Posted: Mar 16 2014

Last weekend in Orlando was the 2014 edition of Florida DrupalCamp. It was a great event with loads of outstanding presentations and community building. What follows are some materials from the event and well as links and resources to topics that were discussed in some of the best talks.

One slight bummer is that not all of the talks could be recorded as planned due to some technical issues. That said, I still have some excellent stuff to share so that you can get a flavor of what the Drupal community is talking about these days whenever it gathers (hint: Drupal 8, Drupal 8 and also sometimes Drupal 8).

Posted: Feb 16 2014

Want to learn what's on tap with Drupal 8? Maybe spend a little time in a warm and sunny place? Then Florida DrupalCamp 2014 might be just the ticket for you. Being held March 8-9 in Orlando, this year's event will feature outstanding speakers who will shine a spotlight on the upcoming release of Drupal 8.

Having been lucky enough to participate on the organizing committee this year, I've seen all the hard work that's gone into what is shaping up to be a great event. Not only will it be an excellent opportunity to get up to speed on what's happening with Drupal, socialize at a rockin' after party (thank you Pantheon!), but you'll even have a chance to give back with Community Day. Here are a few details of what we have planned.

Posted: Jan 13 2014
Update: Aventura is now available for free on GitHub. Read below for the original write up on what is included with the installation profile and theme. If you don't use Git, you can download the zip file directly.
Posted: Sep 18 2013

In a previous post, we took a look at some of the major changes with the Omega 4 base theme. This time around we’re going to get our hands dirty and actually start using this powerful set of tools for Drupal theme development.

Before we get too far along, we need to get clear on a few major points. Omega 4 is a really big change in the way many have been working with Omega theme in the past. It’s now much more akin to the Zen base theme (heck, you can even use Zen grids in your themes without much fuss) and it requires the skills of a front-end dev to use to its full potential.

The beginner-friendly UI layout tools are gone. Setting up a “best practice” development environment may also be a bit of a speed bump. So the first step in using Omega as intended, is to get your workspace set up with the tools you’re going to need.

Posted: Aug 27 2013

I've been playing around with Omega 4 lately and I've put together a starter kit that I'd like to share. As with most things Drupal, there are a lot of different ways to to achieve a particular outcome, and working with Omega theme is no exception.

In this post I’ll briefly go over a few of the choices I’ve made in putting together this installation profile, which I’ve decided to call Basis. Keep in mind that it’s still a work in progress, but if you’re new to Omega 4, you may find it saves you time in getting up to speed. Here's the demo if you'd like to see a preview.

Posted: Aug 12 2013

Last time in the Learning Drupal series, I provided an overview of theming in Drupal 7. In this post we're going to dig a bit more deeply and look at a practical example of how theming in Drupal 7 works. I'll also provide a few additional resources you can explore to help build your Drupal theming skills.

To reflect back for a moment on the last post, remember that web pages generated by Drupal are comprised of template files. These templates are provided either by Drupal, a contributed module or by a base theme - or by you if you write the template files yourself.

These templates are simply pieces of the final web page and are nested one inside the other as Drupal stitches them together to be returned to the browser. The number and type of templates included in a particular page depends on the content. For example, if your page contains a view, then templates from the Views module will be included and will be available to be overridden in your theme.

Posted: Jul 02 2013

In a previous post we talked specifically about Omega theme, a Drupal base theme that features a graphical user interface that allows you to do a lot of configuration without writing code. In this post, however, we're going to look beyond the GUI and examine some of the files that comprise a typical Drupal theme.

By understanding the basic structure of a theme, you'll develop foundational knowledge that will give you more control when bringing your designs to life on a Drupal website. 

Posted: Jun 12 2013

In this lesson we're going to talk about taxonomy. In my experience it's another one of those things in Drupal that uses unfortunate terminology and ends up confusing new users. But the truth is, taxonomy is pretty simple to get your head around and will be a huge help in your site building efforts.

Posted: May 28 2013

Although Views is one of the most useful Drupal modules, it's also one of the most complex. As I started thinking about how to discuss the advanced features of this module, I realized that simply cranking out another narrowly focused tutorial wasn't really going to be the best approach.

What we're going to do instead is talk about a couple of the key concepts - basically get some important vocabulary straight - and then I'm going to provide you with a curated list of some of the very best advanced Views tutorials I've come across.

Posted: May 15 2013

In this lesson we're going to talk about what is possibly the most useful Drupal site building module of them all - Views. If you're coming from a WordPress or Joomla background, you won't have experienced anything quite like it. Not only does Views allow you to easily build queries on your site's content, but it gives an amazing degree of control over the display of those query results.

We're going to begin by creating a very basic view just to get acquainted with the interface and some of the settings we'll be using the most often. If you've been following along and are using my free installation profile, then everything you'll need is ready to go. If you're using your own site, make sure you have Views installed along with some content you can work with. If you have a fresh install of Drupal, the Devel module is great for generating dummy content.

Posted: May 07 2013

One of the best things about Drupal is the ability to flexibly manage your content. If you're coming from a WordPress background, you'll know that system uses the Post and Page for its content types. In Drupal you have something similar in the Article and Basic page, but also an easy to use interface for creating a virtually unlimited number of other content types.

Posted: Apr 30 2013

When it comes to Drupal, Omega theme is hard to beat for building a responsive, mobile-friendly website. It has powerful GUI configuration tools that make it very appealing to those who don't want to mess about with code. Omega theme has taken care of the messy bits and all that's left for you is to tinker with the settings. In this post we'll go over some of the most important of these configuration settings.

I should also note that in this series of lessons we're not going to discuss creating an Omega sub-theme from scratch. For that I'll refer you to this nice little tutorial on Instead, we'll do a walk-through of the settings and then finish up by talking about Omega's companion modules, which can help take your responsive site building to the next level.