Drupal tips, tricks, tutorials

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?

Methods to assist announcing Drupal-hosted content to social bookmarking & sharing sites

There are lots of social sites which facilitate sharing links to stories between the site members. They vary in form, but have a lot of similarity, with the main function being to post on a common site a story title, link, and description. A lot of traffic can be generated from these sites and thus it's useful to a website proprietor if their content gets promoted into these social sites. However there are dozens of these sites, with different mechanisms to post into each.

Enabling Comments

Comments are a part of the blogging scene and some "blogs" (like slashdot.org) are mostly about the comments. Let's look at what's required to enable comments on a Drupal blog.

First is to enable the Comment module, which you should already have done. In the User Management area is the Permissions screen which has a section for comment permissions:-

  • comment module
    • access comments
    • administer comments
    • post comments
    • post comments without approval

Single-user versus multi-user blogging

Drupal can be used for either a multi-user or single-user blog site. It's a matter of how you configure the site and especially the permissions.

First visit User settings. You can control how liberally it is possible for users to create new accounts. For a single user site it's best to only allow site administrators to create accounts, and the other end of the spectrum is to allow anybody to create an account without administrator intervention.

Enabling the blog features of Drupal

Out of the box Drupal comes very close to supporting blogging. A blog is, after all, just a sequence of website postings listed in reverse chronological order. By default when you post a new page on a Drupal site the teaser is listed on the front page, then when you post another page its teaser is listed before the previous teaser. After posting a few pages you've got a list of items on the site and the teasers for each item is listed in reverse chronological order. While this is sort of like a blog there are a few blog features which can be enabled to make Drupal more of a blog.

Basics of Drupal administration

If you recall the overview of setting up Drupal for Blogging, there is a little bit of configuration to do to enable the blog features. Enabling the blog features requires a little bit of skill with Drupal administration, so let's do a quickie tour of it first.

On the front page of your newly created site is a welcome message which explains some options. It's all very well and good what is said on this page and worth your time to read. The important thing is the link named 'Administer'. This link leads you into the land of Drupal Administration.

Installing Drupal

Before you can install Drupal you must have a capable web hosting service. The minimum requirements are MySQL 5.x and PHP 5.x support, and there are somewhere around a zillion web hosting providers who offer this level of service. It's best if the host runs on Linux (or another Unix-like OS) but it is possible to use (gag) Windows.

The official installation instructions are on the Drupal site.

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