Drupal configuration tutorial

To configure basic settings for your Drupal website, you first need to login to your Drupal backend and then you can proceed with the rest of the tutorial.


1) Click the Configuration link

2) The people section allows you to configure the way your users interact and registration. It also allows you to block IP address.

3) The system section allows you to change your site information (title, slug line, etc) as well as other features.

4) The Content authoring section allows you to setup diffrent text formats that can be used when creating new content

5) The media section allows you to upload files, change image styles, as well as modify the image toolkit.

6) The development section allows you to tweak performance settings, check error logs and put your site into maintenance mode.

7) The Search and metadata section allows you to change search settings, setup url aliases, and configure clean URLs.

8) The web services section allows you to setup RSS publishing

9) The regional and languages section allows you to modify what language your site uses as well as timezone information.

This is it. You now know how to configure your Drupal website.

Further reading:

A Basic Guide to Drupal Website Managemen

Drupal Website Maintenance tutorial

Drupal Website Security Tutorial

How to Speed Up Your Drupal Website

How to address "failed Drupal Clean url Test"

Installing a new Drupal website

Enabling and Disabling the Drupal 7 Shortcut Menu

There are times you will want to re-enable the shortcut menu in Drupal 7 afterr ithas been disabled. This tutorial will take you through how you can enable and disable the Shortcut menu in Drupal 7.

The Shortcut menu can be found on top of a default Drupal site, just below the main administration menu. The Shortcut module is in charge of this lower menu.

Enabling Shortcut module

Go to the Modules link.
Look for "Shortcut" module and check the box.

Scroll down and click "Save configuration".

Disable Shortcut module

Go to the Modules link.
Look for "Shortcut" module and uncheck the box.
Scroll down and click "Save configuration".

That will be all for enabling and disabling the Drupal 7 shortcut menu.

You will also want to read:

Drupal Website Maintenance tutorial

Drupal Website Security Tutorial

How to Speed Up Your Drupal Website

How to address "failed Drupal Clean url Test"

Installing a new Drupal website

How to format date and time in Drupal

For your prefernces, you could want to format the date and time display format. This tutorial will show you how to format the date and time in Drupal.

First, Install the Date module.
Go to Structure > Content type > Manage fields.
Create a Date field.
Click the Manage Display tab.
Click the cog next to your Date field and you'll see the 3 default formats:

Date and Time Formats in Drupal

Go to Configuration > Date and Time and you'll see those 3 formats:

Click the Formats tab.
Click Add format.

You will see an empty box. Click the PHP manual link:

You'll be taken to PHP.net with a list of ways that PHP can show dates.

Find the data formats that you want and paste them into your Drupal site. On the right hand side, Drupal will give you a live preview of your format.

Click Add format.
Click Types.
Click Add date type.
Enter a name for your new Date type.
Choose the Date format:

Click Add date type. You'll then be able to see your new format:

Go to Structure > Content types > Manage Display.
Choose your new date and time format

Congrats, that is all. You now know how to format your date and time in Drupal.

How to setup Drupal website account information

To setup your website account information in Drupal, you need to login to your Drupal website backend and follow the rest of this tutorial

1) Click the your username in the top right corner

2) Then click the Edit tab

This is the edit account page where we can configure our account. It is from here that you can change your username and email address…

Once you are done changing your settings, click Save

That is all. You now know how to setup your account information

Chosing Between Decimal, Float or Integer in Drupal Fields

Drupal comes with 13 fields, much of which comes with numbers. Newcomers to Drupal can be quite frustrated when confusion sets in about the difference because there are 5 different number fields available:




List (float)

List (integer)

This blog post attempts to explain the difference between those 5 number fields and explain when you would use each one.


Integer is the easiest table of number field to understand. Integer is another word for whole numbers.

Integers are whole numbers such as 1, 2, 3, 10 or 500. This is ideal for numbers such as ages or years.

There are no settings at all for Integer fields:

You can't enter any spaces, letters or any punctuation into Integer fields.

Things such as spaces, commas or decimal points are added from the Manage Display tab:


The Decimal field allows numbers with fractions.

You can decide on three settings for the field, including:

Precision: the total number of digits, both before and after the decimal point.
Scale: the number of digits after the decimal point.

As with all of the number fields, you can't enter any spaces, letters or any punctuation into Integer fields.

Also read:

You will also want to read:

Drupal Website Maintenance tutorial

Drupal Website Security Tutorial

How to Speed Up Your Drupal Website

How to address "failed Drupal Clean url Test"

Installing a new Drupal website


Float is definitely the most confusing of the umber fields.

Here's our simple rule: if you don't know what a floating point number is, you don't need to use the Float field.

However, for those of you that don't know but are curious, here's a quick explanation:

"Floating point" is a term used in computer programming. Basically, floating point numbers are numbers that contain floating decimal points.

Here's the best, simple explanation I've read about why floating points are used: http://floating-point-gui.de/formats/fp/

"Since computer memory is limited, you cannot store numbers with infinite precision, no matter whether you use binary fractions or decimal ones: at some point you have to cut off. But how much accuracy is needed? And where is it needed? How many integer digits and how many fraction digits?

To an engineer building a highway, it does not matter whether it’s 10 meters or 10.0001 meters wide - his measurements are probably not that accurate in the first place.
To someone designing a microchip, 0.0001 meters (a tenth of a millimeter) is a huge difference - But he’ll never have to deal with a distance larger than 0.1 meters.
A physicist needs to use the speed of light (about 300000000) and Newton’s gravitational constant (about 0.0000000000667) together in the same calculation.

To satisfy the engineer and the chip designer, a number format has to provide accuracy for numbers at very different magnitudes. However, only relative accuracy is needed. To satisfy the physicist, it must be possible to do calculations that involve numbers with different magnitudes.

Basically, having a fixed number of integer and fractional digits is not useful - and the solution is a format with a floating point."

Here are the field settings for a Float in Drupal. The only thing you can choose is whether to use a decimal point or a comma.

The Manage Display settings are the same as for Decimal.

List (float) and List (integer)

Both of these fields allow you to create a list of pre-defined choices. Unlike the other 3 fields, people will not be allowed to enter their own numbers.

If you choose "Check boxes/radio buttons", then this is how the options will show. If you want to remove the N/A option, set the field to be required.

If you choose "Select list", then this is how the options will show

How to set your Drupal website to maintenance mode

Keeping your Drupal in maintenance mode is necessary especially when running an update/upgrade on your Drupal website because it helps you avoid user complaints. Here's a simple process to follow and set your Drupal website in maintenance mode.

Step 1

Go to "Configuration" then "Maintenance mode".

Step 2

Make sure the "Put site into maintenance mode" box is checked
Enter the message you want visitors to see during the interruption.
Click "Save configuration".

Step 3

You'll now see a message saying "The configuration options have been saved".

Step 4

You will be able to browse around your site without problems but visitors who aren't logged in will see the message above.
If you log yourself and can't get back in, just add /?q=user after your site address and you'll be back to the user login page

How to change your default Drupal theme

The Drupal theme defines the look and feel of your website and you can change your theme from the list of default themes that come with your installation. You can also install a new Drupal theme. This tutorial takes you through the steps required to change your default Drupal theme.

  1. Log in as an administrator,
  2. click on Administer -> Appearance and choose which theme you want to use for your website.

How to enable search engine friendly urls in Drupal

Let's loo at how you can enable search engine friendly links or the clean url in your Drupal website.

There are three simple steps involved in order to enable the Search Engine Friendly URLs in Drupal. Let us assume your drupal installation has been set to a sub-folder named /drupal so your Drupal website lives at www.yourdomainname.com/drupal. To enable the clean url, simply follow these steps:

Step 1 Edit the .htaccess file in your Drupal directory by deleting the entire content of the .htaccess file and insert the following code into it:

RewriteEngine on

RewriteBase /drupal

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-f

RewriteCond %{REQUEST_FILENAME} !-d

RewriteRule ^(.*)$ index.php?q=$1 [L,QSA]

You should replace the path in the following line:

RewriteBase /drupal

with the relative path to the directory where Drupal is installed. For example if your Drupal is installed in your web site root folder and you access it via www.yourdomainname.com, the line should look like this:

RewriteBase /

Step 2 The next step is to log in the administrative back end of your Drupal site and make sure that the "Path" module is enabled. This module is essential for the clean URLs in Drupal.

Once you are logged click on the "Modules" link:

Scroll down the page, find the Path module, tick the little check box on the left of the module and save the settings:

Step 3 The next and final step is to test the clean URLs and confirm their functionality. In the administrative back end click on the Configuration link from the top menu and open the Clean URLs section.

The page will be loaded. Make sure that the clean URLs checkbox is enabled and the configuration is saved.

Now load the front end of your site and confirm that your urls are now search engine friendly. In the status bar and in the address bar you will notice that all links will be in clean (human readable) format.

Basic Drupal site features and modules

Drupal modules are plug-ins that add features to your Drupal website. Some modules enhance administration menus, some help with search engine optimization, and some provide social community features.

Drupal has a large community of contributors to its core and modules. Some modules are simple, such as adding bookmark links on pages, or that nice administration menu. Never install every module available—your site would slow down if not crash if you were not careful. Remember, your server is processing content through every module in some fashion. There are tons of modules for all your site needs and it is common to hear Drupal community members respond to questions with, "there (probably) is a module for that."

Core modules

By default, Drupal 7 does not turn on every module in its core. Features such as Blogs, file uploading, and custom clean URL paths rely on their modules being turned in the Administer > Modules area.

Before downloading any new modules you should enable some optional Core modules. Enable any of the following core modules that appear beneficial for your site:

Aggregator: Allows you to bring in any external RSS feeds and their content to your site (for example, "Latest News from CNN" or "iTunes Top 25 Music Downloads").
Blog: If you're interested in having a site blog then this is it. (Note: Each user can have a blog or just some users.)
Forum: Text conversations; appears in a lot of community sites.
OpenID: Open standard for user logins; it is worth turning on.
Path: Lets you define custom clean URLs for your content nodes; everyone should consider this module.
Ping: Your site can notify services and sites that content has been updated.
Upload: Attach file uploads to content nodes.

To enable a module, visit the Modules administration page and select the check box next to the module name you want turned on, and then click Save. Feel free to review the other core modules I did not mention.

With great power comes user permissions. Modules have their own set of configurations and user permissions. You must visit the Permissions administration page after enabling any new modules on your site (Administer > Permissions).

Enabling WYSIWYG Editor in Drupal 7

The WYSIWYG module is one of the Drupal 7 modules that allows you to edit and create content with ease to use in formatting. Instead of coding rich text formats such as bold or italics, you can use them at the click of a button and you are good to go.

There are times, however, after adding and configuring these module types they do not work correctly, visiting the body editor for a content type shows no WYSIWYG buttons. If you have installed and configured your WYSIWYG editor or other rich text editor module and there are no buttons showing up in the editable area of your content types, you may need to follow the tutorial below to get the WYSIWYG editor to work for you.

Getting a WYSIWYG module to work in Drupal 7

Step 1.Log into the Drupal 7 admin dashboard.

Step 2. Using the top menu bar, locate and click on the Configuration option.

Step 3. From this next page, find and click the Performance option located under the Development category.

Step 4. From this next screen, scroll down the page to the Bandwidth Optimization category. You will see a checkbox labeled "Aggregate JavaScript files". Check the box next to it and then click on the Save configuration button underneath

Step 5. Return to your content type editor and you should now see the WYSIWYG buttons in the body editor.

That is all. You now know how to get the WYSIWYG editor to work in Drupal 7

Also read: Drupal configuration tutorial

Understanding Contextual Filters and Arguments in Drupal 7

In Drupal 6, a key feature in Views was called "arguments". This term made perfect sense to developers, but created a lot of issues amongst new users. Thanks to improvements and changes in Drupal 7. Both the name and location of this feature has changed in Drupal 7. Arguments are now called "Contextual filters".

Here's an introduction to arguments and contextual filters. We'll show you why they are so useful, whatever they may be called.

Where are Arguments or Contextual Filters?

In the Drupal 6 views screen, Arguments were right in the center of the page:

With Drupal 7, the Arguments area was moved and re-named. There's now a whole, hidden area of the Views screen that is simply called "Advanced":

Under that Advanced tab is the "Contextual Filters" area. That is where Arguments have moved to.

Several of the default Views contain contextual filters and would make good starting points to learn more.

Go to Structure > Views and enable both the Archive and Glossary views to see them in action.

The Archive view dynamically organizes content into the month it was published. A normal filter would only allow us to show content from certain months. A contextual filter changes which months it shows, based on the page you're viewing.

Here's the contextual filter that makes that possible:

The Glossary view is similar to the Archive, but it dynamically sorts content by the first letter of the title.

An ordinary filter could show all content that starts with A or B, but a contextual filter is flexible enough to show any of those, depending on the context

Examples of Contextual Filters: Fields

One of the most common examples of a contextual filter is a calendar created with Views:

In order to functional correctly, the calendar needs a Contextual Filter which pulls from a Date field.

A simple filter would not suffice here because it's not flexible enough. The user can change between June, July, August and other months. They could even change to view weeks, days or years. Only a contextual filter can adapt automatically to those different displays.

A second example of contextual filters involves creating a personalized newsfeed for users. In the View below, the users only see movies that are in genres they have selected:

This is possible because whem you add a contextual filter for the user. An ordinary filter would allow you to choose "Action", "Comedy" or "Romantic" movies, which are set up as taxonomy terms.

However, a contextual filter is flexible enough so that we can dynamically change those taxonomy terms based on the user.

Again, a simple filter would suffice to show a list actors, but not one that can dynamically change based on the main node being displayed.

Drupal user management

To manage users and user permission in Drupal, follow the instructions below:

1) Click the People link

2) Let’s add a user now… click Add user

3) Enter a Username, Email Address, and Password for the new user here. You can also select the roles this user should be a member of. Once done, click Create new account.

4) That’s it! A new user account has been created. Click the List link here

Here is the user we just created. From here we can edit the user, including changing their password

Or we can delete the user… which we’re going to do now

5) Select the user, then select Cancel the selected user accounts from the update options menu

6) Then click Update

7) Select the way you wish to cancel the account. For this demo, we will delete the account and all of its posted content. Once done, click Cancel accounts.

The user we created has now been deleted

8) Click the People link again

9) Then click the Permissions tab

10) Then click the Roles button

A role is a way of giving selected permissions to a group of users… which you can do from here

Defining User Settings, Roles and Permissions in Drupal

One key difference that comes with Content Management Systems (CMS) is the ability to control not just content but users in a similar manner. Your site can allow anyone to register as a user, which is on by default, or you can lock people out from public registration and personally accept every user that signs up. These options are listed under Administer > User Settings. You can also edit any e-mail template the system will generate for users; everything from forgot password messages to a welcome e-mail.

Administering users individually is not an ideal way to run a site; instead you would want to administer broad groups of users, known as roles. By default, Drupal comes with two user roles: Anonymous and Authorized. Both roles are locked, which means you cannot delete them. Anonymous users are general visitors who are not logged in. Authorized users are site members who are logged in. You can come up with your own custom roles and assign custom permissions to any role. Custom roles cannot affect anonymous users, only authenticated members. Some people create roles named staff or moderators.

To assign a role to users edit any account under Administer > Users and choose each role they need.

Each module and feature in a Drupal site has a set of permissions that needs to be tied to roles.

Every module you enable should have at least one permission check box on the Administer > Permissions page.

This page is where you will choose permissions per user role, so it is best to come to this page when you have completed adding roles and installing your modules, so you can set the permissions up in one move. Set some permissions for both anonymous and authenticated users, plus any role (or roles) you added.

As the site administrator (user #1) you have permission to everything already, and do not grant permissions to everything on the site to just any role. Be sure to think about what you are activating and for who.

User Access Control in Drupal

Drupal user access control is quite easy and a simplified process. You will ba able to use this tool to control what users can do on your Drupal website.

Go to the Drupal's admin panel -> People -> Permissions.

There you can modify the predefined permissions for the different user types (anonymous, authenticated and administrator).

A typical use of the access control is when you want to make some parts of your site available only for registered users. The default access control rules are quite safe, but you might want to change.

How to check Drupal website version in cPanel

Drupal is a very popular Content Management System (CMS) and currently powers about 2.5 percent of internet websites. The strength of Drupal can be found in some of the websites it has to its credit including the twitter.com the Whitehouse, the Economist and the University of Arizona.

Knowing your Drupal website version can be ver helpful in addressing issues. One of such issue is the Drupal white screen of Death (WSOD). A quick fix to the WSOD problem has always been to replace the files. It is good to know the version of Drupal running on your server space so that you do not run a wrong version in trying to replace the file. Running a wrong version will not solve the problem and could make things more difficult to fix.

On very few occasions, we have attempted to recover some exploited Drupal websites. One easy way to get this done had been to overwrite the files and then after things work fine, we secure the site again for the client. For you to do this successfully, you need to identify the software version that as exploited in order not to use a wrong software version for overwrite and create problems.

To be able to do this successfully, you need to identify the software version you are running and have it implemented on your website. If you are able to login to your website backend, that should be easy to knoww your software version but if you are unable to login to the backend, then you need to follow the rest of the tutorial to identify your Drupal website version.

Secondly, good server maintenance practice requires maintaining your Content Management System to run the latest updates of software version. This can be a problem in cases where there is an exploitation on your website such as a White Screen of Death. Dealing with such situations will in most cases require file overwrite and you need to run the right version to recover the website before you implement an upgrade and take steps to secure your Drpal website. Here is a guide on how you can check your software version in cPanel.

Checking Drupal Versions

The "Recommended releases" section has two versions which are both considered the latest stable versions. 7.31 and 6.33 are both adequate here.

Default cPanel configurations:

find /home/*/public_html/ -type f -iwholename "*/modules/system/system.info" -exec grep -H "version = \"" {} \;

Ok, now "How do I know the versions of ALL my Drupal installs?"

You'll see ouput similar to the following:

/home/baladon/public_html/modules/system/system.info:version = "7.9"

/home/flaviosp/public_html/openatrium/modules/system/system.info:version = "6.28"

/home/ioclaser/public_html/modules/system/system.info:version = "6.28"

/home/tamiresm/public_html/modules/system/system.info:version = "7.10"


This shows the location of the Drupal installation. /home/<CPANELUSER>/public_html/path and the version that's installed in that location.

If any of your Drpal installations are not using the most recent version of Joomla , it is very important to update it.

How to Manually Overwrite Your Drupal Files

Before you overwrite files please take note of the following:
• Delete the images folder so that all your image overwrite are retained. Except you have used custom image titles/names, you are most likely to loose the changes you made in your image folder after an override.
• Do not overwrite the logo. You can do this by deleting the logo file before you overwrite anything.
• Check any custom footer changes you made. Did you change or remove a copyright code, check in your new file before you overwrite the files.
• Check to protect any customizations you made to your files before you overwrite because you could loose all of them.

To manually overwrite your files, download the version of Drupal that you are currently running. Use an FTP software to overwrite the files. Once you do that successfully, immediately update to a most recent version that keeps you safe.

Final Advice: Always Maintain a Healthy Backup

If you keep a healthy backup, you can easily recover from a damage. Once you restore your website using your backup, you will need to take steps to protect your website from the exploitation or vulnerabilities that endangered your website. Always learn about your Drupal website CMS vulnerabilities and how you can protect yourself from them.

How to manage your Drupal menus

1) Click the Structure link

Now let’s learn how to manage menus
To manage your Drupal menus, you first need to login to the backend of your Drupal website.

2) Click the Menus link

You can add a new menu by clicking the Add menu link

You can edit menus, or links by selecting the correct link from the operations section

You can also change other settings by clicking the settings tab

How to create menus in Drupal

First, you need to login to your Drupal website backend before you follow the rest of the tutorial.

1) Click the Structure link

Now let’s learn how to create a new menu

2) Click the Menus link

3) Then click Add Menu

4) Enter a Menu Name and Description

5) Click Save when ready

Remember that you have to enable the menu block after creating it

How to use the administration menu and shortcut toolbar in Drupal

The Administration Menu module makes it much easier to navigate through your Drupal website. However, after enabling Administration Menu, you will loose the Shortcuts menu. This is normally the grey bar under Drupal's default admin toolbar.

Here's how to use Administration Menu and Shortcuts together.

First, make sure that "Administration menu" is enabled, and also make sure that the "Administration menu Toolbar style" module is enabled:

Now go to Configuration > Administration Menu and you'll be able to check the "Shortcuts" box. This will re-enable the Shortcuts menu.

If you don't see the Shortcuts menu immediately, try clicking the down arrow in the top-right corner.

How to recover from a lost Drupal admin menu

When enabling large new modules such as CTools via the admin interface, it's not uncommon for other modules to become unpublished. When those modules are unpublished, people often lose access for to the administration menu. So, here's a quick guide to recovering from a lost Drupal administration menu.

If you enable some modules and then the administration menus disappear, Notice that there are still signs that you are logged in. This is important - if you are logged out, you won't see the administration menu either, but that's a different problem.

What you need to do is access the main "Modules" page. The best way to get there is by typing in the URL of the modules page.

Try adding one of these to your main domain name:



Now on the Modules page, you need to re-enable two modules:



Check the boxes next to those modules and then click "Save configuration".

Once those two modules are enabled, you'll have your administration menu back.

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