What is Drupal and Why Should You Learn About it?
I am not a website developer. I am not a programmer. I do not know much about HTML, but here is the gist of what I know. Way back in the 1990s, when I was in grad school, someone wrote "www" on the board. Then they talked about the worldwide web. They said they would show us how to put up our own homepage. Since then, I usually make my own webpages by following these easy steps:
- Go to your browser and find a webpage that looks kind of like the one you want to have
- Under "View" in the toolbar of your browser click "Page Source"
- Copy everything on that page source, then edit it in Notepad (or some other plain text editor), and substitute your content for their content, while leaving the HTML skeleton intact
It works! You don't have to know what the HTML code does. It will keep on doing it, even if you don't understand a word of it. This is the template approach to life. Want to learn how to talk like somebody else? Take their sentence templates and substitute your own words! (Just try to remember to substitute a word from the right grammatical category in the right blank, and you'll be okay.)
Lately, I've been using a variation on this tried and true method: I choose the color of my background in OpenOffice, save in html, open again in a text editor and then copy my HTML code under the "head" and before the "tail" end of the file.
But is that how everybody does it? Apparently not. Some use Drupal to design their website.
The Face of Drupal
What is Drupal?
Drupal is an open source program that you can download for free and use to develop your website. To get to Drupal, copy this address into your browser:
No, I'm not going to use one of my two permitted promotional links to help you get there, but if you are thinking of using Drupal, then you probably know how to copy and paste a URL to get to a website without being given a live link. If not, then may the gods of the internet have mercy on your soul!
If you want to download the latest version of Drupal, here is the address:
Even though Drupal does offer an elaborate programming interface for website developers, you don't need any real programming skills just to install and administer it. What it does require is a computing platform that provides a web server capable of running PHP 4.4.0+ and a database to store content and settings.
What is php? It stands for hypertext preprocessor and is a scripting language that operates in command line mode. A lot of computer viruses are written in php, so not every web services provider will allow you to run php on their site. That might be why you need your own domain to play in. Which brings us to the hidden and devious reason I even bothered to write this hub. Pay close attention to the next section!
What You Need to Build Your Site with Drupal: A Domain Name
Have I ever used Drupal? Nope. Do I plan to? Maybe. But here's the hitch right now: experts I've consulted told me that I need my own domain name in order to use Drupal on my site. I don't have my own domain name, yet. But maybe someday I will, and then I will start using Drupal, like all the other savvy web developers.
Do you have a domain name? If you don't, here's where you can get one: My GoDaddy page.
Did I have to buy a domain name in order to use my old website for business purposes? Nope. But I'm the one who uses the copy and paste method of website building. Someday I may graduate to my own website, where I will be able to use Drupal, because I have a domain name. But if you're going to use Drupal, you might as well buy your domain name through me, and let me earn the commission. Hey, it's the least you can do, after I've taught you everything I know about website design!
Oh, and by the way, if you actually do learn how to use Drupal, your skills will be very much in demand. You could even get a job as a Drupal web developer. Check out the openings below. Neat, huh?
Copyright 2010 Aya Katz
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