Drupal How-To: Find great beginner tutorials on Drupal 7
In my first blog post, I outlined the main sources for fresh news and info about Drupal. In this post, I’ll round up the best blog sources for tutorials in the Drupal community.
Great Beginner Blogs Round-up
There’s such a large volume of great content coming out for Drupal lately for both new and experienced Drupal developers.
Great standby sources such as LevelTen , Isovera, Drupal Easy , PreviousNext, MediaCurrent and Lullabot continue to consistently publish excellent Drupal-related posts. But I noticed a number of really good new blog sources particularly for beginners. There seems to be a mix of tutorials and spotlights on specific modules, both as articles and video/screencasts.
Beginner Drupal Tutorials
This is a round up and hat-tip to some great new blogs specifically focused on beginner content.
Web Wash videos
Ivan posts a couple of times a week. He writes tutorials and records videos on “Using X module”. Very straightforward!
Danny blogs a few times a week. Keep an eye out for his "Cool modules" posts.
Toronto Website Developer.
Pete posts video tutorials good for beginners. He’s in the middle of a 10 part series on Views right now.
Shane Thomas posts a "Daily dose of Drupal” includes introductions to specific modules. There are well over a hundred such doses already!
There are also some more detailed tutorials such as these:
John Hannah posts beginner-friendly tutorials on his site: http://friendlymachine.net/tags/tutorials
- Essential Modules for New Site Builders
- Five Tips for the Drupal Beginner
- How to Learn Drupal (without losing your mind)
- The Formula for an Amazing Drupal Website
OStraining have a busy calendar of blog posts as well http://www.ostraining.com/blog/drupal/
- Creating a Photo Gallery in Drupal 7
- Using Drupal's Advanced Forum Module
- Creating a Drupal Slideshow with Views Slideshow
- Control Who Can View Drupal Nodes: Content Access
The format of an interview on podcasts works well, since you can learn a little more about people in the community, and hear about new tools being used. It makes it easier as well to spark conversation when you meet them in person, for example at a sprint.
Drupal Easy Podcast
They just published their 99th podcast! http://drupaleasy.com/podcast (Funny enough, I was looking through the recent archive and noticed how many of the folks have been involved in our Acquia Training program :D)
- Owen Lansbury, of Previous Next (one of our busiest training partners)
- Cindy McCourt, author (she has trained with us too!)
- Kendall Totten from Media Current (she also trains with us too!)
Jam at Acquia
Brian posts interviews in his podcast about once a week with busy contributors who give insights into Drupal.
He also posts free and premium video series such as this one on the views slideshow module.
I hope the links above give you some leads on great sources for tutorials, but I wanted to also cover how to discover tutorials for yourself as well.
if you’re trying to learn something new in Drupal (or anything) my guess is you turn to your favorite search engine, and hope for the best. In an ideal world we'd publish our tutorials on Drupal.org documentation, thereby making it MUCH easier to search for good quality content. (I know the docs team is working on a major re-jig of documentation.)
So - I stop short of using “lmgtfy.com” when I get asked questions. What I’ve learned is that many folks don’t know to make the most of these great search indexes we have. And of course, the Drupal.org faceted search is very good as well, but it doesn't capture ALL the content.
Bing and Google are my favorites. Each have their own benefits and even source-specific indexes.
- Google’s blog search does include Drupal.org in the sources. Using that as a starting point can find some great original content. See: http://www.google.com/blogsearch
- Bing’s video search is very good. You can filter by length and source. See: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=drupal+tutorial
Improving Search Queries
1. Improve your search query.
- For example a search for: drupal jquery tutorial yields a poor results.
- Whereas if I limit to "drupal 7" jquery tutorial I get rid of some cruft in the search results.
2. Use advanced operators such as site:drupal.org allow you to refine searches better. Turns out each search engine has its special tricks.
In Bing you can specify content with a specific page title.
"drupal 7" jquery intitle:tutorial
In Google you can search a year range separated by two dots 2012..2013
"drupal 7" AND jquery AND video tutorial 2012..2013
- More tips on operators in Google search http://support.google.com/websearch/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=136861
- More tips on Bing’s Advanced Operator Reference http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff795620.aspx
I hope that gives you some ideas of new sources for tutorials and ways you can search better as well. Trust me, if you're having a problem, it's likely that someone else has too!
In the next post I'll be writing about ways to get answers to your specific questions through the various help and support channels available.
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