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Many of the Drupal 7 websites I make have the same functionality (e.g. blogs, news section, special offers). At the moment, I have to re-create the content types, fields, blocks and Views each time. I am looking for a better way of working.

There seems to be a lot of modules that can help me, but I'm not sure which is the latest best practice.

Features - The module seems great for exporting content types, fields, menus and views. However, it does not seem to be able to export blocks, block positions or content.

Features extra - This module is designed for exporting blocks. However, on the project page, it says that UUID Features Integration is the future.

UUID Features Integration - This module doesn't seem to work (although A patch is available to fix things). Apparently, it has been dropped in favor of Deploy.

Deploy - This doesn't seem to work with blocks and is designed more for exporting nodes. I'm not really sure how it is a replacement for UUID Features.

Default Content - Another module that seems similar to deploy. (i.e. exports nodes)

Apps - This seems to be a completely new approach that is a replacement for features. There is very little documentation on how to use it.

StrongArm - A lot of articles state that this module is essential for getting the most out of Features. However, I'm not sure how it relates.

I have searched quite extensively, but there seems to be a lot of conflicting information,

What is the best practice for what I want to achieve?

I would also like something that would work with Drush or a GUI so I can just select if I want a new site to have a blog, news archive special offer etc when building the new site in the first place.

  • what if you setup a 'template' database. install all your stuff. create your standard views, content types etc and use some shell scripting and drush to simply deploy your template setup by copying files, turning on modules and then syncing your new project db with the template db. – au_stan Aug 13 '12 at 20:25
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There are two more options to consider:

  1. User Drush make to create your own distribution:

    Drush make is an extension to drush that can create a ready-to-use drupal site, pulling sources from various locations. It does this by parsing a flat text file (similar to a drupal .info file) and downloading the sources it describes. In practical terms, this means that it is possible to distribute a complicated Drupal distribution as a single text file.

  2. Run your sites in a multi site environment. This way you can easily reuse all installed modules and themes.

    If you are running more than one Drupal site, you can simplify management and upgrading of your sites by using the multi-site feature. Multi-site allows you to share a single Drupal installation (including core code, contributed modules, and themes) among several sites.

  • what about content types and other fields and views? – au_stan Aug 14 '12 at 13:11
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    The best thing is to put them into custom modules using features. – BetaRide Aug 14 '12 at 13:18
  • ugh. forgot about that one. so clearly the best opinion seems to be a combo of several mods? maybe worth writing something that leverages all of these together and builds your base install. – au_stan Aug 14 '12 at 13:42
  • Yes, use features to extract your types, views and fields and then go and use drush make or a multi site installation using this modules. – BetaRide Aug 14 '12 at 13:47
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    Thanks for the replies. But what about Blocks and (the regions blocks should be in) - what's the best way of handling them? – big_smile Aug 14 '12 at 15:58

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