Notes on building core news site functionality in Drupal

If you’re even thinking about using Drupal to power any sort of news or community site, check out this explanation from Jeff Anderson, the product development manager for PilotOnline.com and HamptonRoads.com in Virginia.

(Sidenote: If you’ve never visited those sites, or HamptonRoads.tv, or looked at what the Pilot does in print, you’re seriously missing out on some innovative work – with style.)

Anderson goes over the development process, challenges, and solutions to migrating two 24/7 local news sites with full databases of stories, comments, and users from home-brewed code to fully built-out Drupal-powered beasts.

A sample, on the topic of how to deal with swarms of one-time visitors coming from the Drudges, Farks, and Diggs of the world:

“Since those events bring us a crush of out-of-market, unlogged users, the Boost module lets us serve those users flat pages – which we expire on a frequent interval – and save the database and application servers to provide dynamic content to authenticated users.”

Go read the whole thing.

Obvious bonus link: The Newspapers on Drupal group.