If Looks Could Kill! This is how most Drupal developers think 24 by 7. Why? Well, because this is what they have been taught for years. As a general practice, developers put in all their hard work to devise appealing aesthetics for the front-end of a Drupal site. From graphics to navigation to color scheming, developers pay heed to every small detail. However, in the process they tend to overlook the interface which they are presenting to the site administrator. Not all your site admin are tech-savvy. Keeping this in mind, you need to devise a back-end that is easily manageable and aids the administrator in operating the site in a hassle-free manner. Here are some tips that will aid you in designing an improvised administration for you next Drupal development venture.
Install A WYSIWYG Editor:
WYSIWYG editors are operational almost everywhere today, then why not in your Drupal site. After all, it will be unjust to expect the admin to deal with raw HTML code. Thus, a WYSIWYG Editor becomes a crucial add-on to ease the job of the administrator. You will find an array of editor modules, however CKEditor and TinyMCE are considered to be the best in the lot. Setting up input format and permissions for both the editors involves multiple steps. So you will have to scan the accompanying documentation thoroughly and find a helpful video tutorial over the web, which eases the entire process for you.
Install A File Browser:
Images are an integral part of any web venture. How do you think will the administrator find the relative path to an image? You obviously can't expect him to know it already, let alone the question of doing an FTP of the images to the server. This is where a file browser comes handy. Ideally, your WYSIWYG editor will have one. If not, you can add another one. You can use a combination of the IMCE Mkdir Module and IMCE module, which grant necessary directory permissions to the user. Some other file browser modules available in Drupal are Web File Manager and Filebrowser.
Reuse Custom Content Whenever Possible:
Content fields are something which is required in every website. You can't expect the admin to deal with creation of content fields. Modules such as CCK Module that aids the development of New Content Types, which can be used for extending the typical fields available on standard articles and pages. If you are using Drupal 7, you will find this module incorporated in the core. But if you are working with Drupal 6, you will need to install the CCKModule for your site.
Ironically, the primary aim of a content management system is to render editing capabilities for non-technical users, yet our first concern is to design a well-managed front-end. If the admin of a site struggles to operate the back-end and maintain the site, the entire concept of inception of CMS will be doomed. Putting in some efforts to a user-friendly admin interface will ensure that site is maintained well and you gain your due accolades.
About Author: Jason Roiz is a web editor cum developer for a leading Drupal Development Company & provides concrete information about open source software and development services.