Drupal 101: Answers to Common Beginner Questions

If you’re the recent recipient of a brand new Drupal website, you’re undoubtedly excited. At the same time, however, you probably have some questions. This article will address some of the most common inquiries made by Drupal newbies.


What else can I do with Drupal besides maintaining my website?

Drupal is a content management system, which means that you can use it to create, manage, publish, and share content across your organization. Do you need to set up a publishing workflow so that several people can review new content prior to publishing it? Drupal can do that.  Do you need to organize content so that you can view it by publishing date AND key words AND its associated phase in the sales cycle? Drupal can do that, too, and lots more.


I want to learn more about using Drupal. Where can I do that?

There are countless tutorials, guides, videos, and training programs available to help you master Drupal. A simple Google search will uncover enough results to keep you busy for hours. You can also begin by reading the Drupal Handbook, a training manual developed and maintained by the Drupal community, and watching Drupal videocasts.


Oops, I think I screwed something up on my site. Where can I get support?

You have several options for Drupal support. If you enjoy troubleshooting and problem solving, you can first consult the Drupal Handbook. If you’d prefer a bit more hand-holding, you can try IRC online chat or the Drupal community forum.


I keep reading about modules. What are they?

Modules are additional pieces of software that link to Drupal to expand its functionality. Modules can help you change the way your website looks (known as the “front end”), the way you edit, organize, and manage your content (known as the “back end”), and much more.


Can Drupal help me manage spam comments?

Drupal offers several modules that can absolutely help you manage spam. Some of the most common modules for spam management and prevention are CAPTCHA, reCAPTCHA, Mollom, HashCash, and Gotcha.


What should I keep in mind when editing my Drupal website?

The Drupal community has created a Best Practices Guide to help you administer your Drupal website in the smartest and safest way possible. This guide includes tips on backing up your files, using PHP, and testing and securing your site.


Drupal is an extremely powerful, open-source content management system with a massive community of global users who are ready and willing to welcome you into their ranks. Participate in the Drupal community and learn as much as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish with your new website.