Some useful tips when developing a Drupal 6 site

Some of these following useful tips are probably what you already know if you have been spending some time building Drupal sites. But these hints and tips that have certainly been very useful to me and i hope you'll feel the same.

Useful Tips

  • Menus always disappears on 404 Not Found error pages, install 404 Blocks module to prevent this from happening. This is fixed in Drupal 7.
  • If you are using Pathauto module to auto generate path aliases, be sure when you are showing block on specific pages under the 'Page specific visibility settings' that you use Drupal internal paths (ie, node/1) instead. This way when menu titles are altered, the blocks don't lose their page visibility since node ids never change and that Pathauto always uses the title as the aliases.
  • When migrating an existing non-Drupal site to Drupal, use Pathauto to generate same URLs or use Path redirect module to redirect old URLs to it's new ones. This is good for SEO.
  • Use "site:drupal.org {search terms}" to search all of drupal.org with Google.
  • Everyone knows this: Use Admin Menu, it'll save you many clicks to get to the page you want (excellent for usability and saves space on your site). Now that you don't need to show navigation menu, i'll advice to create a user menu since any custom menu will not show under the admin menu so the user menu will be a good place to put them in
  • Sub themes do not need to be installed inside of the base theme. Just as long as the base theme is installed in the themes directory, you can place the sub theme outside of the base theme in your themes directory.
  • Use Mollom for spam filtering in comments or contact form, it's accessible since it offers both image or audio captcha. Furthermore, it does a damn fine job of stopping spam (even on the free version)
  • Use Taxonomy Super Select to display vocabularies as radios or checkboxes. Much more usable for end-users
  • To avoid duplicate content which search engines to not like, use Global Redirect module.
  • Another duplicate avoidance is to redirect site to either WITH or WITHOUT the 'www.' prefix in your .htaccess file (see lines 81 - 91).
  • There are certain times when Drupal loses it's active menu state in sub navigation links, use Menu Trail module to restore it
  • If you have a development site on the same server hosting the production site, use Secure site module to prevent public to access the development site. It also prevents Google from indexing the development site.
  • Menuless nodetype is a simple module but can vastly improve usability for end-users by removing menu settings on certain content type that do not require it.
  • Lastly but not least, this is a very useful checklist to review before website going live.
  • When creating a Views block to show teaser and image/video, it's often a good idea to include an edit link field. This way, anyone that has permission to edit the node can jump straight to the node to edit it.
  • Always remember to add a Views filter for 'publish'. So when a node is unpublished, it'll not show up.

If you have any good or better tips, please share by leaving a comment below.