Building Out a Full Drupal Site on a Busy Weekend

This weekend I am going to attend the Catholic New Media Celebration. I'll be on two plane flights, I'll be sitting at an airport for a few hours before each flight, and I'll be at a convention all day Saturday. I'm hoping to build out a new site idea I've had lurking in the back of my head for some time: Open Source Catholic.

List of Downloaded Files for Drupal Install

In the past 45 minutes, I've been jumping around downloading all the different modules and tutorials I think I'll need. I've also saved some of my previous work on other Drupal sites in case I need to refer to a code snippet along the way while I don't have Internet access. I'm going to call it a night for now (I need to pack!), but tomorrow, beginning at the airport, I'm going to start working on the site.

Right now, there's a splash page. No theme, no Drupal installation—nothing more than a simple welcome message. By Monday, I'm hoping to have a Drupal site with a new theme (which I hope to contribute back to d.o as a zen subtheme) and all the community features I can possibly cram into it. One man, three days; almost no free time to work with. Think it can be done? I think so! Follow me as I begin this fun and crazy journey!


  1. Part 1: Putting the Puzzle Together
  2. Part 2: Theme Development
  3. Part 3: Going Live...
  4. Part 4: [Final] Releasing a Theme on d.o!


Sounds like a challenge! I had to do something similar a couple months ago and was able to get a working site in place to handle blogging and photo uploads with organic groups within two days (though I did have some help from my team on a few things new to me.) Sounds like a similar scenario to mine. I was jumping on a plane to Knoxville, TN and had about 48 hrs to get it in place in between a bunch of other activites.

I'm probably a day late with this suggestion, but next time perhaps consider using the Acquia Drupal download as a starting point. It's all standard D6 stuff packaged with select modules to simplify installation for convenience. Free download. No obligation. You can download a tarball with core and select modules, or you can go with a complete stack install if you wish. You can add other contrib modules as needed as with any other site.

Best of luck! I'm looking forward to hearing of the outcome. (if you have time to write about it..!)

I had considered using an Acquia stack, but the only problem is that they have a few little quirks as a result of their customization that I'm not particularly fond of: the admin_menu has some hardcoded changes that display "acquia_subscription_status" and can confuse users sometimes, and I don't have time to weed out all the custom Acquia stuff.

I also like having *all* my contrib modules in sites/all/modules or sites/default/modules ;-)

I'm working on the theming right now... hopefully will have it finished by the time the plane lands. Then on to test-cases, etc. New blog post just went up a few minutes ago with some more details...

Good point about the admin menu. We should disappear those aspects if the Acquia connector modules are disabled.

The module locations was a subject of long internal debate before we released Acquia Drupal. The winning argument came down to the "easy update" for Acquia Drupal users, many of whom will be new to Drupal, since the main goal of AD is to help expand the Drupal user community by providing a quick on-ramp experience.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Sounds like you are well on your way to your goal!


@ Kent - Thanks! And I'm glad you guys are around; you're helping grow Drupal from a cult-like app to something truly extraordinary (along with hundreds of other new Drupal shops!).

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Well, thank you for that little ad, roger!

With complex issues is often difficult to know where to start, and this may lead the uninitiated to throw in the towel early. Thank you very much for taking the time to make this video tutorial and give us an idea of what Drupal can do! Amazing stuff!
Online Picture Storage
Now it's just a minor issue * go out with interesting content, like ... chronicles the exciting life and mating habits of snails.

* Yes, yes! ;)

But seriously, THANK YOU