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Various Ways To Display Adsense Ads on Drupal 4.7

Over the last year, as Drupal developed, and the Google Adsense module grew with it, I have posted several ways on how to display ads on a site. One of them use the flexiblock module, the other uses the new 4.7 "regions" feature.

Today, I am going to describe two easy ways of displaying ads on your site, one that does not require any coding, and another that requires a little bit of that, but does use the new built in blocks of the adsense module.

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Drupal Modules: Too Much Of A Good Thing?

One of Drupal's best features is the ever growing number of contributed modules written for it. These modules do so many clever things, ranging from stock quotes to "talk like a pirate".

This plethora of modules is definitely a blessing, but can also be a curse. Clients often ask us to install a gazillion modules, and we try to explain for them the realities. As for modules, my advice in general is not to go overboard with modules.

Here is why we recommend against new Drupal users installing too many modules.

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Upgrading From Old pre-4.6 Drupal Releases To 4.7

Some Drupal site owners, for various reasons, do not stay up to date on Drupal releases. As release after release come out, they lag more and more behind. Old releases not only lack new functionality, but can have security issues that can be exploited by hackers.

Site owners who lag behind are faced with a formidable task. The reason is that 4.7 only has support for upgrading from 4.6 only, but not older releases.

Of course, there is always a way to do this.The following article is based on recent work we did for a a client who asked me to upgrade his old 4.3.1 install (from end of 2003!)

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Using Cron As An SSH Alternative

For someone used to the command line, using SSH is the easiest and fastest way to get things done for a client. This includes dumping a database, loading a database from a dump, moving files, creating an archive, ... etc.

The need for SSH

At 2bits, we always insist that a client has SSH enabled before we do any work. In reality, some on shared hosting cannot get it because their hosting company do not have it for their plan, or for other reasons.

This leaves us in a frustrating situation sometimes, and we have to find alternatives to do certain things.

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Google Adsense module gets new features

We are pleased to announce that we have committed a new version of the Drupal Adsense module to the contributed modules repository at Drupal.org.

The release has some new features, including:

  • Added five pre-defined blocks that are easily configurable by the site admin without the need to use any PHP code. This is a major usability improvement for many site owners.
  • Added a new "test mode" that ensures Adsense is working correctly specially when setting up revenue sharing.
  • The Adsense client ID is now stored in a profile field, both for site owner as well as other users.
  • Added a block tag, instead of flexiblock, since that module is not needed much in 4.7 with the new block regions feature.
  • Increased number of ad groups (type, color, ..e.tc.) from 3 to 5.
  • Increased the number of channels from 3 to 7.
  • Updated the online help and instructions, and made it collapsible/collapsed by default, so it is not in the way.
  • Separated the online help in its own file to save memory and overhead.
  • Added version information and date in the setting page, so users know what they are running.

We plan to start a community on Adsense and other modules we authored here at 2bits.com soon.

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