WebTech Monthly News – May 2022

June Drupal Training Sessions Available

Are you new to editing a Drupal site? Or are you a current Drupal user that wants to improve your editing game? There are Beginning Drupal training sessions in May and June:

  • Wednesday June 8, 9 - 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 12, 9 - 11 a.m.
  • Wednesday July 13, 9 - 11 a.m.

Learn more and reserve your spot at the Beginning Drupal training page.

Drupal Updates

Issues Resolved:

When users attempt to log out, they had experienced the inability to do so in certain circumstances. This has been resolved.

Module Updates:

  • Able Player 
  • Google Tag Manager
  • Blazy
  • Crop
  • Drupal Core

New Modules:

  • Views data export
  • REST API authentication
  • Block Scheduler

The complete Drupal Changelog.

Drupal Theme Updates

  • Forced color mode styles added
  • Content Switchers javascript updated, multiple switchers can now be added to a single page and custom element may be used
  • CDN scripting added
  • Fix for spacing helper classes
  • Files added for Azure deployments

Find out more on the Ashlar Changelog.

WordPress: Updates from CampusPress

Plugin Updates:

  • A-Z lists: Accessibility improvements.
  • Cloner: Disable copying the LTI integration options if the LMS Integration plugin is activated and configured on a site when the site is copied. 
  • Messages: Fixed possible compatibility issues with themes.

Review the CampusPress Changelog for specific details on plugin updates.

Drupal Site Building Tips

Working with Images

Drupal offers several ways to build almost everything. Adding images to the website is no exception as there are multiple ways to go about it. Adding images to the Media Library allows you to insert images within a Beyond Basics block. You can also add images using the image block. Alternatively, images can be added to improve the visual attractiveness of other more complex blocks, like the Card block, the Banner block or the Image with Description block. The question remains, under what circumstances would you want to use specific options, and why.

When to insert an image into a Beyond Basics Block, versus using an image block.

  • If you plan on using an image more than once on a website, consider using the Beyond Basic block – that is, add the image to the Media Library, and place the image within a Beyond Basic block instead of using the image block. Why? That way you won’t have to upload the image the next time you want to use it within the website. You can select and insert the image repeatedly.
  • Also, when you add alternative text to an image in the media library, that alt text follows the image. So, the next time you select and place that image from the Media Library, you don’t have to reenter the alt text.
  • If you want to wrap text around an image, use the Beyond Basic Block.
  • If you only plan to use an image once, or want to have it fill the entire space, consider using an image block. The image will fill the entire space (if the original image is as large, or larger than the space you want to display it in) as the image block controls the size of the image.

Tips on working with images and things to consider:

  • Size the image appropriately before uploading the image on the website. You cannot manually resize images within the text editor once they have been uploaded. A good rule of thumb is to reduce the image size to 800 x 600px (which also reduces the size to under 1 MB). Optimizing images on your website is a best practice for several reasons, but page speed and improved user experience are the two most important ones.
  • The image block is a great option if you are still working with the design of a page and need the ability to retain flexibility in your design. While you can still drag a BB block around the screen, it can be more cumbersome once you add text in addition to your image within the beyond basics block – if that is the intention.
  • I recommend trying both methods until you find what works best consistently with your workflow, practices, and final use of images. When wrapping text around images, consider how many columns you are working with. When working with images, one or two columns have much more flexibility than working with a three-column design.