Top Drupal & CiviCRM Gotchas

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Thinking of trying the Drupal open source content management system? It’s a powerful platform, but the learning curve can be steep, even if you’re already comfortable with its underlying technologies: PHP, MySQL and CSS. As the volunteer webmaster for the Monterey County (California) Democrats, I’ve gotten deeper into this stuff than I ever anticipated, and believe me, I know that learning curve well. Here’s a list of some of the top gotchas. Some of them are just plain good web development practice, but they become especially important with Drupal, and even more so if you’re using the CiviCRM contact relationship management module.

1. Create a test site first, then deploy on your live site. Even experienced users find themselves with a site that has suddenly gone crazy or dead after an update, and you want to be fixing the problem on the test site, not the live one.

2. Backup up your site files and MySQL DB regularly!

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