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on April 12, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I know nothing about Drupal, had no background with websites, and this book was a great help to get me started in understanding how Drupal worked. I update the content for a Drupal website.
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on November 23, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This has a lot of useful information about the BASICS of Drupal. However, if you want to do the more advanced functions in Drupal, such as module and theme development, it has a small intro to custom theme development and no mention of module development. I found the book well written with overall, however I have not read the entire book yet.
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on October 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Hard to find a Drupal manual that covers all of the complexities and options in the software. This does a pretty good job of covering it.
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on June 12, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
The book covers step by step how to create a Drupal site with clearly defined directions. It also covers some more advanced topics but only briefly. The book is meant for beginners and it does a good job of speaking to that audience.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I was put in charge of a migration project from Ektron websites to Drupal websites. I was already familiar with HTML, and many web technologies, but I knew nothing of Drupal. I read about half of the book, and it gave me enough to know what I needed to know. If I were going to be a Drupal developer, this would be a good start.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book is very useful if you wish to build a Drupal website without having to learn code. The book, for the most part, does not delve into code at all. All website customizations are done via configuration options from the administrative toolbar. The exception is a very short section within Theme building that introduces the basics of HTML, CSS and PHP.

Individuals with a non-technical background or those with no web coding expertise will gain maximum benefit from the book. The writing style is very engaging with examples following a step by step, do as I say approach. Soft skills in website planning, information architecture, search engine optimisation to highlight but a few are also explored.

Those with prior expertise in Drupal or indeed individuals coming from other Content Management Systems may find the book to be technically light ( less geeky for want of a better word ) with an almost neurotic avoidance of code. Saying that, however, there are many nuggets of very useful information on grid based layouts, automated accessibility tools, analytics software packages to highlight but a few.

Drupal is a challenging subject but the book goes a great way in making it understandable. All in all, a good starter for beginners but reference material ( at best ) for the more experienced.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 6, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
It might be a good book, but it didn't worked for me. Its to much talking and very few site building.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I am trying to learn Drupal. I have Drupal 7.14 installed. It appears that this book applies to Drupal 7 so I thought I was in the "right place."

I actually tried to build the Case Studies in Chapter 9 and 10. I found that the further I got into the examples, the more incomprehensible they became. I feel this is because of the numerous errors and poor flow of the text in comparison to what really happens. It seems the author prepared the steps from memory but did not actually quality check the steps to see that what is described matches the user's experience. The editors could not have gone through the steps either as they just don't work.

There are several cases where text is simply missing or out of order. These errata require the reader to apply in addition to reading skills, reverse engineering skills to decode what the author's intent was. In several cases I was able to perform this decoding, but in others I just had to give up. The detailed guidance does not match what you see. For example, there are dialogs that appear that the author does not cover. So at that point I am lost. Or the author refers to links or tabs that are simply not present.

Perhaps the case studies were written for an earlier version of Drupal and have not been correctly updated. Or perhaps they are just erroneous. I cannot tell. But I can definitely say that it is an exercise in frustration and futility to try to follow the case studies. And I am betting that all the steller reviews here are from people who did not try to complete the case studies either.

Originally I believe I overreacted in the rating. The book is useful regardless of the flaws in the case studies. For me, when I want to gain a "sense" of the content, I would often skip over the case studies. However, to really learn to use Drupal, you really have to build something yourself, either from scratch or by following a case study. That is why I am disappointed by the incompleteness and flaws of the case studies.

I am going to continue going through the book, as except for the disastrous case studies, the book does seem well written. I may be able to come back and update this review later if my experience changes.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'll cut to the chase: "Drupal User's Guide" is a good book, and if you're trying to get your bearings in the often-confusing world of Drupal site building, you should buy it. Period.

I'm not necessarily the target audience: I've been a Drupal developer for almost six years now, and I tend to chew on more esoteric and nerdy problems than the ones this book tackles. I do a lot of training and education for clients and customers, though, and the approach that author Emma Jane Hobgin takes is fantastic for those who aren't already neck-deep in the world of Drupal (or a similar web CMS). She's an experienced author, teacher, and trainer who knows Drupal inside out, and it really shows.

The book often mixes technical information about Drupal-specific features with introductions to the "soft skills" needed to use them effectively. Drupal's FieldAPI, for example, isn't just about clicking and dragging. Using it effectively requires understanding how to break down something like "An article" or "An event" into discrete chunks of information, and Hobgin tackles that without getting tangled up in the technical weeds. Similarly, chapters on installing Drupal include useful overviews of the other stuff that's needed -- web hosting, domain registration, and information about how to cope with "custom installers" provided by soem web hosts. The chapters of the book that deal with planning your site's structure also touch on SEO and accessibility.

Many of those secondary topics have enough potential depth to justify their own books, but their inclusion works well. While that information can be safely skipped by old hands and experienced web developers, the result is a Drupal guide with valuable context, something that's often missing from purely technical books.

Hobgin also pays attention to the current trends in the world of third-party Drupal addons. The chapters that cover design and theming explain how to build custom Drupal templates, naturally, but the book also gives some space to point-and-click design tools like Sweaver. While some people will always want to roll their own designs from scratch, it's great to see all the options covered.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
Emma Jane is a great trainer and her books are an excellent starter for anyone getting into Drupal. Her first book is the best for both beginners & intermediate Drupal 6 developers and, while this one is lighter on material, it is even easier to get into. Well worth reading.
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