Drupal is an easy-to-use, easy-to-install content management system and makes for an excellent choice for creating a blog. In this tutorial, we explain how to create and host your Drupal blog with HostGator.com. This is very easy with Hostgator, because it offers an automatic installer, Fantastico DeLuxe, that enables you to quickly and painlessly install the Drupal platform.
Installing the Drupal Platform
To create a blog on HostGator with Drupal, you will first need to install the Drupal platform. To install Drupal, follow the steps below:
- Open a web browser and log into your CPanel administration account. Generally, your CPanel account can be found at the URL "http://cpanel.yourdomainname.com" You should also be able to access CPanel from http://www.yourdomainname.com/cpanel. Log into the administration account with the credentials Hostgator provided to you.
- Click on the "Fantastico DeLuxe" icon in the CPanel main administrative page. The Fantastico Deluxe icon can be found in the "Software / Services" section. Once you click on the icon, the Fantastico tool opens.
- Click the "Drupal" link in the left navigation bar of the Fantastico tool. The Drupal link can be found in the "Content Management" section. Once you click the link, the Fantastico installation page for Drupal opens.
- Click the "New Installation" link from the installation page. Note the disk space that will be required, as well as the available disk space listed just under the link to verify that you have enough space to install the platform. The installation should require less than 5 MB of space. The first "Install Drupal" page will open. On this page, you will see a dropdown list of domain names and an input box for the designated installation directory.
- Click the dropdown box and select the domain name where you will install Drupal.
- Type a name for the directory where Drupal will be installed.
- In the "Admin Access Data" section, you will specify an Administrator user id and password. Type the user name for the Administrator account. Type a new password for the Administrator account. Keep a note somewhere of this user id and password combination.
- In the "Base Configuration" section, type a valid email address for the Administrator account.
- Click the "Install Drupal" button. The platform installs per your configuration specifications. The installation will only take a few seconds. You may also enter an email address into the "Email the details of this installation to" input box. If you enter an email address into this field, an email will be sent to the specified email address noting the details of the installation process.
Once the Drupal platform is installed, you will see the URL of your new Drupal installation, along with the URL for the administrative site for the platform. Take note of both URLs. You will configure the platform by logging into the administrative account with the Administrator user id and password you assigned during installation.
That's all there is to it! Now, Drupal is installed and if you check the Fantastico Drupal installation page, you will see the installation details, such as the domain name and the directory where Drupal is installed.
Fantastico allows you to automatically update Drupal from this page. When updates are available, you will see a notification near the Drupal entry on this page.
Create Your Blog
The next order of business is to set up the blogging function of your new Drupal platform:
- Open the administrative interface for your new Drupal site in a web browser. Log in with your Administrator user id and password.
- In the site's administrative panel, click the "Site Building" option. Next, click the "Views" option, and then click "List."
- Click the "Enable" option next to the "Frontpage" view. The Frontpage view opens.
- Click the "Clone" link to clone the view. You will see several input boxes.
- Type "Blog" into the "View Name" input box.
- Type a description for the blog into the "View Description" input box.
- Add tags into the "View Tags" input box, or you may leave this box empty.
- Click the "Next" button. The "Edit View Blog" page opens.
- Enter "Blog" in the "Default Title" input box in the "Displays" category.
- Enter "Blog" in the "Page Path" input box.
- Enter "Feed" in the "Feed Path" input box.
- Click the "Save" button.
- Click the "View Page" option located in the upper right corner to view the page. You should see a blank page unless you have already created "stories." If so, the stories will be shown. Note that the URL is now appended with the word "blog."
You have now configured the blogging pages for your site. Next, you will create a new landing page, or home page, for your blogging site.
- Return to the main page of the administrative interface. Click the "Content Management" option, and then click the "Create Content" option. Click the "Page" option. A new page is generated.
- Enter the title of your new blogging site into the "Title" input box.
- Enter any text to display on the home page into the "Body" input box.
- Click the "Save" button. Note the URL to this new page.
- From the administrative main page, click the "Site Configuration" option, and then click "Site Information." Enter the URL to your new home page into the "Default Front Page Path" box." Click the "Save" button.
- View the front page by opening the Drupal platform's root URL in a web browser.
Next, you will configure the menu links to your new blogging site.
- From the administrative main page, click the "Site Building" option, and then click "Menus." Click the "Primary Links" option and then click the "Add Item" option.
- Enter "
" into the "Path" input box. Type "Home" into the "Menu Link Title" input box. Click the "Save" button.
- Click "Add Item" again. Type "Blog" into the "Path" input box and type "Blog" again into the "Menu Link Title" input box. Click the "Save" button. Your custom menu has now been defined.
And that's it. You will now be able to design your site and create content. Good luck with your new blogging website!