Drupal is a powerful open-source content management system that enables developers to create custom websites and applications. If you’re just starting with Drupal, it can be difficult to know where to begin. In this article, we’ll provide over 10 tips and best practices for new Drupal developers. We’ll cover everything from setting up your development environment to creating custom modules and themes. So if you’re just getting started and looking for ways to progress your skills, read on!
If you’re just starting out with Drupal, it’s important to set up a local development environment on your computer. This will allow you to test out your code and make sure everything is working as it should before you deploy your code to a live server.
The Devel module is one of the most useful tools for new Drupal developers. The module provides a suite of tools that can help you with development, debugging, and performance testing.
To install the Devel module, you can use the drush command:
$ drush dl devel
Version control is crucial for any developer, especially when working on a team. Git is a popular version control system used by many developers worldwide.
When writing code for Drupal, it’s important to follow the Drupal coding standards to improve code quality and consistency.
Use PHP_CodeSniffer to scan your code and report errors or warnings.
Ensure the security of your Drupal site by following best practices:
Twig is the default templating engine in Drupal 8 and later versions. Familiarize yourself with Twig to create custom themes effectively.
The Drupal Console is a command-line interface (CLI) tool that can be a significant time-saver for tasks like code generation and debugging.
Engage with the Drupal community through meetups, online forums, and contributions to stay updated and network with other developers.
Unit testing is essential to verify code functionality and prevent bugs. In Drupal 8, PHPUnit is used for unit testing.
Experiment with development tools to enhance your workflow:
Custom error pages provide helpful information to users when something goes wrong on your site. Default Drupal error pages can be replaced with custom ones tailored to your site’s needs.
Caching can significantly improve your Drupal site’s performance when used correctly. Choose the appropriate caching mode (Normal, Aggressive, None) based on your site’s requirements.
Optimizing images before uploading them can save server space and improve load times. Consider resizing, compressing, and choosing the right file format for your images.
The Administrator Menu module streamlines navigation within the administrative interface, saving you time and effort.
Clean URLs improve site usability and SEO. Learn to structure URLs without unnecessary parameters.
Drupal is continually evolving. Stay informed by following the official Drupal newsfeed and exploring online resources such as forums and mailing lists.
Becoming a proficient Drupal developer takes time and dedication, but by following these 10+ tips and best practices, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the ins and outs of Drupal development. Remember to set up a local development environment, utilize essential modules like Devel, and engage with the Drupal community to stay current. With the right tools and knowledge, you can create powerful and secure Drupal websites and applications.
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