Drupal is a free, open-source content management system and content management framework used by just over 2% of websites worldwide. The creation of Dries Buytaert, Drupal is used as the back-end system for sites of all kinds, ranging from blogs to whitehouse.gov. Drupal allows web developers to build content management systems that include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization, and system administration.
While Drupal at its core is a powerful web development tool, Drupal advanced users can use the system to unlock hidden features that make Drupal a key piece of your knowledge management and business collaboration endeavors. Whether you are just starting out in web development or are an old hand, this list of the top 50 Drupal references and tutorials will open new doors to the possibilities of this flexible CMS. (Please n.b., while we did number our list for easier scannability, the resources are not listed in any particular order!)
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The following tutorials are the perfect place to start for novices and even experts who may need a refresher.
- levelten Interactive: In this Getting Started with Drupal 7 video tutorial course, levelten Interactive provides Drupal users with a free video series created to introduce you to Drupal and to get you started on building your Drupal system. The course is designed for beginners and experienced web developers and is a great way to begin your Drupal adventure.
- lynda.com: offers online software training videos on Drupal. Videos at the beginner and intermediate level explore such topics as Creating and Editing Custom Themes, Create Your First Online Store with DrupalCommerce, Advanced Training, and Reporting and Visualizing Data.
- Tutr.tv: built for the beginner and power user, Tutr.tv provides a comprehensive guide to informative, easy to follow Drupal tutorial videos. Tutr.tv takes the hassle out of scouring the web for the best Drupal tutorials by organizing hundreds of videos into a one-stop destination.
- Site Ground: This web hosting company offers developers a growing portfolio of web hosting services and features over 1,100 servers. They offer a free Drupal guide to help users best use this powerful web design tool.
- Acquia: What is Drupal? This site sums it up quite nicely. You can browse a variety of links to discover what industries are using Drupal, why Drupal is a social medium, the reasons to choose Drupal, and access a whitepaper on the total cost of ownership of open source software.
- Mastering Drupal: designed with one goal in mind–to create experts of Drupal. The site uses a mix of video and tutorials to teach advanced Drupal topics. Articles include Creating Local Copies of External JS for fun and performance: Drupal Starter Module and Calculating Distances and Importing GeoPostcodes Data into the Drupal Location Module.
- Best Web Designz: offers over 20 tutorial articles on how to use Drupal. These articles will teach you how to Install Drupal, maintain and manage your Drupal site, set up your own stores, managing users and change your password.
- Digett: in this series of Drupal video tutorials, Digett brings you step-by-step instructions to complete specific Drupal tasks. Digett provides a host of web developer services, including design, content generation, social media, and SEO.
- OS Training: offers a searchable directory of Drupal themed tutorials and blog posts. How-to guides are arranged in an easy to follow step-by-step format. They also offer self-paced video classes which include support.
- Drupal Camp: Drupal Camp 24×7 is an online community that helps Drupal beginners learn Drupal online. It offers free video tutorials and allows for sharing and communication of Drupal experiences.
- Stanford Drupal Tutorials: a community administered project portal for online Drupal learning resources. The Stanford community searches the web for quality tutorials and presents them to aid in your Drupal learning.
- Yada Drop: claiming to be the world’s largest directory of Drupal videos, tutorials, and screencasts, Yada Drop organizes topics by version, audience, and category.
- drupal gardens: the Drupal Gardens directory of Drupal tutorials are designed to provide detailed information covering what you can do with your Drupal website. Tutorials are searchable, and users have the option to connect via community forums.
- Friendly Drupal: beginning Drupal users can browse this site to find free tutorials, videos, screencasts, podcasts, and stories. Lessons include Git, Drush with Acquia Dev Desktop and Installing Barracuda Aegir.
- Ratatosk: this page explains some of the tools you can use to make your Drupal system efficient by debugging it. It covers the Devel contrib module, the Drupal for Firebug contrib module and Firefox extension, the FirePHP library, and the combination of NetBeans and Xdebug.
- I Can Localize: focuses on using Drupal for SEO. This tutorial is geared at giving you to the tools to build a perfectly optimized site and maximize your return on investment.
- High Rock Media: provides a list of the author’s favorite Drupal learning resources. The author recommends that if you are new to Drupal, drupal.org has a ton of resources useful in learning the programing.
These resources should be bookmarked by any webmaster, developer, or other power user who intends to use Drupal on a regular basis.
- Drupal Modules: a community based rating and review database that allows you to find the best Drupal modules for your project. The innovative search capability allows for searching via category, version, title, and keywords.
- Drupal Dump: contains Drupal tricks, hacks, templates, modules, and loads of other Drupal info. Updated to provide users with new tools to make their Drupal experience stress-free.
- Wim Leers: personnel site of a Drupal developer with insights and thoughts on Drupal and the web development industry. Check out the article Easy Drupal CDN integration for fun and profit.
- Drupal Dude: includes videocasts, Drupal modules, books, and a blog. The site is dedicated towards providing Drupal users with help with integrating modules onto your site.
- Lullabot: Drupal experts who publish books and articles, release videos and post weekly podcasts all about Drupal and web development. Lullabot has managed some of the largest Drupal installations today and taught thousands of aspiring developers.
- Siteground: provides a list of the most popular Drupal modules. Includes a short description of their functions, a download link, and install instructions. Modules include eCommerce, Buddylist, and guestbook, among others.
- Six Revisions: list of must have Drupal modules. To address the hurdle of Drupal not being end-user friendly out of the box, this list provides recommended modules that will extend the core installation to make Drupal work easier for your site.
- mediacurrent: Jay Callicott opines on the top Drupal modules. According to Jay, most developers tend to use only a small percentage of modules available. Out of 16,000+ modules, many developers have only installed up to 200 different modules across their various projects and this list narrows this down to the top 7.
- Artisteer: resource for developing Drupal themes without having programming, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, HTML, CSS and other web design skills. For the beginning user, a great program for entering the Drupal world.
- Cracking Drupal: teaches you how to protect your Drupal system from vulnerabilities and security issues that exist within Drupal. The guide explains how to build and maintain your site with code written to avoid attacks and how to respond if a vulnerability is discovered.
- CSDesignCo: Drupal blog that details beginning topics including themes, modules, image galleries, and rosters. Helpful information abounds, with hacks and work arounds to get you around stumbling blocks.
- DrupalSN: a Drupal talent finder empowers companies and recruiters to connect developers with companies and vice versa. Features a community where like-minded Drupalers share views, skills, and ideas.
- Drupal Commerce: quickly create e-commerce solutions. Developers use to create shopping carts, check forms, and manage products. The software is adaptable and built for growth of your business.
- MyDrupal: contains a wealth of information on Drupal themes, modules, developers, showcases, and tools. The site is organized into various Drupal help sections. The Tips page, for example focuses on usability, navigability visuals, and sorting.
- Drupal Ladder: this site contains (or links to) lessons and materials to help users learn about and contribute to Drupal. The site was created to help Drupal user groups develop and share materials for Drupal related content.
- Drupal for Facebook: these modules turns Drupal into a platform for developing Facebook App’s. Developers are given the tools to embed content and features within Facebook or allow Facebook users onto your site using Facebook Connect.
- Drupal Wikipedia Page: the page most new comers see first. Read about Drupal’s history, integration into websites throughout the world in numerous genres, and services that Drupal provides the web developer.
For the Drupal geek who wants to stay in the know, these sites are essential to subscribe to for your regular dose of Drupal news.
- Drupal Watchdog: print magazine dedicated 100% to Drupal. Published by Tag1 Consulting, the magazine tracks the goings-on of the Drupal World. Issues are available to read at the magazines webpage.
- Open Source Newspaper: provides a reference point for newspapers that use open source software CMS as an alternative to proprietary enterprise software. The site also promotes community driven development for news organizations and advocates for a user-centered platform for news, debate and sharing online.
- Drupal 7 User Experience Project:the principals of this Drupal 7 group is to make the most frequent tasks easy and less frequent tasks achievable, design for the 80%, privilege the Content Creator, and make the default settings smart.
- Dries Buytaert Personal Site: the creator of Drupal shares his views on Drupal, Aquia, Mollom, photography, and the future. Providing up-to-date news on Drupal, from the source.
- My Drupal Blog: personal blog of Laurence Mercer, London based web designer and Drupal theme expert. His blog keeps readers on top of the lastest Drupal goings on.
- Nick Lewis Blog: Drupal developer since 2004 discusses Drupal, jQuery & Noobish Studies. Features a variety of informative Drupal articles. Topics covered include Panel Frames and Pattern Language.
- Eric London Blog: features tutorials focused on Chrome, Facebook, PHP, shell script, ruby, selenium, testing, and xvfb. Innovative site design based on the Mac user interface.
- Drupal Ace: this engaging blog is a home for miscellaneous comments and musings that don’t fit into Drupal.org. It features manuals, FAQ, musings, and tips. A Drupal for Beginners provides a great resource for those getting started.
- Drupal Coder: a blog all about Drupal, with a focus on LAMP on OS X. Its author is Davy Van Den Bremt, a Belgian. The author’s goal is to log all interesting things that have crossed the writer’s path while developing Drupal sites.
- Interworks: this blog discuses how to bootstrap Drupal. This can be used in scenarios when you need to access Drupal’s database and functions, but outside of the scope of the CMS.
Still haven’t gotten enough Drupal? Read these lengthier guides to sharpen your skills; you’ll be an expert in no time.
- Definitive Guide to Drupal 7: covers what it takes to build websites using Drupal. Topics featured include architecture and configuration; module development; front end development; running projects sustainably; and contributing to Drupal’s code, documentation, and community.
- Yale University How-To Guide: complete guide for starting out with Drupal. The guide discusses site building, working with content, understanding Drupal, being the site administrator, and other fascinating topics.
- Drupal 7 Development by Example Beginner’s Guide: in this guide, you will learn how to build cutting edge websites using Drupal, discover the benefits of HTML5, learn important patterns for Java Script and AJAX.
- Using Drupal: this book covers over 30 of Drupal’s modules in a practical, hands-on way. The text is presented towards both beginner and advanced audiences. For beginners, there is a step-by-step guide. For power users, there is coverage on all the major “gotta know” contributed modules.
- Helping Drupler’s build multilingual sites: this guide shows how project managers get an instant snapshot of translation status for their sites. They can choose what text to translate while translators can only edit what was sent to them.
- Drupal Whitepapers: Acquia presents several white papers on this resource page. Topics covered include government IT, cloud computing, shared services initiatives, and digital marketing.
Since publishing this article, we have gotten a lot of feedback on a few good tutorial sites that we missed on the first go-around. We are including these extra sites here.
- Drupal motion: Authored by David Corbacho, a computer science engineer who specializes in Drupal development. David’s site is technical in nature, and a good blog to bookmark for hardcore Drupal developers.
- BuildAModule: This site features over 700 Drupal tutorial videos. While a subscription is required to access most of the videos, the first 14 videos are free, which is a good way for any beginner to get started.
- CodeLobster Drupal plug-in: CodeLobster offers a Drupal plug-in with the Windows version of their PHP IDE.