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How to Keep Your Drupal 8 Site Alive: A Guide for the Compleat Idiot

October 27 10:15 AM-11:00 AM

Watch the session video here.

Everyone loves Drupal but sometimes things go horribly wrong, often in spectacular and mysterious ways. Using real-world examples from more than a decade of building and troubleshooting high-profile Drupal websites, this session will provide a common sense overview for what do to when things go south. Whether you are new to Drupal or a seasoned pro looking to level up your troubleshooting game, this session will provide hard-earned lessons, techniques, and strategies for getting your broken site back on the road. 

You will learn:

  • The most common D8 disaster scenarios and how to avoid them

  • The tips-and-tricks nobody ever told you

  • What to do when you inherit a less-than-perfect Drupal build

  • How to diagnose the strange and unknown

  • What to do when Google doesn’t have the answer

  • How to search code/database for critical clues

  • How to find, read, and understand your log files

  • When to use Dblog vs Syslog vs server logs

  • How to conquer the White Screen of Death (WSOD)

  • How and why you should be using a debugger/IDE

  • How to cope when Composer or Git go rogue

This session is in tribute to UC Berkeley engineering graduate John Muir, who in 1969 published a cult DIY classic called How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive: A Manual of Step-by-Step Procedures for the Compleat Idiot (aka the “Idiot’s Guide"). Muir’s book takes the mystery out of diagnosing and fixing complex auto problems, and it kept me on the road for more than 10 years of catastrophic Volkswagen breakdowns in far-away locations.

Keeping a Drupal site alive and understanding its mysterious ways is more than a little like keeping an air-cooled VW on the road. They both have uniquely human spirits, and sometimes need an unorthodox nudge to get things back on track. Using the same principles of clear language, personal anecdotes, and lessons learned that are abundant in Muir's book, this session will provide heaps of helpful information and take the mystery out of diagnosing, fixing, and maintaining your Drupal site when things go bad.

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