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Web Building With Drupal


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Presentation given at MORENet Connections conference, March 19, 2010

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Web Building With Drupal

  1. 1. Web Building With Drupal<br />
  2. 2. Objectives<br />What is a CMS?<br />Why Drupal?<br />Is there a learning curve?<br />How did MRRL set up the new site?<br />What modules were used?<br />How did the process work?<br />Was it a success?<br />What lessons were learned?<br />
  3. 3. What Is A CMS?<br />Content Management System<br />Database – with a fancy User Interface<br />Separation of content and “look”<br />Lots of ‘em for free<br />Drupal<br />Joomla<br />Wordpress<br />(lots of very expensive options, too)<br />
  4. 4. Why Drupal?<br />‘Cause everybody else is doing it?<br /><br /><br />Lots of library-specific modules?<br /><br />It’s free?<br />It has a very active developer community?<br /><br />
  5. 5. Is there a learning curve?<br />Yes.<br /> – online training videos<br />Drupalcon – conference with LOTS of learning opportunities<br /><br />Drupal handbook – community-created help for every part of Drupal, core to modules<br />
  6. 6. How did MRRL set up the new site?<br />LSTA Grant (thank you, State Library!)<br />New server, hands-on training & graphic design<br />Installed Drupal, set up after training<br />Installed modules<br />Themed the site<br />Trained content providers<br />Populated the content<br />Released Nov. 17th, 2009<br />
  7. 7. What modules were used?<br />LOTS<br />First – Views, CCK, Administration Menu<br />Next – Webform, Panels, Themekey, Mail<br />Extras – Embedded Media, Nice Menus, Tabs, Twitter, Flickr, etc….<br />More modules = more functionality + slower response times<br />
  8. 8. How did the process work?<br />Training<br />I went to hands-on administrator training<br />I trained content managers both in groups and one-on-one<br />Each subject expert got a user name & password and access to their “role”<br />Content<br />Entered content from old site<br />Created new features possible with Drupal<br />Easy feed aggregation, custom front page, <br />Decisions – blocks, pages, panels or views?<br />
  9. 9. How did the process work?<br />Theme<br />Graphic designer gave me HTML/CSS<br />I transferred that to Drupal PHP theme<br />Used Themekey and Taxonomy to determine which pages get Main, Teen or Child themes<br />Maintenance<br />Weekly updates to Drupal & modules<br />Database backups – VERY IMPORTANT<br />Ongoing content training to staff<br />
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  13. 13. Was it a success?<br />ABSOLUTELY<br />42% sustained growth in website visitors<br />
  14. 14. What lessons were learned?<br />No tech support – you have to find the answers yourself<br />Seek training – there is a learning curve<br />Be flexible – some things work, some don’t; be willing to drop stuff that doesn’t work<br />Seek opinions – get input from staff, patrons, random folks on the street<br />Be creative – Drupal offers a LOT of ways to do things & a lot of things to do!<br />