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The Drupal Checklist Every Developer Needs

The Drupal Checklist Every Developer Needs

Are you almost finished setting up your Drupal website? At a glance, everything might look ready to go.

But, before you hit "publish," you need to make sure you haven't made any mistakes.

A writer proofreads before they post an article. Similarly, a developer should double check their work.

The last thing you want is to go live with your site and have something go wrong. Finding problems before you launch can save some headaches and embarrassment.

We've compiled a pre-launch, Drupal checklist. When it's complete, you'll rest easy knowing that your website is ready to go.

Security

Security is the first on this Drupal checklist because it's so important. Of course you want to rest easy knowing that your site is secure when it launches. You also want your users to have peace of mind knowing that their information is safe.

Double checking your site's security will ensure that there's nothing you've missed that could make you vulnerable to hackers.

File Permissions

Check that you've correctly configured that security permissions on your file permissions. The settings.php file should be secure to protect the information of the database connections.

Admin Account

When you're developing your Drupal page, you use an admin account. Don't forget to secure this account before you launch. If hackers got a hold of this account, the results would be devastating.

Hopefully, when you first started building your site, you renamed your admin account. A name that would be difficult to guess. Obviously, the password to this account should be hard to guess as well.

For added security, you can install the AES module.

Another security measure is to disable PHP error reporting. To do this, go to Site Configuration, then Error Reporting. Set the option to send errors to the log, which will keep them from displaying.

Once you feel comfortable that you're running a tight, safe ship, take care of your 404 errors.

404 Errors

Make sure that missing pages are taken care of. Drupal takes care of that automatically with a 404 error page where there is no block configured.

You can also try the modules Search 404 or 404 Block. The module tries to guess what a user is looking for by searching terms from the original URL.

This is a simple task that makes a difference. The next section gives you a lot more to do.

Modules

There are all sorts of different modules that you'll be using based on your site's needs. These are just some basic things to check that will apply to many sites. Still, assess whether all of these Drupal checklist items are relevant to you.

Disable and Uninstall

Disable any modules you know you don't need. Removing unnecessary modules will help with your website's startup time.

One module to consider uninstalling is the Boost module. This module is generally unnecessary and can interfere with Varnish caching.

You can also disable the server-side statistics module. Instead, use Google Analytics for your site stats. It's much more effective.

The Devels module is also something that could be removed as it's not needed in production. The Database logging core module is also one you could consider replacing with the Syslog core module. It can store logs much faster.

Install

There are some great SEO modules that will boost traffic to your site after you launch.

Some modules that are widely considered must-have SEO modules include XML Sitemap, Metatag, Pathauto, and Redirect.

After you've gotten rid of what you don't need and added the modules you do, move on to the next checklist item.

Drupal Development Experts

Server Configuration

If applicable to your site, you'll want to check upload sizes. This is to allow users to upload large MP3 and MP4 files from your site. To do this, enable your server to upload to a certain size.

Another step many developers forget it to double check email recipients. Make sure that all forms and modules are sending to the correct email addresses.

Now that you've checked those off, move on to making sure your content is ready to go.

Content

In this part of the Drupal checklist, you'll make sure all your content is displaying correctly.

RSS Feed

In Drupal, your RSS Feed is generated automatically. All new content published will automatically go to the front page of your feed.

If you'd like more control over your RSS feed you can use the Views RSS module. That way if you don't want something included in the feed, you can deny access to rss.xml.

Lorem Ipsum

One step people often forget before launching, is to run their site through a lorem ipsum scanner. You might think you've changed all the dummy text. But, if you have lots of pages to comb through, you might have missed some.

Unpublished Content

Ensure unpublished content won't suddenly publish when you're site goes live.

Check the filters on your views. Make sure that customized SQL includes a test of the status column.

If your content is all set, move on to the next category of the Drupal checklist, your site's performance.

Performance

When you launch your site you want to know that it's running at peak performance.

Cacheing

It's imperative that you check that your site's cache is fully configured. Caching will optimize your site's performance speed a great deal.

Views modules should be checked to see if they've done any pages or blocks. They have their cache switched off by default. Check that they are configured.

CSS and Javascript

When you've finished your development process you can compress your CSS and Javascript files.

Is Your Drupal Checklist Complete?

Then it's time to go live! If you've followed each step, you can be confident that your site is ready to be seen by the world.

Are you working on creating a Drupal website?

Tell us about it in the comments!

If you've come across any challenges, we can help. Between everyone on our team, we have over 100,000 hours of experience with Drupal. Contact us and tell us about your project.

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