Drupal Gardens adds blog template, analytics, pseudo-class styling & more

Last week the Acquia engineering team finished its first post-DrupalCon sprint and upgraded nearly 9,500 Drupal Gardens sites to a new release. For an invitation-only beta, that is a lot of sites. Considering that this effort is combined with running on recent daily builds of the Drupal 7 alpha, the team has no shortage of challenges. While a significant chunk of our time is spent working on advancing and testing Drupal 7 core, key contributor modules and Drupal 7 HEAD to HEAD upgrades, the team also introduced some cool new features that any site builder or designer can appreciate.

Here is the partial list of the new items introduced our last 3-week sprint (screenshots below):

  • Upgraded all sites to Drupal 7 Alpha 4 + all core changes through May 14. For a complete list of what is new, see the Drupal 7 Alpha 4 release notes or the raw CVS commit messages from April 8 to May 14.
  • Added a blog site template to rapidly create a new Drupal Gardens site configured for a business, community or personal blog.
  • Added support for Google Analytics to provide free enterprise-class analytics of website traffic and marketing effectiveness.
  • Added the ability to change the width and height of any element's content area using the Drupal Gardens ThemeBuilder. With these controls you can enlarge any selected element to accommodate an image that would normally not fit within the element's default size.
  • Added support for customizing CSS pseudo-classes so you can change how your site looks when users interact with your theme. Specifically you can now:
    • Change how links appear on your site, such as your link's hover state (when a user mouses over it), visited state, and active state (when a user selects it).  e.g. your links can become bold or a different color when a user hovers over the links with their mouse or selects them.
    • Change any element's style while in the hover state.  e.g. when a user mouses over your site's header or sidebar, its background color or background image can change.
    • Style the first-child or last-child of any element differently than the middle elements.  e.g. if you have a list of menus or paragraphs, you can style the 1st menu or last paragraph differently than all others menus or paragraphs -- if new menus or paragraphs are added, the styling only applies to the first or last one, as expected.  
  • Sites can now be accessed using the URL www.yoursitename.drupalgardens.com as well as yoursitename.drupalgardens.com
  • Added several additional theme palettes to quickly give your themes a unique look.
  • Improved Drupal Gardens' site performance by supporting Acquia Hosting's Varnish caching
  • Fixed lots of bugs reported by our amazing beta testers. The Drupal community thanks you!

Feeling left out of the party because you don't have a free Drupal Gardens account?
Just sign up to get a free beta code, and we'll get one to you ASAP!

Here are some screenshots:


Selecting the blog template


The resulting Drupal 7 site configured for a blog, ready to be styled


Configuring Google Analytics


Styling CSS Pseudo classes with the Drupal Gardens ThemeBuilder