Book Review: Using Drupal (O’Reilly Press)

Using Drupal by Angela Byron, Addison Berry, and Bruno De Bondt is a comprehensive introduction to Drupal that can help get your first Drupal project off the ground.

Learning Drupal is a personal project of mine of mine this year, so reading this book was definitely part of my education. I compliment the authors on the friendly and warm writing style in the book. The book provides a solid introduction into the world of Drupal including starting with a history of content management on the web, and then delving into how Drupal works.

Some notable parts of this book (for me at least) are:

  • The Drupal Jumpstart chapter is a quite comprehensive introduction to content management and how Drupal works as a Content Management System (CMS). It then takes you through hands-on exercises of how to create basic content elements like pages and articles using Drupal.
  • The book balances on hands-on exercises like the Job Posting Board in Chapter 2. This is a strong selling point for the book if you like to work through exercises to learn a new platform. Some readers may be turned off by this approach because they look for more reference oriented books.
  • Media Management in Drupal can be complex but the book delivers a Media Management chapter that walks you through a case study and thorough coverage of how to work with images in the Drupal world ending off with hands-on exercises to put together what you learned.
  • The Managing Publishing Workflows chapter should be mandatory reading for people learning Drupal to build their first portal or website especially its coverage of taxonomy, the Workbench Suite, and Workbench access.
  • The Online Store chapter offers some great guidance for embarking on building your first ecommerce site with Drupal. You can follow an the introduction to building an eCommerce site even if you aren’t a programmer or system administrator.

I recommend this book if you are looking for a solid introduction to the world of Drupal. This is not the first book I’ve read about Drupal this year, but it is certainly the first book I am going to consult when I want to learn something new about Drupal or to help me troubleshoot a technical issue.