The Most Popular Drupal Book: Drupal 7 Explained

Drupal 7 Explained Book

We're delighted to present the best-selling and best-reviewed Drupal book.

Drupal 7 Explained has been a huge success because it makes Drupal easy.

Using Drual 7 Explained, you can master Drupal 7 by using hands-on, step-by-step examples.

Drupal 7 is an amazingly powerful system, but many newcomers find it confusing.

Most Drupal books are just too complicated to help. We wrote this book to make Drupal as simple and straight-forward possible.

Drupal Book of the Year!

bestbookoftheyear2014 Drupal 7 Explained launched at DrupalCon Portland last spring. In the year since then, it's become the best-selling and best-reviewed Drupal book.

In 2014, it won "Drupal Book of the Year" at DrupalCon Austin.

We explain the ideas behind Drupal Explained in our article, "How we wrote the best-selling Drupal book".

What do you need to learn from this Drupal book?

Drupal 7 Explained requires absolutely no experience with Drupal, content management, website construction, programming, scripting, or even HTML.

What's covered in this Drupal book?

  • Planning a site that will be easy to build and manage
  • Installing Drupal and setting it up to work reliably and securely
  • Quickly finding the Drupal tools and features you’re looking for
  • Mastering an easy 3-step workflow for creating new content
  • Delivering more interesting content with fields and new content types
  • Creating intuitive site structures and user navigation
  • Adding powerful site features with just a few clicks
  • Completely redesigning your site in minutes with Themes
  • Adding site search, registration, and more
  • Presenting content in tables, lists, grids, or photo galleries
  • Creating advanced layouts and 2- or 3-column designs
  • Controlling what users on your site can see and do
  • Preparing your site for launch
  • Administering and updating a live site efficiently and safely

Buy Joomla! Explained at

Book of the Year 2014


Writing a book is a long and painful process involving many hours crouched over a desk.

So when a writer finially emerges with a finished book, they just hope it's well-received. We've been lucky with Drupal 7 Explained.

Drupal 7 Explained launched at DrupalCon Portland in 2013.

In the year since then, it's become the best-selling and best-reviewed Drupal book.

In 2014 it won "Drupal Book of the Year" at DrupalCon Austin.

The decision was part of the Blue Drop Awards.

About the Blue Drop Awards

The Blue Drop Awards was created by Volacci (a Drupal company in Austin) and is voted for by the Drupal Community.

Every year the community votes for awards in about 20 different Drupal websites in categories from Best Advocacy Site to Best Social Site.

You can see the full list of the 2014 winners here.

What's Different About Drupal 7 Explained?

If you haven't picked up a copy of the book, this post will give you an overview of what makes it different.

In short, we think Drupal can be a confusing system and use a workflow to guide first-time Drupal users. The image below shows the Drupal workflow that we rely on:


Why do we do things in this order? Because each step follows logically on from the next:

  • You definitely shouldn't start to build a site before doing any planning
  • You can’t add fields before you’ve created a content type
  • You can’t add content until you have the content types and fields
  • You can't see what your theme will look like until you have content
  • You can't place blocks accurately until you have a theme
  • You can create views if you haven’t added any content
  • You can't use layout modules if you haven’t any fields, content or views available
  • You can't apply user permissions fully until all of your modules are installed

With so many steps in the process, people were getting lost inside Drupal. We think that a workflow provides the guidance that many Drupal users need.

Using Drupal 7 Explained in Higher Education

Many colleges and universities have adopted Drupal 7 Explained as a course textbook.

Here are suggested details for a course based around Drupal 7 and the book "Drupal 7! Explained".

1. Course Names

  • Introduction to Drupal 7
  • Introduction to Content Management Systems.

2. Course Description

Covers basic content management system concepts. Students learn how to build, design and manage Drupal 7 and how to implement it for personal and business websites.

3. Student Learning Outcomes 

Students will:

  1. Understand what a Content Management System is and how it differs from traditional, flat websites
  2. Select the appropriate server environment and be able to install Drupal 7's files and database
  3. Successfully organize and present content in Drupal 7
  4. Select and integrate extra Drupal 7 features  
  5. Modify the appearance and layout of Drupal 7 websites
  6. Understand potential threats to CMS websites and understand how to protect and backup such websites

4. Outline of Subject Matter

Course subject matter is directly aligned with Student Learning Outcomes. The number of the corresponding SLO appears in parentheses after relevant content:

Here is our recommendation for how the book can produce 12 course units:

  • Unit 1 / Chapter 1: Drupal 7 and CMSs 
  • Unit 2 / Chapter 2: Planning
  • Unit 3 / Chapter 3: Installations 
  • Unit 4 / Chapter 4: Administration
  • Unit 5 / Chapter 5: Content 
  • Unit 6 / Chapter 6: Fields
  • Unit 7 / Chapter 7: Modules
  • Unit 8 / Chapter 8, 9, 10: Menus, Themes, Blocks
  • Unit 9 / Chapter 11: Views
  • Unit 10 / Chapter 12: Layout Modules
  • Unit 11 / Chapter 13: Users
  • Unit 12 / Chapter 14: Site Management (6)

5. Assessments and Grading System

  • The following units end with practice assignments: 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11
  • Unit 12 would make an ideal class project.
  • Consider using unit 13 for the final class project
  • If units 12 and 13 are used in class, consider asking students to build a real-world website using Drupal 7 for their final assessment.

6. Suggested Plan for Course Units

  • For a 10 week course: Use units 1 to 11. Consider combining Units 2 and 3.
  • For a 12 week course: Use units 1 to 12.
  • For a 14 week course: Use units 1 to 12 but allow more time for Units 8 and 9.

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