Create a Killer Band Site in Drupal – Part 4 – Theming Drupal

This tutorial is another special series written guest author Sean Hodge from and Connection Cube. He is an expert in Drupal, which I am totally not familar with. He intrigued me when he told me that the majority of the bands on Sony’s record label are powered by Drupal. Drupal is basically an open source CMS, and I was interested in learning more about it. So that’s why he’s writing this tutorial for us. You can learn along with me!

Read the introduction – What’s Drupal and why?
Read Part 1 – Design it Illustrator
Read Part 2 – Slicing it Illustrator
Read Part 3 – XHTML
Read Part 5 -Drupal Admin


In our last tutorial we coded our XHTML and Cascading Style Sheets. Now we are going to turn that code into a Druapl Theme.

Setup Drupal

First download a copy of the final Goband Theme files. That way you’ll have it to refer to as you work through this tutorial.

Next you want to download the most recent version of Drupal 5. Go to and look for the link on the right of the screen. Then make sure you get Drupal installed. Lullabot has a good video on Installing Drupal 5. You will need either a local test environment setup or a host that is Drupal compatible. I’m on a Mac and I use MAMP for local testing. Lullabot has a good video for setting up a Local Mamp Test Server on your Mac. You could certainly develop with Drupal and have a different setup. Lullabot has more resources for setting up a local test site on other computer types. Check out their Videos section. I keep mentioning Lullabot. They are well known in the Drupal community for producing really good websites for big companies, offering seminars, and running a Drupal podcast. They have some great Drupal resources.

Once you have Drupal installed rename your Drupal install folder to your project name. In this case its named goband. The image below has invisible files shown, as there are important files like the .htaccess file to be aware of. For the rest of this tutorial I’ll have invisible files turned off though.

File Structure

Create Your Theme Directory

There are a multitude of template languages that Drupal can work with. The most common is PHPTemplate that uses Drupal’s own theme engine. There are two places to put your Drupal theme. The most obvious is in