I have been struggling with Drupal for a few weeks now.
I am working on some new functionality for my friends at the moving company, and I know its possible to achieve desired results with WordPress. But it requires a lot more PHP-ing than I want (read: am able) to do. And WP’s back end can be daunting to non techies. I have been looking for an excuse to crack Drupal open, because everything I have read suggests that it is immeasurably more configurable.
And it absolutely is.
The installation process is even simpler than WP [which I did not think was possible]- add a database, upload the Drupal core, fill out a simple form and presto.
But once it was installed, I was a bit lost.
Drupal’s documentation is exhaustive, and there are detailed instructions on how to accomplish nearly every task: from creating and editing content for a single user blog, to setting up a multiple topic discussion forum.
But try as hard as I could, I couldn’t find a single article, tutorial, or post which walked you through setting up an effective site from a to z.
So I turned to my friend amazon. I have used the ‘Head First…’ series to learn HTML & CSS, but was very dissastisfied with their WordPress book, so I looked for something from a smaller publisher. I found Beginning Drupal 7 by Todd Tomlinson. And it is fantastic: it reads more like a textbook than a tech manual (which is may main problem with drupal’s own documentation). He clearly defines each element of the Drupal install, explicitly instructs you on how to manipulate them, and identifies the best practices for doing so to keep your site lean, mean, and optimized.
Having really only scratched the surface, I will keep you posted on how this whole Drupal thing pans out- Ideally we will have a great little piece of networking, portfolio display, and e-commerce on our hands.
Speaking of which, I need to get back to it. If anyone has found another fantastic source for Drupal documentation, feel free to post it below. Don’t get me wrong, Beginning Drupal 7 was worth every penny.
But I am always open to free/cheaper options.