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Drupal User's Guide: Building and Administering a Successful Drupal-Powered Web Site

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Author/s    : Emma Jane Hogbin
Publisher   : Prentice Hall
Category   : Web design, HTML and JavaScript
Review by : Peter Johnson
Rating        : 9 horseshoes

I have used Drupal a little before reading this book and hoped that the book would provide insight into areas that I did not understand.

The book is geared towards non-programmers. It consists of 5 parts:
1) Provides an introduction into Drupal. Shows how to create a simple web site.
2) Covers general web site project management that any developer would already be familiar with. Covers general web-site design issues such as identifying your users, organizing the site information, and ensuring you have permission to post photos or other images.
3) Provides step-by-step details on creating two different types of web sites using both built-in and contributed modules.
4) Digs deeper into various Drupal concepts such as lists of helpful modules, how to use existing content types and add new ones, and displaying contents and menus.
5) Discusses themes, including how to create your own, how to deal with search engine optimization and making the web site accessible to people with disabilities.

In general, I found the step-by-step instructions to be fairly accurate. However, too much time was spent on what to click and not why one should click that. In some cases, so many different settings on way too many pages was required to perform a single task which that it made we wonder whether I would ever be able to repeat that process on my own. In addition, the book didn't provide enough information on what various configuration options would do. Finally, when I got into trouble (which was often), there was no help at all about how to get back to a working state. Not all things worked as indicated in the book. Of course, part of that could be because I used more recent versions of some of the modules which no longer behave as they did when the author used them.

However, if you are willing to take the starting information provided in the book, and spend some time reading the documentation for the many modules described, and experimenting on your own, then the book provides a very decent lists of modules to explore. And in general it did help me to understand Drupal better and make me more confident on building web sites using it.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review on behalf of CodeRanch.

More info at Amazon.com
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