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Drupal for Webmasters by Brett Baker


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Presentation by Brett Baker, Web Manager at The Children's Aid Society given at Drupal Camp Atlanta 2010 on October 2, 2010. The talk discussed how a single person or small team can leverage the Drupal CMS to tackle difficult deliverables.

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Drupal for Webmasters by Brett Baker

  1. 1. Back to the Old School Drupal for Webmasters by Brett Baker
  2. 2. Wayback in the good old days of web… 1996
  3. 3. There were lots of webmasters. Webmaster - Any person responsible for all websites or online deliverables for an organization.
  4. 4. In 1996 a few HTML pages some images (maybe scanned) a bit of FTP Content Editing Content production Banner Ads…
  5. 5. In 2010 The game has changed. Design Server Admin Front-end coding Analytics CMS 1000’s of pages configuration Content Editing Theming Content Back-end coding production Database Email design management and code Hosting Banner Ads administration Social Media Domain Admin And so on…
  6. 6. How do the needs of an organization change when you have one webmaster instead of a whole team? They don’t.
  7. 7. What are the challenges? Variable Background & Training + Complex Organizational Needs Demanding & Difficult Deliverables
  8. 8. Background & Training Webmasters are variable generalists.
  9. 9. Complex Organizational Needs
  10. 10. Demanding and Difficult Deliverables • Often challenging • Often custom • Often/always needed immediately or preferably yesterday. • Must be achieved while maintaining other work activities, meetings, budgets, reporting. • Re-create something seen elsewhere on the web
  11. 11. Drupal is the solution. • Powerful out of the box • Great contributed modules • Easy to theme • Great on-line community • Flexible • Fixable
  12. 12. Webmaster Methodology + Drupal
  13. 13. We know about Drupal. What is the Webmaster methodology? Inventory and Prioritize Organizational Needs Plan for Large Scale Shifts/Needs Keep the Site Simple   Design/Program for Iteration/Realignment  
  14. 14. Part 2: The Children’s Aid Society a case  study (or how Drupal made my life easier...)  
  15. 15. Case Study: The Children’s Aid Society
  16. 16. What is Children’s Aid?
  17. 17. Children’s Aid... is broad and complex was founded in 1853 serves New York City's most vulnerable children and their families. provide comprehensive support for children in need serves more than 100,000 children a year   operates 40 community-based centers, schools and health clinics in 2009 provided 81,000 health and mental health visits to 14,000 patients   Community Schools program partners with 22 local public schools has nearly 2000 employees, more than 1000 full time
  18. 18. Background a Drupal journey... Flat Files Drupal 4.7 Drupal 5 2000-2007 April 2007 August 2008 Drupal 6 August 2010
  19. 19. Inventory and Prioritize Organizational Needs Meeting these needs with limited resources was a series of challenges.
  20. 20. The big 3 Design Challenges Corporate/Organizational Challenges Functional Challenges
  21. 21. Design Challenges • Branding/Design conflicts • Continuity concerns • Find visual space for more content. • Widespread agency usage of IE6 • Microsite Branding concerns
  22. 22. Update the brand on the web
  23. 23. Streamline micro-site branding
  24. 24. Visually “fit” more content Visual Information Hierarchy informed Drupal Regions Knowledge of Drupal theming sped up design process
  25. 25. Visually clarify existing content
  26. 26. “micro-site” sections UI needed to make sense when experienced as it’s own site or as part of the larger Children’s Aid website
  27. 27. Corporate/Organizational Challenges • Competing stakeholders: Centers, Programs, Executive, Development (Donations). • 13+ physical locations need their “own” website • Scores of programs needing a “section” - several pages of content • Need to quickly aggregate content around trending topics i.e. Obesity Prevention
  28. 28. Functional Challenges • Micro-sites to import • Wordpress blog to import • Connect related content • No body fields • Extra content types • Legacy input php • External php files • 2000+ nodes (from D5, D6, Wordpress) • Poor and random URLs • Odd image sizes
  29. 29. Keep it simple.
  30. 30. Theme Zen + custom subtheme
  31. 31. Modules Core Optional Admin Content/Layout Functionality book admin cck global redirect comment ckeditor cck blocks google analytics database logging devel context jquery update help logintoboggan date mollom menu insert mp3player email nodewords path node clone fancybox path redirect php filter node export filefield pathauto search seed image api token taxonomy views bulk operations imagecache typekit imagefield webform menu block nodereference views views views attach views rotator
  32. 32. Get the most out of your modules Context module CCK Blocks Menu Block Views Views Bulk Operations Book
  33. 33. Challenge: “micro-sites” for centers/events
  34. 34. • Custom Module? • OG + Spaces • Context is already there
  35. 35. Context theme variables page-center.tpl.php
  36. 36. Challenge: Job Postings and Applications
  37. 37. Node Clone + Webform module Modules already in use Easy to understand Stores applications but... Needed to hide “complex” webform editing fields
  38. 38. Challenge: Content Inconsistencies overly long titles, image availability, nodes that only have a view Taxonomy + Context for small layout adjustments
  39. 39. Challenge: “reference any piece of content anywhere, anytime”
  40. 40. Challenge: “reference any piece of content anywhere, anytime” #1 - Node Reference + CCK Blocks + Node Reference Views
  41. 41. Challenge: “reference any piece of content anywhere, anytime” #2 - Taxonomy + Views
  42. 42. How else can you leverage Drupal + a few basic modules?
  43. 43. Simple Rich Media nodes Podcasts - mp3 module allows user to upload a file and have it appear automatically in a flash player
  44. 44. Simple Rich Media nodes Video - simple cck field to paste “embed code”
  45. 45. Simple Rich Media nodes Cck Imagefield + Imagecache + Fancybox = easy photo galleries
  46. 46. Simple feeds do work! Core Aggregator + Cron + Views
  47. 47. Questions? or