Creating a new website with Drupal 7
Can a die-hard WordPress user successfully transfer to Drupal?
I remember the first time I heard about Drupal, it was back when I was experimenting with every new CMS imaginable because it was fun to learn the ends and outs of each. Yes it was a long time, like version 1 or 2. Trying to install it was a real B, so much so, that I ditched the effort and turned my focus to WordPress and Joomla.
Then a few years ago Drupal walks back in my life, it was the CMS lifetimemoms.com decided to use, luckily I wasn’t responsible for doing any design or coding work. I was working as an editor so all I had to do was post my articles.
But I was still frustrated, some times the HTML code wouldn’t render correctly, images wouldn’t center the way I wanted. It was so much easier to do in WordPress. Everything was easier in WordPress.
But then I started job searching and I discovered that many more companies were turning to Drupal and my curiosity peaked. Why is everyone turning to Drupal? So I downloaded it again, the install was 100 times easier than the last. But still I was taken aback by the new terminology… nodes, tokens, cron jobs, blocks, modules, etc.
So the site sat there for another year and was eventually deleted.
And now I’m back at it again, it appears non-profit and government agencies like Drupal and since I’m in the capital of government agencies and non-profits I thought it was time to pick it up again.
So here’s my journey/experiment with Drupal – it’s a pet project that I’ve been itching to create for years now.
So if you care to follow along, the website I’m working on is MomsPhotographyClub.com – my goal is to turn it into a community website but right now I’m just working on getting the site designed to my satisfaction.
Finding a Template
First thing I decided to do was look for a base template to work from. I chose TB Blog because it was an easy to get my Drupal site started and it looked similar to a wordpress template. Oh did I mention it was free! It is very simple and offers plenty of white space.
You can download it here: http://drupal.org/project/tb_blog
I knew the first thing I needed to do was incorporate all the features that I wanted to site to have. For example there isn’t a way to generate user-friendly URL’s after the initial installation. You need some modules.
You can use the Path module or Pathauto and I initially chose Path Module which lets you manually update the URL path for each post and page, which is great. But then I figured adding one other step before publishing will get daunting and often forgotten. So I switched to Pathauto which created an SEO friendly URL automatically.
I knew off the bat, that I needed to include some facebook elements to the site like Facebook comments and Facebook share, both were easy to find.
Then I also added the Tweetbutton module, which will get an error if you didn’t install the Token module. Both Tweetbutton and Pathauto require the Token module.
Finally I knew I was going to want a photo gallery on the site eventually so I downloaded the Gallery Formatter module.
Now I just have to get everything working together. I’m still looking for a Pinterest module so if you know of any please let me know.
Do you have a favorite CMS? What is it and Why?
Next up: Fiddling with CSS and design in Drupal