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Migrating the Drupal way. Part IV: helping your admins with hook_help() and Advanced Help

Training is a huge consideration when moving to a new software platform. You have to ask yourself, how steep is the learning curve? How many people do you have to train? How many of those people are going to drag their feet? It has been my experience that no matter how much easier the new solution is, people still resist change. Sooner or later, you will have to send them off and running. For the fourth installment of my migration blog, I'm going to recommend leveraging Drupal's built in help functions as well as the Advanced Help module to make the transition smoother.

Redesigning the Acquia Home page

In an attempt to respond to you - our most valued customer - we're revising our home page. In our current state, we've heard you say through our usability sessions "the page has too much text," and we've seen you have trouble finding important links like "Download Acquia Drupal." In addition, we think we can do better at making our value proposition more clear.

Migrating the Drupal way. Part II: saving those old URLs

For the second part of my migration blog, I want to touch on the importance of maintaining URLs from your old site and demonstrate some examples of how to capture them in Drupal. Search engine traffic and other referrals are invaluable when it comes to the success of a site. I've managed sites that have received upwards of 100,000 referrals a day from Google alone. This is not even to mention all of the external links and bookmarks to your pages. If you are thinking about migrating to Drupal and have not considered the importance of maintaining old URLs, you definitely should. The impact of losing that amount of traffic could be catastrophic, but luckily the solution is reasonably simple.

The Google iPhone voice app angle that no one is talking about

I checked out the new voice-activated Google Mobile App for iPhone this morning. It works pretty well - not perfect - but solid.

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Hosted Solr site search for Drupal is on the way

The search technology area is highly important to people with websites. As a result, I've spent serious time looking at it. Several things have come from this time spent:

  • The important thing: We'll soon be adding "hosted site search" capabilities to the Acquia Network for our subscribers. More about this below.

The S-Files: "Why can't a user edit content?"

A few days ago a user emailed with a problem about giving users the ability to edit content. The problem started with a small site that had been added to over time. Now that there were a few more pages to maintain the webmaster wanted to give access to other users to manage a few pages.

The S-Files: "Help I deleted my theme"

Tech Support Case Studies
One of the core services that Acquia offers is support for people building sites with Drupal. "The S-Files" are stories about the day-to-day life of our support team. Each one contains a nugget of Drupal knowledge that helped a customer succeed with Drupal. Enjoy!

"Hello, I installed a new theme on my site but I didn't like it. So I deleted it. Now I can't log into my site and it really looks broken."

Acquia Upgrade Team: Mission Copenhagen

Acquia documentation agent Jam* and I will be heading to Denmark this weekend where we'll be geeking out with Scandanavian Drupallers at the first ever DrupalCamp Copenhagen. You will recognize us by our Acquia shirts and our inability to speak Danish. Our mission is to help you upgrade your Drupal 4 or 5 sites to Drupal 6.

Drupal in the formative stages of adding RDF(a) for Semantic Web

There has been a lot of hand waving about the semantic web, RDF, and Drupal. This is good, and it is important for there to be excitement about the possibilities that this opens to us. Now the first concrete plans are being laid and the first patches are being written and evaluated.

Migrating the Drupal way. Part I: creating a node.

Update: Acquia has released a great migration whitepaper to help you get ready to move to Drupal.

My position with Acquia will find me helping out with a lot of migrations and upgrades. I'm going to embark on a multiple-part blog to discuss some of the common techniques that I use when moving clients to Drupal.

Migrating to Drupal can seem intimidating if you already maintain a database-driven website. However, populating a Drupal site with your current content might be easier than you think. Whether you are migrating from a popular CMS or a fully custom application, you can easily use Drupal modules to mimic your current data structures and migrate your data using a simple custom PHP script. I should note that while there are several different methods to accomplish this task, this happens to be my favorite.

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