This article was last updated in January 2022.
Perhaps you’ve started at a new company or role, and you’ve been handed a site to manage. You get the administrator credentials and log in to find a Drupal backend. Don’t panic! Drupal has a reputation for being difficult to learn, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you’ve managed sites before or the whole thing is brand new to you, use these resources, many of them free, to get you started.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive, self-paced video learning series, look no further than Acquia Academy. There's a free option with resources to learn Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. You will need to sign up for a free account and validate your email address first, but the process is quick and you’ll be learning before you know it. Search for a particular course or follow one of their Drupal learning paths to get you started. The upside to having an account is that you can easily track your progress and see which courses you have completed, as well as resuming courses exactly where you left them.
Looking for video content without the sign up? Youtube is a great resource. Check out the Drupal Association’s playlist of Drupal 8 tutorials for quality content you can access without any fuss. In addition, this channel offers a look into DrupalCon, global conferences where thousands of Drupal lovers of all disciplines come to learn, code and social. DrupalCon Dublin 2016 is just one example of a rich content playlist that will make you feel like you attended the event yourself.
If you’re a Redditor, check out the subreddit for Drupal. If the previous sentence made no sense to you, Reddit is a community forum site, and a subreddit is a particular grouping of topics for discussion. This option is great for people who don’t like to watch instructional videos, or as a complementary tool to a more traditional learning style. This sub offers a Weekly Beginner Thread as well as Drupal Dev Thursdays, which are great opportunities to ask any of your questions and have them answered directly. To read information, you don’t require a Reddit account, but if you want to post either answers or questions, you’ll need to sign up for a free login.
Jump right into Drupal’s best asset - the community. This collection is a little bit out of date and only covers Drupal 7, but it’s a great place to start, especially if you prefer the more traditional, “read the instruction manual” type of learning. Free and no logins required. While you’re there, don’t miss everything else the Drupal.org community has to offer: online and local groups, events, chat, Slack, Planet Drupal (a blog post aggregator), forums and social channels. Once you’re addicted, join the Drupal Community Working Group (CWG) and Drupal Association to have your say in the community.
If you’re looking for answers to particular questions, this forum allows anyone to ask a question and the best answers are voted to the top by the community (not unlike Reddit). This will also require you to set up a free account if you want to post yourself and not just read existing answers. While not strictly required for learning, you may also enjoy the badges on this site. Ask a well-received question on 100 separate days and your flair will show you as “Socratic” - talk about rewarding!
Lynda.com is a cross-industry online learning powerhouse owned by LinkedIn. It is a subscription-based choice, but it does offer a 10-day trial if you want to get your feet wet before you commit. Be sure to check if your organization already maintains a subscription to this site as subscriptions are not limited to a particular subject area. Lynda offers video-based courses on Drupal 6, 7 and 8, for beginner, intermediate and advanced users.
Turn your commute into your classroom with this Drupal podcast series. This is a great option for immersing yourself in a particular topic or learning about new trends and discussion topics going on in the Drupal world today. Search by topic, subscribe on iTunes, or check out their Youtube channel. No matter how you choose to learn, there's no shame in getting some help. Contact us if you'd like a quote on your next Drupal project.