Drupal is a feature rich Content Management System (CMS) which allows webmasters to run dynamic website without PHP knowledge. Publishers can add website content through admin interface. Thanks many modules it is possible to install a lot of additional features like spell check, displaying banners or AdSense ads, chat, mailing list, e-commerce modules etc. Drupal CMS was written in PHP and can be downloaded free of charge. In this article I will explain how to install this script and describe the configuration basics.
Web hosting requirements for Drupal CMS
Before you start the installation process, ensure that your web host offers PHP support, cron jobs and MySQL database. Drupal requires PHP version 4.3.3 or higher (Drupal 4.5 and earlier versions will not run on PHP 5), PHP XML extension and MySQL v3.23.17 or higher. If you are not sure which version of PHP and MySQL your web hosting provider currently uses, contact their help desk and ask them first.
How to install Drupal CMS
First download the latest Drupal release from developers website. Use software such as WinZip or Total Commander to extract downloaded archive to your hard disk. Edit the file called settings.php located in sites/default folder. Set up your website url and basic MySQL database variables like username, password and database server. Use any ftp program to upload extracted files to your web host. In case you have never set up MySQL database, login to the web hosting control panel and create a new one. Now login to your phpMyAdmin and create MySQL tables using the database.mysql file located in "database" folder. Now open your browser and point it to your website. Create a new account -- the first account you will create will automatically become the admin account with full admin rights.
Another and easier solution how to install this PHP script is to sign up for a quality web hosting service which offers pre-installed PHP scripts. Then easily go to your control panel, find the section with pre-installed scripts and select Drupal. The installer will do all the job for you. All you need to do is to choose the script you want to install.
How to configure Drupal CMS
The script was successfully installed and now is the time to do some additional settings. Optionally, you can create in your Drupal installation directory folder where will be stored files such as custom logos and user avatars. Create this subdirectory and set up "read and write" permission. Many Drupal modules have periodic tasks. From this reason you will need to setup cron jobs. Call the cron page by visiting cron.php file in your root directory.
Now browse the admin control panel. Consider to enable some new modules and edit menus. Open "theme manager" to change the theme. Set up welcome message for your users. Modify meta tags for higher search engine placement. Check settings and make sure that everything fits your needs. And if you will need to help with some specific problem visit support forum where you will find thousands of interesting threads. Good luck!