Building a Drupal Website Overview from Start to Finish

  • Published by steve on 26 November 2012.

Recap - Billboard, Detailed CMS, Interactive CMS. We are going to setup a "Detailed CMS site".

This is more advanced than what I intended to cover, the steps in BOLD are the most necessary steps to get your site up and running.
Since nearly everyone has expressed interest in using Drupal I have included additional steps customizing content types.

We are covering these additional steps at the expense of time spent on talking about marketing your website, why Facebook is great but NOT a sufficient alternative to having a website, and specifically about home based startups on the web.

Setup a Website

  1. Register a Domain Name - Point to the DNS servers of your hosting.
  2. Setup Hosting (Open Account) or if adding an additional site "Addon Domain"
  3. Setup a Database & Database User
  4. Connect via FTP (I use Filezilla)
  5. Upload Drupal
  6. Install Drupal
  7. Additional Setup - Setup .htaccess, URL Normalization, PHP.ini
  8. Sitemaps, Meta Data
  9. Site Information (Site Name, Slogan, Footer)
  10. Theme Select, Logo, Fav Icon

  11. Setup Google Webmaster
  12. Setup Google Analytics Account (Optional)

  13. *** Alternative to Custom Content Types and Fields & Embed images with HTML *** Allows you to skip down to "Taxonomy"
  14. Content Types (Event, Blog, Photo)
  15. *Create Content Type*
  16. Custom Fields required (Image, Price)

  17. Install modules (cck, filefield, imagefield, image api, imagecache, Google Analytics)
  18. Use Filezilla to Upload Drupal modules to sites/all/modules
  19. [Site Building ยป Modules] Check [Content], [filefield], [imagefield], [text], [options widget], [image api], [imagecache]

  20. [Manage Fields] Adding fields (customizing) your Content Type: Add Image Field (max size) & Price Field
  21. Thumbnail / Imagecache setup
  22. [Display Fields] Remove labels, Thumb on Teaser View, Full Image on Page.
  23. Taxonomy (Create Categories)
  24. Add Categories to a Menu

Marketing Your Site

So you built a website, now what?
Market your website via tradeshows, b2b, and PPC (Adwords).
Optimize it for search engines (make it Google friendly).
Engage your users!
Discipline yourself to make regular and meaningful updates.
Get rid of old outdated content, or refresh it somehow so visitors do not feel like it has gone "stale".

Important things to know

Make sure to save copies of files you modify (.htaccess or php.ini)
Learn how to backup your database (via phpmyadmin).
Installing Modules does not always go well, make backups regularly, and minimize the number of modules you use.