Science and technology

How I exploit Drupal as a complicated running a blog platform

A few years in the past, I made a decision I wished a spot to put up my ideas and mess around with some rising net applied sciences.

Why Drupal?

I make my dwelling working with and evangelizing Drupal. So there’s positively some applicability to the saying, “when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.”

In reality, I had thought-about utilizing some static site solutions like Gatsby or Jekyll after which utilizing free internet hosting choices from GitHub or GitLab.

However, one of many issues I take pleasure in about Drupal is how rapidly I can create and adapt content material buildings and have the power to attract on the appreciable library of community-provided modules to increase its capabilities, all of which you should utilize free of charge.

Let me use a selected instance for instance its flexibility. Initially, I wished my website to be a weblog, and there are a ton of choices for that, together with pure SaaS choices like Medium. As I used to be engaged on it, nevertheless, it occurred to me that I may additionally use the positioning as a spot to maintain observe of my numerous public talking engagements.

Speaking of Drupal

I keep a number of Drupal modules that I share with the group. I’ve additionally had the privilege of working with some very good individuals, so I recurrently have particular concepts round how you should utilize Drupal for some on a regular basis use circumstances in simple and highly effective methods.

When I submit a session proposal to an open supply convention, the organizers typically need to see a listing of my current public talking engagements. I used to maintain observe of that in numerous methods, together with a Google Doc. Then I’ve to recollect to maintain the record updated (invariably, I do not). Then if a selected convention needs the data in a distinct format, I’ve to adapt all of the content material myself: Add longer descriptions, video hyperlinks, and extra.

I added a content material kind (a customizable template for structured storage) on my Drupal website known as Talk. By default, it had a title and outline, so I added fields for the schedule, location, and a hyperlink to the video.

Drupal has strong media dealing with out of the field, so when a video of one in all my talks will get posted on-line, all I’ve to do is copy and paste the URL into my website. I can show that as a hyperlink or an embedded video participant. For higher efficiency, I additionally added a group module that permits the positioning to lazy load the video gamers.

I lately realized that I typically put up the slides from my talks to SlideShare, so I added a subject to maintain observe of these hyperlinks. That change took lower than a minute to implement. Now, if somebody needs to revisit the content material, they will discover a web page on my website with all the data: When it occurred, the outline, a video, and the slides.

Drupal additionally features a highly effective visible question builder known as Views, nice for producing content material lists to satisfy particular wants in a point-and-click interface. I used Views to create lists of upcoming and previous talks, together with small video gamers for the previous talks and full-sized gamers if guests click on by means of to the small print. If a convention requires my talking expertise in a selected format, I can simply create a brand new View to supply exactly the data they want, within the format they want it, with only a few clicks.

Key Drupal options

Another beauty of making a website with Drupal is that you simply get to construct on the work of one of the vital engaged open supply communities on this planet. And they’ve inbuilt some spectacular capabilities, which my website advantages from.


They constructed Drupal to make use of a number of layers of caching for higher efficiency. It additionally helps BigPipe progressive rendering, permitting even advanced pages to start out rendering within the browser instantly.


The Drupal group put a ton of labor into the spiffy new Olivero theme. It not solely seems lovely however acquired constructed for simple navigation by display screen readers and different assistive applied sciences. Upon evaluate, the National Federation of the Blind gushed that the crew “knocked it out of the park.” For my website, I labored out a method to override Olivero and make some minor stylistic modifications with out instantly enhancing the theme. That allowed me to offer my website some distinctive taste whereas making certain I can replace it painlessly as Drupal continues to evolve.

My favourite Drupal modules

While Drupal is extremely versatile out of the field, the chances are countless once you begin to add from the immense library of modules obtainable from the group, all free of charge. Here are a couple of that make my website higher.

Smart Date

This gives an intuitive, easy-to-use widget for coming into dates, designed to align with the UX of typical calendar functions. It handles timezones elegantly. And it additionally permits for the pure language formatting of date ranges: Outputting “9-10AM on Tuesday, Feb 15” as a substitute of “9:00AM Tuesday, Feb 15 – 10:00AM Tuesday, Feb 15” for instance.


By default, Drupal provides the loading="lazy" HTML attribute to img tags, however all browsers do not assist this. Also, my website masses a number of video gamers on the house web page, which might trigger a efficiency hit. The Blazy module provides assist for a number of lazy loading libraries and might lazy load video gamers.


Drupal lengthy may create Search engine optimisation-friendly URLs like /node/123 primarily based on the numerical ID of a chunk of content material. Pathauto expands the sophistication of the mechanically generated URLs to incorporate textual content, resembling the kind of content material, the way you categorized it, and the title (/articles/weblog/composable-date-formatter-drupal). You can use this for creating breadcrumbs as effectively.

If I wished to get severe about Search engine optimisation, I may add the automated era of varied meta tags utilizing the Metatag module, and likewise add meta tags so content material seems higher when shared on social media. If I wished to get actually severe about Search engine optimisation, I may additionally add the Real-time SEO module to assist me aggressively optimize for particular key phrases. But, I doubt I’ll ever take it that significantly.

Final ideas

Are you curious about giving Drupal a strive? There are one-click demos obtainable at or DrupalPod you should utilize to check out Drupal with a cloud-hosted IDE (if you wish to get your fingers soiled). In one other article, I’ll focus on a low-cost (principally free, as soon as it is up and operating) method to host your Drupal website.

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