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Foundation Drupal 7: Learn how to use the Drupal framework to quickly build feature-rich web sites [Paperback]

R.J. Townsend

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Book Description

Dec 15 2010 9781430228080 978-1430228080 1

Drupal is a content management framework that powers web sites from simple online brochures to more advanced sites including social networking sites, blogs, e-commerce sites, business portals, and more. It is free, open source software that allows anyone to quickly and easily build web sites. Its full range of modules—including user permissions, security mechanisms, JavaScript menus, image uploaders, WYSIWYG editors, and more— helps you easily create the foundation for a powerful web site. With its templating system (and a few tips and tricks), any graphic design file can be used to create a Drupal web site.

Foundation Drupal 7 covers all the topics necessary to quickly build Drupal-powered web sites, explaining in simple terms how Drupal works and providing you with concepts, tips, and code snippets for every step of the development process. From setting up a Drupalready web host and installing Drupal to using the administrative interface and configuring a site from start to finish, there is something here for everyone. In addition to thoroughly discussing all of Drupal’s core modules, this book reviews more than 50 contributed modules, including WYSIWYG HTML editors, JavaScript drop-down menus, web forms, and even the powerful Views module. Stephanie Pakrul, creator and maintainer of the Fusion theme, coauthors a chapter on how to lay out and add graphics to a site through Drupal’s administrative section. After reading this book, you will walk away with everything you need to know to quickly and successfully build a Drupal-powered web site.

Whether you’re an experienced Drupal site builder looking to expand your skills, a web developer or designer interested in learning Drupal, or a weekend hobbyist looking to build your first site, Foundation Drupal 7 will give you the knowledge and inspiration you need to bring your ideas to life.

What you’ll learn

  • Significantly decrease the amount of time it takes you to code a feature-rich website.
  • Understand how Drupal works and learn best practices to quickly integrate Drupal into every website you design.
  • Learn how to configure a server and manage multiple websites and staging environments using popular server administration software (cPanel).
  • Learn practical techniques to place Photoshop or Illustrator design files on a Drupal Content Management System.
  • Have a reference manual and cookbook at your fingertips for help with CSS,popular Drupal modules, website recipes, code snippets and more.

Who this book is for

The primary audience for this book is web site designers throughout the world interested in using Drupal to build web sites. The audience may have previous experience using Drupal but do not consider themselves proficient. They are familiar with coding a basic HTML/CSS web site, although these skills are not required to benefit from the book.

The secondary audience for this book is freelance Drupal developers who actively use Drupal to build web sites. They are proficient developers interested in reducing development time and learning Drupal best practices.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: friends of ED; 1 edition (Dec 15 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781430228080
  • ISBN-13: 978-1430228080
  • ASIN: 1430228083
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 19 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 567 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

R.J. Townsend is a graphic designer, computer programmer, and entrepreneur with eight years experience using web-based technologies to automate research programs and work processes. He started Cultivate Marketing Technologies LLC in 2007 focusing on web applications for small businesses and most recently started providing Drupal content management systems for graphic designers. He earned his master's degree in research psychology from California State University, Fullerton and is currently working towards his MBA at the University of Delaware. He has published several articles on integrating research and technology and won an award for his research in 2004.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Primer Going Beyond the Basics of Drupal 7 Jan. 9 2011
By Max Gurdziel - Published on
A simple and well written book from Robert and Stephanie that contains not only Drupal 7 essentials but also all other things you need to know to create and run successful Drupal powered website including collection of requirements, selecting a host, selection and installation of components, setup for development, staging and production. Authors exhibit extensive Drupal experience and the book is full of useful tips yet it is written in very accessible and pragmatic manner that will not cause you head to explode from information overload.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is new to Drupal, evaluates upgrading from version 6 or is seasoned CMS designer who wish to learn about Drupal's power.

What I liked about the book:
- Simple and to the point explanation of the subject
- Examples with plenty of screenshots
- Access to author's website with super user privileges
- Tips going beyond scope of simply setting up and running CMS
- Excellent and complete theming tutorial
- Links to many resources for further study

What I did not like about the book:
- It gives away secrets of the trade that creates stronger competition '
- It refers to modules that are not yet ported to Drupal 7 but I recon that is only matter of time when they will and it is good to know about them anyway.

Overall, I was very pleased to see this book being published at the right time when Drupal 7 was released and it being a comprehensive reference and set of easy to follow tutorials.
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars An insufficient introduction to a powerful and flexible CMS tool April 5 2011
By JaxOnAmazon - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is not going to help you harness the power and flexibility of the Drupal CMS. Save your money and use the FREE (and very user-friendly) documentation at

Before buying "Foundation Drupal 7", I did some research on the two authors - Townsend and Pakrul - who seemed to be reasonably talented and respected professionals. After reading their book, I'm frustrated and disappointed that their skill and knowledge are too subjective and limited to produce a true reference book.

It's worth noting that under a different title, I might actually recommend this book for someone who is simply trying to crank out a few quick pages for a typical informational website - even though Drupal is an awfully big and sophisticated tool for such a small job. But publishing it as "Foundation Drupal 7" implies that (a) it provides a good foundational background in Drupal, and (b) the material covers the latest release, 7.x. Neither of these are true.

Of the many issues I had with this book, here are my top three. (Note that the discovery of the third one is what pushed me over the edge, prompting me to sign in and write this review.)

* Instead of promoting a COMPREHENSIVE understanding of the Drupal "big picture", which should include explanations of the full range of Drupal's functional capabilities and a detailed primer on design concepts, this book glosses over the key construction components (nodes, modules, blocks, users, etc.) and instead jumps right into step-by-step instructions for setting up pages. For those of us in the "architect first, code second" camp, this is bad form.

* The book does not cover local server setup, an essential best-practice for any web developer. Can't understand why this was omitted when there is a free, pre-made tool for this on - "Quickstart" - which I did not see referenced once in this book.

* THE BIG ONE - rather than giving an true overview of the mechanics of Theming a Drupal site with PHP and CSS, the majority of the questionably-titled "Theming" chapter is really an instruction manual for modifying a pre-existing theme created by the co-author called "Fusion". That wouldn't be so bad, if the author's "Fusion" tool weren't based on the Drupal "Skinr" module - WHICH IS NOT YET RELEASED FOR DRUPAL 7. That means this entire section is USELESS; even if you wanted to skip the REAL overview of Theming a Drupal site in favor of a quick pre-packaged solution, that isn't an option today!

If someone else finds a better reference book - preferably one written by someone with a broader and more strategic understanding of the full range of Drupal's capabilities, and how best to exploit them - please let me know.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book Jan. 9 2011
By falcdl - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is probably one of the few tech books I've actually read cover to cover, and I'm extremely pleased that I picked it up.

I was looking for a book that provided a broad introduction to Drupal that would allow me to get up to speed quickly, understand the fundamentals, and provide enough of a basis to be able to both construct something functional and to start asking tougher questions. This hit all the right points, and it was an easy read on top of it.

Definitely recommended for Drupal beginners.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the better entry level books on the subject Feb. 27 2011
By dropmaker - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Foundation Drupal 7 stays true to it's name. It starts with the basics, laying the groundwork to familiarize you with how to set up an initial configuration, then goes on to introduce you to the many facets of Drupal. From installing and configuring modules to adding content types to setting up roles and permissions to a basic introduction to theming, Mr. Townsend does a great job of laying out a clear process to follow in each case with plenty of screen shots to visualize along the way.

But he doesn't stop there. He also makes a number of suggestions, sharing his seasoned experience and understanding of how to use Drupal and support you in following good practices so you don't have to waste time making the "beginner" mistakes. It's like have someone working with you saying, "Well here's what I've done that has worked for me." or "If you do it like this, you will avoid problems later." Then he goes on to cover topics like Search Engine Optimization, how to maintain a site and adds a collection of 50+ modules he installs on many sites - all very informative.

One of the reviews on this book mentions a lot of frustration in getting off the ground with Drupal. He is not alone and others share his frustration, but I think the issue is more indicative of where Drupal, the Drupal community and the internet infrastructure IS at the present moment than about the book. Drupal is a very powerful CMS developed by very highly skilled technical people who are fluid at its implementation. Bridging the "gap" between the complex systems / tools involved and a simple layman's step by step process is a daunting challenge. There were a few sections where Mr. Townsend moved a bit out of my comfort zone of difficulty and a few where I was confused about the exact correct approach too. Perhaps when Mr. Townsend comes out with a second edition he might break it into two books: Foundation 1 (the simple basics) & Foundation 2 (going deeper into the technology).

Overall I know this text will become a "companion" book that I will keep with me and refer to whenever I'm working on sites. His suggestions and recommendations alone are worth the price. I definitely recommend this book, it's worth the investment.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A straightforward handbook for the Drupal beginner Feb. 1 2011
By jikishin - Published on
Foundation Drupal 7 bridges the gap between the user and Drupal's notoriously difficult administrative interface by providing a solid all-around reference to site building with Drupal 7. Beginning with a discussion of selecting a webserver, Foundation Drupal 7 skillfully guides readers through topics of increasing complexity. Those new to Drupal will particularly appreciate the chapters discussing Drupal's approach to site building, including users and permissions, content type administration and block administration. Following these Drupal basics, the authors include gradually more advanced chapters covering topics such as selecting and installing contributed modules. Readers with some preexisting experience with Drupal will find the later chapters to be of greater interest, as they cover more advanced topics such as customizing the look and feel of your site by tweaking an existing theme.

To top off an already helpful book, the authors include appendices that serve as a launchpad for site administrators and builders to dig into more advanced topics to improve site administration and visits. Topics discussed in this section include Drush, the command-line administration interface for Drupal, as well as Search Engine Optimization for your site.

Covering a number of technical subjects with relative ease and lots of screenshots, Foundation Drupal 7 is a fantastic handbook for those new to site administration in Drupal or those who seek an approachable, easy-to-follow and yet relatively comprehensive guide to mastering Drupal basics.

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