Drupal Distributions – Getting the work done faster!

So, Darkscribes is almost done and now I’m trying to conceive the redesign of Dhampir Dreams. While I’m doing that I’m also looking into what I have available to me. I don’t want to have to spend too much time spinning up a Drupal install but I also don’t want to do this completely from scratch if a lot of my use cases have been handled already. This is where the Drupal Distributions and GetPantheon.com’s offerings come in.

First off, a Drupal Distribution is a uniquely packaged version of Drupal. It provides it’s own modules and structures in order to allow for a completely new system. It has Drupal at it’s core, but it’s the way it handles things and sets things up as default that makes things different. If you didn’t know it was a Drupal Distribution you would be very justified in thinking they were totally different. I’m interested to say that is not the case.

Another way Drupal makes it easier to deploy things is the Features Module. I could take everything I’ve built for DS and turn it into a Features module, and then install the created module into another Drupal based site and have a good setup there. All the basic structures and everything built into the system. This saves time when creating a lot of sites that have similar needs. Like Darkscribes, Dhampir Dreams needs a way to organize stories and chapters under them, even if I don’t need to have a way to give everyone access to everything they need and it’s just me. It saves time and gets a site deployed much faster.

The best thing is that the entire process is open source, so you have access to the code and the ability to change what you need or want and spin your own distribution. That seems a lot of work though so I’m looking at ways that have already been worked on and have a lot of good structure even if I am not using it right now. I’ll keep working on them. The really good thing is that the Drupal-to-Drupal migrate module makes it where I could take the DS data, and drop it into the site dev I’m working on so I can get a good look at everything. It’s just stuff to work on and play with right now, maybe it will develop into something new and different. I just don’t know yet.