Drupal 8 Essentials 2: Building Out Your Website

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Your Drupal site is built. Now what? Web design doesn’t stop once the website is launched. Learn how to build out your Drupal site to better fit your visitors’ needs.

In these tutorials, Tom Geller helps new Drupal designers change the layout and design elements of their sites, control visitor interactions (including comments), arrange content in user-friendly “views,” and expand the site’s capabilities beyond what’s available in core Drupal with Drupal modules. In all the steps you’ll learn best practices to ensure your sites remain streamlined, secure, and up to date.

Topics include:

  • Grouping content into categories
  • Managing comments
  • Adding discussion groups
  • Customizing fields and image styles
  • Adjusting menus and navigation to help users
  • Adding new features with Drupal modules

Drupal 8 Essentials 1: Getting Started

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Drupal 8 Essentials is designed to help anyone create a simple website using Drupal, the free web design software that powers personal blogs as well as the sites of some of the world’s largest corporations.

This course is the first of the series. No prerequisites are required beyond basic computer skills! These easy-to-follow tutorials show how to install Drupal and other necessary components on a Windows or Mac computer, navigate Drupal’s web-based interface, configure the settings of a new Drupal site, create content, and move the site to a server. Every step includes best practices to ensure your website remains streamlined, secure, and up-to-date.

Topics include:

  • Comparing Drupal to other software
  • Getting help with Drupal
  • Installing Acquia Dev Desktop on Mac and Windows
  • Installing the Drupal database, modules, and themes
  • Creating basic content
  • Establishing your site’s look and feel
  • Adjusting security settings
  • Adding images and metadata
  • Adding a sidebar
  • Moving your Drupal website to a server
  • Backing up a Drupal site

Waiting for the Smart Grid

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The “smart” electric grid has held great promise for 15 years, but it’s not always been clear how deeply it’s penetrated our infrastructure — or what benefits it’s delivered. This article summarizes the current state of smart-grid technology, who’s implemented it, and where improvements are likely to appear. Online only.

Computing’s Narrow Focus May Hinder Women’s Participation

Article as it appeared on the web

I was afraid to work on this article about the gender gap in computing because it’s a topic surrounded by dogma, strong feelings, and poorly conceived statistics. As a result, most coverage on it is timid and shallow. But I think the hours of interviewing and research paid off. I’m happy with how it turned out. Online-only.

It’s gotten lots of coverage:

Up and Running with Bitcoin (2014)

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Description by lynda.com: “Understand the basics of bitcoin, the popular virtual currency, and then learn the nuances of bitcoin transactions and security issues that can be difficult to navigate on your own. Tom Geller addresses both the big and small issues swirling around bitcoin right now, and prepares you to use or accept bitcoin as a currency for your transactions. Discover how bitcoin compares to US dollars and other forms of money; how to send, receive, and “mine” it; and how to protect and track your bitcoin transactions. Tom will even show you how to connect with the Bitcoin development community, in case you’re interested in contributing to the spread of this modern cryptocurrency.”

Writing Articles

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In this course, author Tom Geller explores the process of writing articles and publications for businesses large and small. The course begins with a look at the preparation you’ll need to do, best ways to find assignments, and smart strategies for determining your article approach. Next, the course dives into techniques you can use to brainstorm angles, research, interview experts, finish a piece, and build your portfolio.

Freelancing Fundamentals

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In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training

Screenshot of intro to Drupal 7 Advanced Training

This course teaches web site designers how to take their sites to the next level with a few advanced techniques and the free and open-source Drupal software. Author Tom Geller shows how to configure the most popular add-on modules; use *nix commands and an FTP program to manage a Drupal site on a web server; change its visual appearance using the latest graphical tools; automate and speed through common tasks with Drush; integrate with social media sites; and see how “supermodules” like Panels, Context, Rules, and Features open up new worlds of code-free development.

Drupal 7 Advanced Training was designed as a follow-up to Drupal 7 Essential Training and it also dovetails nicely with our other Drupal courses, such as Drupal 7 Reporting and Visualizing Data and Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce.

Topics include:

  • Moving a site from the development environment to production
  • Hosting a Drupal site
  • Moving databases with phpMyAdmin and Unix commands
  • Making site administration more efficient with Drush
  • Backing up site data
  • Moderating comments
  • Migrating from previous versions of Drupal
  • Working with themes
  • Creating variable layouts
  • Enabling social features
  • Creating an online store with Drupal Commerce

Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce

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Create Your First Online Store with Drupal Commerce shows how to build an online store using Drupal Commerce, a set of modules that extend Drupal. The course demonstrates the basics of configuring a store, processing a payment, and charging for shipping and taxes, as well as creating, displaying, and categorizing products. The course also explains how to integrate a store into a Drupal site, customize a store’s appearance, and increase site traffic using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. Exercise files accompany the course.
Topics include:

  • Surveying the store-building process
  • Installing Drupal Commerce using Commerce Kickstart
  • Accepting PayPal payments
  • Processing orders
  • Understanding rules and line items
  • Listing and importing products
  • Managing inventory, orders, and customer profiles
  • Streamlining the checkout process
  • Launching a store
  • Offering product discounts
  • Analyzing site traffic with Google Analytics

Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data

Screenshot of intro to Drupal 7: Reporting and Visualizing Data

This course demonstrates how to use the Views module and other add-ons in Drupal to present dynamic, data-rich content. The course examines several real-world examples of effective data visualization and describes the Drupal data-storage model. The course also shows how to create, format, and style views; control access to data; improve data administration with Views Bulk Operations; and display content as custom maps and slide shows. Exercise files accompany the course.
Topics include:

  • Planning the data structure of a site
  • Creating record templates with custom field types
  • Connecting fields using references
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Varying how a view appears in different displays
  • Formatting views with grid, list, table, and jump
  • Creating multi-part views using attachments
  • Importing and exporting views
  • Extending views with relationships
  • Understanding and using location data
  • Exporting data

Drupal 6 Essential Training

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In almost seven hours of video instruction, Drupal 6 Essential Training (originally titled “Drupal Essential Training”) covers all the important aspects of installing, configuring, customizing, and maintaining a Drupal-powered website. Instructor Tom Geller explores blogs, discussion forums, member profiles, and other features while demonstrating the steps required to make Drupal perform. He also teaches fundamental concepts and skills along the way, including installation, backups, and updates; security and permissions; flexible page layouts and CSS; menu navigation; and performance monitoring and disaster recovery. He also discusses how to select and install the community-supported modules that further expand Drupal’s capabilities, and gives experienced PHP programmers tips on customizing page templates. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:

  • Understanding the inner workings of Drupal
  • Creating stories, pages, blogs, forums, and polls
  • Managing users and comments
  • Setting and customizing themes
  • Exchanging content via RSS
  • Stopping comment spam with a CAPTCHA
  • Launching a site and joining the Drupal community

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 6: Online Presentation of Data

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Drupal’s built-in data presentation tools offer several ways for web designers to clearly and attractively package their data. In over six hours of video training, Tom Geller explains how Drupal handles data so users can set up intelligent structures and implement them with Drupal’s Content Construction Kit. Tom also shows how a data-driven web site can improve its interactivity by using geographic data to connect real-world addresses to maps. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:

  • Importing and manipulating data in Drupal
  • Presenting date-formatted information in calendars
  • Understanding Drupal’s data-query interface, “Views”
  • Improving view appearances with grid, list, and table formatting
  • Importing, exporting, and cloning views
  • Extending views with arguments and relationships

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 7 New Features

Title card for Drupal 7 New Features

Over two and a half hours of video that demonstrates changes to the Drupal 7 administrative interface and other enhancements that have come out of its three-year development period. This course covers its simplified installation process, new themes that will help kick-start design projects, the customizable shortcut bar that puts often-used commands in easy reach, update procedures that leverage its browser-based interface, and a new way of defining fields to create complex content types without additional modules.

Topics include:

  • Configuring the new Dashboard
  • Using contextual link controls
  • Exploring new themes
  • Reviewing the new modules
  • Understanding the expanded block system
  • Using images in content
  • Allowing users to delete accounts
  • Testing modules with the Testing module
  • Building themes using Drupal Gardens

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal Gardens Essential Training

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Over five hours of video training that demonstrates how to create and publish a complete web site with the powerful tools in Acquia’s hosted service, Drupal Gardens. The course covers how to leverage its pre-built page layouts and add custom styling, without having to learn CSS, using the Theme Builder tool, how to integrate rich site features, such as forms, surveys, and media galleries, and how to push content to Twitter and Facebook. The course also shows how to transition a Drupal Gardens site to a self-hosted Drupal site. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  • Creating and managing content and content types
  • Embedding videos and other media
  • Publishing and subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Setting up blocks, banners, menus, and forms
  • Managing comments and spam
  • Tracking site usage
  • Duplicating and deleting sites
  • Adding custom domains

(Publisher’s description.)

Drupal 7 Essential Training

DVD cover art for Drupal 7 Essential Training

Over seven hours of video training that shows how to get the most out of Drupal, the content management system (CMS) that powers over a quarter million web sites. The course demonstrates how to download and install Drupal, add content and graphics to a site, change layout and design elements, control visitor interactions, and expand the site’s capabilities beyond what’s available in Drupal core. Discussion of established best practices in each step to ensure that a site remains streamlined, secure, and up-to-date. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:

  • Comparing Drupal with other content management systems
  • Understanding nodes
  • Creating basic content
  • Adding blogs, discussions groups, and polls
  • Subscribing to RSS feeds
  • Creating new content types
  • Managing users, roles, and permissions
  • Creating and modifying block regions
  • Adding menus
  • Extending site capabilities with modules

(Publisher’s description.)