Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

Drupal disaster recovery with the Backup and Migrate module

I recently had a small disaster on this site -- the database which contains the Drupal config and data for this site, well, it went insane. Certain things were blowing up either with screwed up display or what's known as the "white screen of death". And I could not get them corrected. This is one of the downsides of Drupal is when things go wrong it's often nigh on impossible to diagnose the problem or repair it.

Text Size module for Drupal

The Text Size project provides a neat handy little gizmo to let people change the text size on your site. Have users who need a little help seeing text? This is the thing to let users set their preferred size.

It offers a block you position anywhere blocks go. The block has gizmos letting people set their preferred text size. That's about it.

Better comment support with the disqus service & drupal module.. maybe

Disqus is an interesting service that fills a very web-2.0-style role. There's a zillion sites out there which support the users leaving comments. The web 2.0 model has community involvement front and center, contrasting with the old model of businesses pushing content or services or products at you. But the problem with this is having to register with each and every website on which you want to leave comments.. and further site administrators dealing with comment spam and desiring a better solution.

It's your RSS feed, not Feedburners, and how to maintain the relationship with your readers through your RSS feed

There are many services which offer services related to RSS or Atom feeds. These services usually consume your feed, modify it, and republish that feed on a different URL. Feedburner is only one of many such services, most of whom perform valuable features to web site authors.

1st steps to creating video podcasts (for Drupal)

The latest episode of the Seven Generations Technosanity Podcast is a video as will be the next few episodes. I've been resisting doing video work partly because it's harder to edit but also the technology is far more complex. But for the episodes in question I need to show some things, not describe them. For technical context, the podcast is on a Drupal site meaning the solution has to fit the Drupal workflow.

Duplicate content on Drupal sites

The search engines downgrade sites which appear to have duplicated content. This is often the sign of a spam site that's attempting to bury search engines with lots of pages. Unfortunately some features of Drupal make it look like duplicate content. For example if you've turned on clean URL's and turned on the pathauto module for SEO purposes you have a nice user-friendly URL for each page but at the same time Drupal still shows the page at the "node/12345" URL.

Notifying search engines of new content

Search engines index the web by crawling along links on web pages. It's rather inefficient for a search engine to reindex pages which have not changed and which have already been indexed. Hence it improves efficiency of the whole internet for search engines to have a way to know what pages are new, what pages are old, and only reindex the new pages.

Meta-tags on Drupal content

I've never used META tags on any of my sites but many people swear by them. A META tag appears in the HEAD section of an HTML page and is supposed to give keywords related to the content of the page. See Meta Tags for general documentation on them.

Search engine friendly Drupal URL's

Drupal and Clean URL's described how to enable "Clean URL's" in Drupal. It's useful to know why you should enable Clean URL's.

Out of the box Drupal default URL format is: example.com/?q=node/12345.

While not terribly egregious this URL format is not helpful for search engine optimization. One rule of thumb in SEO is for the URL to contain words relevant to the article. The default URL of node/12345 is not relevant to the article.

SEO with Drupal

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical component in the quest to find readers, as it appears most people find websites via search engines. The king of search engine sourced hints (otherwise known as 'organic traffic') is Google, of course. How do we enable SEO effects in Drupal?