Web Design Tips, Tutorials & More!

Extending Drupal

Drupal is one of the blogging platforms out there that has a large community of followers and contributors. They happily contribute many modules that can be used to extend your website and although many know the more popular modules, there are several that are worthy of mention but seldom get talked about.

We all know how security is a must on the web. Secure Site is useful when we are working on a website it is important, that although we have it up, it can’t be seen by the public.

There is a module for Drupal that will keep them from finding it by accident. This prompts for a user name and password to log in so they can’t find it by accident.

Poor old IE6 has been beaten to death on the web and now Drupal has a module that will tell clients still using it to upgrade or go to Firefox. Personally, I keep IE only as a last resort, but then I am not fond of monopolies. Download the module for Drupal that will ask your clients to upgrade their browser.

In order to test functionality of a program you often need to use different user accounts, and this module allows you to switch between accounts just by using the name and not needing their password.  It can be a bit invasive if not used correctly. However, the module is called Masquerade.

If you want to share your content on other sites and want to get people who are visiting to repost to these sites, there is a module which allows you to add a button to your site, which then results in a pop up asking the user to share on various sites like Twitter and Digg among others.

Normally, any email from a Drupal website will only be sent as plain text. This upsets styling. Now there is a module called HTML mail, which will allow you to do a whole lot more.

Set up and send mails with headers and style.

When you want to have a change mid stream in your website, there is a module called ThemeKey, which allows you to have different sections with different themes.

A module that will check availability of the username you want it called Ajax Check. This will check the name before the form is fully completed and saves a lot of the user’s time and also means they won’t opt out after filling everything in and then discovering the name they want is gone.

This is a module you can use rather than using PHP for sending out your Mail.  It works with services such as Google as well, but basically it sends mail through an SMTP server. It is called SMTP. If you are going to be sending out newsletters and things like that you can team it up with the HTML mail module and use them together.
A module that helps faster loading is Job Queue, which makes the website load in sections rather than all at once.

This means the load on the server is lessened, and you will have less timeouts.


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