I decided to tackle Drupal for one of my Information Systems classes this semester. I chose this technology because I don’t know it at all (school is about learning, right?). Anyway, this book was an absolutely fantastic way to create a site in Drupal. Once the core Drupal files are installed, each chapter either has you installing another module to add more capabilities to the site or explains a concept your current setup is already capable of handling in more detail.

In gentle and logical steps the author guides you from a base Drupal installation to a site framework capable of handling anything from a blog or social network to a full-blown ecommerce site. The pacing is excellent as it is thorough enough to get you up and running and headed on the right path without bogging you down with so many details that you never seem to get to the next topic.

This book provides excellent advice and a few words of warning, but it doesn’t hold your hand. If you have problems with an installation or need more advanced knowledge about a particular topic, you will need to consult additional sources to get that information. This did not reduce the quality of the book as it is obviously intended as a quick start guide that gets you up and running in 24 brief lessons and then leaves you to further research the specifics that are necessary to fine-tune your site to your specific needs. Drupal’s strength is as a generic content management framework and that is what this book helps you create: A generic framework that is ready to handle whatever content you provide.

The author also assumes that you have some content that you are ready to use. This book doesn’t provide the learning environment that is common in many books where you slowly create a fake site for a fake company. You will need to have your own text, graphics, and other content to fill up your nodes.

The images are rather small, but, if you are following along with each step, you will have the same content represented on your computer screen in front of you so that you can read from that. This book also is written at an awkward time because of the upcoming release of version 7 of Drupal. The author does a very good job of telling you (and in many cases showing you) the difference between versions 6 and 7. Overall, this is a fantastic book for getting the framework for a Drupal site up and running.

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