Skip to Content

Planet Drupal

Syndicate content
Drupal.org - aggregated feeds in category Planet Drupal
Updated: 18 hours 38 sec ago

ThinkShout: Nonprofit Website Benchmarks

10 September 2014 - 9:00am

Your website is a unique snowflake with singular requirements. While there’s surely overlap, the make-up of your audience is different from every other site, because your mission – and the content you put on your website to support that mission – is different from every other nonprofit.

But you’ve probably wondered how your site compares to others. I know I’ve always wanted access to website benchmarks – some way to see if the trends I notice in our own dashboards are reflective of larger patterns.

Of course, benchmarks can be dangerous. If you obsess about them, the action becomes whatever the opposite of navel gazing is.

When you analyze the efficacy of your own website, you always need to consider it within the context of your own target audiences and organizational goals instead of worrying that your overall bounce rate is 4% higher than the "average."

After all, if your site has the profile of a news organization, with links to recent articles shared widely through third-party channels, you should expect a higher bounce rate: people come, consume, and leave. That might be okay! The goal of that content may have been to spread some news, not generate donations.

Benchmarks can inform us about larger trends, though, and it’s damned annoying that they’re so hard to find.

It’s been almost four years since Groundwire published its 2010 Website Benchmarks Report. (Fortunately, you can still download the PDF from a third-party site.) Since then, Google has discontinued its Analytics Benchmarks Report – and even the semi-useful newsletter that followed.

You can order a $395 report from Marketing Sherpas (PDF), which may or may not be helpful; I certainly didn’t buy it. KISSmetrics published an infographic about bounce rates a couple of years ago with some interesting data… that may have come from a 2006 post to a Yahoo group.

Pew Research recently released an interesting study comparing news sites, using aggregated data from ComScore. I love how they’ve analyzed visitor loyalty across segments, but rare is the nonprofit that’s going to share the content goals of CNN or NBC News.

On our side, there are a couple of stats of interest in the latest Benchmarks Study from M+R and NTEN and the 2013 Online Marketing Benchmark Study for Nonprofits from Blackbaud, but they’re mostly focused on traffic growth and donation page conversions.

At ThinkShout, because we start almost all of our engagements by exploring how our client’s audiences use their current website, we felt it would be important to have some point of comparison. To facilitate discussion around questions like "How much do we need to worry about mobile?" or “How can we convert the influx of new visitors into engaged users?”, we’ve aggregated the data we have available to us.

It seems only fair to share some of it.

This data is in no way reflective of the industry as whole, and it is very top-level. It represents fifteen organizations with diverse missions and traffic patterns, ranging from a few thousand sessions per month to more than 100,000. These are also generally organizations that have recognized the need to redesign their website.

With those caveats, we hope this data may help you understand that some of what you see in your own analytics may, in fact, be reflective of broader trends.

The following are three I see in the 37,000,000 pageviews we have access to.

Search Is the Ultimate Shortcut

Back in 2010, Groundwire found that search engines referred 55% of traffic to the nonprofit websites in their study. While we can’t do a direct comparison since the sites in question aren’t the same, I feel comfortable making the blanket statement that the trend is toward more traffic coming from search.

Here are the mean / median numbers since 2011:

  • 2011: 47.06% / 43.97%

  • 2012: 48.12% / 50.12%

  • 2013: 52.99% / 54.02%

So far in 2014, those numbers have increased to 55% (mean) / 60% (median).

That means, of course, that traffic from the other two legs of the standard triumvirate have dropped:

  • 2011: 22.04% / 22.13%

  • 2012: 23.08% / 20.28%

  • 2013: 18.67% / 17.00%

  • 2014 (to date): 16.18% / 13.98%

  • 2011: 28.87% / 24.76%

  • 2012: 26.81% / 20.75%

  • 2013: 25.36% / 21.42%

  • 2014 (to date): 25.82% / 19.75%

Essentially, the best home page ever created will not solve your problems, as your users are more and more likely to turn to search first to find what they’re looking for. Your information architecture must take into account the fact that the first page your visitors encounter may be deep in your website.

User Experience starts in the first place your users experience you. You can use your data to make some assumptions about where that’s mostly likely to happen and optimize the top landing pages, but, more and more, you need to worry about every piece of content on your site.

Stop Wondering if Mobile Is Important Right Now

It is. Groundwire found that in 2010, the median number of mobile visitors to the sites in their study was just 1%. That’s changed over the past few years. Looking just at mobile phones (not tablets), you can see the surge:

  • 2011: 5.70% / 4.97%

  • 2012: 7.68% / 7.67%

  • 2013: 12.84% / 12.04%

  • 2014 (to date): 18.68% / 17.45%

I’ve seen the argument made that mobile doesn’t require your attention quite yet because it still represents, according to this data, just 1 in 5 visits.

Our suggestion would be to get ahead of the curve instead of fighting to catch up. The growth in mobile traffic is having an obvious impact on the most basic measures of engagement.

Mean Median Year Bounce Rate Time per Session Pages per Session Bounce Rate Time per Session Pages per Session 2011 62.30% 2:04 2.30 67.07% 1:57 2.09 2012 66.17% 1:58 2.06 67.20% 1:56 1.89 2013 70.48% 1:54 1.87 70.10% 1:39 1.84

[I’ve excluded 2014 because I haven’t cleaned out the data from sites that have gone through a responsive redesign. This isn’t meant to be a marketing piece, but I can tell you that redesigning for mobile can have a significant impact.]

My suspicion is that as people grow more comfortable using their smartphones to browse the Internet, visiting brands that have implemented a mobile strategy, they’re less likely to put up with sites that don’t work as well as they expect in their mobile browsers.

By structuring your content properly, you can create ways to put the content mobile users are most interested in front and center. If nothing else, you should take the time to understand what mobile visitors are doing on your site as a first step.

Loyalty Is Hard to Come By (or Even Define)

Perhaps, given the growth in search and mobile traffic, it’s no surprise that the percentage of "New" visitors has increased over the years:

  • 2011: 65.65% / 66.01%

  • 2012: 70.34% / 70.13%

  • 2013: 74.35% / 75.00%

On the flip side, "Loyal" visitors (defined as those with at least three visits in the period under review) have crashed:

  • 2011: 20.86% / 19.00%

  • 2012: 15.64% / 15.66%

  • 2013: 12.16% / 12.26%

And those numbers aren’t just relative percentage drops, caused by increases in other types of traffic, because the real numbers have dropped as well:

  • 2011: 44,734 / 33,894

  • 2012: 43,076 / 29,989

  • 2013: 37,757 / 22,781

I’m fairly confident, given the scale of the data, that this isn’t simply because people are getting better at clearing their cookies regularly – there’s wide variation in estimates, much of it from surveys of user behavior, rather than actual data – or browsing the web incognito. Those technologies have been around for years, and I doubt even Mr. Snowden has had that much of an impact on people’s everyday habits. (But I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.)

This loss could also be reflective of device fragmentation. Google and others are working on ways to track users across the many devices they use, but right now, if somebody visits you on August 14th on their laptop, comes back on September 9th on their tablet, and then again on October 21st on their phone, they would be classified as three different New users. As we see mobile traffic grow, it may mean that right now, we don’t have an accurate way to track visitor loyalty.

Perhaps some of that loyalty is being transferred elsewhere, however, from the website to social spaces, third party donation pages, or even mobile apps. In that case, the better sites are at converting website visitors into these different kinds of traffic, the less relevant the website will become to them.

Rare is the constituent who comes once a year to donate. Engagement, even within a multi-channel strategy, has to strike a balance between assuming that visitors will find continued value from the resources we make available on the web and moving new visitors to spaces where they’re more likely to continue to interact with us and each other.

In any case, if visitors are increasingly less likely to return to nonprofit websites, we need to rethink some of our engagement strategies. If they’re turning elsewhere because they aren’t finding what they want, when they want it, we’ve got some serious work to do.

Interested in Helping Out?

I’ve made the spreadsheet with the cleaned data for 2011-2013 publicly available. We hope you’ll check it out and add insights of your own!

But beyond using it as a tool to inform your own website, we could use your help. What other data should we track and share? What do you want to know?

And more importantly, are you willing to share your own?

If you’d like to work with us on a template that can be used to collect data from other nonprofits, just let me know. We’ll keep the org-by-org breakdown anonymous. Once we reach an arbitrarily large threshold – 100,000,000 pageviews? – we can do some follow-up work.

Lev Tsypin, ThinkShout’s Director of Engineering, has suggested that we could go so far as to set up a Google form that feeds an anonymized spreadsheet. We could then make that data available via JSON, for further manipulation.

In the end, I believe that the more we aggregate and share, the better we’ll identify the problem areas we need to focus on as a community.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal Watchdog: Extending Drupal 7 Services into an E-commerce App

10 September 2014 - 8:03am
Article

By now, you’ve surely heard that Drupal 8 is pushing boundaries for users, content editors, administrators, and developers – if not, where have you been?

Obviously, not every site has the luxury of being able to migrate and adopt new technologies. If you are in the same position as me, then many of your clients – or indeed, the company you work for – have spent lots of time and money investing in Drupal 7; at this point, urging a new platform on them is probably going to fall on deaf ears. But all is not lost! Drupal 7 can still create a powerful RESTful Web Service API or a terrific mobile application.

So the old adage again rings true: “Where there is a Drupal 8 core initiative, there is a Drupal 7 contributed module.”

Having attended the Commerce 2.x sprint in Paris, I can safely say that if you do eventually upgrade to Drupal 8, it won’t be a massive undertaking molding your Drupal 8 Core services output to match that of Drupal 7 contrib services. Not all your work will be lost.

When I first started down the road of mobile apps, I was certain I did not have the time to learn Objective C and Java, as well as the intricacies of each mobile platform. (Sound familiar?) All I wanted was the ability to utilize the Drupal technology I already knew, and then enable PhoneGap without having to learn any device-specific language.

For purposes of this article, I won’t assume you know mobile apps technology nor much about Drupal’s Services module, REST, jQuery Mobile, Xcode, or PhoneGap. I do assume that you know Drupal, can work your way around the administration interface, and know some basic PHP and Javascript. With that in mind let’s take an overview of technologies you can utilize for your mobile application.

First, let’s install DrupalGap and its dependencies.

Now we have a core DrupalGap service and the basic service resources we might want for our mobile application. All the generic things we use on most Drupal sites are right there: resources are content-available for query through endpoints; and DrupalGap supplies us with a default endpoint.

Categories: Drupal

Deeson Online: Deeson: Drupal Association Autologout and Limit Modules webinar

10 September 2014 - 7:31am
Deeson: Drupal Association Autologout and Limit Modules webinarBy Lizzie Hodgson | 10th September 2014

John Ennew is a solutions architect here at Deeson. He recently carried out a webinar focusing on Drupal Autologout and Limit Modules.

Attendees included Drupal developers, solutions architects, and programmers. John took the attendees through a series of steps, and in the webinar, explained how to:

  • Log users out after a period of inactivity
  • Prevent users from having more than one active session at a time
  • Apply your company password policy to your web site
  • Configure flood control settings
  • Check the health of your site to identify potential security problems
The webinar

Going to DrupalCon Amsterdam? Come and find us - tweet to meet @deesonlabs

 

Categories: Drupal

Acquia: Web services in Drupal 8 Core

10 September 2014 - 7:13am

Some of the great news in Drupal 8 development was the introduction of web services directly in core, allowing other applications to interact with Drupal to consume exposed information or services without the need to install contributed modules.

Let’s look at the list of modules that ship with D8 core related with web services:

Categories: Drupal

LightSky: Apple Watch is a Great Sign for Drupal

10 September 2014 - 6:42am

Earlier this summer Dries Buytaert, the original creator of Drupal, had a pretty visionary keynote at DrupalCon, which we talked about in pretty good detail in a podcast.  One of the things that we mentioned in our analysis of his keynote is that while what Dries was presenting was looking pretty far into the future, it showed that Drupal is being guided on the right path to be positioned well in the future of the web, and Apple's announcement yesterday of the new Apple Watch just supports this position.  The Apple Watch is exactly the type device that Dries is trying to position Drupal to be ready to feed content to.

Screen Size Could Make the Current Web Obsolete

Obviously anyone who has looked at the pictures or video of Apple's new watch can immediately see that you aren't going to be viewing a website on it.  Really in any form, a website as we know it won't be displayable on this type of device.  Even the best designers and front-end developers aren't going to be able to make a site responsive down to this size effectively, and the important thing to note is that this is totally ok.  But it is not just small screens that change the way content is going to have to be consumed, big screens cause just as much problem.  We aren't going to be displaying whole websites on billboards, or 6x4 signs found on the sidewalks in major cities, we have to be able to feed content to them.

Be Ready, Change is Coming

It probably isn't going to quickly eliminate web sites as we know it, but agencies and other organizations need to be ready for change in the way their content is consumed.  Whether it be how products are displayed to potential buyers, your store hours, notifications of sales and events, it doesn't matter what the content is, the way it is consumed will be different in just a matter of months even than it is now.  CMS frameworks need to be ready, and the reality is that many just aren't ready, and aren't headed in the right direction to be ready.  Drupal on the other hand, is on the right track.

For more tips like these, follow us on social media or subscribe for free to our RSS feed and newsletter. You can also contact us directly or request a consultation
Categories: Drupal

4Sitestudios.com Drupal Blog: BuildingRating.org Website Redesign

10 September 2014 - 6:30am
BuildingRating.org Website RedesignThe Challenge The Institute for Market Transformation (IMT) is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization promoting energy efficiency, green building, and environmental protection in the United States and abroad. They approached 4Site to redesign the BuildRating.org website, an international exchange for information on building rating disclosure policies and programs, from the ground up. Our Solution 4Site worked with IMT to develop a comprehensive strategy for the BuildRating.org redesign to ensure that the new site provided as many user friendly tools as possible to help visitors find the specific information they needed. We built a world map of jurisdictions with sustainability standards, a robust search with filters for locations, topics, and content types, and a policy comparison tool in which visitors can select jurisdictions and topics to compare in a custom populated table format. The Results Visit the BuildingRating.org WebsiteInstitute for Market TransformationService: DesignInfographics & Visual ContentWebsite ThemingDevelopmentData Visualization & MappingWebsite DevelopmentStrategyContent StrategyUser Experience
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Easy: DrupalEasy Podcast 138: Touch of Gray (Rick Manelius - PCI Compliance)

10 September 2014 - 6:14am
Download Podcast 138

Rick Manelius (rickmanelius), project architect at NEWMEDIA, and one of the leading minds in our community when it comes to PCI Compliance, joins Mike Anello to further demystify PCI Compliance and the role it plays in any site that involves credit card data. We also discuss two-factor authentication, when we might see a Drupal 8 beta, and Drupal’s persistence.

read more

Categories: Drupal

Cocomore: Meet us in Amsterdam

10 September 2014 - 6:13am

There is the European DrupalCon happening from Sept. 29th to the Oct. 3rd in Amsterdam and a team of Cocomore - as one of the biggest Drupal shops in Germany and Spain - will of course attend.

read more

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Training spotlight: Design, Prototype, and Style in Browser

10 September 2014 - 5:31am

Design, Prototype, and Style in Browser (formerly Advanced Sass and Compass for RWD) is back! One of our most popular courses returns, with even more great new content - and now is your chance to attend this training at DrupalCon Amsterdam!

With more mobile device activations per day than human births and full internet browsers coming to television sets and gaming consoles (both home and portable), the old techniques we have used to create pixel-perfect sites for desktop audiences have already become a thing of the past.

We will explore content strategy as a method for designing responsive websites, building separate components and layouts, and will emphasize creating DRY code. We will dive deep into the power of Sass and Compass and a handful of JavaScript tools and how they can be utilized for your growing website. These tools can ease much of the hard work related to creating truly awesome responsive websites.

Meet the Trainers from Four Kitchens

Chris Ruppel (rupl) and Ian Carrico (iamcarrico) are Frontend and Backend developers at Four Kitchens respectively. Both are well-known in the Drupal community as both RWD and Sass experts, having trained and spoken at numerous events around the world, including Portland, Denver, New York, Austin, San Francisco, and Munich, Germany.

Neither are strangers to community contribution: Ian maintains the Aurora base theme and Magic module and contributes to many RWD-related Compass extensions such as Toolkit, Singularity, and Breakpoint. Chris maintains the Modernizr module and has contributed to Modernizr, the Drupal 8 HTML5/Mobile initiatives, and the Drupal.org D7 upgrade.

Attend this Drupal Training

This training will be held on Monday, 29 September from 09:00-17:00 at the Amsterdam RAI during DrupalCon Amsterdam. The cost of attending this training is €400 and includes training materials, meals and coffee breaks. A DrupalCon ticket is not required to register to attend this event.

Register today

Categories: Drupal

Metal Toad: Simple password grants with OAuth 2.0 and Drupal

10 September 2014 - 1:30am

Like many Drupal developers, we have become big fans of decoupled front-ends using Drupal as a RESTful backend (a.k.a. "headless" Drupal). The myriad of authorization options can be confusing, however. We've settled on OAuth 2.0 for most situations. When OAuth is brought up, many people will think of the single-sign-on flow in a browser, with the associated redirects and permission dialogs. This flow is widely used, but not always a good fit for first-party applications, or machine-to-machine API interactions.

Categories: Drupal

Károly Négyesi: I AM GROOT

9 September 2014 - 10:36pm

Or, languages are really hard.

So I was handing over some CSV export functionality to a client who loaded it into Excel as it is without using the import wizard. This resulted in misinterpreted UTF-8 as WIN-1252. I quickly wrote this little function (error handling omitted for brevity):
<?php
  function uconv($text) {
    $descriptorspec = array(array("pipe", "r"), array("pipe", "w"));
    $process = proc_open("/usr/bin/uconv --add-signature", $descriptorspec, $pipes);
    fwrite($pipes[0], $text);
    fclose($pipes[0]);
    $text = stream_get_contents($pipes[1]);
    fclose($pipes[1]);
    proc_close($process);
    return $text;
  }
?>
A quick test of the function showed it working, so I patched the CSV export to call it, deployed it on the dev server and... it died on the first accented character. I have checked on the dev server from command line and it worked. W.T.F. I compared the mbstring ini values, all the same. W.T.F, no, really, this can't be.

Well, there must be something different, right? What could be? Locale? But what's locale? Environment variables. Hrm, proc_open has environment variables too. Well then let's see whether my shell feeds something into this script that makes it work: env -i php x.php. It breaks! Yay! It's always such relief when I can reproduce a bug that refuses to be reproduced. The solution is always easy after -- the LANG environment variable is en_US.utf8 in the shell, and C in Apache:

<?php
proc_open("/usr/bin/uconv --add-signature", $descriptorspec, $pipes, NULL, array('LANG' => 'en_US.utf8'));
?>

Ps. Curiously enough, -f utf-8 as an uconv argument didn't help -- but -f utf-8 -t utf-8 did. Morale of the story: uconv defaults to the value LANG both to and from. This is not documented and it's very hard to discover.

Categories: Drupal

Modules Unraveled: 118 Starting and Running a DrupalCamp in a Hobbiest Community with Adam Hill - Modules Unraveled Podcast

9 September 2014 - 10:00pm
Published: Wed, 09/10/14Download this episodeStarting a local Drupal community
  • When did you start the DrupalCampNE meetups?
    • Started due to meeting a friend Richard at DrupalCons in Paris, Copenhagen and Denver and saying how crazy it was that we met at DrupalCons across the world but not in the North East where we’re both native. So we setup a meeting and promoted it on twitter and with some others we knew had at least dabbled with Drupal. We had 6 people at our first meeting and that happened in a pub which was to set the stage for the future meetups which have all been held in pubs.
  • I’ve thought about how cool it would be to start a local camp, but we don’t have a lot of people even coming to our meetups. What have you (or other organizers) done to get consistent attendance to events?
    • Consistency… Mixup of talks and social but always keep it social so expectations are not too high. For the camp we needed there to be a few people interested and then had backing from my company to allow us to dedicate time. Dedicated time has been vital.
  • How large is a typical meetup? What’s the average attendence?
    • We get anything from between 5 - 20 people attending but its really a mixup again, depends heavily on the day to some extend (holidays etc.) but also on if there is a talk. Our WP vs Drupal talk got a LOT of people :)
  • How far do people travel to get to your meetups?
    • We’ve had people doing a round trip of 100 miles before because there is no meetup in the North of the North West… but usually people come from Newcastle or there abouts. We lose a few people since its too far for them to come for sure.
DrupalCampNE
  • When did you start organizing a Drupal Camp for the North East of England?
    • August 2013 - started asking/checking about venue
    • Went to other camps in UK to promote and to share info
    • November 2013 - announced the date around DrupalCamp North West
  • What were some of the challenges you faced? Were there any unexpected ones that stick out to you?
    • Local attendees
    • Sponsors
    • Cancelled talks
    • Outsourcing - Venue
  • What went really well for you? How did you plan for it?
    • The feelings of collaborating - fresh eyes were really liberated.
    • The venue was loved
    • The talks by Morten and Holly Ross
  • What advice would you give to someone who’s planning a camp now? Or will be soon?
    • Plan really well in advance
    • Find a great venue and try to get it for free :)
    • Have the freedom to make decisions - keep a small team?
    • Get sponsors early!
    • Get speakers early!
Episode Links: Adam on drupal.orgAdam on TwitterConsult and DesignTags: Drupal Campsplanet-drupal
Categories: Drupal

Mediacurrent: How To Do A Combined Name Search

9 September 2014 - 1:55pm

Recently I developed some functionality for a client that I realized might be useful to the greater Drupal community. This post describes how to set up a combined fields filter in Views to allow searching for terms and matching more than one field.

Categories: Drupal

Palantir: DrupalCon Amsterdam

9 September 2014 - 11:59am

Each year the Drupal Association coordinates a few large-scale conferences for the global Drupal community. This time around the European conference is in Amsterdam, and we’ll be there to enjoy code sprints, meeting new members of the community, sessions, and, of course, presenting a few ourselves.

First, a few details: DrupalCon Amsterdam runs September 29 through October 3 and will have a couple thousand people from the Drupal community in attendance. Like the North American DrupalCon, sprints, events, and over 100 sessions will happen over the course of the conference.

Palantir will have a number of folks in attendance, including our CEO George DeMet, President Tiffany Farriss, Director of Development and Professional Services Ken Rickard, and Senior Architect and Community Lead Larry “Crell” Garfield.

Larry “Crell” Garfield

Larry will be leading three sessions:

Ken Rickard

Ken dives into the consulting piece for dev shops.

George DeMet

George has been involved with several Drupal working groups for some time now and will be on two panels related to such goings on.

In addition to ours and all of the other sessions – and Amsterdam as a city, of course – we’re also excited for all of the other things that come with DrupalCon. Whether it's sprint days making progress on Drupal 8 core and contributed module development, or the the PHP track this year (which showcases a number of leading presenters from the PHP world at-large helping continue to build bridges between Drupal and the PHP community), meeting new contributors (especially from the Symfony community), or working with the Drupal Association its working groups to help plan the future of Drupal.org and DrupalCon, it's a chance for all of us to grow as members of this and other communities.

Are you headed to Amsterdam for DrupalCon? If so, say hello to Tiffany, George, Ken, and Larry. And let us know what you’re excited about in the comments, or on Twitter here. We can keep you up-to-date via our newsletter as well. Hope to see you there!

Categories: Drupal

Freelock : Ask Freelock: Why should I use "Media" links instead of just embedding, in Drupal?

9 September 2014 - 10:36am

Joaquin asks:

Sorry, John.

But when it comes to adding Youtube and Vimeo, you still haven't made the case for not going into the HTML.

Here is a test page I created.

The top video I used the "WEB" tab in the "Add Media" button (BTW, it is a little confusing that there is still that tab labeled "Youtube").

The bottom video I copy and pasted from the HTML that Youtube presents you when you click the "Embed" tab.

As you can see, pasting the HTML looks a lot better. And the first option doesn't seem to be working.

Thoughts?

DrupalDrupal PlanetMediaVideo
Categories: Drupal

Acquia: The future of PHP ... at a distance

9 September 2014 - 6:55am

The future of PHP ... at a distance

First a short disclaimer: It’s been quite a few years since I have last been subscribed to the internals mailing list. I still hang out in one of the popular core developer IRC channels, follow quite a few core developers on twitter, and chat with people at conferences--which allows me to still keep up with things to some degree. I do of course still work daily with PHP. So for better or for worse this lets me see PHP's future at a bit of distance from core development.

Categories: Drupal

Deeson Online: Part 2: Apache Solr - Manually Controlling a Custom Fields Bias

9 September 2014 - 2:25am

In part one of this post I showed you how to create a custom field to be added to Apache Solr index and altering the search based on this field. In this second part I will be showing you how you can define a custom field to be listed within the 'field bias' admin settings in the Apache Solr module.

Setting the field biases

Most of the time just setting a custom field to be added to your index is all you will need. But sometimes there is the need to be able to control the bias of your custom fields when Solr does the search.

Typically you would manage this in the Apache Solr admin pages by going to /admin/config/search/apachesolr/settings. This will show you a list of your Solr instances that you have configured for the site. To change the biases, click on the ‘bias’ link against the relevant instance.

Within this section if you choose the ‘Field Biases’ tab on the left hand site you can set the bias for fields within the site.  This will affect the what is more relevant when Apache Solr does a search.

This is fine if you just want to set the bias on the standard fields that are available, but what if you want to be able to control the bias of the new custom field that you have just created?

Allowing manual field biases control on your custom field

Looking at the Apachesolr module in more detail shows that this list of bias fields is made up of ‘default’ fields (e.g. content, h1, h2 etc.) and any fields that are ‘text’ fields.

If you have created a custom field and your field is a string (e.g. 'ss_my_field') then you would think that this would then show up as it is a string field which is text - right?

Well no ..... after looking at the field definitions in more details (as shown in part 1), string fields are different to text fields, which is why the custom string field wasn't showing in the list.

Therefore in order for your custom field to appear in the list of 'bias fields', you need to define your custom field as a 'text' field rather than a 'string' field (e.g. ‘ts_my_field’). Having done this, re-index the content and the custom field now shows in this list of field biases.

Hooray I hear you shout .... well almost.  The field shows in the list but the label of this custom field shows as the field name (e.g. ‘ts_my_field’) - not very readable or friendly.

Helpfully there is a hook provided by the ApacheSolr module to map fields to a label for display:

/** * Implements hook_apachesolr_field_name_map_alter(). */ function MY_MODULE_apachesolr_field_name_map_alter(&$map) { $map['ts_my_field'] = t('This is the label for my custom field'); }

Now your new custom field shows in the list of 'bias fields' and has a nice friendly label for it. So you can now set the relevant value you would like for it to alter your search - happy days!

Read morePart 2: Apache Solr - Manually Controlling a Custom Fields BiasBy Mike Davis | 9th September 2014
Categories: Drupal

Urban Insight: Building a Drupal Module for Research Papers in Economics (RePEc)

8 September 2014 - 4:19pm

Working with the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, we recently had the opportunity to automate how the Center's research papers are submitted to a popular repository of research about economics. This post discusses how we created a software module that others who use the open source Drupal web content management system can reuse and enhance.
 

Categories: Drupal

Zivtech: Upcoming Zivtech Events, September 2014

8 September 2014 - 10:10am

September is a busy month over here at Zivtech as we embark on Drupaldelphia, a training on Panels and a handful of meetups. We will be out and about throughout the month, so be sure to catch up with us at some of our upcoming events:

Node.js Meetup at Zivtech HQ

Our Involvement: Hosting, Attending

What: This is an installment of the second-Tuesday Philly node.js meetup group. We start things out informally and anyone that has something to share shows off what they've been doing with node.js.

When: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Where: 1315 Walnut St, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19107

PHIT Circle Presents: Aging in Place

Our Involvement: Sponsors, attending

What: Please join us on Thursday, September 11th  to learn about "Aging in Place". John Whitman, a Wharton Health Care Management faculty member and leading national consultant on aging and long-term care is assembling a panel of experts to discuss how innovation is enabling our seniors to receive the medical monitoring and care they need to safely continue living in their own homes. We will both define what it means to age in place and how it's different depending upon socioeconomic status, and what innovations and technologies are available and needed for aging in place to happen. Special emphasis will be placed on not just what is currently available, but also what is needed for the future.

When: Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 5:30 - 8:30 pm

Where: 4801 S. Broad St., Suite 100, Building 100 Innovation Center, Philadelphia, PA 19112

Drupaldelphia 2014

Our Involvement: Sponsors, presentors, attending

What: Drupaldelphia is an annual camp held in Philadelphia for the open source content management platform, Drupal. The event attracts developers, site-builders, content administrators, designers, and anyone interested in using Drupal in their organization or upcoming project. This year will again be hosted in the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 1101 Arch St  Philadelphia, PA 19107.

When: Friday, September 12, 2014 from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

Where: The Philadelphia Convention Center, 1101 Arch St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Philadelphia Drupal Meetup at Zivtech HQ

Our Involvement: Hosting, attending

What: We'll be talking Drupal, eating pizza, and drinking various beverages (some alcoholic, others not) from 6:30-9pm at Zivtech Headquarters in Old City. The pizza and drinks will be provided by the hosts (that's us!).

When: Tuesday, September 16, 2014 from 6:30 - 9:30 pm

Where: 1315 Walnut St, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Drupal Training: Layout and Site Building with Panels

Our Involvement: Hosting, facilitating

What: Panels is a tool for creating advanced layouts and data displays in Drupal. In our day-long intermediate level training, we look at the full range of the Panels toolset and cover the following topics: understanding the Panels interface, tricks to make editing Panels easier, creating custom Panels layouts, styling techniques, building advanced data displays, helpful Panels features that many site builders miss.

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Where: 1315 Walnut St, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Comics are Magic: How Words and Images Create Content That Can’t Be Ignored

Our Involvement: Hosting, attending

What: Comic and cartoons aren't new, but it took the Internet to unlock their full potential. Find out how technology no more complicated than a jpeg can grab viewer's attention and deliver a message before they even realize they're receiving it.

When: Wednesday, September 17, 2014 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Where: 1315 Walnut St, Suite 1500, Philadelphia, PA 19107

PACT Thursday Networking Series

Our Involvement: Attending

What: Get back to basics and make new connections as PACT welcomes in summer. PACT invites its fellow members and guests from Technology and Healthcare Corporations, Entrepreneurs, Investors and Professional Advisors for an evening of networking. Come learn more about each others businesses & exchange business cards while enjoying cocktails and hors ‘d’ oeuvres.

When: Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 5:30- 7:30 pm

Where: Prime Stache, 110 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

These are just a handful of the events we will be attending, hosting, and sponsoring this September, so be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for more as we continue to update this list.

We can't wait to see you around!

Will you be attending any of our upcoming events? Let us know in the comments.

 

Terms: Eventsupcoming eventsZivtechSponsorattendhostMeetupDrupal PlanetDrupalNode.jsPACTContent MarketingTrainingsdrupal trainingdrupaldelphiaDrupalCon
Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Training spotlight: Drupal 8 for Drupalistas

8 September 2014 - 8:21am

Are you a site builder, themer, or backend developer who is comfortable with Drupal 7 (or 6) and worried about gearing up for Drupal 8?

Want a headstart?

Drupal 8 for Drupalistas at DrupalCon Amsterdam will save you self-study time by walking you through D8 in a day. You'll build a site, getting a hands on experience of the anticipated Drupal 8 changes, and dive deeper into your own speciality.

At the end of the day, you will be ready to dive deeper into Drupal 8 and start building projects. Our goal is to make your transition as smooth as possible. While we won't dive too deeply into coding (Sorry, all ye who seek Symphony training!) we will break into small, specialty groups at the end of the day so you can focus on one area; site building, theming, or coding.

Meet the Trainers from Amazee Labs

Long-time DrupalCon trainer Diana Dupuis (dianadupis), Site Building track chair Michael Schmid (Schnitzel), and DevOps track chair Bastian Widmer (dasrecht) of Amazee Labs have presented this training three times, including once at DrupalCon Austin to a sold-out room.

Attend this Drupal Training

This training will be held on Monday, 29 September from 09:00-17:00 at the Amsterdam RAI during DrupalCon Amsterdam. The cost of attending this training is €400 and includes training materials, meals and coffee breaks. A DrupalCon ticket is not required to register to attend this event.

Register today

Categories: Drupal


Google+
about seo