Building a Drupal Site

Unlike building a house, development of a website takes place on a copy of the site instead of the real site. This means that while the site is being built, it is not available for the public to view and use on the Internet. With a bit of thought, this should make sense. Any potential community member who comes across a site under construction would probably become frustrated with bits and pieces that don't yet work, error messages, untidy presentation, or any other thing that could scare people away at the drop of a hat.

Some readers may well be wondering what to do with their domain in the meantime, assuming one has already been purchased. The best solution is to put up what is known as a placeholder page that delivers a simple message to the effect that this is the right site, the development is in progress on the working site, and that potential members should visit again in the near future.

It is a good idea to install Drupal on your host site at the start of the process to ensure that the platform you are using on the live site will meet your needs (i.e. does it have PHP5, is the database suitable, can you use clean URLs, and so on). Drupal has the option to be switched to of ine status in order to prevent people from making use of it— this effectively turns the site into a placeholder page.

Appendix A on Deployment outlines the process of moving a fully functional website onto a live web domain. The process for doing the whole site and a single page is more or less the same, but naturally, moving a single page is a lot less involved.

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