Drupal: The Importance of Cron and How to configure Crontabs.

Tag: Cron, Crontabs, Durpal, Performance, Security, Website

Drupal cron configuration is one of the most overlooked aspects of a solid Drupal Website implementation. Most Drupal newbies only run cron when they are in the process of performing an upgrade or module installation. It is my belief that it is imperative to have crontabs setup to automate cron jobs for several reasons. It would be impossible to have a secure, up to date and well performing Website without cron.

The standard Drupal cron function is provided by the cron.php file. This file can be found in the root directory of your Drupal installation. To run a cron job manually, you can simply call the file directly by its URL "http://www.yoursite.com/cron.php". Or in Drupal 6 "/admin/reports/status/run-cron". This is fine for occasional use, but to fully take advantage of cron, you will need to setup crontabs.

To set up crontabs, you will first need to log into CPanel for your site. Then locate the Cron Jobs icon under your Advanced tab. Click the Cron Job icon to open the configuration page. From the common settings list select the interval to perform the cron job. I would suggest twice daily to start. Next you will need to enter your Command. The example syntax is as follows.

/usr/bin/curl -s "http://www.yoursite.com/cron.php"

Save these values and you are done.

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