Getting Started

Welcome to drupal-tools, your one-stop Drupal resource at CERN.

If you have no idea what Drupal is, please read on!

What is Drupal?

In short, Drupal is a content-management framework offering a high degree of customisation and flexibility.

A content-management framework, or, more commonly, content-management system (CMS), is software which helps users create, manage, and modify websites and content. Drupal,, in all its simplicity, does just this. Thanks to a comprehensive suite of modules, themes, and other packages, Drupal is highly flexible and offers almost endless customisation. Check our showcase to see what is possible! Drupal itself is free and entirely open-source, developed with contributions from a sprawling ecosystem of thousands developers and maintainers.

The website when logged in.
The website when logged in.


Almost every website at CERN is built using Drupal., as shown in the above screenshot, is no exception. Accordingly, CERN maintains a suite of CERN-specific modules and themes which ensures a consistent look and feel across and .cern websites. These modules and themes are included in the official CERN Drupal Distribution, which in turn is managed by the dedicated IT Drupal Infrastructure Team. This means that every Drupal website created at CERN automatically has access to the same set of modules and themes out-of-the-box, vastly simplifying the task of developing a website.

What is a module?

In the context of Drupal, a module is a software package which provides functionality not offered through Drupal itself. At CERN, for instance, this could be integration with CDS ( for hosting media or Indico ( to display events. By default, all CERN websites include a collection of CERN-specific modules providing functionality deemed relevant for websites at CERN thanks to the CERN Drupal Distribution.

While we always recommend websites to stick with CERN modules as these are developed and maintained by the Web Team, if additional functionality is necessary, it is possible to install any number of modules made available to the wider Drupal community via Kindly note, however, that installing community contributed modules in this manner requires website owners to assume responsibility of continued compatibility and maintenance in the event that the project becomes discontinued or outdated.

All Drupal modules are written in PHP.

What is a theme?

In the context of Drupal, a theme is styling that changes the look and feel of your website.

All Drupal themes are written in CSS/SCSS and may utilise jQuery and JavaScript.

What are the prerequisites to get started?


While knowledge of PHP, HTML, CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript can be helpful, there is no need to know anything about programming to get started. In fact, the Web Team (IR-ECO-PRD) has prepared a one-click Easy Start template containing everything you need. Additionally, because Drupal is widely used across CERN, chances are someone in your team or group already has some experience! If you have very specific requirements not immediately covered by any of the default modules, knowledge of PHP fast becomes necessary.

How can I get help?

We strive to make drupal-tools your go-to place for anything Drupal.

We are continuously expanding the website with guides and tutorials for most use-cases.

However, if you have any questions or concerns, please refer to the CERN Drupal Community forum.

Happy building!