New to Drupal and Drupal Hawaii group

patrickgrady's picture

Aloha everyone,

My name is Patrick Grady and I am not only brand new to the Drupal Hawaii group, but am also a brand newbie to Drupal!! I have 10+ years experience with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and have recently decided that I am ready to start exploring a new career path. A friend of mine has a business which revolves around web development using Drupal for client companies. He gave me the run down on what he does and it sounds very cool. My goal is to be able to work remotely and feel as if working with Drupal will allow me to create that reality for myself.

Any advice/insight for a newcomer to Drupal will be greatly appreciated!! For starters, where to now? I watched a preliminary video on Drupal and am hooked! I'd appreciate some steering into the best direction to get my skill set up to scratch. So, fire away with some of your advice/insights as to where I should head from here (online courses, books, jump into Drupal Gardens headfirst.....)


Patrick Grady


Getting Started

rieraney's picture

I recommend downloading a distribution of Drupal 7 and using that to try out what you read in books and online groups. There's nothing like getting your hands dirty! If you have an online hosting service like Bluehost or Dreamhost or someone, you can download it from and install it there. Otherwise if you just want to try it on your own computer you can either do a "vanilla" download from or I also highly recommend the Acquia Drupal install from . I think that still provides a full "WAMP" or "MAMP" install that turns your PC or Mac machine into a localhost web server so you can run it locally and see all the goodies.

DrupalGardens isn't a bad way to see under the cover of Drupal, but it doesn't give you the full power to add and remove modules and all that good stuff. Plus getting comfortable with the install process, and the file structure process is valuable.

Best of luck - you'll be frustrated and euphoric by turns - enjoy!

Drupal 7.0 from vs Acquia

patrickgrady's picture

Thanks Rieraney,

Can you please give me a quick run down on the difference between downloading the 7.0 release from the site versus the Acquia site? Is the Acquia version essentially a touched up and modified version of the download available from I am probably putting the cart before the horse at this stage and should probably be doing some more reading/research first............

Also, a quick run down on needing a hosting site to install my version of Drupal to? I am so new at this that I just figured that the Drupal software would sit on my computer?? Obviously not the case ;)


Hey Pat! On hosting - I

jaspher's picture

Hey Pat!

On hosting - I personally like bluehost. Their support is really good. Bluehost does offer one-click installs of Drupal but from my experience, it's best to do the manual installation.

Lullabot's channel on youtube has some really good vids for beginners. You should also check out which is the go-to place for Drupal videos.

Hope this helps!

ig: @thejaspher
tw: @jaspher

Video training I've used for learning Drupal

loren.swendsen's picture

I really recommend checking out the video courses on isn't free, but IMO it's worth paying for the quality. Plus you can get up to speed surprisingly fast.

It's $25 a month but as long as your subscription is active you can watch all day long. is also very professional. A bit dry at times, and costs more than lynda. But still, videos like this can really get you up & running.