TechHui

Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

All things Drupal -- questions, modules, installation, themeing --- Introduce yourself

Greetings everyone. I have been a web developer since 1999 and I absolutely love the power of the web to connect all of us. I have recently taken my company, 10K Webdesign, towards a Drupal approach for most of our new projects.

I like the Drupal "Acquia" distribution-- it's very powerful for the types of communities we serve (public agencies, nonprofits, small business, membership directories).

I am interested in connecting with others and listing out resources, references, and people who can work together on new Drupal projects.

Please take a moment to introduce yourself, ask a question, or post a response.

Thank you!

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PS) I am on Moloka'i and as I said, we do web development for both mainland and Hawaii clients. http://www.linkedin.com/in/monicaflores
Welcome to TechHui monica. I've used Drupal before and I thought it was a nice system but I feel more comfortable with Wordpress. Any key issues why you would choose Drupal over Wordpress? Curious.
Hey Gus, I direct you to: http://www.nonprofittechblog.org/towards-a-new-kind-of-nonprofit-we....

We do use Wordpress for sites that require straight blogging and page management. I've found that the themeing options are much more slick/beautiful for Wordpress to date.... but for sites that need more customized content types, say a site that has: announcements, blogs, press releases, videos, calendar of events, trouble tickets, and member profiles, then Wordpress gets unwieldy as it is really only built to handle only blog entries (posts) and pages.

Also, I've found that if a client wants multi - user blogs, (not multiple users contributing to one blog, but multiple users maintaining separate blogs), Wordpress MU is still new/still working out, whereas Drupal will handle this as Drupal is built on the idea of a multi-member community.

That Said: I do think Wordpress is a fine fix for a smaller site, a site that doesn't need too much tweaking, and someone who wants something right away and doesn't anticipate building out their site to do much more than pages and posts. My latest Wordpress site: http://www.bergerlodise.com

Includes a multi-twitter-user feed, customized sidebars, and the RSS feeds from Feedburner to Twitter.
Nice article, thanks Monica
Hi Monica, I've used Drupal for quite some time now and it has become my CMS of choice. Recently, after a few weeks trying to figure out how to go about themeing, I made my first Zen sub-theme. What kind of workflow do you use to create themes? So far I've just been starting in Photoshop, slicing it up, recreating it in Dreamweaver with CSS, creating a Zen subtheme with Zenophile, then finally putting it all together in the CSS and TPL files.

I suppose there's some simpler ways of doing it like through Drupal Gardens, PSD2CSS, or Artisteer.
Hi Maika --- I like to use Framework http://drupal.org/project/framework (the equivalent of Blueprint for Wordpress) as a *starting* theme, it's just a blank canvas with some stock regions defined.

And then we, too, do the Photoshop option ---> cut it up into a straight HTML/CSS, then match to a page.tpl.php and set of CSS files, ---> we always have to educate the client about having their content divs be in specific regions: the typical regions we utilize are:

Header
Header 2 (sometimes, like if there's a secondary section under the header)
Content Top *
Content
Left Sidebar
Right Sidebar
Footer
Footer 2 (sometimes, like for ads or additional info)

*(sometimes we like to put some additional blocks just *above* the "Content" section, for example, if we want to put a contact address block *above* the regular contact form, we create a page-> make a view called contact info -> make a block called contact info, and stick it to be "only visible" on the /contact page within "Content Top")


So when we organize the different pieces of information on the page, we always encourage the client to think about blockiness---> like, what will go in the left sidebar, if any? what will go in the right sidebar, if any? what can go in the middle content section? How does the front page differ from additoinal pages?

Then any div-specific decoration can go on a per- div basis within the stylesheet.

A big question our customers always have is if there are limitations on design when using Drupal (that is, many Drupal sites available are not so clean, not so pretty, not so interesting, etc. etc.) and I suppose it's true that design-wise, there are not yet a lot of designers who are familiar/comfortable with handling the "blockiness". I think that would be a great place for existing and new web designers to start focusing on -> learning how to theme directly for Wordpress and Drupal, and understanding how those types of sites are put together.

Resources: Design 4 Drupal http://design4drupal.org had their first unconference camp last year, out of Boston

and they have a Group here, mostly about overall design, not so much themeing issues:
http://groups.drupal.org/design-drupal

and I sometimes give clients a look at http://www.drupalmuseum.com to get an idea of what is possible within the limitations of a block within a block within a block ;-)



Maika Saguid said:
Hi Monica, I've used Drupal for quite some time now and it has become my CMS of choice. Recently, after a few weeks trying to figure out how to go about themeing, I made my first Zen sub-theme. What kind of workflow do you use to create themes? So far I've just been starting in Photoshop, slicing it up, recreating it in Dreamweaver with CSS, creating a Zen subtheme with Zenophile, then finally putting it all together in the CSS and TPL files.

I suppose there's some simpler ways of doing it like through Drupal Gardens, PSD2CSS, or Artisteer.
Hi Monica, quick question for ya. In terms of speed and scalability. How do you think Drupal, specifically the Acquia distribution compares to Wordpress. If both, systems used a cache and a CDN, do you think there's an advantage to one or the other?
Well, ask a Drupal developer, get a Drupal answer. I think you want to figure out if the site is going to have more than pages and posts (eventually). If it *will* have more content types, like announcements, alerts, job postings, member profile, member blogs, etc., then I think it would be advantageous to you to start out with Drupal so you can create new content types on the fly and grow the site organically, also add extended user profiles and user member interactions (e.g. friending, following, flagging, bookmarking, etc.)

But if it's a blog site --- pages and posts --- for one user or multiple users on one blog, just stick with Wordpress --- the themes are nice and it's easy cheesy simpler.

Speedwise are we talking about the time to load pages or the time to install and configure the site? Again, both of these are similar --- I think it takes about 5-7 hours for an initial Wordpress installation with all my favorite plugins and some modifications to the theme, but about 8-10 hours for a beginnning Drupal configuration with my favorite modules and Views.

Page loading wise, I think both of those being built on a LAMP stack will have any/all issues related to load balancing on the servers, server hardware, etc.

Scalability, both of them do well for their respective cases ---- so Drupal can easily add new content types and new "nodes", and Wordpress can easily add new pages and posts.


Gus Higuera said:
Hi Monica, quick question for ya. In terms of speed and scalability. How do you think Drupal, specifically the Acquia distribution compares to Wordpress. If both, systems used a cache and a CDN, do you think there's an advantage to one or the other?
There is also the PSD2HTML.com service where you can upload your Photoshop PSD file and they convert it to a theme. But I've found that the theme (usually) still has to be worked on because of the reality of tableless design and the reality of end clients wanting to add additional blocks here and there.

I think it would still be better to go with a tableless theme like Framework to get started on, and then cut up the PSD yourself, then work with the developer to match the design to the functional specs.

Maika Saguid said:
Hi Monica, I've used Drupal for quite some time now and it has become my CMS of choice. Recently, after a few weeks trying to figure out how to go about themeing, I made my first Zen sub-theme. What kind of workflow do you use to create themes? So far I've just been starting in Photoshop, slicing it up, recreating it in Dreamweaver with CSS, creating a Zen subtheme with Zenophile, then finally putting it all together in the CSS and TPL files.

I suppose there's some simpler ways of doing it like through Drupal Gardens, PSD2CSS, or Artisteer.
Thanks, Monica. Very useful information.
Let's do a test version somewhere so you can play. Have you heard of DrupalGardens.com? That is like a hosted version of Drupal 7 , a la Wordpress.com

Gus Higuera said:
Thanks, Monica. Very useful information.

Monica

 

Thanks for starting this discussion.

 

I build a lot on Wordpress, and using a code framework helps get projects off the ground fast. Reusing code bits is a sign of an efficient web architect. Thanks for sharing Framework for Drupal.

 

Furthermore, PSD to ________ (fill in the blank CMS) services are also good ways to get projects moving from the development environment to the live environment fast. Any web service provider who is focused on return on investment for their clients,  knows that getting a site built and live as effectively as possible allows for it to be marketed sooner, and then the client sees results sooner, and you have the ability to focus on continued traffic, leads, sales which make the client happy and gives you a long term revenue stream...

 

I'm currently looking to partner with a local Drupal shop on several current projects & future ones. Most of what I do is marketing and ROI based. If anyone has some silky smooth skill with Drupal, please contact me – I want to bring you some business.

 

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