A while ago I wrote a post on Content Editors being the forgotten Drupal user, and how we could improve their experience. Well it's been over a year now and, as with anything online, things have changed and new stuff has appeared or been found. So here's a few extra modules that I think can improve the CMS users experience of Drupal.
Forms are everywhere, whether they're asking users to register, comment on a post or submit an enquiry we ask users for a variety of information. Such actions should be as easy for the user as possible. Drupal core does the job but it's not as friendly or easy as it could be, below are a few modules you can use to greatly improve the experience.
For those Drupal devs new to submitting your own custom module to Drupal.org (as I am) you'll find a very well structured review process you have to pass first. The review process ensures your code is up to scratch and complies with Drupals coding standards.
Spam is everywhere, in our emails, in websites, in social media, but how can you stop it appearing on your site? There are a few ways, some easy, some hard and it depends on your situation which method is best for you (I strongly believe a one method fixes all doesn't exist). Here are three methods, with modules, you can use to help fight the mass of spam that exists.
Drupal is famous for its community, the collaborative effect of thousands of people working together to build a better product is amazing. Due to this it's no surprise that there are a fair few modules out there to help create a site with your own community. I recently had to do just that; tasked with creating a site centred around two groups of people interacting with various permission settings. Here are a few good modules I used.
I recently worked on a project (I won't name names) where the clients systems were locked down rather severely, this coupled with an *insert appropriate word here* slow connection meant that I was presented with more than the usual challenges of a Drupal build. The biggest problem presented was that my go to WYSIWYG editor (CKeditor) was not usable.
A decent issue tracker, allowing you and your clients to report issues and track the progress, is key to any successful project. Issue trackers can range from a simple spreadsheet to systems like mantis or JIRA, some free and some paid. So when it comes to selecting a system to use how do you choose?
Twitter cards are a great way to give tweets a media experience, enabling you to add images, summaries, videos or even detailed product information to a tweet. You can add Twitter cards to your Drupal site easily with the Meta Tags module.
Features is a widely used module and can be very useful, but I am personally not fond of it. I find it somewhat bulky, cumbersome and on a small to medium build it seems overkill. I also dislike the thought of having more modules/code than I need in a build and being unable to disable and remove a features module without removing the functionality bugs me. There are those that swear by it and wouldn’t dream of developing or maintaining a site without it but I am not one of them.
With most websites a great deal of thought goes into the end user, how will they view and want to interact with the site? What are their key workflows? etc. So often content editors are forgotten about and left with only the basic tools to fully manage their site. Installing a few modules, making some quick configuration changes and adding some code snippets can enable users to more effectively manage their content and their site as a whole, leaving a happier admin as well as front end user.
Google charts is one of the services that has fantastic documentation, allowing you to really dig into it and get the best possible result. With a wide variety of chart types available and configurable options Google welcomes you to dive into it's API and see what you can do.
Google has a dazzling array of free and premium services (yes they do more them email, maps, and analytics) and the Drupal community, being the open source wonder that it is, has built upon this and created multiple modules you can use to bring those services into Drupal.
I've been working with Drupal for nearly two years now, still fairly new in the grand scheme of things. But in that time I've been able work on a variety of projects from small to big, simple to complex, minor additions to full builds and for various sectors and clients. Over that time I've grown to become rather fond of Drupal however there are also some bits I'm not so fond of.