Five Lessons Learned From Creating a Drupal Site

The five lessons I personally learned from creating a major site using Drupal. Drupal can be a wonderful system for creating websites, but it can also be a gigantic pain to use. Here are the lessons I learned from creating a Drupal site.

Nothing is Ever Easy

Very few of the modules in Drupal are intuitive and easy to use. This is one area that WordPress gets it very right, and Drupal gets it very wrong. To be fair, though, Drupal is attempting a greater level of complexity with its modules but it can still be very annoying. Assuming the module is not a complete disaster to install it will likely take twice as long as expected with conservative estimates, and if you have to re-code it then it may even take weeks to fix if you are even capable. This is all to get a module working as I expected it to work. Take for example the Location CCK module which took a great deal of work to really get working.

Old Modules Can Collapse With Server Updates

Some of the modules found on Drupal are not maintained actively, which becomes a problem if your server updates its software. For example when my server updated its version of php it caused a lot of problems and took 6 hours to fix. This was probably a fortunate example for me as had there not been a solution to be found on the Drupal support sites it may never have been solved and my site may be dead.

Views Is The Greatest Module Ever

If you are using Drupal, you should be using the Views module. It really is that simple as Views is one of the greatest modules ever. It allows so many different things, from displaying user information on maps to displaying near any imaginable set of data in a specified order. Views really does make Drupal completely worth it, it is that powerful.

Have A Design Plan

Fortunately, I planned the site very early on and well before I started work on it. This proved to be very important as when I found myself struggling to concentrate I could always read the plan to see what needed to be done. It sounds silly, but having a plan and a mission written on a word document is a must.

Getting Users Is Hard

Just because my site is great and has fantastic potential does not necessarily mean that I can get people to use it. This has proven to be one of the toughest parts of the website, as I am still struggling to get users despite the design of it.

Anyway, I completed my site and have since started trying to get users. You can visit my site here: QWhatDo. How it basically works is it allows people to share information about what to do in their local area, etc. I am hoping to get a lot of users as it took quite a while to make and it is a good site overall.

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