Build Your Own Practice Drupal Site

Before you begin designing the Drupal site you have in mind, spend some time creating the basic functions you used as a basic Drupal user in a preceding unit. You need to know these for your Drupal future! When you've completed these functions and your instructor has signed off on them, then you can delete whichever ones don't apply and start building your own site.

Note: If you have any problems with these tasks, ask me ( to help. Easiest solution will be for me to record a video, then link to it here for all to see!

Caution: As you develop your Drupal site, you may get an automated note from that a new release of Drupal core is available and that you should update your site. You can ignore that in this course. It's not life-and-death critical that you update unless you have professional plans for your Drupal site. The process involves backing up your site then installing the new Drupal core.

  1. Back up your Drupal site:
  2. Install new Drupal core:

Resources & tutorials

Remember that OSTraining offers students in this course $15 for 6 months of video support. It's the best resource I know of -- David McMurrey

Set 1—Building your practice Drupal site

I've divided these tasks into groups that you'll need to complete one per week. Due dates are listed in the schedule and on the calendar view. Sets 1 and 2 are based entirely on Beginners Guide to Drupal 8, How to Build Drupal 8 Sites, and How to Build Your First Drupal 8 Site (this latter one is my favorite).

  1. Update site information. Using this video, go to Site Information and make some changes and additions to your Drupal site. Simple site setup
  2. Enable visitor access. Go to Structure > Blocks. Find User account menu and set it to Sidebar first.
  3. Articles and basic pages. Click Content and add an article to your site, add some content to it, add an image to that article, add another article to see how these articles arrange themselves on the front page. Next, add a basic page.
  4. Adding space around graphics. Chelsea B. shows us how to change how graphics are displayed in Drupal: Adding CSS to Drupal Images.
  5. Experiment with theme settings and different themes. First, click Appearance and try changing some of the settings of the default theme (Bartik). Next, change to one or more of the existing themes which should be Stark and Seven (Bartik being the default). And finally, download one of the free contributed themes (see How to Build Your First Site, "Themes").
  6. Create a contact form for your Drupal site. Enable visitors to your site to contact you. Use How to Build Your First Site, "Contact Forms." As of Feb. 5, there was still no way to view contact messages and e-mail was not received. Download and install Token and Contact Storage; enable them and Robert Ring's instructions work.

When you have finished this set, send me e-mail at

Set 2—Building your practice Drupal site

  1. Create a custom content type with custom fields. OSTraining's How to Build Your First Site, "Content Types" and "Creating Content" are the best videos for this. Create at least three nodes of this new content type.
  2. Create a view for your new content type. OSTraining's How to Build Your First Site, "Organizing Content with Views, "More Specific Views," and "Adding Blocks" are the best videos for this. Create a custom view (list) that displays links to instances of your new content types—both as a page and as a block.
  3. Experiment with media in your Drupal site. Try Beginners Guide to Drupal 8, "How to Build a Photo Gallery in Drupal"; How to Build Drupal 8 Sites, "Installing the Video Embed Module" or "Installing the Views Slideshow Module," and "Completing Views Slideshow."
  4. New user access and permissions. Experiment with giving the Authenticated users permission to create a poll. Use these videos to create a new users: Basic User Permissions; Beginner's Guide to Drupal 8, "How to Manage People in Drupal" and "How to Set Up a 'Summer Intern' User."
  5. Setting up polls in Drupal. Please see polls. I have withdrawn the blogs task; too complicated and nothing much to add to your Drupal knowledge.

When you have finished this set, send me e-mail at

Set 3—Building your practice Drupal site

  1. Build a web form. Enable visitors to fill out forms. If this task is too advanced, you can skip it. The contact form task above might suffice. Use these videos: OSTraining How to Manage People in Drupal and Ivan Zugec's How to Use Webform Predefined Options in Drupal 8.

When you have finished this set, send me e-mail at

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