Website Content Management Software

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http://linux.bihlman.com – Website Content Management Software By David T Webb What is Drupal? Drupal is an open-source content management system (CMS). Basically its an environment that allows you to develop powerful websites quickly and with relative ease. Why use Drupal? Firstly, it’s free. It manages your website content. Easily store and edit all your content and data, display your website pages, easily and instantly edit the appearance of your website using Themes (templates), Color profiles. Drupal lets you easily add features to your website, such as Image galleries, Blogs, Forums, Calendars, Video Streaming, Podcasts, and many other features. Drupal has a large online community, supporting each other and developing drupal add-on modules to provide extra functionality to the system. Get started now with drupal at drupal.org How Drupal works All content; such as articles, information, user details, etc, are stored in a database. The database is accessed and managed via a database server. The design and layout of a drupal site is handled by themes. These are template files, styled with graphics and text. Themes allow you to easily change the appearance of your website without modifying any of your content. Drupal uses the PHP programming language. PHP is open-source and therefore free to use. Drupal requires 3 things to work; A server environment, such as Apache, A PHP Server and a mySQL database server.All of the above can be downloaded in a complete package for you to use while developing websites on your PC. I recommend that Windows users check out Xampp, Linux users can use Lamp. But there are many other all-in-one PHP-mySQL development environments too. Once you have your development environment set up, then you can install drupal and start making websites. How to install and setup Drupal Required Software; Development environment: Xampp (Windows), Lamp (Linux), Drupal installation file (compressed archive, e.g..zip or.gz). Download from drupal.org. Installation steps: Extract the drupal installation file to your htdocs folder. This is the folder where your website files for your development environment are found. I will assume from here on that you extracted the drupal installation archive to a folder called ‘drupal’. (The default folder is something like ‘drupal-6.13′ with the version included.) Copy the settings.default.php in the ’sites/default’ folder to settings.php. To do this, in your file browser, navigate to drupal, sites, default, make a copy of settings.default.php, rename the copy to settings.php. Create a database for your drupal installation to use, this may vary depending on your development environment and database server. If you are using Xampp, navigate to localhost/phpmyadmin. In the Create new database field, enter the name of your new database, e.g. drupaldb and click create. Finally, navigate to ‘localhost/drupal/install.php’ in your web browser. Follow the instructions to complete the installation of drupal. How Drupal Themes Work Drupal displays and styles your content using themes. A theme consists of; theme template files and theme functions. Theme template files display your content through an html and css styled template file. So your site design and content are separate. This means that you can easily change the visual display of your site without affecting the content. How to change the theme in drupal In drupal there are two themes that can be applied to your website; the default Theme and administration Theme. The administration theme is applied to the site when the administrator is logged in and is viewing pages under the Administer menu item. In all other cases the default theme is applied to the website. To change the default theme, navigate to Administer, Site Building, Themes. Scroll down to the theme you want, enable it by checking the checkbox. Activate it by selecting the radio button (column labeled as default). Scroll down and click Save configuration. To change the administration theme, navigate to Administer, Site Configuration, Administration theme. Select the name of the theme you want to use as the administration theme. Click Save configuration. Conclusion Drupal is a robust, free, community developed open source, multi-functional website creation and management system. It is arguably the best content management system available, under continuous development and improvement. It has detailed documentation on every aspect, from basic to advanced level. To get started with drupal or for more information, visit drupal.org. David is a CMS expert who specialises in drupal websites and web development. Visit his Drupal Theme Tester to see drupal themes live in action. (General)