Let’s do this! There are three major ways to spin a up a Drupal 8 site:
- Manually, using FTP
- Via Composer in the command line
- Through a hosting site such as Pantheon, which will do it for you, lickety split!
Let’s walk through each option.
This is the old school way. This keeps you from using the command line to make updates in the future, just FYI, so you’d have to manually make updates to core and modules via FTP.
First off, make sure you have a server with a database and PHP. You can use a service like Pantheon or if you just want to spin up a site for fun, you can download XAMPP and install Drupal on your local machine.
Secondly, download the code! Make sure you unzip it in the root (htdocs or www or whatever the root is for your web server).
Next, create a database for your Drupal installation. As it says in the official instructions:
Take note of the username, password, database name and hostname. (For example, are you installing in http://example.com, or in http://drupal.example.com, or http://example.com/blog?) as you create the database. You will enter these items into fields in your browser when running the installation script.
Lastly, install it! Go to localhost/core/install.php (or replace localhost with the IP address or web address for your site) and follow the instructions.
There is a handy resource here for installing Drupal 8 using Composer, a command line interface.
Once you download composer and follow the instructions, it’s a cinch to get your Drupal installation set up. I recommend using drupal-composer/drupal-project so you can use Drush and Drupal Console.
Sometimes, like with Wordpress, certain web hosting services will allow you to spin up a site through their service. Pantheon.io does this, for example, and it’s super easy and handy to use. They even make it super easy to make backups and updates! I highly recommend looking into this option if it’s one you can consider.
Congrats! You’ve just installed your first Drupal site! Now, you’ve still got a long road to go down, but honestly, this was probably the hardest bit. So good work!