Exploring Drupal and all of the wonderful modules, does make things exciting. Although it is not always easy to find what you want without a little experimentation. Such was the case when it came to the template I had settled on for my site.
Since the theme is essentially a new – music type theme, I wanted to maintain that look, yet keeping it super simple. I had already installed the Advanced Frontpage module on one of my Drupal 6 sites, it was filled with static text.
Click on the images for larger view
But this was not the look I was really after, sure it worked great for SEO purposes if that is what your after, never changing yet to a visitor in my opinion that looks boring. You may have written lots of new content, if it’s buried within the site they may never find it.
Sure they might just dig deeper into the site, if they are a regular visitor, yet most people only have at most a 30 second attention span as they scan for something new.
I had searched for some clear cut advice on the advanced frontpage module and I know it is still out there someplace. I just felt there had to be something easier that would give me the look I wanted without having to resort to php code.
My searching did turn up some other alternatives, usually buried deep within the comments but everything kept pointing back to the Drupal 6 views module. I had previously downloaded the views module and had played with it a little on the local MAMP test site, I never really got anywhere, my fault for not sticking with it.
Views – Views Bonus Pack – Panels Module
With the Views Module installed, along with Views Bonus Pack and the Panels Module also installed I was closer to achieving the desired front page look I was after.
What I was after was teasers, with 1 top + 2 columns, I wanted 5 post to show on the front page only without having pagination. I wanted pagination to occur only on the blog and categories – tags.
One of the things that kind of annoyed me with the views module and really it should not have. It has to do with after making a selection you click on the update button, you would think your done “Wrong” you have to go a little further down and click save.
It did take me just a little while to figure this out, then it just makes you pause, why not just have a button save instead of update? Ok I do know that you can preview it below, personally I like to to the page in question anyway.
The settings are pretty straight forward to setup. Under basic settings select Style and chose the panel type you want, I set mine at Teasers, 1 top + 2 columns. I then set mine to Use pager: No and then to display 5 items along with the more link.
I’m sure that the same affect could be accomplished within the Advance Frontpage module, I found Views accomplish this fairly easily. I really look forward to discovering even more uses from this combination.