Drupal is an open-source system used by millions of people and companies for content structuring and management.

It's a platform with a great number of themes and modules, which is why around 97% of its users rank it as one of the top-performing platforms in the industry.

If you want to build a usable website or an application, Drupal offers some of the great tools and features provided by a large community.

However, to truly harness the potential of Drupal and navigate its rich ecosystem effectively, seeking guidance from experts is often essential. Debug Academy emerges as a valuable resource for those looking to master Drupal's intricacies.

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To get started with Drupal, let's take a look at our top 5 tips for beginners:

1- Knowledge of PHP and Command Line Interface helps make task completion more efficient

CML or Command-line interface is a program through which users can issue textual commands to the computer, instructing it to do certain tasks. 

One of the greatest advantages of CLI is that it allows users to automate repetitive tasks due to its ability to store scripts.

Since Drupal has its own CLI tool developed (it's called Drush!), having prior knowledge of Command-Line basics can give you as a user a great advantage. 

How? Well, instead of having to spend a lot of time in the command line using GIT, you can do things like enable a module or deploy a security update to your website using simple commands.

This way, you're speeding up the common tasks by reducing the need to perform them manually.

As for PHP, it is one of the most used programming languages and a language with which Drupal was designed to work. 

Knowledge of the PHP framework would certainly be beneficial for anyone looking into Drupal development; however, if you don't have extensive knowledge of CLI or PHP - it's not the end of the world! 

Drupal is pretty easy to figure out even without having extensive programming experience. The reason for this is because Drupal provides you with Drupal core, a large number of different modules, menus and tick boxes from the get-go.

2- Use pre-configured bundles to get your website running quickly

To build your own website, you'll need to install Drupal first. 

The place of your Drupal installation will depend on whether you're building your site on a computer or on the internet, which is preferred. 

In case you're only starting to build websites on Drupal and you'd rather do it on your computer, one thing you can do is download Dev Desktop or a similar mock server. This way, you can use a simulation of real servers to perform different tests and checks.  

Don't be afraid to use one of the pre-existing profiles built by other coders, as they are a great source of pre-built modules, themes and functions that can get your website running in no time. 

3- Updating your memory limit option will eliminate the "White Screen of Death" error

Analogous to Microsoft's blue screen of death, some operating systems (like Apple) have the user's screen go white when an error occurs. 

An example of such an error could be a hardware failure, a glitch or a software conflict.

In Drupal, this blank white screen often appears after you download and install a lot of Drupal modules. These modules can use up to over 40Mb of your memory per request, depending on the number of installed modules, which can slow things down a bit.

One way to avoid memory overload is to avoid installing too many modules. Instead, install only the modules that you truly need and pay attention to whether they work well with each other.

The other way, if you want to control memory overhead, is to first locate the php.ini file on your operating system and then update the 'memory_limit' option to memory_limit = 128M

Tip: To avoid disk trashing, you might want to consider lowering your memory limit on a production server until it reaches a maximum level that works for your website. It's all about trial and error!

4- Learn to customize pre-built themes to stand out

If you don't want your site to end up looking the same as other Drupal sites, you need to learn customized theming.

Downloading pre-built themes from the root theme folder is more than okay. In fact, we encourage users to make things easier on themselves and do this.

However, if you're opting to browse through the existing themes, our advice is to download one of the minimalistic themes (such as Zen or Adaptive theme) that are designed to be tailored. Then, tailor these themes to your own needs. 

You can do this by creating and editing the CSS of your own subtheme beneath the base that you've downloaded. It's even alright if you borrow some of the CSS from other pre-existing themes, but be aware of infringing someone's intellectual property rights. 

If you'd rather have a Drupal themer take care of this aspect for you, you can always employ a trusted Drupal development company to help you add that personalized touch. 

5- Update your site and take security measures against threats

Drupal is open-source software, which makes it vulnerable to malicious attacks and other unauthorized actions.

To keep your site secure, you don't want to rely solely on Drupal's security team and their updates. Instead, you need to take your own security measures.

For one, you should follow Drupal's security updates. This way, you'll know when new features and fixes are added and be able to add them to your code and your modules.

Another thing you can do is use complex passwords that aren't easy to guess and even change them regularly.

Finally, run regular audits for bugs and automatic backups to ensure that all your vital information is safely stored in case of a cyberattack.

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