Drupal to the next level #IL2011

Ruth Kneale, National Solar Observatory

Cary Gordon, Cherry Hill Company

Ruth: Having to do every single page gets monotonous. Compared CMSes and went with Drupal. Showed it off to whole org. and everyone was excited.

Goals: Others can update content without having to go through her, expandable, little training required.

Cary: Built web sites for California State Library and other libraries. HTML -> ColdFusion -> Drupal (cheaper for libraries).

Build web sites as an iterative process. Make an example, show it to people so they can see if that’s what they really want.

Cherry Hill acted as consultant for NSO.

Used project management system: Unfuddle.

Base theme that can be customized.

Review every single page, ask people for new content. Nag them if necessary.

Review -> Nag -> Review -> Nag -> Migrate

Limit number of people who have accounts to make changes to site.

Module called Article shows articles on main news page and in a box on other pages.

Consistent navigation on every page.

NSF-required footer on every page shows up automatically as part of the template. No one needs to remember to put it there.

Round of reviews: differing ideas about where the search box should be, for example.

Next steps: finish tweaking, flip live web sites, train content managers, start work on second phase.

Easy to train people on editing pages: it looks like Word to them.

I asked a question about whether Ruth had a catalog or other database? Ruth: Have a database of their data with its own GUI interface; looking forward to putting that on Drupal.

Cary: Drupal is very good at sucking in data. You can import everything or do it dynamically. ILSes tend to be proprietary and the vendors aren’t very helpful. You can do scraping and a kind of “back-door API.”

Ruth: They don’t actually have a catalog of their collection; will do that in third phase.

Question about Drupal 7: Theme will have to be modified when moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.


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