How Drupal 7 works: a plain(ish) English guide
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Drupal 7 Deconstructed

How Drupal works: a plain(ish) English guide

Written by Mike Crittenden with the help of Rob Huffstedtler and the community.

If you've ever wondered how Drupal works, then this book is for you.

It should be readable without having the actual core code in front of you, but feel free to reference the actual code for anything that you'd like as you go. I've tried to include API links to any functions or classes that I talk about, so click away!


If you want to contribute to this, you have a few options.

  1. Submit pull requests for updates or new chapters.
  2. Subscribe to the repo and review new updates as they come in.
  3. Come talk to me! I'm or @mcrittenden.


Who is this for?
Any developer who has ever wanted to know how Drupal works should be able to get some value out of this.
Do I have to be an expert to understand it?
No. As long as you have a basic understanding of the basics of Drupal development, you should be fine.
Why Drupal 7? What about Drupal 8?
Drupal 7 because, at the time of this writing, Drupal 7 still has more than a year of shelf life. Drupal 8 Deconstructed will need to be written too, though!
What about deconstructing contrib?
I'd like to dive into how some of the more popular contrib modules work, such as Views, Panels, CTools, etc., once the core chapters are complete.
What about best practices for actually building Drupal sites?
This book is specifically meant to be about how Drupal works, not about how to build and structure Drupal sites. For that, check out