Over the last few years, word has spread far and wide about how great Drupal is as a CMS. Sadly, some websites using Drupal seem to be performing at a capacity that is less than stellar. Like with any system, web developers and designers can make mistakes with Drupal. Being open source, it can also appear complex, especially with
the latest version Drupal 8. The Drupal mistakes we’ll look at here go beyond design flaws to problems that exist behind the scenes; under the hood of your website and your team, if you will.
One of the easiest Drupal mistakes is simply to forget to backup your website! Put a plan in place that has your programmers backing it up regularly. Your developers, regardless of experience, need to back the site up before they make any changes to the coding or adding modules to enhance functionality. Doing this simple thing will avert many issues caused by failures. Proper procedures will keep your data safe.
KISS stands for “Keep It Simple, Stupid”. Drupal is a comprehensive and powerful content management system. Many Drupal mistakes can be avoided if developers take the time to simplify the back-end interface. You want the entire team to understand the system and how you use it, otherwise you'll have a site that annoys your clients no end. Those needing to edit the site may not be properly trained in Drupal and once they start messing around with it, you’ll see many needless mistakes popping up. Just make it user-friendly and you’ll see fewer problems.
Costly Drupal mistakes can often be traced back to developers who buck the system to “go their own way”. This does not bode well for websites that use Drupal as a content management system. Coders need to use W3C standard and guidelines. Mistakes occur when miscellaneous, unrecognized code is used. It's also a good idea to code by hand instead of cutting and pasting code from other sites or sources. Yes, it will take more time, but it's way better than having to go back and fix a range of avoidable mistakes and malfunctions. Doing it by hand and using W3C standards translates into error-free coding that is also documented, readable and understandable.
Inexperience or not paying close attention are just as much to blame for mistakes
with Drupal. Assigning permissions and roles within a website are crucial to security as well as who can access and change things. Avoiding mistakes of this nature requires two people. First, the developer of the site to set the permissions and the roles of all users. Second, the person responsible for the site itself needs to provide the correct list of people with their roles defined.
We get it, you want to show off how good you are at using Drupal. Mastering Drupal is a real confidence booster and gives you serious bragging rights. But many Drupal mistakes occur because of hubris rather than merely skill with the system. The standard hierarchy of content types exists for a reason: simplification. Make things easy for users to add content. Making new content types simply causes users not to know where anything is supposed to go. Mistakes here cause performance to suffer. When that happens, you upset everyone from the people managing the site content to visitors who will go elsewhere when they find confusing, stale or mislabeled content.
The best way to avoid mistakes is to bring in leading Drupal experts from the beginning. Discuss with them what you want for your site and how it should function, then be amazed at how they can make it happen and ensure your entire team is on the same page for it.
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