Drupal Core Explained: Unlocking the Power of a Leading CMS

Ever desired to build a dynamic website without getting lost in complex coding? Then Drupal Core can be your answer. As a free and open-source content management system (CMS), Drupal Core offers a powerful foundation to craft websites ranging from simple blogs to intricate e-commerce platforms.

But what exactly is Drupal Core, and how can it empower your website creation journey? This comprehensive guide dives deep into the world of Drupal Core. It unravels its functionalities and guides you through its installation process.

To ensure you get the best possible experience, this guide includes the process followed by the top-notch Drupal development company. It ensures incorporating their expertise to help you leverage the full potential of this versatile platform. Buckle up and get ready to unlock the power of Drupal Core for your next website project.

What is Drupal Core?

Drupal Core is the core of the Drupal content management system (CMS). It provides a stable foundation with essential building blocks for creating websites. Think of it as a robust toolbox equipped with the core functionalities you need to get your site up and running.

What is Drupal Core Used For?

  • Content Creation and Management. Drupal Core offers a user-friendly interface for creating and managing various content types. You can structure your content with fields, categorize it with tags and taxonomy, and even build custom content types for specific needs.
  • User Management and Permissions. Grant different user roles with varying levels of access to create, edit, and publish content. This allows for collaborative content creation and ensures control over sensitive information.
  • Site Structure and Navigation. Build menus and define how content is organized. Drupal Core provides flexibility to create a user-friendly navigation system that helps visitors find the information they need.

While Drupal Core is powerful, building complex websites might require additional functionalities. For extensive customization or integrating specialized features, consider hiring Drupal experts. Their experience can help you leverage the full potential of Drupal Core. They can also help you extend their capabilities with contributed modules and themes to create a website that perfectly meets your needs.

What are the Prerequisites to Install Drupal Core?

Before diving into the installation process, there are some essential tools you’ll need to create a welcoming environment for Drupal Core. These prerequisites act as the building blocks for your website’s foundation.

1. Web Server. This software acts as the intermediary between your website and the internet. Popular options include Apache and Nginx. They handle incoming requests, retrieve content from Drupal, and deliver it to users’ browsers.

2. Database Server. Drupal stores its content and configuration data in a database. MySQL and MariaDB are widely used options. The database server acts as the brain of your website, managing and organizing this crucial information.

3. PHP. Drupal is written in PHP, a server-side scripting language. It dynamically generates web pages based on user requests and interacts with the database. Ensuring you have a compatible PHP version is essential for smooth operation.

4. Composer. This dependency management tool helps install and manage Drupal Core and its additional modules. Composer simplifies the process by automating the download of required libraries and ensuring compatibility.

With these prerequisites in place, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your Drupal journey. Remember, if you encounter any technical hurdles during installation or customization, the Drupal community is a valuable resource.

How to Install Drupal Core?

Installing Drupal Core involves setting up the essential components and configuring them to work together seamlessly. Here’s a breakdown of the key steps:

Step 1: Navigate to Project Directory

Before we begin installing Drupal Core, we need to set the stage in your local development environment. This initial step involves using your terminal or command prompt to navigate to the directory where you want to install your Drupal website.

1. Open Terminal or Command Prompt. Locate and launch your terminal application. This is where you’ll interact with your system using text commands. Common options include Terminal (macOS/Linux), Command Prompt (Windows), or PowerShell (Windows).

2. Use the cd Command. The cd (change directory) command allows you to navigate through your file system. For example, the following command would change your directory to the websites folder within your home directory:

cd ~/websites

Replace ~/websites with the actual path to your desired project directory if it’s located elsewhere.

3. Create a Project Directory (Optional). If you haven’t already created a dedicated directory for your Drupal site, you can do so within the terminal using the mkdir command. For instance, the following command would create a directory named mydrupalsite within your current directory:

mkdir mydrupalsite

4. Navigate to the Project Directory. Once you’ve either created a new directory or identified your existing one, use the cd command to enter that directory. Continuing the previous example:

cd mydrupalsite

Now your terminal prompt should likely display something like ~/websites/mydrupalsite indicating you’re positioned in the correct directory for the next steps.

With the completion of these steps, you’ll be ready to use Composer commands within the appropriate directory to begin installing Drupal Core.

Step 2: Run Composer Command

Now that you’re in your project directory, it’s time to leverage Composer to download and install Drupal Core along with its dependencies. Composer acts as a package manager, ensuring you have all the necessary components for a functioning Drupal website.

1. Execute the Composer Command. In your terminal window (still within the project directory), run the following command:

composer create-project drupal/recommended-project:^9.4 mydrupalsite
  • Replace ^9.4 with the specific Drupal version you want to install (check the official documentation for compatible versions).
  • This command instructs Composer to create a new Drupal project named mydrupalsite using the drupal/recommended-project template.

2. Download and Installation. Composer will initiate the download process. It fetches Drupal Core and all its required dependencies from the web. This might take a few minutes depending on your internet speed.

3. Project Structure Creation. Composer will also create the basic Drupal project structure within the mydrupalsite directory. This includes essential folders like core, modules, themes, and config for organizing your Drupal website’s files.

Once the Composer command finishes execution, you’ll have a fresh Drupal project directory ready for further configuration.

Step 3: Database Setup

Drupal Core relies on a database to store its content, configuration, and user information. Before proceeding with the installation, you’ll need to create a database for your Drupal website.

1. Use Database Management Tool. Access your database management tool, such as phpMyAdmin or a similar interface provided by your web hosting service.

2. Create a New Database. Within your database management tool, locate the option to create a new database. Provide a descriptive name for your Drupal database (e.g., mydrupalsite_db).

3. Create a Database User. For improved security, it’s recommended to create a dedicated database user with permissions specific to Drupal’s needs. Grant this user the necessary privileges to create, read, update, and delete data within the database you created.

Important Notes:

  • Remember the database name, username, and password you create. You’ll need these credentials during the Drupal installation process.
  • If you’re unsure about creating a database user, consult your web hosting provider’s documentation for specific guidance.

With your database created and the credentials readily available, you’re prepared to move on to the next step: running the Drupal installation script.

Step 4: Run Installation

Now that you have Drupal Core downloaded and your database prepared, it’s time to initiate the installation process itself. Here’s how to run the Drupal installation:

1. Access the Project Directory in a Web Browser. Open a web browser window and navigate to the URL corresponding to your project directory. This is typically the same path you used in Step 1 to navigate using the terminal. For example, if your project directory is named mydrupalsite, you might access it at:


Note. The exact URL might vary depending on your local development environment setup.

2. Follow the Installation Wizard. Upon accessing the URL, you’ll be greeted by the Drupal installation wizard. This interactive interface will guide you through the configuration process.

3. Provide Installation Details. The wizard will prompt you for various settings, including:

  • Database Credentials. Enter the database name, username, and password you created in Step 3.
  • Site Information. Specify your site name, email address, and desired username/password for the administrator account.
  • Language Settings. Choose the preferred language for your Drupal site’s interface.
  • Optional Configuration. You can customize additional settings like default permissions and update notification options (refer to the wizard for details).

Once you’ve reviewed and confirmed all the settings, proceed with the installation by clicking the “Install” button. The installation process will begin, creating the database tables and setting up your Drupal website.

Congratulations! Following these installation steps, you’ll be able to access your Drupal administration panel located at http://localhost/mydrupalsite/admin using the administrator credentials you set during installation.

Enhance your CMS capabilities with our Drupal Development Services.

What are the Must-Have Drupal Core Functionalities?

Drupal Core offers a robust set of functionalities that form the foundation for building powerful and versatile websites. Here are some of the must-have features that come standard with Drupal Core:

1. Content Management System (CMS)

At its heart, Drupal Core is a full-fledged CMS. It provides a user-friendly interface for creating, editing, and publishing various content types. You can structure your content with custom fields, categorize it with tags and taxonomy. It also enables you to even build custom content types for specific needs.

2. User Management

Drupal Core empowers you to manage user roles and permissions. Grant different user groups varying levels of access to create, edit, and publish content. This facilitates collaborative content creation and ensures control over sensitive information on your website.

3. Taxonomy and Categorization

Organize your content effectively with Drupal’s robust taxonomy system. Create hierarchical classifications (vocabularies) and assign tags (terms) to categorize your content. This allows for improved searchability and navigation, making it easier for visitors to find the information they need.

4. Menu System

Build user-friendly navigation for your website with Drupal Core’s menu system. Create menus, define menu items, and assign them to specific locations on your website. This flexibility allows you to tailor the navigation experience to your specific needs and website structure.

5. Content Revisioning

Drupal Core safeguards your content by offering a revision history. You can revert to previous versions if mistakes are made or changes need to be rolled back. This ensures peace of mind and facilitates collaborative editing workflows.

While Drupal Core provides a powerful foundation for complex websites with advanced features, consider seeking the expertise of Drupal developers. They can use contributed modules and themes or even develop custom solutions to bring your unique vision to life. Their knowledge can help you build a secure, scalable, and feature-rich website that caters to your specific requirements.

Drupal is a strong alternative to Laravel, another popular PHP framework. However, the choice between them depends on your project’s specific needs. Consider factors like project complexity, desired features, and developer expertise when making your decision.

FAQs About Drupal Core

How does Drupal core differ from Drupal modules?
Drupal Core provides the essential building blocks for your website, like content management, user management, and menu systems. It's the foundation upon which you can build. Modules extend Drupal Core's functionality by adding new features and functionalities.
Can Drupal core be customized?
Absolutely! Drupal Core offers a high degree of customization. You can configure various settings, create custom content types and fields, and even modify the website's theme to match your brand identity. Additionally, contributed themes and modules provide further customization options without requiring code changes.
Is Drupal core suitable for every website?
Drupal Core excels at building complex and feature-rich websites. It's a powerful platform ideal for large-scale content management systems, community websites, and enterprise applications. However, for very simple websites with minimal needs, a more lightweight CMS might be a better fit.


Drupal Core stands as a robust foundation for building dynamic and feature-rich websites. It helps you to manage a vast array of content, create user accounts, and structure your website for optimal navigation. Whether you’re crafting a community hub or a complex eCommerce platform, Drupal Core provides the tools you need to get started.

While Drupal Core offers a powerful set of functionalities, the true potential unfolds when you explore the ecosystem of contributed modules and themes. These extensions allow you to integrate powerful features, enhance the user experience, and tailor your website’s look and feel to your specific needs.

Keen to undertake your Drupal journey? Our team of Drupal development experts is here to help you every step of the way. From installation and configuration to custom development and ongoing maintenance, we can ensure your Drupal website thrives.

Transform your web experience with expert Drupal Development.

Mayur Upadhyay is a tech professional with expertise in Shopify, WordPress, Drupal, Frameworks, jQuery, and more. With a proven track record in web development and eCommerce development.

Leave a comment