Create a Killer Band Site with Drupal: A 6-part Tutorial Series

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!

The Complete Lesson Index:

Read Part 1 – Design it Illustrator
Read Part 2 – Slicing it Illustrator
Read Part 3 – XHTML
Read Part 4 – Theming in Drupal
Read Part 5 -Drupal Admin
Read Part 6 -Wrap Up and Additional Resources



In this six-part Drupal tutorial series we’ll be reviewing how to create a Drupal website from scratch for the fictitious GoBand . Also, we’ll review an alternative development path for website design by using Adobe Illustrator. You will learn exactly how to build a fully functional dynamic band website from start to finish in this lesson. This first part will go over what Drupal is and why you should use it.


If you are not familiar with Drupal, I’ll briefly outline some reasons to choose it as your platform of choice for website design:

* Drupal is a robust platform and Content Management System. Its used for bands, communities, ecommerce, and more. It is used on many sizes of sites from small companies, to non-profit groups, and all the way up to large corporate entities.
* Anything you want to do can be done with Drupal. It will fold your laundry if you program it to.
* Drupal is very modular. At the code level it is made to be tapped into with its system of hooks.
* Drupal is one of the fastest growing Open Source Projects there is.
* And for the purposes of this tutorial, Drupal is used by numerous Bands.

Sites that use Drupal:

Sony BMG Records has a multi-site install of Drupal that shares the same code base for many of its bands’ individual websites. So, this gives you a good idea of how large Drupal can scale. Here are a handful of their band websites that are built with Drupal:

And of course, many more.

This is a great example of how powerful Drupal is. We’re going to get you started with making bands websites in Drupal. And believe me if you become an expert at this there is a huge market for talented Drupal Developers and Web Designers out there.

Here is a rundown of the tutorials to follow in this series:

Tutorial 1 – Follow along as we build a design for the fictitious band, “GoBand.” We’ll use freely available Go Media Arsenal elements to add some flair to the website design in Illustrator.

Tutorial 2 – Get out your virtual knives because we’ll be slicing and dicing our design and prepping the images for the web.

Tutorial 3 – Put on your coding hat, mine is a tucker style cap that says, “Coding the Distance”. We’ll be converting our design to standards based xhtml and Cascading Stylesheets.

Tutorial 4 – Don’t take that cap off yet. We’ll be converting our xhtml/css into a working drupal theme. Yes this means opening up some scary php template files.

Tutorial 5 – We’ll get familiar with the Drupal interface and set up our website.

Tutorial 6 – We’ll wrap up the series with some Final details and leave you with some excellent Drupal resources.

What skills do these tutorials assume you have?

To take advantage of this whole series you should have a familiarity with xhtml and cascading style sheets. Though to be a Drupal Ninja you need great php chops for the purposes of creating basic Drupal themes and this tutorial series you can get by fine without. We’ll cover the deceptive black art of the copy and paste of proven workable php code. It would help to have some familiarity with Illustrator or a similar program. Though a desire to learn and access to the program is all you really need.

Check out the Next Lesson:

Read Part 1 – Design it Illustrator
Read Part 2 – Slicing it Illustrator
Read Part 3 – XHTML
Read Part 4 – Theming in Drupal
Read Part 5 -Drupal Admin
Read Part 6 -Wrap Up and Additional Resources