Try out Pantheon for free Drupal hosting

There are a lot of good Drupal hosting sites out there. But Pantheon stands out because it offers FREE hosting. Are there caveats? sure, but that is to be expected. The two biggest are ads on your site and a domain name under their root.

Right now, I have a client who is sitting on the fence about a new site. I have a somewhat vested interest in his success so my plan is to develop a site first and then sell it to him. Now this is a weird use case sure. But it wouldn’t be possible without Pantheon’s offer of free hosting. And my client can choose a payment plan down the road with his own URL and no ads once he commits.

Pantheon offers some really cool features too. Either SFTP or Git access, Drupal distributions and a really easy install requiring nothing more than some mouse clicks.

They also offer a cool multistage dev/test/live environment that really allows you to develop safely in a multideveloper environment. Add Git to the equation and you have a distributed local environment with version control.

The first site that I am doing is called Landetech. So the urls from Pantheon are:

With the Pantheon control panel, you have clear and concise control over changes committed to each environment. Very cool stuff.

Pantheon also uses Varnish for caching for greatly improved performance, something that Drupal usually needs. Check them out.

Webform Module – Quick and Easy Drupal Forms

Quick and Easy are not two terms that typically are synonymous with Drupal. You generally have to go through the ringer to get Drupal to do most things. That’s the nature of a tool as powerful as Drupal. But the Webform module will really surprise you in a very nice way.

I needed a quick and dirty way to let my users send me feedback. The comment system won’t do because the feedback is general and not specific to a node. And I really want it to go into an email.


With an install base of about 350k sites, I really don’t know how I missed webform. But with just a few steps, I was able to create a one field form (see the SS) that emails the result to an email address that I specify.

The module will create a content type called webform. From there, you simply create a new node. Once the intitial node has been created, you can add all of the nice elements that will go into the result. I have a one field form here but you can have much more that that. Definitely worth the time for your Drupal install!

Taxonomy Comparisons

I have been neck deep in Taxonomy, OG, Rules, Contexts, Relationships and many more all week. It hasn’t been very fun but I know that I need to be able to scale this site properly and so, I need to do the research early on.

I need to be able to sort all site content by geography. Specifically by the state that the member resides in. The member will always have only one state. What I really need it a way to autotag a node (as it is being authored) with the state that the member resides in. Here is a really good wiki from with a run down of many of the options available.

For my case, it appears that I will be able to use the Rules module and Roles (a core user function) to acheive this. Here is a link to a post that helped me arrive at this decision.

IFrame stuff – what you can’t do

well, i have just about gven up on this. I have googled, asked those smarter than i am. that’s pretty much anybody, though. and i believe that what I am trying to do is not going to work and  is probably not possible anyway.

I have been trying to insert some code into an iframe so that I can load a widget and translate any page that appears in that Iframe. But, for what are really obvious reasons involving security, this can’t be done. if you know how to do it; make me eat some crow. please. crow is good. makes you learn humility. and it makes you learn.and i heard that it can make you less dumb.

so, if i haven’t gotten anywhere tomorrow when i get up on this, it is on to intercepting theme elements to allow you to add your own styling elements to your site. fun stuff. pretty stuff. css.

Rich Text Editors in Drupal

Ug. This has been a real pain. But I believe that I finally have things sorted out. To get CKEditor working, and I mean really working in Drupal, I uninstalled the WYSIWYG mod and started over.

  • I installed the actual CKEditor module from
  • I reinstalled the ckeditor library into sites/all/libraries
  • i changed the content types to use the new editor
  • i moved the iframe plugin library to the ckeditor/plugins folder
  • i enabled the now-present iframe option in the ckeditor setup

there were still errors present in the CKEditor version from WYSIWYG. i think that WYSIWYG just has issues. I’m sure that there are ways to work around them but this is working for me and there are no errors. Much Better.

Drupal to Twitter – Complete (and to Facebook too!)

Wow, I am finally done with this. I now have my categorized RSS feed going straight to a Twitter account and a Facebook account. Both of these accounts are specific to my web site but that doesn’t really matter. And the real key to getting this to work is This is a free service that will take RSS feeds and consolidate them into Twitter, FB, Linkedin, there are a couple others too, I believe. But Twitter and FB are enough for me.

The Twitterfeed part wasn’t too bad to connect but it did require some tweaking to get it to work with what I have properly. If you decide to use, be aware that the advanced options are more likely to need tweaking than advanced options usually are.

And what do I have?

  • 50+ RSS Sources from all over the state of TN in the USA.
  • 15 Categories configured in the Drupal Core Aggregator module. I am not using Feeds at all; it isn’t flexible enough for this case.
  • 1000 individual news stories that come in every day from these RSS Sources.
  • A Drupal View that displays the News items that I categorize as they come in.
  • An RSS “Feed” of that View that is available via This is a part of Views. Click Add, and click Feed.
  • A twitter feed – @docresource and FB account – DOCResource that need to get the same info that the View displays

The Twitter module was not needed to do this. Just Views and the Core Aggregator module. There are good reasons to use the Twitter mod; they just don’t apply here.

Integration with Twitter – RSS to

I have spent three days working on this. I have gone down many a fruitless avenue. You can post to Twitter from Drupal just like it says. But all you can do is post a specific piece of content, one at a time. That may be fine for many different circumstances. But what I have is a “News Ticker” of sorts on my main page. A scaled down version without links for anonymous viewers and a more involved one for authenticated users. and i want that  type of feed to be used in twitter. I want twitter to show the news items as they come in and are categorized by me.

So, i have worked with this. And in theory it should work:

Core Aggregator Mod –> Views –>

Sub View that has an RSS feed that goes to a page URL–>

Feed Importer from the Feed module that pulls from the URL of the RSS feed created by Feeds –>

Content Type that I created and configed in the Importer –>

That Content Type automatically posted to Twitter.

All of this works. the Aggregated items go into the View with the RSS feed which has a URL. My email client gets all of the RSS items, no prob. The importer uses that same RSS URL to pull the aggregated items in as Nodes attached to the content type that is specified in the Twitter config to be posted automatically. But they don’t post.

They are there, in the content, correct user name for publishing, all that. And all I have to do is edit that particular node and then save it and it will then post. BUT, not until then. I believe that the Twitter function is not called until you edit the node and then save it. So i tried to use the Views Bulk Operations module to do all sorts of things to those nodes including bulk saving the node, just like I do when I edit and save. But, it is the clicking of the edit node that calls the function. So, they would just not post automatically. And I am not going to build a site with a bunch of manual admin tasks.

So, I kept looking. And I found this article. And then I found This is precisely what I wanted. And, it is free. I am very happy. This had driven me nuts for three days. Don’t get me wrong; the twitter module works like it is supposed to. It just wasn’t what I needed. and this is.

Turn a Drupal View into an RSS Feed

In my quest to get Aggregator DB items into Twitter automatically, I have finished one part that in itself is pretty good. I now have an RSS feed available for the View in its display on the front page of the site via the little RSS icon. you’ll need to sign in to see the View, in the center and the RSS icon at the bottom. But you can sign in with Facebook. but here is what i did to make this part work.

Under web services, make sure that you have:

RSS publishing

 You are here
Status message
The configuration options have been saved.
Feed description – add something for the hover on the rss icon

Description of your site, included in each feed.
Number of items in each feed- 10

Default number of items to include in each feed.
Feed contentTitles onlyTitles plus teaserFull text

Global setting for the default display of content items in each feed.
Then, go to your View. Here is a ss of what i have
view feed

this is really it. now i have an rss icon for the view. but the main thing that it is going to help me with is getting the rss feed into an importer from Feeds, then getting it into a Content Type that can be published automatically to Twitter. when i manage to make this work seemlessly, i’ll post it.

Posting Aggregator Content to Twitter II

this is going to work. i actually made it work but missed the series of steps last night. but i will reproduce it today.

Here is what i need to do:

  • Have Twitter display my aggregated news (from RSS Feeds) items as they are classified by me using the Core Aggregator Module. I already have the Twitter integration mod installed and working. 

Here is the issue:

  • Aggregator Core doesn’t create nodes from these items, just simple db objects
  • The Feeds Module will create nodes from RSS items, but the classification isn’t nearly as easy as it is with Core and I have over 100 items per day to classify so I have to use Core

Here is what I am doing to work with existing code/mods.

  • Create a feed version (in Views) of the View for the News Feeds that shows News items from the last 24 hours. This View is the end result of the categorization that I do.
  • Now I have an RSS Feed for the View. I can go to my email client, put that URL in and get the News items that I catregorize as RSS items. And I have a nice little RSS Feed icon at the bottom on the nPanel that hold the View
  • Import that created rss feed into the Feeds module using a Feeds importer
  • The importer puts the items into a Content Type create for the Twitter integration. This part works from a manual process.  when I create content with that Content Type, it goes into Twitter

This all works like it should except that I am missing one thing somewhere. I have made it work once but then I changed something (it was late last night and I was half asleep) and missed what it was that I needed. But I will make this work again.