Review: Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization

Book Cover: Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization
At one point in my career my employer repositioned his web application development company to become a search engine optimization (SEO) company. This repositioning meant that for a very brief period I actually worked in the world of SEO. I didn't much care for it (hence the 'very brief period' working in SEO). For all the science of keyword research and result monitoring, there seemed to be an equal part of voodoo or tea leaf reading. And, lets face it, SEO wasn't as glamourous as finding an elegant technical solution or designing something beautiful for a client website.

Still, every so often SEO of a site is a client requirement. Even if you ultimately outsource the work of optimization to a third party, if you are a web site developer you need to be knowledgeable about SEO and be prepared to build your site in such a way as to ease the work of optimization. But, with so much information available on the web on the topic of SEO, even approaching the topic somewhat overwhelming.

Luckily there are books like Drupal 6 Search Engine Optimization by Ben Finklea to help you get oriented. Not only is this book filled with valuable information about SEO, keyword research and optimization practices, it does a good job of highlighting all the Drupal specific features, tools and modules available to you. It also includes plenty of step by step instructions to help implement your SEO strategy using the tools available in Drupal.

Score based on my own arbitrary rating system:
For any Drupal Developer or Drupal Site Administrator: 4.5/ 5

October 30th 2009 3AM
By: andre


Review: Front End Drupal

Cover of Front End DrupalI finally had a chance to fully review Front End Drupal by Emma Jane Hogbin and Konstantin Kafer after a long period of waiting. I say "long period" because I first heard details of the book last August at Drupalcon is Szeged when talking with Emma Jane at a Birds of a Feather session. More recently I had to finish work on a project and another book review delaying my review by another two weeks.

I built my first 'web page' about 15 years ago. Since then I graduated to building 'web sites' and then custom 'web applications'. Over that time I worked with several content management systems, a handful of web languages, and worked with clients of all shapes and sizes. I've worked at all levels of the web stack from graphic design to information architecture; from web server configuration to database administration; from HTML to server side scripting. In short I've worked on everything from the back end to the front end.

While Front End Drupal is obviously about working with the 'font end' Drupal, I was immediately impressed by the first chapter of the book which provide valuable tips for any web designer or web project manager or developer. It was apparent right from the start that this book was written by web development veterans since recommendations they give early on could only come from those that wear battle scars. As you progress through the book it is also clear the authors are intimately familiar with Drupal from both theoretical and practical standpoints.

Score based on my own arbitrary rating system:
For Drupal Novices: 4.5/ 5
For Experienced Drupal Administrators: 4.5 / 5

June 10th 2009 5AM
By: andre


Review: Drupal 6 Social Networking

cover of Drupal 6 Social NetworkingI received my review copy of Michael Peacock's Drupal 6 Social Networking a couple of weeks ago and I've just had a chance to go through it and formulate some thoughts.

I was interested to see how Michael Peacock would approach the topic of social networking in the Drupal context. Having personally built a rather large Drupal powered social networking site in the past I was curious to read about the topic from someone else's perspective.

From the outset the book declares that it does not assume that the audience is familiar with Drupal. As a result the book plays a dual role of introducing the reader to Drupal and educating them on how to unlock the potential social interactivity that is possible with a Drupal powered website. The book does so by providing social interactivity use cases and possible solutions illustrated with step by step configuration instructions for Drupal core and selected contributed Drupal modules. However the book felt like it limited itself to simpler social interaction use cases and didn't dig deeply enough into their solutions (perhaps for fear of overwhelming the reader).

Score based on my own arbitrary rating system:
For Drupal Novices: 3.5 / 5
For Experienced Drupal Administrators: 2.5 / 5

June 3rd 2009 4PM
By: andre

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