redirect checker

Since my blog went down earlier this week I’ve been familiarizing myself with redirect codes and the mod_rewrite module for Apache.

This redirect check utility will tell you where your mod_rewrite paths are trying to send you.

My old blog is still around

Due to a server crash my old web hosting service shut its doors. Thankfully the administrator is a solid guy and was able to give me the last backup dump of my website. Unfortunately, migrating to my new server has been a pain in the ass and I can’t get Drupal fully cooperate. For some reason I cannot login or stay authenticated with that instance. There is probably a simple fix but whatever it is, I haven’t been able to find it for the past 3 days so I give up.

Setup Drupal content management

Setting up a new Drupal 5.3 website like

  1. cPanel install
  1. login to new drupal

Active Core Modules

Administer -> Site building -> Modules

  1. blog
  2. color (default)
  3. comment (default)
  4. help (default)
  5. menu (default)
  6. path
  7. search
  1. taxonomy (default)

Additional useful modules

The best part about drupal is the extensive library of user contributed modules. These are the modules that I like to use.

Download these

  1. google_analytics for visitor tracking
  2. google adsense for ads
  3. google adsense injector to put ads in many places
  4. meta tags for meta tags
  5. tagadelic weighted tag cloud
  6. path auto for easy URL paths
    1. Requires install of token module
    2. textile for easy HTML
    1. important to download the PHP library
  7. (maybe) scheduler for timed publishing
  1. (maybe) disknode for uploads

Prepare modules for install

  1. Extract to folders
  2. FTP upload to your site (drupal dir)/sites/all/modules <== may need to create dir “modules”
  1. copy extracted classTextile.php over to Textile module folder

Activate Modules

Administer -> Site building -> Modules

  • Adsense Modules
    • adsense core/API
    • adsenese basic
    • Other
    • Google Analytics
    • Meta tags
    • Path auto
    • scheduler
    • textile
    • token
  • tagadelic

Site and module configuration

use clean URLs

  1. Administer -> Site Configuration -> Clean URLs
  2. run the clean URL test link (bottom of text)
  3. radio button = “enabled”
  1. save

Google Analytics

  1. Administer -> Site configuration -> Google Analytics
  2. paste Google Analytics ID i.e. UA-xxxxxx-x
  3. check “anonymous user”, others optional
  1. save


  • General Settings
    • separator = “_”
    • leave case
    • change Underscore _: to “Replace by Separator” in “Punctuation Settings”
    • node path settings
    • default path = [title-raw], removed “content” which was default
    • category path settings
    • default path = “[vocab-raw]/[catpath-raw]”, removed “category” in default
  • save


  1. Administer -> Site Configuration -> Adsense -> adsense_basic
    1. login to google adsense
    2. create an ad unit
    3. copy the code similar to “pub-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”
    1. paste into code box
  1. save


  1. Administer -> Site Configuration -> Tagadelic
  1. whatever options you choose. (I’m default)


  1. Administer -> Site Configuration -> Input Formats
  2. “add input format” (near top)
    1. anonymous and authenticated OK
    2. check “textile”
    1. save
  3. radio “default” to “Textile”
  1. save

Site Title, etc.

  1. Administer -> Site Configuration -> Site Information
  2. change accordingly
  1. save

Categories and Tags

Main Navigation Topics

  1. Administer -> Content Mangement -> Categories
  2. “Add vocabulary” (near top) to create top-level menu structure
    1. name = “Topic”. avoid category called “category” because url structure will be it is redundant
    2. Types = page, blog entry, etc.
    3. Hierarchy = disabled
    4. Required = true
    1. save
    2. click “add terms”
    3. add a new term and save
  1. My terms are “business, development, hci” <== notice they in the top menu


  1. “Add vocabulary” to create another vocabulary for tagging
    1. name = “tags”
    2. types = all
  1. free tagging = true


  1. Administer -> Site building -> Menus
  2. under “Primary Links” click “add item”
    1. add the primary navigations from the “category” stuff you just made
    2. I suggest using the system URLs (non-pathauto) for this. I.e. “taxonomy/term/1”, etc.
    3. I suggest that because you might change the name of the term. Using the system URL means it will not get broken when you change the terms of your vocabulary.
  1. Also, the system will automatically translate the URL into the human readable URL. i.e. taxonomy/term/1 ===> topic/food by itself.

Access control

Who can write stories? Who can comment? Who can do various things? Decide that all here.

Administer -> User Management -> Access Control

  • Anonymous User
    • access comments
    • post comments (approval req’d?)
    • access content (default)
    • search content
  • advanced search

  • Authenticated User
    • edit own blog
    • access comments
    • post comments without approval
    • access content (default)
    • search content
    • view revisions
    • advanced search
    • administer access control
  • administer users

Administer -> User Management -> User Settings

  • only site admin create accounts
  • require e-mail verification


  • select a theme
    • internet jobs was my old one. I’m sticking with it.
    • download, extract, then FTP to “sites/all/themes/” <== may need to create “themes” folder
    • Administer -> SIte Building -> Themes
    • set default as “internet jobs”
    • select admin theme
    • i prefer “garland” for my administration theme.
  • Administer -> Site Configuration -> Administration theme

Fix a path error in internet_jobs template

  • find the file links.tpl.php
  • find this line $path = $base_path . path_to_theme();
  • change it to $path = base_path() . path_to_theme();


Administer -> Site Building -> Blocks

Left Sidebar

  • adsense block

Right Sidebar

  • login
  • navigation
  • search form
  • tagadelic
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