I have Drupal 7 site which is working fine. I added a custom PHP page to my site in the root directory of it. I want to extend the Drupal application functionality to that one page so that I can have access to the different Drupal classes and basically extend Drupal through my page. What includes do I need at the top of my page to be able to access the Drupal application as if I were within the Drupal site?

2 Answers 2


The only file you need to include is '/includes/bootstrap.inc', but you also need to define the DRUPAL_ROOT constant and run drupal_bootstrap() to have access to the API/database/etc.:

define('DRUPAL_ROOT', getcwd());

require_once DRUPAL_ROOT . '/includes/bootstrap.inc';

// Your code here

It's exactly the same code that you'll find in the standard index.php file, minus a call to menu_execute_active_handler() which isn't necessary if you dont want to build and output a normal Drupal page.

  • Excellent! This is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you very much!! Much appreciated. Jun 28, 2012 at 20:41
  • Hi Clive & hanleyhansen. Please see he optional answer I just provided as I feel the approach in the question and the answer Clive provided are if not wrong, a bit bad design which is definitely ok in a small project, but in larger codebases a definite anti-pattern. Thanks! Nov 4, 2012 at 17:54

Even though Clive's answer answers your question correctly, I'd still like to present the point of view that while what you're doing is not wrong per se, it's not a very good pattern as all custom code in Drupal is designed to reside under sites/all.

The correct way to go about this is to have a custom module, that implements the horribly misleadingly named hook_menu -hook.

I'll omit the details of creating and enabling a custom module as there's plenty of references out there for that, but this is what you need to do in your module that I'll call custommodule :

function custommodule_menu(){
  return array(
    'path_you_want' => array(
      'page callback' => 'custommodule_callback',
      'access callback' => TRUE

function custommodule_callback(){
  // do whatever you want to do and return what you want rendered on the page content area.
  return "Hello world from my custom callback";

This is pretty much the bare minimun example and just hook_menu has enough options to tweak access, url parameter passing, cache handling etc to take care of most any scenario necessary.

Yes, this is a couple of steps more work than what you were doing, but is far cleaner, more future proof and keeps all code where it's supposed to be. It's also quite a bit better aligned with how Drupal expects custom stuff to interact with it, so your page won't break if Drupal changes the way it bootstraps for some reason.

  • A question I have on this is, do we have to manually also create the page to be available at url 'path_you_want' ? or does adding it to the hook_menu makes it to be available on that link?
    – pal4life
    Jan 14, 2015 at 18:35

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