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I was wondering about what might be the best approach to creating a complicated home-page layout along the lines of http://www.time.com/time/

I am attempting to do so. Here is how I'm approaching it:

  • I'm using views primarily and defining tons of custom regions (I was hoping that there might be a better way)

  • I have created a custom vocabulary called "Channels". I am using this for NewsFeed, U.S., Politics and so on. Articles are placed into one of these channels

  • I have modified the "Article" content type and added a field for Channel. Also, I have added checkboxes to mark an article as "Editor's Pick", "Must Read" and "Featured Article". I am then using this as a filter in Views. That was the best way I could think of for categorizing the articles on the numerous boxes on the home page.

  • Additionally, I'm marking articles with the "headline" tag so that they show up in the "Headlines" box on the upper right corner of the http://www.time.com/time/ home page.

  • Images are scaled based on where I will be using them. (I'm using Drupal's in built functionality to scale images)

This is how far I've gotten. Since I've just started using Drupal, I was wondering if there might be a better way to do things. Appreciate any inputs.

  • Apart from just laying out the home page, I would also appreciate if someone could comment on how to structure the entire application. Is the way I am using custom vocabularies correct? Is there a better way to segregate articles? Stuff like that. – Gaurav Sharma Oct 12 '11 at 12:41
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Views, Panels are your friend.

https://drupal.org/project/panels

You can also go with Omega Context and Delta

https://drupal.org/project/omega

https://drupal.org/project/context

https://drupal.org/project/delta

There are many ways to Rome....

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  • 1
    Complicated layouts and functionality, especially for one-offs like the home page are what Panels does best. – mpdonadio Oct 12 '11 at 12:37
  • Any simple tutorial for Panels to get me started (apart from whats on drupal.org)? I'm using Drupal 7.8 – Gaurav Sharma Oct 12 '11 at 12:44
  • Not that I know of. You really just need to start playing with them to how they work and what they can do. – mpdonadio Oct 12 '11 at 12:53
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Tutorials on Panels:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v6zMcfTxkhc

http://nodeone.se/blogg/learn-page-manager-screencast-series-summed-up

The nodeone.se link will go more in depth, so I suggest starting with the YouTube link. The YouTube tutorial is D6, but it is the same in D7. NodeOne.se has Tons of tutorials that have helped me.

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I prefer using templates, custom regions, and context or just regular Drupal blocks.

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  • I would prefer templates and regions too. – Peter Smeekens Oct 18 '11 at 19:16
  • The main difference is that when using your own templates you have to write your own HTML- and PHP-codes instead of using a very comfortable GUI offered by e.g. Panels and Views, which give you the opportunity to quickly create and modify a customized and complex layout, not having to debug your own codes. BUT it is also true that writing your own templates give you even more flexibility and customization opportunities (for example I like using Custom Page module very much: drupal.org/project/custompage). It depends on the actual task and your preferences which one is the better choice. – Sk8erPeter Oct 19 '11 at 21:25
  • Yes that is true you should use what you're more comfortable with. For example I'm a themer so I'm right at home using templates and theming functions. Writing my own HTML when overriding templates gives me a lot of flexibility and allows me to have clean and semantic HTML. But I guess site builders and maybe even some developers would feel more at home using the GUI that Panels brings (which some people find very confusing). I don't know how Views allows you to create a complex layout, you need to use it either with Panels or some custom templates or regions for that. – ipwa Oct 19 '11 at 22:05

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