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Maintaining and Updating a Drupal Site
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In this chapter, I show how to lay a basic foundation for maintaining and updating a Drupal site. I start by discussing e-mail alerts, server logs, and site reports everything you need to ensure your Drupal site is updated and haxxor free. I then delve into the science of updating your site and how Drupal is becoming extremely easy to update compared to previous versions. I close with a number of modules to help with managing multiple Drupal sites.
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Maintaining a production site
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In my humble opinion, one of the most important aspects of maintaining a production site is ensuring it s up-to-date and haxxor-proof. Provided a site is well-built, the only real tasks you ll be responsible for are checking server logs, creating site reports, and updating Drupal core or contributed modules. Make sure the Update Manager is enabled! The Update Manager sends you e-mails whenever there s an update available on a site you ve built. It s normally enabled when a site is installed using the standard install profile (see 2), but simply navigate to Reports Status report and check the status of Update notifications to ensure it s enabled; Drupal will give a warning if it isn t, as shown in Figure 11-1. To enable it, navigate to the Modules section, scroll to Update Manager, select the enable check box, and save.
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Figure 11-1. Navigate to Reports Status report, and check the status of Update notifications to ensure you receive e-mails when a module has an available update.
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Once the module is enabled, you can navigate to Reports Available update and click the SETTINGS tab, as shown in Figure 11-2. I recommend checking for updates daily, mostly to help with planning purposes; although it s always nice to update a site immediately, sometimes it may take a day or three before there s time. I usually reserve Check for update of disabled modules and themes for testing when I m working on a site. You can also choose to receive updates when a newer version of a module is available or when the version available is a security update. I always check for all newer versions; sometimes a version update includes new features and bug fixes I might be interested in for a future site.
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Figure 11-2. Navigate to Reports Available updates, and click the SETTINGS tab to configure update notifications.
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MAINTAINING AND UPDATING A DRUPAL SITE
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Drupal has a low-volume e-mail list dedicated to announcing security issues affecting Drupal core and contributed modules. It s also good to sign up for the Drupal newsletter if you want to hear about Drupalrelated conferences and other happenings (see Figure 11-3). Signing up is relatively easy: 1. 2. 3. 4. Create an account at http://drupal.org; if you already have one, sign in. Navigate to the Your Dashboard page or alternately to http://drupal.org/user. Click the Edit link, and then click the My newsletters tab. Select the security announcements check box, and click save.
Figure 11-3. Sign up to receive security announcements from Drupal.org. There are also a few pages on http://drupal.org you can visit to see previous security announcements containing a description of found security bugs:
http://drupal.org/security for a list of all security announcements relating to core Drupal http://drupal.org/security/contrib for all contrib-related security announcements http://drupal.org/security/psa for all security-related announcements http://drupal.org/taxonomy/term/100 for a list of all core and contrib modules that have updates, in chronological order
Checking the reports section weekly
You can access site reports by clicking the Reports link in the administration toolbar, as shown in Figure 11-4. This page contains a number of reports to help you understand site health and usage trends. I recommend you frequently check the reports on this page; I check reports at least once a week for some of my busier sites. The default installation enables several modules that contribute reports to this page, including search, field UI, status updates, and database logging. I also recommend enabling the statistics module, which provides several reports on how users interact with your site.
Figure 11-4. Full list of all available reports, accessed by clicking the Reports link in the administration toolbar.
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