Drupal 7 Development
Drupal is a great CMS for websites both small and large. Drupal 7’s core modules are enough for the most basic sites but there are several modules that I end up installing on virtually all my Drupal websites.
Views is an amazingly powerful Drupal module that really lets you take control over the way you display your site’s content. Views basically allows you to create custom queries to retrieve and list nodes. My most common use for this is for something like listing blog posts. You can even add in special filters and sorts that will take arguments right from the URL.
Pathauto simplifies the creation of URL aliases. By default, Drupal creates paths for content using content ID’s. This means you will get URLs like “www.example.com/node/12”. That is not a very good URL because it doesn’t give any indication as to what content it is. Every time you create a piece of content, you can create a custom path but that can become a hassle. Pathauto does the job for you. You can configure pathauto to create different paths for different content. For a portfolio project you could use a pattern such as “portfolio/[node:field_category]/[node:title]. Now, if you create a web project with the title of “example project”, pathauto will generate a path “www.example.com/portfolio/web/example-project”
Drupal Panels allows you to take multiple types of content and display them on a single page. The different parts can be anything from a block to a view. This is very helpful for displaying multiple, specific nodes on a single page. For example, on our site I use it on pages that contain an image gallery with basic page content. I can take a basic page node and combine with a slider node without having to create a new content type. This module also comes with a sub module called mini panels. This is same as the regular panel content type except that it allows you to create panel blocks rather than panel nodes.
The core installation of Drupal doesn’t have much in the way of creating forms. Webform allows for very easy creation of any form. Simply add a description and the form fields you require. Each form can be set up to send emails to any address. The base webform module comes with the most common types of input such as text fields and text areas however there are additional modules that add other types such as dates.
WYSIWYG is essential for simplifying the publishing process. It allows you to integrate one of many different WYSIWYG editors into your content creation form. This is especially ideal for users who will be creating contend but who don’t know any html.