Great resources for learning Drupal
If you are reading this article, most probably you are a beginner programmer or website builder in search of a new CMS to use. Or maybe you’ve heard about Drupal, and you just want to see what all this fuss about this powerful CMS is. Or you have a new project that needs to be built with Drupal….or, and this our favorite case, you heard a lot about the community that backs Drupal, and you want to become a member of it by learning Drupal (be that Drupal 7 or the brand new and improved Drupal 8).
No matter what is your reason, the absolute first step when learning Drupal, or any other CMS, is documentation. READ your documentation, get popcorn then watch lots of Drupal tutorials.
When searching on Google the phrase “learning Drupal” or “how to learn Drupal”, probably you will find the notorious Drupal Learning Curve that is all over the internet. Taken from the OS learning curve (with Linux instead of Drupal), sometimes this funny chart it’s enough to get you scared, and make you have second thoughts.
All Drupal enthusiasts out there will admit that there is a bit of truth in that curve. Once you manage to get a grip on it, everything gets better. The best moment is when everything starts making a bit of sense. Then, after a couple of days, you look back at yourself saying, “how foolish I was back then”.
Before starting with Drupal, you may want to find out more about PHP and inspect its syntax. Also, read some PHP related documentation and try to see if PHP is the coding language you need, because if not, this CMS may be a tricky one for you.
For those of you who want to learn Drupal, there are a lot of worthy resources out there that will make your life easier. So, here’s a list with a few of those amazing resources to learn Drupal.
Acquia Certification and Drupal.org
First of all, you need to know that Dries is the inventor of Drupal, and then the founder of Acquia...so with this program, you are getting lessons from the very creator of the CMS. We’ve put this online set of documentation on top of the list, as it is a general and universally recognized certification.
The certification gives a finality to the whole Drupal learning process, meaning that by the end of the “course” you should be fully prepared to get certified.
All the information you need to learn for the certification can be found on drupal.org. Pay attention as the certification is based more on the practical aspect of the CMS, than on the theory. After a chapter is studied, try to see if you can do the practical part of the lesson.
The best part of the drupal.org documentation is that it was revised by specialists and it’s getting better and better by the day. The information is structured by version (Drupal 7 and Drupal 8), and it’s organized in chapters and sub-chapters. So, for example, if you just want to learn more about site building, well there is a site building chapter with everything you need to know about nodes, blocks, and taxonomies.
Keep in mind that for Drupal 8, the information is still piling up, and, one of the positive aspects of this ongoing contribution process is that everyone can bring something meaningful to this set of information.
Maybe on Drupal 8 you will have a problem to find, for example, some tough D8 backend solutions, but in Drupal 7 it is possible to find it.
Keep in mind that Drupal is all about its community so that you may find solutions for your problems either on forums or different specialized websites.
This is among the best Drupal resources out there. For only 40 dollars per month, they provide all the necessary information for you, in both video and written format. The best part about this paid membership strategy is that it keeps you motivated to learn. By the end of their course, you will see that all your studying and hard work, was more as an investment and less as a simple leisure activity.
Our suggestion would be to start with an annual personal membership, as it’s cheaper in the long term, but it will provide all that valuable information throughout the whole learning process. With drupalize.me, in a year or so, you can go from newbie to Drupal pro.
As in the case of drupal.org, try to have your small project where to try the information you find in the course. From our experience we can say that a learn by doing approach, is way more effective in the case of Drupal.
This learning platform is somehow general, as it deals with Joomla, WordPress, and Drupal. They are among the few that can provide some quality Drupal 8 training session, so they deserve their share of attention.
Before proceeding, you can try some of their lessons for free, to see if their method fits your learning needs and your previous experiences.
On OST, while some of the videos are free, some of the most important is part of the paid core, but for 25 dollars per month, it’s a price worth paying.
The best use for this online platform would be to read a bit more about all the CMS available on the website, be that Drupal, Wordpress, and Joomla, and notice the differences between all these Content management systems.
If you are not finding the right answers, then you should also check out the Drupal forums. Besides Drupal.org (where people can easily find some great info), websites such as stackoverflow.com, stackexchange.com, or even Quora may provide some solutions. If you have a problem that has never been stated and you can’t solve it, then log in to drupal.org and wait for an answer from the community.
Same goes for the other forums. A trick for beginners would be to find a topic-related article and post a question on that article. Again, if it’s an active blog, the moderator may provide an answer to your problems.
Softescu’s team has always offered some great answers to all the inquiries, so if you have a question, do not hesitate to post it in the comment section.