Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

Migrate module can be alternate Drupal upgrade process, not just for importing foreign content

The originating purpose of the Drupal Migrate module is to import content from elsewhere. Where? Wordpress .. etc. Any place outside of Drupalsphere. The good thing is that the module is fairly open about what it will import, and therefore it's possible to import into a Drupal site from a Drupal site. And that by doing so, one can upgrade a Drupal site without going through the official Upgrade process.

Why might you want to do this?

Fixing things when your Drupal content fields don't display or you can't edit the field

Suppose you've added a field to a Drupal content type, but puzzlingly the field doesn't display on the node edit page? Or the field doesn't display when you view a node? Why would that happen? Maybe, you think, a custom themed node edit page simply didn't display the field? All kinds of ideas might come to mind while you're scratching your head wondering what might be going on. Adding a field to a content type should make it easy to edit and display data in that field, right?

Generating clean URL's for paginated content on Drupal sites

One of my clients wants his paginated content to have clean URL's. That is, Drupal sites frequently generate sequences of pages with "?page=##" query parameters to select each page. But he doesn't want this as a query parameter, but instead in the URL. The idea we're working on is to decrease the chance of duplicate content on the site as recorded by Google in the Webmaster Tools.

Unfortunately there really isn't a way to do this. Except for the Clean Pagination module https://drupal.org/project/cleanpager

Add a Google CSE to a Drupal 7 site without using google_cse module

The https://drupal.org/project/google_cse module appears to be a dead project - the Drupal 7 port hasn't had any activity in over 2 years. If you want to use a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) on a Drupal 7 site, what do you do? Turns out it's relatively straight-forward to just generate the CSE over on Google's website, take the code and paste it into a Block, and that's it.

Took the Drupal 7 plunge -- finally -- Looking good

In January 2010 I attended a launch party for Drupal 7, and was real excited at the new features etc. But I started to look into upgrading my sites, and found a bunch of modules had not been ported to Drupal 7 yet. Eleven months ago, eleven months after that launch party, I posted an inventory of module readiness for upgrading my sites to Drupal 7, and still found a number were not ready, though in most cases I was feeling shy of modules marked "beta".

Getting email validation straightened out for successful email transmissions (DKIM, SPF and PTR, oh my!)

One of the things Drupal does is generate emails for a variety of reasons. For example new account registrations include a step to validate the account, by sending an email containing a validation link. On the large online community website I run, a long-running problem has been that the validation email does not always get delivered. This shows up as a user registration that never gets validated.

Dreamhost Sucks, Time to leave Dreamhost, looking for a VPS to host my Drupal sites

I've been hosting my Drupal sites on Dreamhost for quite awhile, but it's time to move on. They're a decent web hosting provider that offers a combination that suits me well, but if you peruse http://www.dreamhoststatus.com/ you see a lot of customers complaining bitterly about downtime and slow service. I'm one of those customers, but do not want to focus on this part of the story, and instead want to focus on seeking a proper useful home to house my websites.

Canonical Entity representation for Drupal, sounds like it could fix one core critique I have of Drupal

This project just popped up on my radar - Canonical Entity Representation (see http://groups.drupal.org/node/197588 and http://groups.drupal.org/node/197583). The description of this sounds like it would resolve one of the key critiques I have against Drupal. Namely the lack of a import/export format that's part of Drupal Core. I'd like to call some attention to this and hopefully, as the two posts above suggests, this can be a standard part of Drupal starting with v8.

An inventory of Drupal 7 upgrade status - time to upgrade yet?

I remember attending a Drupal7 release party several months ago, 11 months ago actually. It was an exciting time, all this new stuff had gotten into core. I was hoping and looking forward to using the new functionality. But then I started evaluating the status of the contributed modules and realized it wasn't going to be possible. The main blocker at that time was that Views was in a massive rewrite mode leading to Views3, and that this was causing attendant delays in other modules who were depending on Views.

Successfully hosting Drupal on nginx on Dreamhost - a Dreamhost Drupal Hosting Adventure

Among the standard performance recommendations for Drupal is to switch to the nginx web server.  Because of nginx's design it's much more performant than Apache, supposedly.  I don't know enough myself about nginx to say why it's better, other than having an understanding that nginx has an event-oriented architecture that's cleaner than Apache's.