Many of you must have been planning to start a new website but when you intended to do it, a lot of confusion comes across your mind. The most common ambiguity related to starting a website is: Which CMS platform will be best suited for the purpose of my website?
With a lot of options, there comes a lot of confusion too. Today, we have numerous web-developing software such as WordPress, Joomla, and of course Drupal, etc. In this short tutorial, we are focusing only on the well-known CMS platform called Drupal 8.
This Drupal 8 tutorial is for those who don’t have much knowledge of HTML or any other web programming but have the designing of the latest website in mind.
What is Drupal?
Drupal is a kind of content management system (CMS) software which is an open source and absolutely free of cost. It is actually meant for those people who desire to build up a quality website and the best thing about Drupal is that you don’t need to be skilled to become an owner of a website.
Interestingly, Drupal is the most advanced web support software which has continuously been developed and supported by millions of voluntary software developers. With this Drupal 8 beginner tutorial, you can boost up your web knowledge and use the creativity in you, you might build an exceptional website.
Why shouldn’t I go for WordPress?
Of course, this is the first question that comes to mind when you set at developing a new website. No doubt, the WordPress is outstanding software, but it has a few flaws too. WordPress will be the best option for you if you want to build a website that involves simple structures such as, Blogs, simple articles, etc. however, if you have an ambitious plan of building a big website with plenty of pages, varying contents, and a number of options for flexibility then Drupal befits your need.
Now, if it seems like Drupal is best suited for your purpose; let’s start learning something without wasting another second.
Installation of Drupal 8 using Webhost Software CPanel
Before installing the Drupal, you must make sure your web host is providing you the minimum database that is compulsory for Drupal. These are as follows:
We are installing Drupal 8 using Cpanel software, we recommend you to learn all stuff by doing all these steps simultaneously when Drupal 8 tutorial starts.
CPanel is a dashboard which helps you manage your website hosting account which includes files, settings and many applications like Drupal, WordPress, etc.
To get the CPanel Dashboard, generally, you need to sign in to your web hosting account then search for CPanel from your product list. Now, to install the Drupal 8 you need to follow the steps given below:
- Under the Web Application bar of CPanel, you will find Drupal.
- Install the Drupal by clicking the logo.
- On the next page read all the filled columns carefully (Domains, version, etc.)
- Setup a new administration username and password; make sure it is strong enough.
- Finally, click install and it’s all done.
- After setting up your database, you need to go to your website from your web host where you will find another installation page asking your basic details, follow the steps given below to complete all the procedures:
- Choose language: you have to choose your default language of your choice.
- Choose a profile: Generally, it is recommended to select ‘Standard’.
- Verify all the requirements: make sure that the requirements are as per the database we mentioned above, and if there is something flaw; you should contact your web host.
- Set up Database: Fill in your database information then click ‘save and continue’.
- Install site: wait for a few minutes while the Drupal installs.
- Configure site: It is another form to complete your details like e-mail address that you will need to setup an account for maintenance of the site, select your default country, time zone and click on ‘save and continue’.
We hope all things went right. After the perfect installation, you will see a welcome note from the Drupal on the home page of your website.
Now considering all the setup is done on your website, we shall start learning basic features. Here we go.
Getting along Drupal 8
By the time you are reading this, you must have come across some intriguing tools. Let’s try to understand the basic definition of these tools and after that, we will learn how to use them.
Tools on your websites
Administration Toolbar: You will find a narrow band on the top of your computer screen under ‘manage’ tab which comprises various tools, it is called Administration Toolbar. It Contains: Content, Structure, Appearance, Extend, Configure, People, Reports, and Help. We will discuss all these further in details.
Short Cut Tab: With the help of this feature you can get a shortcut of any tool you want from the administration toolbar by just clicking the ‘«’ button mentioned on it. It is a tool which will save a lot of your time while building your website that’s why you are going to love this great feature on Drupal.
Admin: The third tab helps you to switch the user/edit profile/view profile/ and log out.
Some Common Terminologies
What is a Super user?
Just as a user in your computer, Drupal user does the similar work. Users are those who have permission to work on the website. There can be multiple users, however, the user/1 is called the super user who is the only one who has power to add other user and make them admin too. Interestingly, super user can revoke all the permissions from other admin users anytime he/she wants.
What is a Node?
Most of the people who frequently use Drupal use this term, in the simplest definition, all the content types such as an article, page, poll, blog, etc. are called node.
How to add contents on your website?
Now you have become somewhat friendly with a few tools, let’s learn how to add the maiden article on your website.
Adding an Article:
We recommend you first make an ‘About Me’ article for your website by following the steps below:
- Click ‘Manage’ tab and select ‘Content’.
- Click ‘Add Content’ and select the type of article you want to publish ‘Article/Basic page’.
- We are starting with adding an article first. Go ahead and click ‘Article’
- Give a proper article of your choice and write a body that is going to be published on the website.
- Add some tags on the space provided. Mind that it is very important to add tags if you wish to gain traffic as they will create links to your website related to your tags.
- You can add a picture to your article by simply browsing through the file manager and don’t forget to type in the alternative text.
- Click ‘Save and publish’ and finally you will have your very first node, just go to the homepage of your website to see the article you recently made.
Adding a new page:
- Again Click ‘Manage’ tab and select ‘Content’
- Click ‘Add content’ and this time we are going to select ‘Basic page’.
- The difference between an article and a page is that the latter one doesn’t acquire any room for tags, images, comments, etc.
- Simply give the title to your page and a body according to your need.
- On the right side of the screen expand the ‘Menu Settings’ and check the ‘provide a menu link’.
- Finally, click on ‘Save and Publish’.
- Congratulations, you have another page on your website.
How to setup Structure?
The structure is a tool where all the framework of website is done. How a website looks all depends on the how you do things in the Structure.
Some features of Drupal Structure
There are numerous options under Structure to manage the structure of your website such as Block layout, Contact forms, comment types, Content Types, Display Modes, Taxonomy, Menus, Views, etc. but today in this basic Drupal 8 tutorial we are going to cover only Block Layout and Content type.
Blocks: There are various regions in your website which can be fixed with blocks of contents. Block tool helps in doing so, follow the steps below to add a new block on your website:
There are various regions in your website which can be fixed with blocks of contents. Block tool helps in doing so, follow the steps below to add a new block on your website:
- On the structure toolbar, click on block layout > custom block library.
- You will find a toggle to ‘Add Custom Block’ click on it and add a description as well as a body.
- As soon as you finish working on the description click ‘Save’. Now, we need to place the block on our website.
- For placing the block for the text that you just wrote, click on ‘Block Layout’
- You will see various places to put that block, for now, we are placing it at the ‘Side bar first’
- Beside ‘Sidebar first’ there is a button ‘Place block’ click on it.
- Once you clicked on it, you will have a pop-up. You need to find out the content that you had written and click on ‘Place Block’.
- On the next page again click ‘Save Block’ and go back to the homepage.
Finally, you will see your block containing a small article on your website.
Content type: Content type is a particular type of content for a particular purpose. It can vary according to the requirements. Just as the article and page you can add more content types of your choice.
Content type is a particular type of content for a particular purpose. It can vary according to the requirements. Just as the article and page you can add more content types of your choice.
Creating a new content type:
- First of all, go to the structure menu and select ‘content types’
- On the next page, you will most probably see two content types i.e. article and page, click ‘Add content type’ to create a new content type.
- Name the content type by which you are going recognize it the next time.
- Give a short description of the content type ( the purpose of the content type).
- Below, you will find different tabs; let’s click on the first one named ‘Submission form settings’ to change the title field label to some name relevant to your content type.
- On the next tab i.e. ‘Publishing option’ and mark a check on ‘create new revision’
- On the next tab uncheck the ‘Display author and date information’
- Next setting called ‘Menu Settings’ is the most important. It is recommended to uncheck all the options but Administration.
- Finally, all is done, click on ‘Save and Manage field’.
- In this way, you can add as many fields as you need to this content type by clicking on the blue button above.
How to set Appearance?
Appearance matters a lot when it comes to attracting more and more people to your website. In this Drupal 8 tutorial, you will learn to add a new theme/ edit the previous one/ and lots more.
- Log in to your Drupal website from the administrative id and go to Appearance tool from the Manage tab.
- You will have a plentiful of themes by Drupal. You can install any of them, as most of them are free, and choose anyone of them as per your taste by clicking on ‘Settings’.
- In the Setting menu, you will find numerous options to use your creative mind. Do change the coloring of your website, add a logo, update a logo, and much more. You can go through all these options without worrying as all the changes can be modified again.
- You can also upload a new logo if you don’t have one. To upload a new logo for your website, go to ‘global settings’ and click ‘Logo image settings’.
- There, you will have an option to provide a path to the custom logo, however, you can upload a new logo from your computer too.
- Once you are done with editing the look of your website, you can have a quick preview of your website and save your changes.
That’s all for this short basic tutorial for Drupal 8, we believe the above content will surely help you build up in your maiden website.