Performing Drupal site audits

Codi Lechasseur writes on doing a Drupal site audit, for example in case you are taking over an existing site:

A site audit accomplishes a couple things:

  • Provides the client with an overview of where their site currently sits in terms of performace, security and general quality of the build.
  • It provides us with a good knowledge of the estimated effort needed before "diving in".

He mentions some useful modules to help you do this.

Managing Mail Handling for Development or Testing

Official advice to make sure email does not escape to customers from development or staging environments.

While debugging, testing or coding new features, if you want to see the content of the mails sent by your test Drupal site, your development platform should be properly set up so that mails are sent to a place where you will be able to find them.

At Xplain Hosting we recommend Reroute Email.

Why the big architectural changes in Drupal 8

Dries writes on why Drupal 8 is the way it is:

The reason Drupal has been successful is because we always made big, forward-looking changes. It’s a cliché, but change has always been the only constant in Drupal. The result is that Drupal has stayed relevant, unlike nearly every other Open Source CMS over the years. The biggest risk for our project is that we don't embrace change.


Drupal 7 is a fantastic CMS, but at the same time there are some fairly big limitations, including an incomplete Entity API, a lack of separation between content and configuration, leading to deployment challenges, a lack of separation between logic and presentation in the theme layer, and more. We created solutions for those challenges using contributed modules, but those solutions were in many cases incomplete. In Drupal 8, we decided to tackle a lot of these problems head-on, through the Configuration Management Initiative, the Twig templating layer, and a complete Entity API.

Drupal 8: Hello, Configuration Management

mtift presents an introduction to making things configurable in Drupal 8:

This post will expand on Alex's discussion and introduce the new configuration API in Drupal 8. Here we will have the modest goal of making the display of the text "Hello, World!" configurable -- more specifically, we will give site administrators the ability to make the text UPPERCASE or Title Case. I can tell you are excited.

A preview of Omega 4

John Hannah writes about coming changes to Omega 4:

As I mentioned, one of the keys to the popularity of Omega theme has been its relative ease of use for non-technical users. By providing browser-based grid and region configuration tools, it has allowed site builders to modify page layouts without knowledge of HTML, CSS or even grids, for that matter.

With Omega 4 those tools are now gone, replaced with what are now called, “layouts”. The current Omega documentation says that layouts make, “creating variations of page.tpl.php in code or the use of the Delta module unnecessary.”


Omega 4 comes with the Susy grid framework by default. Susy is what allows you to build responsive layouts and after playing around with it, I think it was a great choice.

Drush 6 released

Drush 6 was released 2 weeks ago:

The highlight of Drush 6 is the new outputformat system. You can now request Drush output in easily parsed formats like json, csv, yaml etc.

We need to complete some other big projects at Xplain Hosting first, but hope to make Drush 6 available in 2 months.

A Drupaler in Symfony Land

There is a bit of angst in the Drupal community about the learning curve associated with Symfony. Kris does some explaining the basics:

We've had a lot of people in the community, myself included, complain about certain aspects of what's going on specifically in the routing system (amongst other areas). I can't say that I'm a fan of the entire stack (yet) but I have dissected a lot of the basic components and am coming around to Symfony's approach. What follows are some observations about this approach, and what I hope will give other developers a place to start w/o having to learn this all for themselves. This will be approached w/o much in the way of Drupal specific context. Drupal is wrapping these same concepts in a few other function calls & abstractions, and in order to keep this simple, I'll be avoiding them. The concepts all still apply.

Drupal 8: Hello OOP, Hello world!

effulgentsia explains the brave new OO world in Drupal 8:

In this post, I'd like to dive a little deeper into the first thing you'll probably notice if you watch that video and write the module: that you're now writing namespaced PHP classes instead of global functions, even for very simple stuff. If you first learned PHP within the last couple years, or have worked with any modern object-oriented PHP project, this might all be second nature to you. However, if you're like me, and only learned PHP in order to develop for Drupal 7 or earlier, it might take a bit to learn and adjust to the best practices of OOP in PHP.

A lot will change in Drupal 8. But this is a really nice and gentle introduction to Drupal 8 and best practices.