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Drupal tips

Here are a few things that I have learned over time:

By following these tips, you can maintain a secure, high-performing, and user-friendly Drupal website. Drupal's flexibility allows you to create powerful and customized web solutions, and careful planning and management can help you make the most of this versatile platform.

  • Plan Your Site: Start by outlining your site's structure, content types, and functionality before diving into development.
  • Use Strong Passwords: Ensure that strong passwords are set for all user accounts, especially administrator accounts.
  • Backup Your Site: Regularly back up your site's database and files to prevent data loss.
  • Implement SEO Best Practices: Use SEO modules and follow SEO best practices to improve your site's search engine rankings.
  • Optimize Performance: Utilize caching, content delivery networks (CDNs), and performance optimization modules to speed up your site.
  • Test on Multiple Browsers: Ensure your site functions correctly on various web browsers to provide a consistent user experience.
  • Monitor for Security Issues: Install security modules and regularly monitor logs for suspicious activity.
  • Create Responsive Design: Make your site responsive to accommodate different screen sizes and devices.
  • Regularly Audit Content: Review and update content to keep it relevant and accurate.
  • Implement Access Control: Use Drupal's permissions system to control user access to content and features.
  • Use Clean URLs: Enable clean URLs for improved SEO and user-friendliness.
  • Avoid Excessive Modules: Only install necessary modules to keep your site lightweight and maintainable.
  • Choose a Reliable Hosting Provider: Select a hosting provider that specializes in Drupal hosting for better performance and support.
  • Test Backups: Periodically test your backups to ensure they can be restored successfully.
  • Monitor Site Performance: Use tools like Google PageSpeed Insights to monitor your site's performance and make improvements.
  • Plan for Scalability: Design your site with scalability in mind to accommodate future growth.
  • Implement Responsive Images: Use responsive image techniques to deliver appropriately sized images to different devices.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with Drupal community news, security alerts, and best practices to continually improve your site.
  • Only enable needed modules - tons of modules are available and although it can be fun to enable everything for experimentation, the more modules are enabled, the slower Drupal will run and the more ressources it will need. Further, the more modules are enabled, the more potential security holes exist. Also, more modules means more user confusion, especially if the final admin is not very technically oriented
  • Make sure Drupal is updated - as mentioned in the previous point, security holes appear and you do not want your installation to be hacked (drush can help, see post on drush)
  • Use Multi-Site feature over multiple installs - There are cases where maintaining multiple installs is necessary, such as multiple servers. However, if possible, group all sites under one install. It makes backup easier, and updates faster and simpler.
  • Ensure a good default site exists - On multiple sites it may be tempting to put all the sites in site.com named folders but you never know when someone will come through a different path (such as accessing the ip address). It is important to have a valid default folder (maybe the most used site)
  • If privileges not needed, disable it for day to day accounts - admin account can do a lot of damage (either accidentally or through hack). Create users with only needed privileges and use them.
  • enable social media interaction - allowing people to share pages is awesome and bound to bring traffic
  • Removing modules - if you are about to uninstall a module, disable it first, uninstall from menu then clear cache. Otherwise trouble may crop up.
  • Use sqlite to develop locally - Assuming that it is a small site that will have mainly read operations, use SQLite: enabling the site is as simple as copying the site folder to the target host. However, test first that the correct SQLite version is installed (Centos 5.5 for example doesn't by default)
  • Use Admin menu module - it can make administration much more smooth.
  • Enable anti-spam measure - Some spammers have automated tools to interact with Drupal. By enabling anti-spam modules on forms such as recapcha, you decrease (though unfortunately not remove) spam attempts.