes to start a free blog on various popular sites like blogger or Wordpress. If you are absolutely new to blogging and you just want to understand more about it then these free blog providers are great way to start your blog in short time, but when you get really serious about blogging then you would probably want full control over your blog and your website. Using Drupal you can not only start your blog very easily but you will also get a powerful website as well. If you have little knowledge of web technologies like HTML and you understand just the basics of website development then learning Drupal would be a wise thing to do. Go and read this guide to kick start your learning process.

What is Drupal

Drupal is a free community supported framework for creating, organizing, presenting and managing a website. Drupal is one of the most powerful and secure platforms on which to build a website. There are 1000s of free modules to choose from.

Not much Technical knowledge is required to setup Drupal, once it is setup, the content can be administered without the need for further coding. You should check www.drupal.org to get more information about it.
History of Drupal

Dries Buytaert is mind behind Drupal. Dries Buytaert began the Drupal software as an message board in 1999. Within a year or so, more people became interested using and contributing to Drupal, so the project was made open source. Drupal.org came online in 2001, and the Drupal community gained momentum in 2005 with several code sprints and conferences.

Best way to Learn Drupal

Drupal.org has amazing online documentation, it could probably the only thing you need in your Drupal learning process. It is one of emerging CMS and like other web technologies it can be learnt using different means like reading books, watching online video and taking help from useful stuff posted on website/blogs or if there is a local coaching center which provide Drupal Training you can join there classes. Search on google to find more about them. However the best method is to learn by watching videos and practicing at same time on you local machine. Watching videos is much more fun and faster than reading textual documentation.

Why Choose Drupal?

It can just help you build any website in this planet . In addition to this Drupal is free, flexible, robust and constantly being improved by hundreds of thousands of passionate people from all over the world.

Thousands of add-on modules and designs let you build any site you can imagine.

  • Easy to Use
  • Lots of Modules
  • Lots of Themes
  • Amazing Community
  • Make website in really short time
  • Amazing Possibilities with it

Yes there are Endless possibilities in Drupal as far as developing Dynamic website . Anything is possible if you have the skills and time to code it. Other good thing is its best among other CMS available in software industry. Using Drupal, just any website can be developed whether its Community Portal site, Business community site, News Publishing, E-commerce site or Social Networking Website.

Some of the merits of using Drupal

It's very flexible. Drupal uses a hook system, where you can hook into and alter the flow of the code for most things. This means that when certain events happens, you get the possibility to react on it, in your custom code.

You can alter the markup of Drupal however you like. The Drupal theming system can be a bit tricky to learn, but once you master it, you get a very fine grained control over what HTML Drupal produces, making it possible to costumize any Drupal page to your liking.

A great community. There are a lot of people using Drupal. Not only are they using it, but they make their code available through contrib modules on drupal.org. In the Drupal community we have a saying: There's a module for that. This is not without reason. A lot of your problems can be solve fully or by a great deal, using free available modules.

Great examples of sites using Drupal

We would like to share some of best Drupal websites in different categories.

Community portal site http://www.fastcompany.com

Business community site http://www.symantec.com/connect

News Publishing site http://www.nowpublic.com

E-Commerce Web Site http://www.cargoh.com

Social networking site http://www.goingon.com

How much time will it take to become Drupal Master?

It Depends how much effort you give in Learning Same Technology . Its also depends on things that you use in Learning . Learning from Youtube Video is one of best way to Learn Drupal in Minimum period of time.

Earn money from Drupal

Make websites for clients: More and more people these days need a website for their product or service. Learning Drupal is easy and even if you are new to web development you can create professional websites really soon. You can start your freelance website development work and start earning money. Since Drupal has the potential to create awesome website, you can charge more money from the client that usual.

Start your own blog: You might be aware that many people these days are earning really good amount of money by blogging online. If you have a passion and you want to share it with the world then blog is a great platform to do that. There will always be many people with similar passion and they would love to visit your blog for useful information. For example if you love photography then you can start a blog to publish your pictures on your blog and write tips about photography through your blog. If there are people visiting your site then you can always earn money through various business model like Adsense (for high traffic site), Affiliate programs or by selling products like a detailed photography guide. The possibilities are endless. The beginning step is to build a website and that’s what learning Drupal can help you to start your own business online.

Drupal Learning Process

Frankly speaking there is no limit to learn Drupal. It is extensive and can take months to master but it doesn’t mean you can’t make good websites. In fact if you have just basic knowledge of HTML then you have the potential to make awesome looking website in just few days! Once you understand the very basics of Drupal - The menu system, content creation, block management etc then you can surely make a good looking site in short time. The more time you spend practicing then more you learn. If you know CSS then it is great and we also recommend everyone to learn it. It is simple and learning it will give give you the power to control the design of your Drupal Theme.

Technical Skills required to learn Drupal

Just Nothing , but need to have basic knowledge of computer, HTML & have idea the way website interact with outer world. When you start learning Drupal and make websites then you can learn CSS and later PHP to create your own modules.