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Droplets of Drupal and Drupal-related wisdom…

Top Modules for Drupal 7

A whirlwind tour of dozens of useful contributed modules for building Drupal 7 sites.

There are many really useful contributed modules to take your site beyond the basics of Drupal core. There are modules to improve, allow, and/or help with everything from administration to workflow, from paths to views, and beyond.

Live, Test, and Dev for (Nearly) Everyone

In the instructions below, all instances of the text "mysite" should be replaced with some appropriate label for your own site. (The label should be relatively short, but still indicate what site it is. For example, for, the lable might be "eggs"; for, it might be "fluffyb".)

Set up live, test, dev sites

For each site, try to use directory and database names that indicate both the site and whether it is live, test, or dev. For example:

Recommended Reading

These are some books and online articles I recommend for those learning Drupal:

General theory

To get the most out of Drupal, you need to work with it and it's content-centric, modular approach. If you approach creating Drupal sites the same way you approached creating traditional, webpage-centric sites, you'll spend a lot of time fighting Drupal and won't, in the end, get many of the advantages that were the reasons you chose to use Drupal in the first place.

To become more familiar with "The Drupal Way" and the Drupal development eco-system, I recommend these articles:

Drupal Modules 101: Introduction, installation, and removal

Or: The What, When, Where, Why, and especially How

Versions of this talk has been presented at:

What are modules?

Drupal is designed to be modular. Instead of always having every possible tool or feature in every site's code, you can just have those you're actually going to use.

Hiring Drupal professionals, part 2: Know who they are

(This is the second installment of a multipart series. The first installment was Hiring Drupal professionals, part 1: Know what you need.)

So, you're advertising/searching for the kind of Drupaller you need, now what? How can you know if you've found them?

This can be quite a challenge if you aren't very familiar with Drupal yourself. But the general principles are the same as for hiring any other kind of professional outside your own sphere of expertise. You want to look at their reputation, talk to references, check out their prior work, and watch for warning signs. Of course, there are some Drupal specific details for doing these things, too.

The Drupal Way

I've been asked what I meant by "The Drupal Way" in my Drupallets blog post Hiring Drupal professionals, part 1: Know what you need.

In the Drupal community, "Drupal Way" is used in two related, erm, ways. The primary meaning is a general ethos or guiding philosophy, but it also gets used to refer to specific applications of that ethos. In my blog post, I was referencing the general principle, The Drupal Way, as a whole. But google "the drupal way" and you will find lots of hits talking about specific applications of the Drupal way, that is, the Drupal way to do X or the Drupal way to do Y.

Hiring Drupal professionals, part 1: Know what you need

(This is the first installment of a multipart series.)

As a Drupal trainer and consultant, I've been getting a lot of phone calls lately either asking if I have trainees to recommend or else hoping that the "consultant" in my job title is a synonym for developer. (It's not: I'm the kind of consultant who helps you figure out what to do rather than the kind that does it for you.) People are having a really hard time finding experienced Drupallers to hire.

Top Modules for Drupal 6.x (version 2.1)

Updated! This is the version that I presented at Drupal Camp Sacramento Area at 10 am on 28 May 2011, updated & expanded from the version I presented at DrupalCamp @ Stanford at 10 am on 2 April 2011.

Session description

More than three score and ten useful contributed modules for building Drupal sites.

There are many really useful contributed modules to take your site beyond the basics of Drupal core. There are modules to improve, allow, and/or help with everything from accessibility to workflow, from images to input formats, and beyond.

This session will be of interest to beginner and intermediate Drupallers, as well as those who manage or hire Drupallers or who are just trying to decide whether to use Drupal.

Drupal is Lego, not a "learning curve"

In the LinkedIn group Drupal Community Network, there has been a discussion started by the question: "Drupal for a novice or newcomer? Good Bad , Ugly and why?"

This was my response to that question:

Tweaking some colors

The Zen subtheme CTI_Flex comes with four color presets, called black, blue, red, and teal.

I like this theme, but one of our clients wanted a different color scheme to match the colors of their new building (green and orange). I was able to create a new "colorway" for this theme with just a little tweaking of images and templates. You can see this green/orange colorway in action at:

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