Drupal is an open-source content management system that powers 30% of websites over the internet. Drupal 8 is used to build modern websites whether it is a blogging website or an eCommerce site. Drupal is a robust website builder tool and using Drupal 8 developers, you can build a professional and secure website. As compared to other CMSs like WordPress, Drupal offers more flexibility, power, and scalability. If you’re a beginner looking to build a website using Drupal 8, then here’s a step-by-step guide on how to build a Drupal 8 website.
But first, let’s understand the advantages of opting for Drupal 8 web development.
Advantages of Drupal 8 Web Development
Drupal 8 offers a wide variety of designs, themes, plugins/modules, and configuration options. With the presence of various elements, Drupal helps developers in providing new features during the Drupal 8 web development process or to fulfill the needs of users, clients, and audiences.
Drupal designs and themes are SEO-friendly and are responsive to both websites and mobile devices.
When you hire Drupal 8 developers, you get to build fast-loading and high-performance websites. Drupal can deliver faster page loads within microseconds of response time. This is possible because of Drupal’s less resource-intensive core and cost-effective server setup.
Enriched with advanced, enterprise-grade level security, Drupal provides real-time security reports. In the USA, most of the reputed organizations rely on the Drupal CMS for their websites.
The official website of White House (www.whitehouse.gov) also uses Drupal because of its flexibility and security reasons.
Advanced API Support
Leading social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. provide extensive API for Drupal. This helps the Drupal 8 developers to build custom modules.
How to Build Drupal 8 Websites?
Here are the steps that will guide you on how to build a Drupal 8 website on your own:
Install Drupal 8
Before installing Drupal 8 on your system or server, make sure you have set up a proper welcoming environment for it. It means that you should have MySQL, PHP, and Apache on your system.
After making all the preparations, you can now install Drupal 8. Here’s how you can do it.
- Download the latest version of Drupal 8
- Extract the distribution from Apache
- Build your database and after that the settings.php and the files directory as well.
- Execute the complete installation process by accessing your Drupal site in your web browser.
Hurray! You have just completed the first step of Drupal 8 web development. If you’re a newbie and need help with Drupal 8 installation and setup, you can hire Drupal developers in India from us.
Now, it’s time to keep the foundation of your Drupal 8 website. There are four basic building blocks of the foundation namely Users, Taxonomy, Content Types, and Menus.
Create User Accounts or Add Roles
If you are going to be the only author, editor, and manager of your Drupal 8 website, then you may skip this step as you’ll have the admin account to handle your website.
However, if your website is going to be used by multiple users, then you need to create user accounts and assign roles to your colleagues.
Here are the steps that you need to follow:
To create new users:
Log in on the homepage of your Drupal website. Do you see the admin menu at the top? Great! Click on Manage on the menu, then, in the next menu, click on People.
To assign user roles:
Click on the Permissions tab. On the Permissions page, you will find the entire list of permissions for assigning different roles to users who will be working on your website. Select the permissions to be given to each user role such as what features or functionality on your Drupal website they’ll have access to.
To create new users accounts:
Go to the List tab and then click on the Add user. Fill in the correct values and you’ll create your first user account besides the admin account.
Taxonomy helps you build a well-structured content architecture. It helps you to organize your content by key terms and phrases related to specific vocabulary that you have used on your website.
Drupal 8 allows you to create vocabularies made of taxonomy terms:
- Go to your Admin menu, click Manage -> Structure -> Taxonomy
- In the taxonomy, you can create one or more vocabularies and continue adding taxonomy terms.
Create Content Types
Will you be satisfied with the two core content types provided by Drupal 8 upon its installation or are you looking for more complex templates that include more elements for your authors to manipulate with instead of just title and body?
If it’s the second option, then here’s how you can create content types:
- Find the Structure link
- Find the Content types link below it.
- When you click on it, you will see a list of already existing content types and a link for creating a new one.
Now you can create your customized and visually appealing content type.
Connect Your Content and Taxonomy
Now that you have put together your taxonomy and created or selected your content type, you can now link these building blocks.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Add a new field to your preferred content type.
- Choose a term reference that will be your field type.
- Click on Save.
- Make sure to select the due vocabulary and the number of taxonomy terms that match each content item.
Create and Manage Menus
Menus are very important from the user experience’s point of view. Here’s how you can create and manage menus on your Drupal 8 website.
- Go to Structure
- Click on Menus where you’ll see all the default menus that you get upon installation
- Click on Edit Menu in Operations
- Click on Add Link
- On the Add Menu page, you can enter your menu’s title, enter a link, and so on.
If you come across any difficulty in building your first Drupal website, you can simply hire Drupal developers in India from us.
Make Use of Blocks
First of all, if you want to view all the default blocks that you’ve got upon Drupal 8 installation, you will have to click on the Structure link followed by the Block layout link. In the left column, you will find all the regions listed there. For the already existing blocks, they are listed in the right column.
If you need to assign a block to a region, you simply need to click on the specific block name and then choose the region that you wish to assign it to from the block configuration page.
While blocks can be created programmatically with the help of a core, contributed, or custom module, here’s how you can create blocks in Drupal 8:
- Go to the Block layout page
- Click on the Add Custom Block button
Extend Its Functionality
Building your first Drupal 8 website doesn’t mean that it’s going to be basic. You may want to extend its core functionality.
With thousands of Drupal 8 developers supporting this version, constantly improving and testing it, you’ll definitely find the module that will meet your specific needs.
Simply visit https://goo.gl/ha9J33, choose the Drupal 8.x version, and select the module(s) that will enhance your website’s looks and performance.
Enhance Its Looks
Drupal 8 has Twig that is replacing the old PHP template. It is the Twig in Drupal 8 that drives the theming system’s capabilities.
Here are some of the ways you can theme your Drupal 8 website:
- Choose a pre-built theme
- Select a starter theme with a proper structure and set of pre-built capabilities.
- Build your custom theme by making all the essential configuration files.
Here’s how you can install a new theme:
- Go to Appearance in the admin menu
- Add a new theme
- Download your preferred new theme
- Set the new theme as the default theme of your website
Manage Your Drupal 8 Website
After you create your first Drupal 8 website, you need to manage it and keep it safe in the future. Proper management is important for your website and here are the steps that you need to follow to manage your Drupal 8 website.
- Check the log files. The Recent log in your Reports menu shows all the errors logged by your site.
- Create backups
- Regularly look for latest updates
- Create and disable user accounts
- Check the status report from time to time
Drupal CMS is one of the most secure, robust, scalable, and flexible platforms. With its advanced features today, Drupal has become a close competitor of the leader of CMS – WordPress. As long as Drupal improves in terms of features and performance, people will prefer to invest in a Drupal development company.
As a leading Drupal development company, Drupal India is committed to providing best-in-class Drupal development services and solutions to our global clients. We know the platform in-and-out which enables us to build robust websites using Drupal. If you’re looking to hire Drupal developers in India, Drupal India is the right place to hire.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q.1. What are the new features of Drupal 8?
Ans. Drupal 8 comes with new features like New Fields, CKEditor, Quick Edit, Responsive Images, Tour, Views, Multilingual support, and a lot more.
Q.2. How do I change the default theme in Drupal 8?
Ans. Here’s how you can change the theme in Drupal 8:
- Go to your Drupal 8 admin dashboard
- Choose Menu from the top menu bar
- Click on Appearance from the secondary menu that pops up.
- This will lead you to the list of themes you can select under the Enabled Themes.
- Select your preferred theme and then click on the Set default link to replace the existing theme.
If you need help in changing your theme in Drupal, you can hire Drupal 8 developers in India from us.
Q.3. What programming language does Drupal use?
Ans. Drupal uses PHP coding language. So, if you want to use Drupal, you need to have good knowledge of the PHP language.
Have More Questions? Please Feel Free to Contact Our Drupal 8 Experts.