Well, I finally got the website about how I want it. At least the backend of things. Through a combination of too many modules I was able to make most of what I wanted to happen on the site work out just fine. I do like that Drupal has many free options for modules (unlike Joomla, which has a lot of modules, but some of them cost money – usually the ones I wanted), but figuring out which ones to use is more difficult (one nice thing about Joomla was that their modules have ratings and reviews). The only real indication if something might be good is to sort things by popularity – presumably if other people are using a module, it must do something right. Doing a Google search was helpful in locating other information, but is also an extra step.
I am still trying to get the image part of Drupal figured out. I’d like to use the Lightbox2 module (it brings up the image in a new box, overlaid on the page, rather than opening a new window), but the various methods I’ve read about haven’t worked seamlessly for me – yet. I’ll still work on it. I wanted to put some of the supporting material for my portfolio into a format that could open in the lightbox so that people wouldn’t have to download a PDF, but could quickly scan the documents on the site without leaving the page. We’ll see – I am still going to try to get it to work, but it may take some time. It would also be nice to be able to incorporate photos a little more easily into some of my posts.
I am still planning on tinkering with my theme choice. I’m not sure I like this one. I will look at some of the theme templates and maybe work on getting one of those set up and customized more to my liking. And I need to work on the homepage. Maybe I should just remove it until I have more of the other content I plan to include up on the site. I can let the blog part be the home for now perhaps. We’ll see. I do have a lot to do to finish up my graduate program in the next four to five weeks, so I might just let things be as they are, unless I get some fantastic inspiration (that doesn’t require too much time to implement).
I am beginning to see how the implantation of something like Drupal for running a website can become problematic. There is a constant need to monitor and update contributed modules and the Drupal core to fix bugs or patch vulnerabilities. Modules are not so bad. Although the more one has installed, the more often updating will need to occur. Updating the core is a little more time consuming – backing everything up takes some time, though it is a good idea to be doing periodically anyway – then turning off all non-Drupal modules, switching to a default theme, deleting the files in the Drupal install directory, installing the new files and then re-installing all my data and contributed modules. Then turn the modules back on and change back to the theme – and make sure it all works. Whew! Good thing I’ve only had to do that twice since I installed Drupal to run my website.