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Readers Choice: Top Blogs of 2012

It’s always interesting to look back over the year and see which blog posts were most popular with our readers. For 2012, the most popular posts were a blend Drupal 7 Module reviews, responsive web design trends, using Maps with Drupal 7, and tips on planning a Drupal site.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 blog posts written in 2012—in order of most viewed: 

Top Drupal 7 Modules: Summer 2012 Edition

There are literally thousands of modules available on Drupal.org. The funny thing is, most developers tend to use only a small percentage of those modules. So out of 16,000+ modules, many developers have only installed up to 200 different modules across their various projects. Furthermore,  you will find that developers continually use only a few dozen of the same modules on almost every project. It's for that reason why from time to time Jay puts together a list of his most-used modules. By doing so, he hopes to help new developers figure out what modules they need by narrowing down a list of 16,000 down to around 50 or so modules.

Control your Drupal Page Layout with Context & Delta 

With the Delta module, you can build custom page layouts by making new versions of the theme settings page; then apply those unique layouts on particular pages, sections, or user roles via the Context module. While designed specifically for the Omega theme, Delta will also work with other themes. Mobile Tools can help you to detect users viewing your site with mobile device to further customize the theme just for them. Let's take a closer look.

Responsive Design: Mobile Menu Options 

At various Omega presentations Kendall has given at people have asked her about responsive menu options. Brad Frost has outlined some great options for responsive menus, and she encourages you to do your research since it's a always a good idea to review what your options are before deciding on a particular path. Kendall says that using browscap to hide/show your menu(s) is not recommended or necessary since browser sniffing is not very reliable, hence the whole movement toward responsive design.

The Power of Maps and Drupal 7  

The way we can create Maps in Drupal is changing. In this webinar James covers utilizing the Geofield and Openlayers contributed modules to create beautiful dynamic maps in Drupal. We explore what Geofield, Openlayers and their supporting modules do, and walk through an easy to follow recipe for using these contrib modules to create custom maps. Finally we cover TileMill and Mapbox, two amazing tools from Development Seed, that help you to design, build and distribute your custom maps, using data from your Drupal website.

The Drupal Maintenance Challenge

In Part 1 of Jay's article on The Drupal Maintenance Challenge & How to Manage It, Jay raised some interesting problems inherent to planning out and executing a Drupal website project. Now in Part 2, he gives some advice on how to address these challenges based on what I’ve learned in my time as a web developer.

Drupal Modules: Display Suite, Context, Views, & Panels 

Learn how to use the tools the experts are using! This webinar teaches how to utilize several of Drupal's most powerful site-building modules to build out Drupal websites. In this webinar, Jay goes through each of these modules in-depth, using real-world project walk-throughs. This is not just a how-to on the mechanics of installing and using module 'X'. Instead we will be to answering the question "'Why should I use this module?". 

Planning Your Drupal Site

In 2009 we released a whitepaper entitled Building an Enterprise Class Website in Drupal.  The paper covered topics such as: how Drupal is being leveraged at the enterprise-level, planning your site launch for long-term success, assessing and scoping your Drupal project, among many other key topics. Though some of the information might be a bit dated, the core process is still a solid structure to look at when planning your Drupal site. 

Moving from Wordpress to Drupal

In the battle for CMS dominance, there are three main players in the Open Source space: Drupal, Wordpress & Joomla. This blog isn’t a comparsion between the two, though there are plenty out there. What Jay to focuses on is all of you who have a Wordpress site and want to transition it to Drupal—easily.

Display Suite - A Themer's Perspective 

Display Suite is a popular drag-n-drop interface module that allows anyone to easily point and clear their way into creating beautiful layouts in Drupal. It allows users to take complete control over how Drupal renders content without the need for using complicated templates or custom code.

Elegant CSS In Drupal—LESS vs Sass

Sass and LESS were both introduced in 2009. Since then, both meta-languages have exploded in popularity. Both Sass and LESS allow you to write elegant and reusable CSS in a third of the time it would normally take using standard flat CSS.

In this webinar Dante walks through a handful of useful concepts and key differences between the languages. Drupal has several modules such case LESS and Sassy that will help you quickly get up and running using either project.

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