Common mistakes made by Drupal developers and how to avoid .

10 Common mistakes made by Drupal developers when building drupal websites and how to avoid them.

  1. Not installing Themes and modules in the right directories

This causes issues later on, when you have to upgrade the drupal to next version . Follow the directory structure recommended, that way it will be easy to debug.

/<Your drupal-root >
  /includes
  /misc
  /modules      <-- core modules here
  /profiles
  /scripts
  /sites
    /all
      /modules  <-- contributed modules here
      /themes

 

2. Installing modules in Beta or alpha state and not reading the caveats

New developers get excited by seeing the modules with the features they have. They install directly on the site. Later they get errors and they are not able to figure out what is causing the errors on their sites and why some things don’t work. I am not saying do not install modules in beta state, I am just saying CAREFULLY READ and understand the RISKS before installing

3. Module not configured properly.

 Recently I myself had an issue where Persistent login module was  not letting me edit any user on my site. I took long time to figure out that persistent login module was preventing me with doing this.  After reading and understanding the module settings, I was able to resolve the issue in few minutes.

My point is read and understand module configurations properly otherwise you will not be able to debug issues on your website. You must understand interdependencies. Yes there is learning curve but it’s worth it.

4. Not backing up the site

If you are a new to drupal then you MUST take backups before making any major changes or installing major modules so that you can restore the original in case things screw up. During my early years, I myself have wasted several precious hours since I did not take the backup and had to  work several hours to restore the site. Use  Backup & Migrate module that helps making this task

5. Orders of CSS files

You must understand  the orderthat style.css is called in relation to other modules' css files(which can screw up cascade and resulting style concerns). If you don’t understand the flow then you will keep wondering why my changes are not being reflected.

6. Not using Performance settings on drupal

Read this articleto understand the drupal speed, caching and performance optimizations.

7. Spam control not done

Before you know your site will be full of spams in content or comments. You just cannot leave your site open to all , it has to be moderated or regulated. Read my post on stopping drupal spamto quickly take control.

8. SEO Mistakes

Your site is not of much use if its not indexed properly by search engines or if you don’t have good search engine rankings. New Drupaliers don’t know the best practices of SEO.Read my post hereor the larger post on drupal.org here.

9. Website design mistakes

Read this post for common mistakes people make in website design.  Some of them you may not be able to avoid, but comply to as many as you can. Click here

10. Expecting people to start posting on your site.

Many people just waste their time, they create a drupal site and expect that people will start posting on their site and they will make money. You must understand that there are billions of website, unless you website is a niche and you are offering something unique, don’t expect anyone to even show up on your website.  It took some time for me to understand this, that content is not important, Unique content which my own value adds is important. So my friend study your website niche carefully, and decide what is the unique thing you are going to offer and then work hard towards making a really valuable site. I will give you a final tip that will help you in your website career.  “Get more hands”  you alone cannot manage a large website, unless it’s a plain blog. Either Hire or partner with people.

 All the best. !!!