Installing Drupal: Getting Software - dummies

Installing Drupal: Getting Software

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

If your web host is not using Fantastico or Softaculous, the first step to installing Drupal is getting a copy of the latest version of Drupal and moving it to your web server.

    Downloading the package

Getting a copy of the Drupal software is free and easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Browse to and click the green Get Started with Drupal button.

    The most current version of Drupal — and the version this text is based on — is 7.0 or later.

  2. Click the Download the Latest Version link.

    You will be taken to the Download & Extend page with a link where you can actually begin the download.

  3. Click the Drupal Core tab and scroll down to the Downloads list, and then click Version 7.0.

    The file will be named something like drupal-7.0.tar.gz or The .zip version is to the right, and you may find it easier to work with.

  4. Save this file to a directory you will remember.

    Uploading the package

When you download Drupal, it comes as a single, compressed tar.gz or .zip file, but it actually consists of many files and folders. All these files need to be located in a web directory on your web server. Here’s how you can upload the single .zip file to your web directory on most web hosts.

Don’t extract the .zip until you upload it. You should extract the files in the final web directory where you want them. Otherwise you may find it difficult to upload all the files and keep them in their appropriate locations in the Drupal directory.

The screen shots shown use a program called Fileman, but your web host may have a different program that handles file management. In general, these file manager programs do similar things. If you are familiar using an FTP program, feel free to use that instead.

To upload the .zip file from your computer, follow these steps:

  1. Locate the e-mail from your web host that has your username, password, and login information. Browse to the web host’s site and log in.

    You will see some sort of control panel with options for your new website.


  2. Find and click the link to a file manager.

    You need a file manager so that you can select the Drupal .zip file and put it in the correct directory on your web host’s site. After you click the file manager, a screen appears which shows your files on your web host’s web server.


  3. You should see a single folder or directory named html, www, public, or htdocs. Click its name to open it.

    There may be several directories, but the one for your website should be easy to spot. This is where all your web pages belong — and where you need to install Drupal.

    Not all web hosts name their web folders the same way. If you aren’t sure which directory is your web directory, contact your web hosting company.

  4. Locate and click the Upload link on your file manager.

    You should see an upload form with a Choose File or Browse button.

  5. Click Choose File or Browse and find the Drupal .zip file you downloaded. Click Upload.

    Your file is now on your site. You will now need to extract and install the Drupal software.


If you click one of the directories or folders accidentally and end up inside that folder in your file manager, look for the Parent Directory link near the top of the file listing and click it to navigate out of the folder you are in, and into the parent folder one level above.