Drupal 6 Site Build Checklist

This is my checklist for the beginning stages of building a new Drupal 6 site. Your checklist may certainly vary — this is a list of steps that I personally found myself repeating many times. This checklist assumes you have already come up with a development plan, with custom content types, custom urls, etc., having been defined. I also assume that you are using the CCK, ImageCache, and Views modules (if you're not, ask yourself why not).

(See my list of commonly used modules here.)

First Step

  • Download and install Drupal core (duh). For this, you may need to install a local database as well.

Site Building

  • Modules: Install and enable all your known modules.
  • Modules: Make sure these non-obvious submodules are enabled:
    • Core - Statistics
    • Core - Upload
    • CCK - Content Permissions
    • ImageCache - ImageAPI GD2
    • ImageCache - ImageCache UI
    • Views - Views UI
  • Themes: Download and install the Zen Theme. Follow the directions to create your own sub-theme, and configure it.
  • Blocks: Disable "Powered by Drupal," "Navigation," and "User Login."

Site Configuration

  • Administration Theme: Set "Garland" as the "Administration theme," and check the box to "Use administration theme for content editing."
  • Clean URLs: Make sure they're enabled (edit httpd.conf if necessary to allow enabling).
  • Date & Time: Disable user-configurable time zones.
  • Error Reporting: Make sure Error reporting is set to "Write errors to the log and to the screen."
  • File System: Make sure "File system path" and "Temporary directory" are valid. Set "Download method" to Public.
  • File Uploads: Set "List files by default" to No, set "Default maximum file size per upload" to 100MB, set "Default total file size per user" to 1000MB.
  • Input Formats: set "Full HTML" as default
  • Performance: Make sure "Caching mode" is disabled to start.
  • Site Information: Make sure the site has a name, keep all other settings as-is.


  • Access Log Settings: Set "Enable access log" and "Count content views" to enabled.
  • Status Report: Run cron manually under "Cron maintenance tasks." Then make sure everything looks satisfactory. Warnings (yellow highlighting) might be ok, but errors (red highlighting) should be addressed.

Content Management

  • Taxonomy: Create taxonomy vocabularies and terms
  • Content Types: Delete "Story" content type
  • Content Types: Create new content types. Make sure to:
    • edit "Submission form settings" fields as necessary
    • edit "Workflow settings" as necessary, paying special attenditon to "Promoted to front page," "Attachments," and "Comments" settings
    • create fields in the new content types.
  • Configure Nodewords module for desired content types.
  • Create Content: Create known pages, making sure to give custom paths to each page.

User Management

  • Permissions: Set permissions on custom content types and their fields.

Site Building (Revisited)

  • Themes: Configure global theme settings - uncheck "Display post information on" for all content types.
  • URL Aliases: Set pathauto settings for new content types.
  • Modules: Create and activate custom module, implementing hooks, preprocess functions, and utility functions.
  • Menus: Add links Primary Links menu.

Now you can begin creating content for your site, and after that it's time for creating views. And then you're ready to build your site!



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