Create a website using MIT Drupal Cloud

Get acquainted with Drupal and MIT Drupal Cloud

Drupal is a popular web development platform that stores your page content in a database and displays that content on web pages. Also referred to as a Content Management System (CMS), Drupal is similar to WordPress or Joomla.

IS&T offers MIT Drupal Cloud as a no-cost service to the community. Based on the Drupal CMS, this service lets you create a multi-functional, feature-rich MIT website based on one of several themes (layouts). You can customize your website with colors, fonts, and photos, integrate popular online MIT services, or build in a blog. It’s up to you how sophisticated to make it.

Updates are easy and your site is responsive from the start – instantly optimized for computers and mobile devices.

IS&T hosts your Drupal Cloud site on its secure servers and takes care of the time-consuming backend maintenance — from security patches to software updates. This frees you up to focus on your content.

Prepare content first and then request a site

Before you request a Drupal Cloud site, IS&T strongly recommends that you follow these steps:

  • Create a site map. This is a road map that shows how all your pages connect. It will help you identify gaps you’ll need to fill.
     
  • Assign someone to start writing your content. Be sure to set a deadline because as soon as your request to IS&T for a Drupal site gets approved, you can start building your site — and you’ll need copy to fill it.
     
  • Gather and organize all your media and artwork. If you want to customize your site with more than just fonts and colors, make sure you have access to digital media files, such as logos, photos, illustrations, and videos.
     
  • For DLCs: Learn about using MIT’s graphic identity. If you need assistance with branding for your DLC, contact the advisors at Communication Production Services.

After you’ve pulled together your content, go to the Drupal Cloud Service page and click the Create a Site button. Login using Touchstone and follow the steps on the Create a Site page. You’ll be notified when your site is ready. You can then login and start to learn your way around. For help doing this, see the Drupal Cloud Landing Page in the Knowledge Base.

Make basic design and layout changes

Drupal Cloud offers a number of predesigned layouts, known as themes. The default site theme is MIT DLC. To choose another theme, see the Choosing Your Theme section of the Drupal Cloud Home Page.

You will actually work with two themes. The first is the site theme, which affects what your site visitors see. The other is the administrative theme, which determines what your content entry screen looks like when you’re entering content and customizing your site.

Once you choose a site theme, you can easily modify fonts, colors and other design elements through the Appearance overlay. To learn how to do this, take a look at the section on Customizing Your Drupal Cloud Site.

Tap into resources whenever you need them

The IS&T Service Desk is available to answer basic questions about the service. For additional resources, see the Getting Drupal Help at MIT page in the Knowledge Base.