Manual Local Installation of Drupal

Tip: If you are doing a local installation, use XAMPP. Event better, give Acquia Dev Desktop which comes with Drupal.  Note that Server2Go doesn't work with Drupal out of the box.

  1. Download Drupal.
  2. Unzip in your htdocs folder.
  3. Create database.
  4. Duplicate \sites\default\default.settings.php file and call it settings.php. Set permissions for this file to 666 if on Linux.
  5. Create a new folder \sites\default\files. Set permissions for this folder to 777 if on Linux.
  6. Browse to the site URL
  7. Select Standard and click Save and Continue button
  8. Click Save and Continue button to accept English language
  9. Specify SQL database info
  10. Add information about your site
  11. Login to the website.


Drupal Tips

Set the Home Page to a Static Home Page

Go to Adminstration > Configuration > Site-Information > Front Page and set Default front page to Home

Alternative Login

Removed the login block from your site? You can still login by going to

Enabling the Search Field for Visitors

Does the site search field disappear when you log out?

Go to Administration > Modules > Search > Permissions > Use search > select for: ANONYMOUS USER and AUTHENTICATED USER.

Configurable Drupal Files

Themes, modules and libraries are located under /sites/all. This is similar to the /wp-content folder in WordPress.

Creating Sub-Themes

Instructions vary from one theme to the next. Instructions are usually provided with the theme.

Remove a Header Block

Instead of a title, specify <none> instead.

Essential Drupal Contributed Modules

  1. Token and PathAuto -- Automatically generates friendly paths each time you create a new page. Activating it and then configure it by going to Administration > Configuration > Search and Metadata > URL aliases > Patterns (tab). Also ensure that Administration > Configuration > Clean URL’s – Make sure the box is checked. (PathAuto video tutorial)
  2. Install WYSIWYG and then extract the compressed  TinyMCE or CKEditor files file to /sites/all/libraries after creating the libraries folder. Finally, configure WYSIWYG to enable the buttons you want. (WYSIWYG video tutorial). Note that CKEditor 4.0 is not yet compatible as of December 1, 2012.
  3. WebForm -- Create custom web forms
  4. Views and Views UI -- Create custom views. You'll also need to install CTools (Chaos Tools Suite) for these.
  5. IMCE and IMCE WYSIWYG Bridge (not required for CKEditor) -- Allows you to upload and insert images into your content.
  6. Google Analytics -- Track visitors on your website

Optional Modules

  1. QuickTabs -- Create tabbed content.
  2. Views Slideshow -- Add a slideshow using any content, text or graphical.
  3. Internationalization (i18n) -- Create a multilingual website
  4. ReCaptcha -- Prevent Spam through your web forms
  5. MenuBlock --
  6. Panels --
  7. Features and Stronarm -- Export site features (panels, content types, view, etc) and settings for import into another site installation.
  8. Diff -- Allows you to see the changes from one revision to the next.
  9. Service Links and Share -- Add Share and Like buttons. See configuration instructions.
  10. Backup and Migrate -- Automate backups of your database.
  11. Administration Menu -- Adds pulldown menus to the admin backend.

Great Free Themes

  • Zen -- A great starter theme if you like to customize it yourself.
  • Fusion -- A great starter theme if you like to customize it yourself.
  • Adaptive -- A nice HTML5 Responsive Theme
  • Omega -- Highly configurable theme -- Recommended!


  • Update the Database after Drupal or a Module has been updated: Go to
  • Admin menu disappear? Go to after you login.
  • To hide a page and all sub-pages from a menu blog, use a filter similar to projects/*