Content Management Systems (CMS)

HTTPS Everywhere: Deep Dive Into Making the Switch

Submitted by Sam Moore on Mon, 03/06/2017 - 21:00

HTTPS image

Not only are some browsers now throwing flares when forms are presented without encryption, but Google is starting to notice as well.
Bottom line - it's time to get a cert and make your site work over encrypted connections.

Here's a detailed article that will take you through the steps required to get HTTPS working on your site(s).

https://www.lullabot.com/articles/https-everywhere-deep-dive-into-making-the-switch

 

Industry-specific pages debut on Drupal.org

Submitted by Sam Moore on Mon, 03/06/2017 - 15:59

Did you know 73% of the top 30 media companies use Drupal? Neither did I.

Drupal.org has 3 new industry-specific pages, offering case studies and talking points, like the one above, for prospective site builders who are considering Drupal.

The three market verticals are Higher Ed, Media/Publishing, and Government.

Having worked in all 3, I can attest there's lots of opportunity there. Hopefully these new pages will help get the word out.

 

https://www.drupal.org/association/blog/drupalorg-industry-pages-are-live

Vice: We're Getting Rid of Comments on VICE.com

Submitted by Sam Moore on Thu, 12/22/2016 - 11:05

As we all know, the comments section of many sites is simply an open sewer.
 

We don't have the time or desire to continue monitoring that crap moving forward. Besides, there are plenty of other ways for you to publicly discuss our work and the personal worth of our staff. We'll still be reading your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook, and we legitimately do enjoy getting IRL mail (no bombs) sent to our offices in Brooklyn.

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/were-getting-rid-of-comments-on-vice

Metatags, sharing, and social media

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 10/19/2016 - 09:39

Here's a great guide to tagging your content to optimize presentation on FB, LinkedIn and Twitter: 
"As social media platforms continue to become a dominant traffic source for your content, it becomes even more important to put in the small amount of additional effort to ensure your story can connect with each audience. Through the proper use of metadata, you can easily achieve this goal with your existing content as well as make this a part of your editorial process moving forward."

Bonus: this is quite easy with Drupal and the Metatag module.

https://www.newmediadenver.com/blog/using-html-meta-tags-to-tailor-your-story

The move to HTTPS

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 09/21/2016 - 10:35

Google announced earlier this year that they will begin counting the availability of service over the https protocol on sites as a positive factor for page rank.
Several clients have expressed concern over moving their Drupal sites to https. Drupal has no issues with this, and generally work fine over either protocol; but there's some confusion over broader issues of search, link juice, etc. and how 301s and 302s should be handled. Here's a good summary of the common questions:
https://plus.google.com/+JohnMueller/posts/PY1xCWbeDVC

Dries Buytaert: How can Drupal web applications compete with native apps?

Submitted by Sam Moore on Fri, 09/16/2016 - 11:12

In the longer term, client-side frameworks like Ember will allow us to build web applications which compete with and even exceed native applications with regard to perceived performance, built-in interactions, and a better developer experience. But these frameworks will also enrich interactions between web applications and device hardware, potentially allowing them to react to pinch-and-zoom, issue native push notifications, and even interact with lower-level devices.

http://buytaert.net/can-drupal-outdo-native-applications

MediaCurrent: How Drupal won an SEO game without really trying

Submitted by Sam Moore on Fri, 08/19/2016 - 13:17

The basics - and even advanced aspects - of SEO are so ordinary for Drupal site builders that sometimes we forget what an advantage Drupal affords us. While site owners still need to think about content quality, metadata and search terms, creating a high-rankable site is a matter of course for Drupal developers.

Here's a brief look at MediaCurrent's SEO work for a client, which also serves as a simple how-to for site builders focusing on SEO in a Drupal environment.

http://www.mediacurrent.com/blog/drupal-seo-win

Remote blog writing under Drupal 7 - Mars Edit & me

Submitted by Sam Moore on Wed, 04/09/2014 - 21:10

MarsEdit3Icon256

For several years, I've been using and recommending the excellent Mars Edit for folks who want to write blog posts offline for later uploading.

There are several reasons for people to want to do this - for one thing you can work on several articles at once, without having to flip between browser tabs. Also the better offline editors have good media management, allowing the user to upload images from the desktop easily, and in some cases even pull from iPhoto, or from previously published stories, without breaking the flow of writing. Even the best WYSIWYG editors that work in-browser can't quite match the ease of use and basic unobtrusiveness of a good offline editor.

One user has also points out that she feels safer having a local copy of her posts available as backup, or in case she wants to pull a bunch of posts together for a story collection or a book.

In any case, offline editors are popular, and Mars Edit is one of the best (Mac only, sorry).

So when I recently updated this site to Drupal 7, I figured everything would Just Work, as they say - silly me. There are some configuration issues on the Drupal side that have kept me busy today - nothing that was Mars Edit's fault. It all comes down to setting up BlogAPI correctly.

Just by way of background: Drupal requires the addition of the BlogAPI module in order to provide a web service that allows remote posting in the manner we're looking for here. BlogAPI will accept POST methods, authenticate the user, parse the provided xml, and create or update the node for you. It will also accept images and put them in the Drupal file hierarchy, so that they can be referenced by your post. However, these images need to be encoded as text, because of the xml-based conversation that it's having with the remote client.

Drupal uses the Movable Type API, which is quite well supported generally, and Mars Edit is smart enough to know that - so that when you set up your blog account in Mars Edit for the first time, it generally gets the settings correct.

There are a few gotchas though, and as I spent a good few hours on this, I thought I'd share:

Firstly, you need to get BlogAPI installed. Install it as you would any other Drupal module, but be sure to turn on the supporting API providers - MetaWeblog and Movable Type - in the Modules list. Apparently we need both, as some key functions seem to reside in MetaWeblog.

Next, be sure to grant permissions. This may seem obvious, but I spent a frustrating hour trying to post images as the superuser, and failing. Even if your account is UID=1, you'll still need to create a role, add yourself to it, and give it perms for BlogAPI. If you don't, you'll be able to post text just fine, but BlogAPI will refuse your images, because you won't have a valid file upload limit.

If you'd like to be able to push posts up in Draft (unpublished) status, you'll need "Administer Content" perms as well - grant that to your role, again even if you're user #1.

Finally, if you're getting complaints about the SQL schema, as I was, just uninstall BlogAPI (that means uninstalling the providers first - and I do mean uninstall at /admin/modules/uninstall, not just "turn off"). Turn BlogAPI back on again, and it will re-make the database tables it needs. You will then have to reactive the providers, and set everything up again at /admin/config/services/blogapi. I think this may have something to do with the update - perhaps the BlogAPI updater doesn't quite handle the jump from D6 to D7. Anyhow reinstalling solved it for me.