Drupal 7 Multi Sites Configuration
Drupal 7 Multi Sites Configuration
Drupal 7 Multi Sites Configuration
5 3
Price: $22.10 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Page Count: 100
Format: pdf
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1849518009
ISBN-13: 9781849518000
User Rating: 4.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

Drupal 7 Multi Sites Configuration ebook


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A tutorial on how to run multiple Drupal 7 web sites from a single installation. A complete review is available at http://books.slashdot.org/story/12/07/15/1515213/book-review-drupal-7-multi-sites-configuration

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| 5 out of 5 Stars!


Initially I was skeptical if multi-site Drupal really required an entire book? Perhaps a bit biased, having been using multi-site installs since the early days of Drupal 6. However, it quickly became obvious that this book was covering more than just the simple, "add another folder to the sites folder and name it as the url". The book has about 78 pages of actual content, flipping through the Preface and what the book covered, the question then became, can Matt Butcher really cover that much content in only 78 pages?!

This book is much more than just step 1, step 2, blah, blah. It really is a good book for both beginners and more advanced users. Installing multi-site Drupal is actually pretty simple, however many people really seem to get stumped by it. But once you understand it, it is a breeze. The install process is explained in great detail and brings clarity to what all the files and directories in "sites" are about. It will also help the beginner easily understand why there is a "sites/all" and "sites/default". Too many other books simple read use "sites/all", but it isn't discussed why or why _not_ you might want to. On the advanced side, there are examples of sharing configuration, code, themes, users and content between sites; this isn't newbie stuff.

In many ways this book covers more than just multi-site topics, as it explains some of the structure that can trip up those new to Drupal, and it gets the user up and running quickly (using the Vagrant install). I would really recommend this little book to all Drupal beginners, whether multi-site is on their radar or not. It just hits so many simple stumbling issues quickly and efficiently. It would also be advised for advanced users looking to push multi-sites, wanting to share content, and users. There are also some good best practices stuff on backups, and warnings on when not to share between installs.

Conclusion
Recommended for anyone just starting with Drupal in general, and further for anyone interested in running Drupal multi-sites. There is decent documentation on Drupal.org for setting up multi-sites, but it isn't as concise, or as well organized as the information in the book. You will be up and running much quicker with Drupal 7 Multi-Sites Configuration!

Disclaimer
The copy of Drupal 7 Multi-sites Configuration that was used for this review was provided at no charge by Packt Publishing. However, no other compensation was received for this review and this review was published without prior review or any influence from Packt Publishing.

| 4 out of 5 Stars!


The book starts of with some concepts in a Multi-site environment such as the advantages of running Drupal on the same codebase, having a staging/testing environment before deploying to a live site, easier server administration and even partly avoiding some of your shared hosting restrictions.
This chapter is actually really well written and well defined. It makes clear that you need to have a use-case before diving into the matter. It also makes reading the book a little more pleasant, because you have these ideas in your mind.

Next up was setting up a server. I did not really expect this part to be in the book, and mainly not being biased so heavily towards vagrant... I think I missed the whole concept of why vagrant is so important in a multi-site setup. Also the lengthy guides on how to install Drupal (apache, mysql, hosts files, ...) were a little obsolete if you'd ask me. I'd enjoy it more if some more time was spent in how Drupal actually recognizes different domain names. Luckily my appetite was partly satisfied in Chapter 3.

The book continues on on how to create site folders, special cases with subdomains and even a new one for me, domains with subdirectories! Matt also explains how to use the sites.php file, which I actually never use because of bad habits of mine I guess. This explanation was very educational and eye-opening. A picture with the structure of the folder would have been nice as a way to make the dense text a little lighter, but this is me being too harsh probably! It continues to explain the files directory, and importantly, how to configure that directory in a multi-site environment. Unfortunately also some more (obsolete?) Vagrant information.

So, after Chapter 3 you should be very accustomed to the way you can install multiple drupal databases on the same codebase. The only minus here is that you are at 3/4th of the book already! Luckily the last part of the book unveils some secrets about Multi-site installations.

For example, one of these secrets is a shared configuration file! This is not a standard Drupal pattern. With some simple tweaks, Matt explains you in detail how this can work for you. If one of you is hosted in the Acquia Cloud, I'll unveil a little secret here, we apply the same trick ;-). The book continues about sharing modules/themes/subthemes or explicitly not sharing one! You might want to share your main theme, but not the subthemes, a logical pattern but not so many of you will implement that pattern. I could recommend reading this section, because it also has memory implications if you run many multi-sites on 1 drupal code base.

Chapter 4 is all about updating your site, not very exciting material but it is a necessity. Good for people that are a starter in this field. He pays enough attention to the details so that is a plus. I do feel there is a lot of clutter in the book that might not apply to the masses. And again, the assumption that you have vagrant is distracting me from the core knowledge you need to know.

Chapter 5 : Advanced Multi-Sites! All about Favicons and robots. I hope Matt meant robots.txt ;-). Some other nice concepts for shared authentication float to the top such as OpenID, LDAP and Directory services, Services module, Bakery, etc... Very interesting chapter if you need to know more about Single Sign on, shared content and or structures.

The last part references multi-site searching and this is imho not complete enough. it does mention Apache Solr as a possible solution but it does not mention apachesolr_multisitesearch as the glue between your site searches. If you use this module, you can easily search multiple sites through one interface. I'll even say more, you can even index a D6 and a D7 in the same index and search them through a common interface (Works with apachesolr-7.x-1.0 and apachesolr-6.x-3.x)

This book is a great addition to your knowledge base if you plan to set up a multi-site environment and you want to do it right. It mentions vagrant a little to much and it does not talk about Aegir (which imho is the example of a multi-site spawner). I've enjoyed reading it and learned tricks here and there. I also missed some performance metrics, but maybe I somehow missed that. If you want this book for free, you can still enter the give-away I am allowed to do in my other blog post

Certainly a good read if you are new to the topic!

| 5 out of 5 Stars!


Let's get the two biggest benefits of "Drupal 7 Multi Sites Configuration" Quick Read book out of the way at the top...the book is very focused and it's quick. It may seem obvious from the title and the series, but most of the time when you have a specific task to perform you either have to find a massive tome that has one decent chapter on what you REALLY want to do, or you have to surf the net reading a lot of articles by a lot of different people that approach the problem from a lot of different angles, just hoping that you can learn enough to accomplish the task at hand.
If the task at hand is Multi Sites Configuration, this book will save you time and grief, as it covers the topic in sufficient depth to take anyone who is reasonably tech savvy from knowing what they want to accomplish to having it done. There are several ways to install and work with Drupal to avoid reinstalling the whole stack for each website. This book covers the different scenarios completely, including the always present "gotchas", and informs you about the pluses and minuses of each method and scenario.
Having a single installation for multiple sites makes maintenance and updates easier, but brings consideration about the sharing of modules and themes and how to handle customization of each for specific sites. There is a world of flexibility to this way of using Drupal 7 that I didn't know about until I read the book, which I was able to do in an evening because it's a Quick Read. Really.
If you need or want to support multiple sites, or even separate portions of a single domain, with one installation of Drupal 7, you need to read through this book, pick your path, then keep it by your side as you set up your environment.
As I said at the beginning, it's quick, it's specific and for this topic, it is complete.

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