Drupal is an extremely flexible platform that provides you with many options for changing how your site looks, how users interact with it, and the kinds of information you wish to display. Although there are many configuration options, Drupal works well "out of the box" and there is very little initial configuration to perform. As your site evolves and your demands grow, Drupal makes it easy for you to dramatically alter its look and add to its functionality. Best of all, because it is released under the GNU General Public License, Drupal is infinitely customizable and lets you tailor it to your specific needs.
You will want to start your configuration with your drupal site's basic settings found by going to administer » site configuration in the navigation block. You must be logged in and have permission to access this page. After you change a setting, don't forget to click "Save configuration" at the bottom of the page.
The information you enter here is stored in Drupal's database to help Drupal decide how to prepare and serve your pages. Keep in mind that the settings on this page are only basic configuration settings. There are many other places to configure Drupal. These are discussed in the appropriate sections of this handbook. Much of the configuration information can be found in the modules help file or in the modules section of the handbook. For more advanced configuration then an out of the box modules provide, see the Customization and theming handbook.
A lot of the information you are asked to supply on the settings page is self-explanatory and there are brief help messages below each setting to guide you. Note that the "Slogan," "Mission," and "Footer message" may or may not be immediately visible, depending on the theme you are using. If you are new to Drupal, we recommend supplying all the information for these boxes. If you decide that you don't need or like how Drupal uses them, you can change it later (see the handbook section on configuring themes for more on this).