Reviewed on 2012-05-03
After a successful Drupal install, you will need to setup a cron job to index the site regularly. Site search and RSS aggregation rely on regular site indexing. There are several ways to accomplish this, which are detailed below.
The Scheduling Service is now live at https://tools.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/scheduler - it has greatly simplified the process of setting up cron.
curl -sS https://www.stanford.edu/path/to/your/drupal/installation/cron.php(See note below on where to find the URL to use for Drupal 7)
Configuring your cron job
Another solution is to use the Poor Man's Cron module.
Advantages: Reliable, and it's configured from within your Drupal user interface.
Disadvantages: It's one more Drupal module to load, install, configure, and update; it also relies on a page request (any page request) to trigger the cron script.
While Drupal 7 has poor man's cron functionality built-in, it's still recommended to have the scheduling service run cron for your site instead. A cron key (to prevent others from running cron on your site) is created for your site during installation (it looks like this: cron.php?cron_key=QVAouqsLW1_gxco4K1a4gfebVeOmPuNp7h-mxN3NBvQ) . You can find this key and the full URL to cron.php under "Reports / Status" at admin/reports/status.