An occasional thought

A sadly infrequent take on WordPress, WooCommerce, AI, and the web.

January 5, 2014
It’s the start of a new year and that means it’s the formation of new goals. Last year was huge – personally and professionally – but I’m already looking forward. Here are just a few of my resolutions, if you will, for 2014.
March 26, 2013
It’s finally here. It’s taken months of brainstorming and one furious weekend of work, but it’s finally live. Yesterday marked the official re-launch of! Lisa (my wife) has been begging me for months to redesign our personal family blog because it was looking dated, to say the least. (It had a 6-month-old picture in the header of our 2.5-year-old daughter.) Rather than just retheme the Drupal 6 installation that was there, I decided to give the site a full refresh. Here are bascially the 2 phases that I went through in one furious weekend.
February 5, 2013
Generally speaking, Drupal does a great job of letting you bulk update content settings across your site. And where core falls short, usually a module called Views Bulk Operations (VBO) jumps in to save the day. But recently I needed a way to bulk update comment settings. I have a side project where I set commenting to be closed for a content type that I ultimately needed to open commenting on. I searched for a while, even giving VBO a run, but it doesn’t provide the ability to update comment settings. Unfortunately, there’s no module, so the next best thing was to update rows in the database manually. There are a couple places where rows need to be updated, so here’s the fastest and easiest way to update comment settings in the database. WARNING: While this is a fairly simple process, if you do not know what you are looking at in the database, this can be a very bad idea!
January 12, 2013
While I’m a Drupal advocate for sites that require a content management system, I recognize that WordPress still holds the crown for most popular CMS. Through talking to others that work exclusively with WordPress, I’ve come across some of WordPress’s most popular modules. I know this list isn’t going to convert WordPress developers to Drupal (or vice versa hopefully), but I just thought it might be interesting to take a look at some of the similar modules. This isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a comprehensive list, just a quick recap of some of the most popular WordPress plugins and their Drupal module counterparts.
December 7, 2012
One of the greatest things about Drupal is the ease at which you can create different types of content – aptly named “content types”. The one area that we, as a company, had to iron out – and have been perfecting over the last few years – is the assignment of permissions for these content types. Anyone who has seen the Drupal permissions page knows it is a nightmare of checkboxes that must be precisely managed. While we – the core admins of the site – need to have full control over all aspects of the content, we also need to lock down certain areas that clients need to stay out of. After deliberating over how to structure our roles and permissions, we’ve solidly decided on a system of creating roles based on content types. For any given site we might have a “page admin”, “blog admin”, “gallery admin” and so on. In addition, we can also have roles like “blog author” that may add/edit/delete their own content, but not all blog content site-wide.
November 15, 2012
When you develop websites for a living, it’s inevitable that you write the same lines of code over and over. While the goal for some of these repititions might be to create a generic stylesheet (a reset) or create a plugin for javascript code, sometimes it’s just not enough code to need to create a whole system for. It is, however, enough code that not having to write it each time would save you hours of time over the long run. Enter TextExpander. (Or any other text expansion software. This just happens to be my favorite.) TextExpander is one of many text expansion softwares available for developers and everyday computer users alike. Text expansion is basically the ability to set up shortened snippets of text that automatically convert to long lines of text. For example, I could set up a snippet that would tell the computer to type out my full name – Marcus Dustin Burnette – whenever I type my initials – “MDB”.
November 2, 2012
One of the best ways to stay creative is to engage in ongoing side projects. Without the demands of clients or the need to meet requirements for customers, you can have unlimited freedom over your project. That is why we, at FliteHaus, have put together a gallery of the best Drupal design on the web. We’ve decided to call it Drupal Paradise. Born out of a need to show our clients just how limitless the possibilities are for Drupal sites, we wanted to create a gallery to showcase the best of the best.
October 20, 2012
With the introduction of Drupal 7, many of the great tools that were essential in Drupal 6 – CCK and ImageCache for example – have been built right into the core installation. Instead of making 99% of developers install the same modules over and over and over, they’ve been included in Drupal core. There are, however, still a few modules that every developer should install right from the offset of a new project and some that will be useful for different kinds of projects. We’ll take a quick look at the essential modules in this article.
October 13, 2012
In this new series that I’ve dubbed The Drupal Framework, I will be going over my basic framework for Drupal sites. Although I have some ideas for more Drupal tutorials, I wanted to take a few posts and describe my Drupal installations and the thought process behind the decisions about which version to use and what modules are necessary. In this first post, we’ll talk about Drupal 6 pros and cons, Drupal 7 pros and cons, and come up with a final verdict about which Drupal version is the right choice right now.