Drupal Training

Apr 13 2011

Surrey Drupal Meetup: April 14, 2011: How to Use Template.php to Power your Drupal Themes

I'm looking forward to our meetup tomorrow evening. Colin Calnan, Drupal Developer at Raised Eyebrow Studio, will be presenting on How to use Template.php to Power your Drupal Themes.

Colin says:
We'll explore the purpose of the template.php file in theming as well as the relevant Drupal API functions. We'll then delve deeper into creating the most basic functions needed in the file. Finally we'll explore the process of reading the code of other modules to help you find the places where you can change their output via template.php
Come and join us at 6:30 pm for our meetup at the ABC Restaurant in Fleetwood. Please RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/surrey-drupal/events/16607568/
Mar 15 2011

My Favourite Videos of Drupalcon Chicago for Design and Theming

How to Make Awesomesauce
Intermediate Theming
By Morten from Denmark

Avoiding Frankenstein Website Design: Collaborating with Clients
Samantha Warren

Design in the Browser: Use CSS to Stop Lying to Ourselves and Our Clients
Mason Wendell
Mar 12 2011

Interview with Jen Simmons - Is HTML5 ready to use now?

Recently, I was in the IRC channel,  #drupal-html5, and I had a nice conversation with Jen Simmons about HTML 5. Jen is actively working to promote the use of HTML5 in Drupal.

jensimmons [~jensimmon@drupal.org/user/140882/view] has joined #drupal-html5
<katy5289> Hi Jen, do you recommend we start using html5 in Drupal 7 themes?
<jensimmons> hello
 <jensimmons> katy5289: yeah!
<jensimmons> I'm going to....
<jensimmons> when it makes sense
<katy5289> when would that be?
<jensimmons> depends on the client and the budget of the project etc etc
<jensimmons> but also — why not!?!
Mar 5 2011

Drupal Training Conference in Chicago, March 7-11, 2011

Drupalcon Chicago March 7-11, 2011DrupalCon Chicago is starting next week with a day of training on Monday, March 7th. The Conference is March 8-10 with a code sprint day on the 11th. The SheratonTowers (renamed Drupal Towers) will be packed with Drupal enthusiasists for several days of interesting speakers sharing insights into using Drupal better. http://chicago2011.drupal.org/

I am excited to be starting several new client projects this month, so I am not able to attend. But we are proud to have many Drupallers from Vancouver attending and several will be giving presentations:

Angie Byron: Scaling the Drupal Community

Ariane K.: New Directions for Documentation

Vanessa Turke: Strategies for Client Management

Kat Bailey: Drupal 7 Javascript for Developers
Dec 4 2010

Before you launch your Drupal website

This is a checklist of must have modules before you launch your website:
1. Backup and Migrate – this module is so important I don’t know why it’s not in core or at least included in the Acquia bundle. You can schedule your Drupal site to make daily database backups and keep the last 4 copies on your server. You can also download the database to your desktop or external hard drive. There is a patch available so you can use Backup Migrate with Dropbox. http://drupal.org/project/backup_migrate
2. Poormanscron – this handy module performs housekeeping duties necessary to maintain the health of your Drupal website. It’s so important that it is now included in Drupal 7 core. You can schedule cron.php to run every 24 hours. You also need to run cron to check the update status of your installed Drupal modules http://drupal.org/project/poormanscron
3. Mollom – This free module will keep the spammers away from adding multiple comments to your blogs and forums. Go to http://www.mollom.com.
4. Captcha – Mollom doesn’t yet work for your Drupal webforms, so use Captcha to kill spam on your webforms and newsletter subscribe boxes. http://drupal.org/project/captcha
5. Google Analytics – take advantage of Google’s free web analytics program and set up Google Analytics. You will need to go to Google.com and sign up for an account. Cut and paste your special number into the Drupal module and you’re good to go. Google Analytics tracks how many users visit your pages and where they come from, what keywords they used to find your website and many more important statistics.  http://drupal.org/project/google_analytics

Question for Discusson:
What are 3 of your favourite must-have modules that would make your pre-launch checklist?
Nov 29 2010

How to transfer your Drupal website from one server to another

There are many different ways to recreate your Drupal website on another server. Some people use phpMyAdmin tool to create a database dump for the original site and import it into a new database on the target server. However, I have found that this method doesn’t work very well. Many times the database import does not complete because the operation times out. The cache tables are too large and the operation times out before it can be completed.
The best way to transfer your Drupal site from one server to another is to use the Backup and Migrate module. Use the default settings and the cache tables will not be saved in your backup. You don't need them anyways.
1. Make a complete backup of all your Drupal website files
2. Use Backup Migrate module to make a backup of the site database. Use the default settings. Choose Gzip and download to your desktop computer.
3. Copy all Drupal files to root directory
4. Use phpMyAdmin to create a new database, user and password. Write down the details.
5. Run yoursitename.com/install.php
6. Fix any error messages and permission issues. Register Globals needs to be disabled.
7. Enter database name, user and password for database you created in step 4.
8. Go to Site Building > Modules in your Admin Menu and look for Other category. Enable Backup Migrate module. Click Save Configuration.
9. Go to Content Mangement in your Admin Menu and choose Backup & Migrate
10. Choose Restore database and choose the gzipped database file you made in Step 2.
This will restore all your database settings and content from the original Drupal website
11. Check the settings for Site Configuration > File System. Many servers have different paths for the /files  and /tmp folders
12. Test your website to see that all pages are functioning properly.
13. Check Reports > Status Report. If you are transferring your Drupal website from a Microsoft server to a Linux server or vice versa, you will most likely need to run update.php to make sure your database structure is correct. Even if you are transferring from one Linux server to another, you will probably need to run update.php. Be sure to put the site off-line first.  Go to Site Configuration > Site Maintenance and choose site off-line.
I hope you find this article helpful. Please leave your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you. :-)
Nov 22 2010

Hot Drupal topics – what new module or technology are you excited about?

Join other Drupal enthusiasts at the Surrey Drupal Meetup. Our next meetup is Dec. 9, 2010 at 7pm.

Come prepared to share your favourite new module, your best site recipe or hot new technology. Let’s discuss. Will HTML 5 replace Flash? Does Drush make developer’s job easier? What Drupal Distributions have you tried?

Please RSVP if you'd like to join us. For more information and to sign up:

Nov 22 2010

Drupal in a Day: Training for Beginners

The Vancouver Drupal In A Day Workshop is a hands-on introduction to building a web site using the free, open-source content management system Drupal. We will cover questions like "What can Drupal do?", "Why choose Drupal?", and general concepts of on-line content management with a database behind your web site. Then we'll work through the basics of setting up a Drupal site.

This workshop is suitable for Drupal beginners.

The Drupal in a Day Workshop is presented by the Vancouver Drupal User Group.


Attendees must provide their own computers with wireless connection and working web browser.


  • People attending the workshop will come away with a good understanding of what Drupal does and what types of sites it can be used for.
  • They will be exposed to the basics of building a site in Drupal.
  • They will be exposed to the modules most people use to build Drupal sites.

For more information and to register:

Oct 29 2010

About the PNW Drupal Summit in Vancouver, Canada

First written Oct. 4, 2010: I think the highlight of the Summit for me was the DrupalChix BOF (Birds of Feather) held on Sunday afternon. About 12 women who work with Drupal met together for small group informal discussion. It was interesting to listen to each person’s intro as they told how they got started with Drupal.
Sep 23 2010

PNW Drupal Summit - Oct. 2-3, 2010 - Vancouver, BC Canada

I am going to Drupal Summit 2010 this October 2-3rdI"m getting excited! The PNW Drupal Summit is only 10 days away! 240 Drupal users from all over the Pacific Northwest will be gathering in Vancouver on October 2 and 3rd. This year we have two keynote speakers: Angie Byron, will be speaking on "The Drupal Community: Where are we going and how can you get involved?" And Josh Koenig will be speaking on "Enterprise Drupal: Managing epic scope, scale and speed without losing your hair".

This year's Summit features two full days of workshops with 4 tracks: Development & Code, Design & Theming, Site Building and Administration, Business & Project Management. We also have small groups (called BoF- Birds of Feather) gathering for informal discussions on a variety of topics.