Week 1: Setup

This is Week 1 of the 7-week course Hands-On: Theming. Get started with Drupal theming in 1 hour a week for 7 weeks. Based on our popular Drupal Theming Workshop featured at DrupalCon.

Time to complete: About 30-60 minutes

This week you will set up a local development environment and a Drupal site with some dummy content. The first tutorial, Set up Demo Site for Theming Practice, will get you up and running with both. The amount of time it will take to complete depends on how familiar you already are with setting up Drupal and its system dependencies on your machine. The resources listed below can be used as a reference or refresher if needed. Be sure to complete the first tutorial listed (Set up Demo Site for Theming Practice) before you move on to Week 2: Create a New Theme.


  1. Complete Set up Demo Site for Theming Practice:
  • Install Drupal 8 on your local machine so you can modify files with a code editor or IDE of your choice.
  • Install Devel and Devel Generate modules and generate dummy content for your local practice Drupal site.

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Own this course

You can also purchase the Practical Drupal Theming course on Thinkific. The course material is the same, but you can access the content without a Drupalize.Me membership and you will own the course forever.

Tutorials in this course
More information

Installing Drupal using the instructions in this tutorial will give you a working Drupal site that can be used for learning, or real-world project development.

Before you can work on a Drupal site locally (on your computer), you'll need to set up a local development environment. This includes all the system requirements like PHP and a web server, that Drupal needs in order to run. Our favorite way to accomplish this is using DDEV.

In this tutorial we'll learn:

  • How to install and configure DDEV for use with a Drupal project.
  • How to use DDEV's integrated Composer to download Drupal and Drush.
  • How to install Drupal inside DDEV so you can access the site and start doing development.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to set up a local development environment for learning Drupal or working on a new Drupal project.

Drupal 8, 9, and 10
More information

Set up a local development environment to practice Drupal theme development. In order to practice theme development, either on your own or following our Hands-On: Theming guide, you'll need a Drupal site up and running on your computer.

By the end of this tutorial, you should be able to:

  • Install Drupal on your computer so you can modify files with a code editor of your choice.
  • Generate dummy content so that you have different kinds of pages to theme.
This course appears in the following guides:
New to Drupal theming? This hands-on guide is for you.

Hands-On Theming