Drupal is a full Content Management System (or CMS) that can be deployed with any number of purposes. It has been developed as an open-source project and released under the highly open GPL license. Drupal prides itself on being a system wherein the openness allows any developer to easily add functionality using modules, effectively creating an infinite platform for expansion and growth. Drupal is written in the PHP programming language.
DreamHost does not offer Drupal as a One-Click Install. You must manually install this program yourself. If you receive errors during the installation, DreamHost support may not be able to assist.
Drupal adoption advice
Drupal is a highly flexible and powerful tool, and as such should be used by those with knowledge of HTML, web applications, and at least a vague notion of how databases (such as MySQL) function. You don't have to actually know PHP and MySQL to make it function, but a working knowledge of phpMyAdmin, the web-based MySQL administration tool, is helpful, if not mandatory, for using Drupal.
If your goal is simply to maintain a blog (or weblog, something Drupal is quite capable of), you might consider using a simpler and more targeted application such as WordPress, which is less confusing and more stable due to its simplicity.
VPS or Dedicated servers are recommended
Since Drupal uses a lot of resources, it's highly recommended you only install Drupal on a VPS or Dedicated server. If you choose to run Drupal on a Shared server, you may experience performance issues.
Enabling OPcache before installing Drupal
When you install Drupal, it checks for certain specs on your server. It will show a warning if OPcache isn't enabled, so it's recommended you enable this for performance purposes. View the following article for instructions on how to enable OPcache:
Installing Drupal 7
- Visit Drupal’s download page.
- Download the version you wish.
- Upload the files via FTP to your site’s web directory.
- Create a MySQL database in your panel. View the MySQL article for instructions.
- Visit your website where you uploaded the Drupal files to begin the installation.
- During the installation process, you’ll need to know your database credentials. You must also change the ‘Database host’ field from localhost to your actual DreamHost database hostname. View the phpMyAdmin article for further details.
Changing the database port isn’t required. However, the DreamHost Database port is 3306. Then choose an appropriate table prefix if you feel inclined to do so.
It's recommended that you either deactivate account creation requests (in /admin/config/people/accounts) or install a spam-reducing module such as Mollom in order to stop spam user accounts right away. This requires more time and expertise.
If you are installing Drupal 7 with multiple modules, you may trigger an error message stating that the installation cannot find a needed table in the MySQL database. This usually means that the Drupal installation of the MySQL database on DreamHost has not finished populating the full list of tables with data. Give it some time and try the installation again. The length of time is dependent on the number of modules you have selected to install. If you are installing a fresh version of Drupal 7, you may have better results if you first install the slimmer version when the installation asks. You can always add more modules later.
Drupal 7 demands more resources, especially from the MySQL database. If you wish to use Drupal 7, you should seriously consider upgrading to a private MySQL server which displays pages much more quickly.
Drupal cron jobs
Additional instructions on the following pages at Drupal.org:
If you're installing Drupal 7
Make sure to use a cron.php URL that includes your "cron key", a query string variable provided by Drupal. The unique URL to the cron script including the cron key can be found on the Status Report page, under the cron heading.
View the Drupal multi-site guide for instructions on this configuration. Please note that DreamHost support is unable to assist with any errors that may occur as this is a customized setup.
Drupal8 requires the Fileinfo extension to be added to PHP. Visit the following article which walks you through how to enable this at DreamHost:
- Drupal – Drupal's Main site.
- Download – Download page for Latest version of Drupal.
- Handbook – Drupal's Official Handbook (not perfect)
- Forum – Drupal's forum, search before asking a question.
- Videos – Bittorrents for some videos of presentations at a Drupal Conference.
- Podcasts – Podcasts (video and audio) by Drupal developers Lullabot.
- Themes – Some preset themes that can easily be used in your Drupal installation.