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Launching your site

From: Drupal 6 Essential Training

Video: Launching your site

So, you've been working hard on making your Drupal site look and feel the way you want. It has all the functions you think you'll need, at least to start. Now, it's time to launch. As it happens, Drupal requires little or no additional work to go from development to public use. In fact if you've been secretly developing your site on a public web server, all you need to do is announce its existence and wait for the hordes to arrive. But here are a few tips that could help ease that transition. First of all, if you're moving from one server to another or from your home computer to a server, review the requirements that we outlined in the video, checking Drupal's requirements. If you have any questions or can't get the site to work properly, contact the system administrator.

Launching your site

So, you've been working hard on making your Drupal site look and feel the way you want. It has all the functions you think you'll need, at least to start. Now, it's time to launch. As it happens, Drupal requires little or no additional work to go from development to public use. In fact if you've been secretly developing your site on a public web server, all you need to do is announce its existence and wait for the hordes to arrive. But here are a few tips that could help ease that transition. First of all, if you're moving from one server to another or from your home computer to a server, review the requirements that we outlined in the video, checking Drupal's requirements. If you have any questions or can't get the site to work properly, contact the system administrator.

Secondly, check all the permissions. The best way to do that is to go through the registration process yourself the way that everybody else will and see what parts you can and can't see. Is it the way you expected? If not, go back as the administrator and make the appropriate changes. Third, have a beta period. Invite your friends to check out the site. See what complaints and compliments they may have. You'll be surprised when you've more eyes looking at your site. Fourth, before you launch, make sure that your backup routine is perfect on your new system.

You may have to change some things. For example, if you were developing on a desktop computer and are now on a server, you'll need to use an FTP program to get your files to and from that server. Don't just practice backing up; actually restore your site from a backup at least once to make sure that that works. Remember, a backup is only as good as your restore routine. Finally, here is the procedure to move your site to a server. Go back to wherever you first installed Drupal. I'm going to do that by clicking on the Finder and hiding everything else.

I've the Drupal folder here, but I actually need to grab the entire folder. So, I'm going to go up one level, on the Mac you go to Go and Enclosing Folder. On the PC, you'd just click on the icon that goes to the Enclosing Folder. This is the folder that goes to your server, typically be an FTP program. We named our entire folder Drupal. You may have named it something else such as the name of your site. Whatever you named it, the entire folder has to go. You may also need to speak with the system administrator of that server. Inside the Drupal folder, there's one folder in particular that may have permissions problems, that's the Sites folder. Inside here, all and default maybe read only and that may cause problems if they're not copied to your server correctly.

If so, Drupal will tell you. Once that folder has been copied to your server, you also need to upload and SQL database. I'll show you how to export it now through phpMyAdmin. If you've phpMyAdmin installed on the server, you can import it the way that we show you in the backing up your site and restoring your site from backup's videos. To launch phpMyAdmin on your local computer, go to MAMP or WAMP if you're on a Windows computer, go to Open start page and then click on phpMyAdmin. To export the database, scroll down and choose Export and then choose your Drupal database. Scroll down to the bottom of that screen, select Save as file and then click Go. You can then take that file and bring it to your server to phpMyAdmin or whatever other MySQL administrative tool you use.

That covers the technical points, but there are also social points to look out for when you launch a site. First, assume that people will try to abuse the site. You can always give people more freedom, but it's hard to take it away. So, start with very little permission given to the ordinary user and then add more as you start to trust them more. We've shown you several ways of protecting your site and controlling permissions, but I also recommend that you look through a part of the Drupal site which has security modules, that's drupal.org, then go to Download, Modules, scroll down and Security. Remember to filter according to Drupal core compatibility. To do that, you need to sign up for the drupal.org website and log in.

Next, have realistic expectations, remember, you may have been working on this site for weeks and months and it maybe your entire world, but to somebody who doesn't know about it, it's just another site on the internet. Things may start slow, don't be disappointed, just work on making it bigger and better. Next, make sure that you've a feedback loop, so that when people see something that works wrong or right on this site, they'll tell you and you can improve the site further that way. I recommend in fact that you add a forum that's specifically for feedback in the site. I'm doing that now by going to Administer and Forums, adding a forum and just call it Website Feedback of something like that.

With this forum, you'll not only have feedback, but it will be public feedback which other users can comment on and then based on public feedback, you can decide what changes to make. Finally, expect to be surprised, there's such an enormous diversity of people in the world and they all have access to your website. You might be surprised that exactly who comes, perhaps a different age group than you expect or a different interest group than you expect. Try to follow the crowd, but still remember, it's your site and make it what you want. Launching a site involves a major switch in the skills you use everyday, up to this point, you've had to focus on design, configuration and of course, content.

Those skills are still needed after you launch. But now, your primary job is to be a social manager. Unlike in the world at large though on your Drupal site, you make the rules.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Drupal 6 Essential Training
Drupal 6 Essential Training

66 video lessons · 31286 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 4m 38s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the example files
      3m 48s
  2. 28m 55s
    1. Drupal is a CMS
      7m 43s
    2. Choosing Drupal
      5m 32s
    3. Checking Drupal's requirements
      4m 26s
    4. Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
      4m 35s
    5. Meeting the Drupal community
      6m 39s
  3. 11m 28s
    1. Learning key terms in Drupal
      5m 20s
    2. Touring Drupal's interface
      6m 8s
  4. 34m 35s
    1. Installing WAMP and Drupal on Windows
      9m 41s
    2. Installing MAMP
      4m 34s
    3. Setting up the database on a Mac
      2m 2s
    4. Downloading and installing Drupal on a Mac
      6m 37s
    5. Troubleshooting installation problems
      3m 49s
    6. Automating updates with cron
      7m 52s
  5. 25m 37s
    1. Setting up clean URLs
      5m 52s
    2. Backing up your Drupal site
      3m 31s
    3. Restoring your Drupal site from backup
      4m 19s
    4. Wiping your Drupal installation clean
      2m 7s
    5. Updating Drupal
      9m 48s
  6. 15m 37s
    1. Using the Administration menu
      6m 21s
    2. Setting site information
      4m 50s
    3. Setting the theme
      4m 26s
  7. 35m 8s
    1. Understanding security and permissions
      7m 2s
    2. Controlling site access with user management
      3m 39s
    3. Creating users
      7m 58s
    4. Setting user profiles
      9m 40s
    5. Creating contact forms
      6m 49s
  8. 19m 19s
    1. Creating your site's basic info pages
      7m 13s
    2. Understanding page layout
      5m 40s
    3. Creating a flexible layout with blocks
      6m 26s
  9. 15m 35s
    1. Monitoring performance
      4m 52s
    2. Recovering from disasters
      7m 37s
    3. Improving administration skills
      3m 6s
  10. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding nodes
      6m 50s
    2. Creating basic content: Stories and pages
      7m 9s
    3. Enabling other content types
      9m 22s
    4. Adding blogs
      3m 49s
    5. Adding forums
      6m 56s
    6. Adding polls
      6m 57s
  11. 34m 50s
    1. Exploring content categories
      7m 45s
    2. Exchanging content via RSS
      9m 47s
    3. Using input filters
      7m 41s
    4. Managing comments
      9m 37s
  12. 38m 5s
    1. Configuring your theme
      11m 27s
    2. Changing your theme's graphics
      4m 59s
    3. Finding and installing a new theme
      8m 56s
    4. Understanding Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
      5m 56s
    5. Deciphering CSS files
      6m 47s
  13. 22m 41s
    1. Finding modules
      6m 53s
    2. Unpacking and installing modules
      6m 30s
    3. Configuring modules
      3m 50s
    4. Implementing complex modules
      5m 28s
  14. 32m 12s
    1. Ensuring automated updates with poormanscron
      3m 11s
    2. Defining custom content types with CCK
      12m 54s
    3. Stopping spam using a CAPTCHA
      10m 43s
    4. Using a WYSIWYG text editor
      5m 24s
  15. 22m 18s
    1. Getting around with multilevel menus
      7m 26s
    2. Building custom menus
      5m 42s
    3. Creating easy-to-navigate books
      9m 10s
  16. 20m 19s
    1. Changing page templates with PHP
      8m 15s
    2. Using PHP in content
      5m 20s
    3. Implementing PHP snippets
      6m 44s
  17. 10m 15s
    1. Launching your site
      5m 52s
    2. Joining the Drupal community
      4m 23s
  18. 14s
    1. Goodbye
      14s

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