If any of you follow me on Twitter, you may know that I have been playing with Drupal. Drupal is a content management system (CMS). How is it different than WordPress (this blog uses WordPress), which is also a CMS? That is one of the questions that I hope to be able to answer by conducting my “experiment.” The idea is to learn out loud. When learning a new technical area, I find it good to make mistakes and get error messages. Why? Because then you learn more by needing to fix them.
If you usually come to this blog to look at photos, art and recipes, you might want to skip the next paragraph. Or hang in there and try to learn something technical?
I originally installed Drupal using the control panel that comes with my web hosting. But then I was informed that using the CVS (Concurrent Versions System) and the command line via shell access were better ways to keep a Drupal installation current. My first attempt resulted in multiple errors. It turns out I hadn’t deleted all the old files (I had left the settings.php files because I was warned about losing those). What I really needed to do was make a copy of settings.php (which I did), delete ALL the previous drupal files as well as drop the database tables (but not the database itself). Finally, it worked. If you care to visit, it’s current address is http://zot.leoraw.com.
My current plan is to use the site eventually to write about how a small to medium-sized business or organization can plan, update and optimize a website. There are so many factors involved, but I will name a few:
- Content: What would any site be worth without great content?
- A Good Domain Name: I named the directory zot because it was at the end of the alphabet, not because I thought it was a good name. I’ll need help coming up with a good domain name.
- Navigation: Users need to get around a site easily.
- Design: Working toward a good design for a site is important. If the design pulls a user in, the user will be more likely to hang around and read the content.
- Layout: Two columns? Three columns? Fluid or Static (this blog is static; the current Drupal theme is fluid).
- Search Engine Optimization: If Google can’t find your site, where are you?
- Updating the Site: Who will update the site? If the person can’t spell or has no sense of design, even if the site uses a CMS, you may have disappointing results.
Initially, however, (and initially could last several months) I will be using the site to learn Drupal. Anyone care to hang around and learn with me? Questions are welcome.
And for those who like art posts, I have another art post coming soon. A landscape.