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| Drupal

Managing comments on a busy website can get tedious if you need to login and check continually. It's very convenient to get an email with the comment text, so you can see if it's legitimate or comment spam.

To do this in Drupal we're going to use two core modules, Actions and Triggers. We'll also use the Token module to control over the content and recipients for the email

In this tutorial we're going to use Actions, Triggers and Tokens to show you how to automatically send customized emails from Drupal.

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| Drupal

drupal nodequeue orderThere are various ways to create lists of nodes in Drupal. So what's different about the Nodequeue Module?

Nodequeue allows you to manually control the order of your nodes. You can use drag and drop to re-order a list of nodes. Whereas a module like Views will automatically publish all of your nodes that meet certain criteria, Nodequeue allows you to control the order of those nodes.

Nodequeue is very often used for slideshows and other site features where you need to choose which articles to show.

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| WordPress

Have you ever experienced Microsoft's famous Blue Screen Of Death? Well, WordPress has its own version commonly called the White Screen Of Death.

You are most likely to see this after upgrading WordPress to a new version, adding a plugin or a theme. 

It is possible to turn on debug mode to find the problem, but that won't really help if all you can see is a blank screen. Here are some ways in which you can recover from the White Screen of Death.

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| OSToolbar
  • OSToolbarAre you an OSTraining member? We've got great news for you: we released a new and greatly-improved version of OSToolbar Pro.
  • Are you not an OSTraining member yet? We've got great news for you: we released a completely version called OSToolbar Free.

Are you not sure what the OSToolbar is?

  • The OSToolbar lets you and your users watch video tutorials inside all of your Joomla or WordPress sites.
  • The OSToolbar is released as a Joomla extension and a WordPress plugin.
  • You can watch the videos directly within your Joomla or WordPress admin area.
  • You can use it on as many sites as you want.

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| Web Design

No matter what CMS we're teaching, when we come to talking about themes and designs, one question always comes up quickly: "How do I make a dropdown menu"?

In this tutorial we're going to help you understand some of the jargon surrounding multi-level menus. After all, when people talk about "dropdown menus" they are often describing just one of many different types of multi-level menu.

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| WordPress

Right before we jump into this tutorial, we’d like to mention an alternative method that you might find both faster and easier. As you know WordPress as a CMS relies on plugins to extend its core functionality, and one such plugin for this use case is Modula. Modula is an easy-to-use WordPress gallery plugin that makes adding flexible photo and video galleries to your website easier than ever. You can learn more about Modula by clicking here or get started right away by downloading the free plugin from the WordPress plugin repository by clicking here.

There are tens of thousands of plugins on WordPress.org, but it's amazing how much you can get done with the WordPress core and just a plugin or two.

In this tutorial we're going to show you how to create a sleek photo gallery with elegant pop-ups, all using just a default WordPress site plus only one plugin.

Step 1. Add a new post or new page

  • Click Add New for either a post or a page.
  • Click the Upload/Insert icon.

Step 2. Add a list of images to that page or post

  • Open your file explorer and drag and drop a group of photos to the " Drop files here" Box.
  • If you are successful, the image files will be listed and you will see progress bars to show you they're uploading.
  • When every one is uploaded, click Save all changes at the bottom of the list. Scroll down to see it if it's not visible.
  • There will now be gallery tab at the top of the window. This tab is specific to this page or post. If you add a new page or post, you won't see this tab until you have uploaded pictures.

Step 3. Adjust settings and add the gallery

  • Scroll to the bottom of the window.
  • Choose your Gallery Settings.
  • Click Insert gallery.

Step 4. Customize the page

  • Now you will see a gallery icon in the center of the area where you inserted your gallery.
  • You can insert text or images above or below this section to customize the page.

Step 5. View the page to see the gallery

  • The thumbnails will show based on the settings you chose.

So far so good. However, if you click on the individual images, all you see are the images flat on the page. To get a really nice pop-up effect, we'll need to add a plugin.

Step 6. Add the lightbox effect

  • Go to Plugins > Add New.
  • Search for "jQuery Lightbox For Native Galleries".
  • Install Now.
  • Activate the Plugin.
  • Go to Settings > jQuery Lightbox.
  • Choose your theme.
  • View your gallery and click a thumbnail. Your images will pop up on a light box with navigation control and image count.


You now have a photo gallery with a lightbox effect installed. You can make further enhancements with additional plugins. For example you can create Multiple Galleries with this extension http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/multiple-galleries/.

| Drupal

fistThere is one question we get time and time and again from developers who are new to Drupal: "How do I create a staging environment for my sites?"

They want to know how to create a development site / test site / live site setup. It's not easy to do.

In fact, at the moment, I can realistically tell them to do only one of three things:

  • Wait for Drupal 8.
  • Try Acquia hosting.
  • Try the newly-released Pantheon hosting.

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PHP ClassAbout two months ago we asked our members what course they wanted us to add. PHP was the clear winner.

Why PHP? It's the key coding language behind Joomla, WordPress and Drupal. Without a solid knowledge of PHP, it's hard to edit anything on your site except what can be done via the user interface.

Today, we're delighted to release our PHP course and to welcome a great new teacher to OSTraining.

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| Drupal

When you create a feature like a photo gallery, slideshow, blog or forum for Drupal, it involves installation of quite a few individual modules. In addition, each module often requires a lot of configuration.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could just create a feature just once and reuse it time and again, no matter how many modules and much configuration it needs?

That's the goal of the Features Module for Drupal. Create something once. Re-use it easily on as many sites as you wish.

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| WordPress

"Taxonomy" is a confusing word and one that many people don't like. It's hard to remember, it contains the word "tax", and it sounds like a little too much like "taxidermy" for comfort.

However, recently WordPress has adopted the word "taxonomy" as an additional way to organize information in more advanced ways than can be done with tags and categories.

In this example, we're going to show you how to create a full staff directory. After reading this tutorial, you'll be able to create a page for your company, sub-pages for each department in your company and finally place all your staff members into a department.

| General

joomla 25 upgrade contestOne of our teachers, Gabe Wahhab, runs a Joomla development company called Savvy Panda. They're based up in Milwaukee in the USA and they do great work.

They also have a cool competition going on: they're giving away a free Joomla 2.5 Upgrade.

To help the winner make the most of their 2.5 site, they'll also get:

  • A set up of sh404SEF, the top SEO extenison for Joomla.
  • Their site mobilized by the excellent Mobile Joomla.
  • 6 months of membership to OSTraining.

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There's a time for hard work and preparation and there's a time for shipping.

It's great to be able to say that we're going to be able to ship a lot of cool stuff to you in the next few weeks. Here's an overview of what's coming from OSTraining in April and May.

Believe it or not, there's actually more great stuff to come, but we're sworn to secrecy for now.

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Joomla 2.5 Template Design ClassWe're happy to launch the third of our in-depth courses for Joomla 2.5: Template Design.

Creating a fantastic look and feel for your Joomla site is important. You can buy templates, or even download and use free ones. But if you really want a unique look, you have to create one that really highlights your site's content.

This class will take you step-by-step from an initial design to a finished template.

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| WordPress

Custom Content Type ManagerOver the last few years people have been pushing the boundaries of WordPress as a CMS.

One of the most important boundaries has been only having posts and pages as option for your content. Custom Content Type Manager (CTM) is a plugin that allows you to go much further.

CTM allows you to create custom post types and add fields to them. You can add images checkboxes, textareas, and dropdowns and much more. And you can do all of this with little to no coding knowledge.

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| Drupal

[UPDATE] We now have a detailed video class covering all the important aspects of using Organic Groups.

Organic Groups (OG) is the social networking solution for Drupal. It forms the basis of http://groups.drupal.org and also powers Drupal Commons, the widely used social networking distribution.

OG allows users to create and manage their own groups. Other members can then join those groups and share content either privately or publicly.

Two notes of caution before we start:

  1. OG is a powerful solution but not for the faint of heart. To use it, you will need a good understanding of Drupal, plus Views and Panels as well.
  2. There are some major differences between the Drupal 6 version and the new Drupal version.

Here's an introduction to OG for Drupal 7. Click here for our tutorial on Organic Groups for Drupal 6.

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