drupal administration

Updating Drupal with FileZilla, WinMerge and 7-Zip on Windows in 10 steps

In a previous blog post I explained how to review and perform a Drupal update from the *NIX command-line.

Not always do you have access to the *NIX command-line, or you may feel more comfortable using off-the-shelf tools on your Windows computer for the job. Then this post is for you.

For me it takes about 10 minutes to process the 10 steps below. Writing up the post and providing screenshots took much longer.

Configuring an SMTP server for sending mail with Drupal

Sending mails from Drupal is a feature we take for granted. Sometimes however you can't rely on the default SMTP settings available from your hosting provider. This week I was unable to send mails from my Drupal site, because the default sendmail installation was no longer functioning. Fortunately I quickly found a solution with the SMTP Authentication Support module.

One URL to Rule them All, One URL to Find them, One URL to Bring them All and in the Web Bind them

If you read Tolkien's books you most likely will recognize the title of this blog post. It's about power. Absolute power. If you aim for high impact communication on the overloaded Internet, you better avoid being sandboxed by search engines because of duplicate links to essentially the same content. In addition, you don't want to confuse your audience in a spaghetti of URLs. Finally, duplication is hard to maintain anyway.

Fortunately there's a simple yet effective solution: the Global Redirect module.

Replacing node/123 links with more meaningful URLs

Ever wanted to know why Drupal exposes content via links like "node/123" instead of "content/some-more-meaningful-page-title-reference"? Or are you unhappy with URLs like "node/123"? Then read on.

The way Drupal manages content requests out-of-the-box is very lean and efficient, but it is not very meaningful for human beings, content recommendation engines or search engines. Fortunately there is an easy solution, requiring only 2 extra modules: Pathauto and Token.

Updating Drupal core from the Linux command shell

If you want to easily update Drupal core, then this is right for you. This approach will first compare your deployed Drupal with the original Drupal source code to do a pre-update sanity check. Then the old Drupal files are deleted one by one, the empty directories as well, and then the new Drupal is deployed.

If you follow this approach, updating your Drupal core version should take you less than 5 minutes.

If you have no shell access to your hosting provider, you can still apply the approach described in this article if you have a mirror copy (a perfect replica) of the deployed Drupal server on a host you have shell access to. Apply the changes on the mirrored files on your local host (steps 1 to 5, skip step 6), then synchronize the changes with the webhost, and finally run update.php (step 7).

Bulk tagging existing content in Drupal with Views Tagger

If you have your own Drupal site for a while, and you want to add or update the tags of your content, you have to edit every single node and update the tags by hand. This is a rather tedious job.

Fortunately you don't have to hack the Drupal database to tag your content en masse: the Views Tagger module leverages the Views module and provides a dedicated view to tag all your nodes at once.

7 Must-have Drupal 6 admin modules

Drupal has literally hundreds of plugins (modules and themes) to choose from. After having set up quite some Drupal environments I start to find a couple Drupal administration modules particularly useful. Most are lightweight, and all are quite useful:

Running Drupal without cron

Although many hosting providers now offer hosting packages with PHP and MySQL, most do not offer cron functionality, i.e. the possibility to schedule tasks. The simplest way to set up these scheduled tasks within Drupal is by means of the Poor Man's cron Drupal module. Once installed it will check whether cron must be run whenever your Drupal site is visited.

Hide primary links in Drupal

Some Drupal themes provide their own menu system instead of Drupal's built-in primary links menu. When enabling these fancy menus, your Drupal site may end up with two menu systems instead of one. In order to get rid of the primary links menu, you need to disable it:

  1. Log in with “administer menu” privileges.
  2. Navigate to to administer » settings » menus (admin/settings/menu) and set ‘Menu containing primary links:’ to ‘No primary links’. Repeat for the secondary links.
Syndicate content