I am one of the many Drupal "newbies" who seemed overwhelmed at first. Well, I still am. But I have learned a lot in my first month with Drupal. I'm even answering question in the forums (actually, I think it's fora.)
With some encouragement from other newbies, I decided to start on writing down what I'm doing to build my sites. (Shoot, at my age, I can't rely on my memory, I have to write it down.) Yes, that's plural. As of this writing I have three sites in production, plus a test site for playing around.
The basis of this book is going to be my efforts to build new test sites on my PC, running Windows. Hopefully by the time I get to that point in this book, I'll have figured out how to transfer the developed sites onto the remote production servers. Pretty much all of this is directly appicable to building a site directly on a web server.
It is a pure myth that you have to know how to program (especially in php) to use Drupal. It doesn't hurt to have some basic knowledge of php, HTML, and CSS, but it is not required. Here are some good resources for you:
Another common myth is that your learning curve for Drupal is going to be steep and it will take you months, or even years, to get a web site up and running. Hogwash! I had my first, largely static, web site with 36 pages up in less than a week after I installed my first copy of Drupal. Then, because my hosting provider pulled the plug, I got my group's site up in the time it took to get the domain name transferred (about 5 days). That was after about 16 days from starting with Drupal. That site had a lot of static content, but also required a taxonomy-based access control module, a fancier theme, meta tags, photo albums, and a calendar - and it all had to work right away!
You can do it! Yes, YOU.
Throughout this site, as well as the Drupal site, you will see things like
Administer>>Access control>>User management>>Roles. This means click on "Administer" in the navigation menu, then "Access control," then "User management," and then "Roles."
I will occasionally refer to "production" or "live" sites. These terms are pretty much interchangeable. The latter term is more modern and accepted in reference to web sites and means the site that your end-users interact with. The former term is largely synonymous but is a more "traditional" data processing term.
This is from a post by ebrad on March 26, 2007, with some minor editing.
I don't know if I could call my sites "great;" it's taken about 9 months to really get a good understanding of how to use Drupal and its modules. This doesn't include learning the API or writing my own modules.
These are some recommendations I would have given myself before I began with Drupal:
Drupal is very powerful and flexible. That means it must have a significant degree of complexity. Do you think the folks at Myspace don't have their terminology or managed to roll out that site in a day? I don't know who told you Drupal was easy, but many people make it harder than it has to be by thinking they need to understand everything at once.
Terminology is necessary in order to properly convey what one is trying to say or ask. If you talk about "that box-like thingy on the right side of my screen" you could be referring to many things. Contrast that with "the Author Information block in the right sidebar" - now you are precise and everyone knows exactly what you mean. You've told them what it is, where it is, and even how it got there and part of how you've styled it.
Start by trying to understand the basic parts of Drupal, don't try to understand everything at once. For example, it is imperative that you know what a node is (look in my book). Then understand what content types are. Learn the basic parts of the rendered page (header, footer, left and right sidebars, and the center, or content areas). Check out the administration pages so you have some idea where things are, even if you don't understand them all today.
It's all fine and good to have "Myspace" as your target, but you are one person with a new tool. The people that put that together are many and using tools that they already were familiar with. (BTW, I find Myspace to be rather illogical.)
Just start by getting something up and visible. Then celebrate that you've done that. Now you're ready to move on to more wonderful things, but do it one step at a time. Don't add tons of modules right away; get comfortable with what you have. Add modules one at a time and get familiar with them - one at a time.
As for making Drupal easier and more logical, you're welcome to submit feature requests or explain why something is not done in the most logical manner. But don't demand it, or threaten to abandon Drupal if you don't get it your way. And certainly don't resort to name calling or derogatory comments.