DRUPAL: Advice for Site Builders

Site Planning 


Everyone has to start somewhere. This section is for you, if you have some experience website building and website development. We recommend starting with an existing site before migrating into DIT Drupal Hosting environment. If you have any questions on how to get started, please contact us at drupal@umd.edu


Site building is the Drupal role that everyone should know, as it is the core Drupal competency for site creation. Site building involves getting Drupal up and running, and configuring the options to build a functional site. This covers tasks such as creating content types, lists with Views, menus, and setting up roles and permissions.

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a site builder is that you can build a very powerful site without writing a single line of code. By understanding the many contributed Drupal modules and how they work together, you can build a complete site, or take a key role as part of a larger team that customizes on top of the foundation laid by the site builder.


While development skills are typically not involved in site building, you will need to have broad knowledge about using Drupal contributed projects, and the best practices for building a Drupal site. As you become familiar with all the options Drupal has to offer, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • There are many modules that expand on what Drupal core can do. This is the real power of working with Drupal. There are over 11,000 modules for Drupal 7, which can be overwhelming. Take your time learning best practices to quickly find the right modules.
  • When learning to build a site, set up a local development environment to purposely make mistakes. If you find yourself with a White Screen of Death (WSOD), just start over. There's a wonderful service called simplytest.me that allows you to quickly and easily create a Drupal site with a module installed, so you can try it without building your own test site first.
  • There are many resources where you can find help, and share solutions. You should become familiar with things like the Drupal.org forums and Drupal Answers on Stack Exchange.