Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Anatomy of a Front Page

I recently revamped the front page look at in preparation for an eventual (hopefully sooner rather than later) first release. In the process, I learned once again that all the wonderful contributors have made Drupal an excellent tool for designing web pages. With a simple combination of Panels, Views, and Drupal's own content type creation, I was able to achieve what you see there with no headache whatsoever. It was just too easy!

What isn't necessarily easy is knowing the tools exist to do something like that and how to use them together for your site. I decided to spend some time writing up my experience, including the preliminary thought processes and then actual configuration of the modules, so others could benefit from my fun. The voice in the tutorial is pretty informal, but I trust it gets the job done. Also, I'm just darn proud of the end result and thought I'd put this up to get some feedback while helping people, too. ; )

From the tutorial's introduction:

Purpose: Describe the thought processes and modules used to design the front page of, a site designed to be both an information portal and user/developer community.

Modules explained: Drupal's own content type creation, Views, and Panels.

Honorable mentions: Deciding on what to display, visual aids, "enhancing" the forums and Navigation menu.

The tutorial is available here:

The end result is visible here:

I'd love to have your feedback and get more ideas for easy, fun page creation!

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