Tom Ogden's blog

First and Foremost: Keep a Record


Where there is more than one person involved in your website project, you need to document project requirements, procedures, goals and important notes. Anything not written down can potentially be lost. Lost information has a good chance of harming your company or your project. By contrast, retaining useful information can be a valuable company asset. 


Mail Services


Spam Exposure

Rule number 1: never post your email address online. Anti-spam strategies, such as removing the link, rendering the address as a graphic or enclosing it into a PDF file, are all subject to fail. The best strategy is just to never expose it. 

Domain Management

This is the most essential part of any website and needs to be carefully monitored and managed on at least an annual basis. In many respects your domain record is the deed to your building lot, the property on which you build your Internet house. You should review it for proper ownership, contacts and appropriate DNS configuration. 


It can take a good deal of time to locate a host provider with the level of reliability, support, security, stability and forward vision. I much prefer a Linux or Unix system server, which helps with reliability and security. It is also the native platform of the Internet. 


Databases may be housed in an outside server to help boost performance. However, this may compromise PCI compliance. 

Frequent Backups

Your database data is your most dynamic and most valuable data. You should install a backup script that is activated by a crontab script at least nightly. 

User Management

A static website is a dead website. Therefore, it is vital that every company who owns or professes to own a website ensure that their staff are contributing to the ongoing flow of content. To that end, it follows we should take advantage of the rich user management tools within Drupal. 


Decide early on what user roles there are and their use cases. Carefully define these roles, not only in their privileges you select in Drupal, but also in company documentation. You should also explain to users their roles so there are no misunderstandings. 


The best way to configure a Drupal website quickly and efficiently is to use a profile. However, no profile is going to do all the work for you, even if you custom design your own. So it's still important to establish a set of procedures for configuring the aspects of a Drupal site. 


Take the Time

In projects of all sizes, the design aspect typically takes about half of all the time and all the resources allocated to the project. Sometimes, in an effort to cut corners, design is left out of a budget, only to reappear on the backside of the project because “it just doesn’t look right.” 

Information Architecture


Information Architecture (IA) is a deep and nebulous concept and should not be attempted alone. Choosing to avoid it is futile, since information architecture happens no matter if it is planned or not. 

Social Media in Drupal


It is no longer possible to maintain credibility in the marketplace and not have a social media presence. Working in multiple social networks is advantageous, so long as you can avoid simply diluting your efforts among them.