This review presents a framework for the input-output analysis, model reduction, and control design for fluid dynamical systems using examples applied to the linear complex Ginzburg–Landau equation. Major advances in hydrodynamics stability, such as global modes in spatially inhomogeneous systems and transient growth of non-normal systems, are reviewed. Input-output analysis generalizes hydrodynamic stability analysis by considering a finite-time horizon over which energy amplification, driven by a specific input (disturbances/actuator) and measured at a specific output (sensor), is observed. In the control design the loop is closed between the output and the input through a feedback gain. Model reduction approximates the system with a low-order model, making modern control design computationally tractable for systems of large dimensions. Methods from control theory are reviewed and applied to the Ginzburg–Landau equation in a manner that is readily generalized to fluid mechanics problems, thus giving a fluid mechanics audience an accessible introduction to the subject.