Having decided to use Drupal for our Programmers Blog, our first task is to get Drupal itself installed - after all, without it up and running, nothing else can happen.
I'm assuming that you're installing Drupal for your own use on a server you control - the typical situation for a test server on which you can "try out" ideas and changes. The steps necessary for installation of Drupal at hosting company for a public website will be different, with the exact steps dependant on the systems in use by your host.
Here are three different ways to get Drupal up and running.
Install using Drupal Core
From the main Drupal website you can download the core Drupal distribution, direct from the project itself. This is where to go to ensure you have the very latest version of Drupal Core, including all released security fixes and other patches.
The downside of this approach is that the download contains only Drupal itself - installation of the prerequisites (Apache, MySQL and Php) is left to you to handle independently.
When should you use the Drupal Core download?
- If you already have a host suitable for hosting Drupal (perhaps one running the WAMP project)
- If you want to have total control over every piece of your environment, installing and administering Apache, MySQL and PHP yourself.
- When your website host provides a fully operational LAMP stack as a part of the service.
Install using Drupal Acquia
Acquia is a start-up company founded by Dries Buytaert, the original author of Drupal, to provide commercial support for Drupal. See http://acquia.com/about-us/acquia-frequently-asked-questions for more information.
One of the resources provided by Aquia is a one-click installer - a single installation package that configures the entire stack of software required for running Drupal. This installer is available for Windows, Macintosh and Debian/Ubuntu, and can be a good way to get up and running with Drupal quickly and easily.
When should you use the Drupal Acquia one-click installer?
- When you don't need (or want) total control over the entire stack
- When you want to get Drupal up and running as quickly as possible for a test environment
Install using the Microsoft Web Installer
Another alternative, for those firmly in the Microsoft camp with C#, .NET, and related technologies, is the Microsoft Web Platform Installer, a free installation tool from Microsoft that allows you to easily install a whole bunch of different web applications easily and without fuss.
See http://www.microsoft.com/web/downloads/platform.aspx for more
I haven't used this approach myself, though a friend vouches for it as quick and easy. One odd thing though - they have Acquia Drupal listed, but in the Blogs category instead of the Content Management category where it should be listed.