5 top tips for Drupal content authors

Here are ten top tips when using Drupal:

  1. When pasting content into a text area from Word, make sure you clear any additional styles from Word by using the “Remove Formatting” button, or if you are using Chrome, paste the text using CTRL+SHIFT+V (CMD+SHIFT+V on Mac) and your text will be format-free.
  2. When uploading an Image onto a page, make sure it’s already scaled or cropped down. If the image will only be half a screen wide then there is no point uploading the full high-resolution photo.
  3. The Admin Toolbar module is a great help by providing a drop-down administration menu to help save on clicks when navigating around. Ask your admin to get it installed.
  4. Want better SEO? Google ranks pages with a proper heading structure. It also scans your Headings for keywords. But don’t over-do it. An entire page content as a heading will get you de-ranked.
  5. Keep in mind that most people are probably viewing your site on a mobile phone. Less is Best, so don’t waffle on too much.

10 ways to improve your Drupal website

Here is ten ways you can easily improve your Drupal website:

  1. Ensure your Caching is turned on. Drupal comes with some basic tools to help your sites load faster. Find them in the Administration Menu under Configuration > Development.
  2. Make sure you deactivate the user accounts of anyone who leaves the organisation. Every ignored user account is another potential vulnerability.
  3. Check your Analytics every few months. Find out what pages people are visiting and more importantly, what pages people AREN’T visiting.
  4. If your website has a publicly available contact form, make sure you backup and clear the submissions every few months to keep your database size down.
  5. Check your Watchdog log often, it’s a great way of seeing if your site is being targeted by malicious activity. Check for repeat requests to certain URL’s such as wp-login.php or install.php.
  6. Give your content editors a hand by configuring your content type form display. Display fields in a logical order, and use the Field Group module to group fields together.
  7. While you are at it, make sure that your WYSIWYG editor is as trimmed down as it can be. A simple editor interface makes everything easier.
  8. If you need to audit some content, don’t be afraid to create a View just for you. It’s an easy way of listing, filtering and exporting page content. Views aren’t just for listing the most recent blog posts.
  9. Check in every few months and make sure your backups are working. Don’t just make sure the files are there, try restoring it to a local instance just to make sure everything works if something goes wrong.
  10. Make sure you site is always patched and up to date. It’s not fun work, but it’s better than getting hacked.

Why is Drupal knowledge important to my career?

If you are a web developer or communications person in Canberra, you have probably either heard of Drupal or GovCMS.

In case you aren’t sure, Drupal is a web-based content management system that powers a huge portion of the worlds websites. It’s like WordPress, but more Enterprise focused. And GovCMS is just a local flavour of Drupal that is managed by the Australian Government.

So why is it important to your career? Because with currently over two hundred and sixty government websites already in GovCMS, and over ninety agencies on board, Drupal and GovCMS is everywhere.

If you are a website developer and you aren’t skilled in Drupal, you are missing out on a huge slice of the market.

And if you’re in Communications, you will probably end up working for a place that has a Drupal website, and you will want to know how to use it.