Installing Drupal on a Web Host - dummies

Installing Drupal on a Web Host

By Lynn Beighley, Seamus Bellamy

After you’ve uploaded and extracted Drupal and created a database to store its data, you can begin the installation of Drupal on your web host.

By now, you are probably eager to see your Drupal site. It’s out there on the web, waiting for you to go through the setup. To reach it, browse to your domain and the directory where you installed it. For example, if your website is, and you installed it in a directory called test, browse to You should see the Welcome screen.


Drupal now takes you through a series of forms. Choose the Standard Install and click Save and Continue. Choose English (built-in) and click Save and Continue, as shown.


Creating the configuration file

To create the configuration file, open the file manager on your web host’s site, and copy and rename a file in the Drupal directory in the directory sites/default/. 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.

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

  3. Select the web directory and then the directory containing all the Drupal files.

  4. Locate the sites directory and select it. Select the default directory.

  5. Select the only file in this directory, named default.settings.php. Locate and select the Copy function in your file manager.

  6. If your file manager asks you to enter a directory for the new file, type ./settings.php and click Copy.

    Your file manager may simply make a copy of the file, and you may have a function that allows you to rename the file to settings.php.

Verifying requirements

Browse back to your Drupal site and reload the page. The error message should be gone, and you should see the Database configuration form.


Setting up the database

Enter the name of the database you created earlier, drupal, in the Database Name text box. For the database username and password, enter the previously assigned username and password. Click the Save and Continue button and cross your fingers. If everything goes well, your Drupal site is installed and you move on to configuring it.

There’s a very good chance that a problem will crop up as you’re creating a database, adding a database username and password, or giving that username permission to communicate with the database you created. These are not trivial tasks and (okay) are probably the hardest part of the Drupal experience. But don’t despair . . . .

You are strongly encouraged to read through the process described and contact your web host for help with these steps if you encounter any problems. You can also visit Drupalfordummies and post questions on the forum, where other Drupal users can help you figure out how to solve your database problems.

Configuring the site

There are quite a few bits of information you need to provide on the Configure site form shown.


All this information can be modified later.

Here’s the list of text boxes and options you fill out:

  • Site Name: This text box is pre-filled with the domain name of your Drupal site. It’s actually going to show up at the top of all the pages on your site.

    Change this to a title that makes sense for your current site. If you don’t know what you want to call your site, you can name it later.

  • Site E-mail Address: Drupal can automatically send e-mails when certain things happen, such as a new user signing up. The e-mail address you enter appears as the sender (the From address) on these e-mails.

  • Site Maintenance Account Username: This is the username (yes, yet another username) that you use to connect to your Drupal administrative functions. You need this username to do anything to your site, from changing its appearance to adding new pages. Enter a username of your choice. Make this a name you will remember.

  • Site Maintenance Account E-mail Address: Enter an e-mail address where you want to receive e-mails from the Drupal system.

  • Site Maintenance Account Password: Enter a password to be used with your administrative login.

    Make it a difficult-to-guess password, but one that you will remember.

  • Site Maintenance Account Confirm Password: Type the password again to confirm.

  • Default Country: Select your country.

  • Default Time Zone: Anything you do with Drupal that has a time associated with it will use this time zone. For example, if you post to a blog on the site, the time posted will use this time zone.

  • Check for Updates Automatically: This is a nice feature to select. Drupal is an evolving application, and updates are released frequently. If you select this option, you will see a message when you log in as administrator anytime a new update is available. You can opt to receive these notifications by e-mail.

After you fill out and submit the configuration form, you see a final screen that lets you know configuration is complete. Congratulations!