Quicky Basic Drupal Guide
I thought ‘pfft’ Drupal will be a piece of cake as a platform that needs to be used as part of final year modules exploring issues in internet design and development in my course. Only realise it’s nowhere near like WordPress but more flexible and adaptable, that all sounds great! but does mean more complexity to use the platform and whole lot of new vocabulary to learn so I can whip the platform into shape, well close to it.
I was screaming at the start until I did some watching of videos on Drupal, downloaded the latest version on localhost and then started mucking around, Don’t be scared!To Stop you from panicking like I did and get you moving with Drupal here are some basic concepts to get your head around. Whatever you do, planning is key to great Drupal web application because it’s not simple platform compared to others there.
Content, Content, Content… Reminds you of someone’s speech?
1. Content Type – Decide it what will be your content and how it will be presented and use the content type to create space on your Drupal site for all the content goodness coming soon.
2. Fields are the extra vitamin to the content type if extra fields are needed if the content type does not cover them.
3. Taxonomy, No there are no Tax returns to file but it would be helpful to implement as it allows visitors to your web application to search or browse through categories and terms with ease. End of the day you want your user of the web application to be happy not frustrated so categorising your content will help Drupal make it easier to sort, select and present as well as choosing content type and fields carefully.
4. Create Content, Time to fill it with content goodness
1. Download, Before hitting the shops for modules note the platform version of Drupal you’re using and make sure it’s compatible with the plugin else you will have problems after installing it.
How do you select a good plugin (applies to all platforms that require plugins)?
– Check the aliveness of development of the plugin, no use using an outdated plugin a year old it was last released. It is no longer good enough. (You haven’t read the point above carefully have you)
– Read the comments, not here but when you’re downloading software, scripts, codes, files or whatever. It’s always useful to read comments they might have had an issue that may have not been addressed yet so not worth downloading the module or maybe it is a commenter highlighted cool hack.
– Make note of Ratings/Votes unlike hotel stars these can helpful to gauge amount of users same as amount of downloads of that particular plugin.
2. Install, Like WordPress you can use URL to download plugins via the backend instead of manually downloading them which saves ample time.
3. Enable, just installing the plugin isn’t enough you need to enable it!
4. Configure, Don’t leave it vanilla flavoured, customise it to the max or else face boring old module like any other site.
That’s it, My time is up for writing and creating interesting graphics on Paint for articles like the one above, More on Themes, Views and Panels soon. Until than back to the assignment. 🙂
Plus it’s open source Yapee! Power to the Coders, more on this in the next article.