My experience with Drupal

My experience with Drupal

Tips and Tricks, Updates, Web Design

In order to become better in what they do, one must take up challenges and keep in mind the lessons learnt from them. You cannot stick to one task alone and expect to grow. That is insanity

far-cry-3-vaasDid I ever tell you what the definition of insanity is? Insanity is doing the exact… same f*ing thing… over and over again expecting… s|~|!t to change…

– Vaas

 

 

So now that we have cleared that up..let’s move on

In one of my recent projects I was asked to create a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for internal use. Let us first define what exactly is a CRM is ?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth.

In a nutshell, I am to create a software generally used by the sales and marketing executives. Challenge Accepted.

I have usually worked on WordPress, but for this software I felt WordPress wasn’t the right choice. We needed something better than that. It wasn’t a going to just a small website that the managers can play around with and then call the IT company developers when they  f*ck it up or make shitty customization requests for it. No, this was going to be a serious business software which would house all the contact information extracted by the research team. For a serious software like this, We needed something…more. Therefore I decided to go with Drupal

If by any chance you have been living under a rock, Here’s what we call as Drupal

Drupal is free, open source software that can be used by individuals or groups of users — even those lacking technical skills — to easily create and manage many types of Web sites. The application includes a content management platform and a development framework.

The Scenario

Create a CRM software to store massive customer contact information. The software should preferably be offline as it is to be used in-house by the managers. Also, Data security is a priority.

Solution Recommended

CRM software with Drupal CMS

Steps Taken

  • Research about CRM, its modules, activities and available solutions
  • Testing the software locally on XAMPP
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion

Analysis

Although the software did not workout as planned, I did find some considerable differences between WordPress and Drupal, which has raised my respect for Drupal

Usability

Although Drupal is harder to learn from WordPress, what it lacks in learning it covers up in its power to give control to the users and administrators to enhance the website’s security

Modules

Like WordPress has plugins, Drupal has modules. The wonderful thing about modules I found was that not only they are lightweight (most of them being less then 1 mb ) but you can switch them off like a bulb in your home ( How cool is that; Try disabling a plugin in WordPress without messing up your website)

Not for your average customer

Since Drupal takes quite some effort setting up, knowing the terminolgy, mastering the controls and getting used to, its not really the choice of the clients who want a website in 2 days or less. Its no wonder that The White House is a part of the Drupal portfolio

Seperate Front View and Admin View

If you want to seperate your website view from your admin section or completely change the look of your admin view, Drupal lets you do that.The looks are good too. WordPress doesn’t give many customization options for the admin section.

Lack of backward compatibilty

The only con I found in Drupal was that it was not compatible with its previous versions; this is a feature WordPress has created fantastically,hands down. If you have a Drupal 6 website and want to upgrade, consider it that you are going to be restructuring your website. Last I saw, the latest version, Drupal 8, does not have many modules upgraded from Drupal 7, so you might want to put those upgrade plans on hold or get your developers to contribute.

Conclusion

I feel that Drupal is much more powerful than WordPress and create any kind of website without much of the hassle. If only you get through the initial phase of learning and Drupal is successful with backwards compatibility, we can have more professional, more secure and much more amazing websites that will be irresistable to our customers and it will be like having an amazing business partner.

Commandments of Good Web Design

Commandments of Good Web Design

Updates, Web Design

Websites have gained more importance than ever before. Not only are you viewing them on your laptop, mobile or tablet but the website having their own app means a new step towards brand recognition. No matter what your website is about or what kind of business you are in, your website’s look is of critical importance and plays an important role in attracting customers.

There are certain rules of the web design game that have been accepted by many established Designers and brands. If you still haven’t been following these rules, somebody needs to drag your ass out from under that bloody rock

 Without further ado, here are the 10 (or more) Commandments of Good Web Design

1. Thou shalt not abuse Flash.

Adobe’s (ADBE) popular Web animation technology powers everything from the much-vaunted Nike (NKE) Plus Web site for running diehards to many humdrum banner advertisements. But the technology can easily be abused—excessive, extemporaneous animations confuse usability and bog down users’ Web browsers.

2. Thou shalt not hide content.

Advertisements may be necessary for a site’s continued existence, but usability researchers say pop-ups and full-page ads that obscure content hurt functionality—and test a reader’s willingness to revisit. Elective banners—that expand or play audio when a user clicks on them—are much less intrusive.

3. Thou shalt not clutter.

The Web may be the greatest archive of all time, but sites that lack a coherent structure make it impossible to wade through information. Amazon.com (AMZN) and others put their sites’ information hierarchy at the top of their list of design priorities.

4. Thou shalt create immersive experiences.

Merely looking good doesn’t cut it anymore. Sites like Facebook and YouTube draw in users with compelling content and functionality. Creating Web sites that can capture and hold users’ attention is what matters most.

8. Thou shalt be social.

Designers and Developers must work together to make the website as engaging as possible. The more engaging, interesting and addictive the website is, the more people will talk about you and show it to their friends. If you are actively social and your website does something great, your website’s trend will spread like wildfire in a jungle.

9. Thou shalt embrace proven technologies.

Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, and their cohorts have become a part of daily life. Sites that can incorporate these elements into their design will connect with users in a meaningful way by providing functionality and an interface with which they’re already familiar.

10. Thou shalt make content king.

Though the slogan is old, it still stands. Aesthetic design can only go so far in making a site successful. Beautiful can’t make up for empty.

11. Thou Shalt Entertain

Have fun. We spend a lot of time thinking about accessibility, usability, performance, all that good stuff …but we sometimes forget about making it delightful and entertaining—the kind of thing that TV people have to think of all the time.

When creating a website for a client, it is easy to overlook humor. Playful designs can often become coding nightmares that creatives would rather avoid. The good news is that  web-based entertainment does not have to be complex (or even brilliant). For example, Canada’s New Democratic Party website turned a technical error into an opportunity to promote their message. When a broken link redirected web surfers to a 404 Error page, they were met with the following message: “Ottawa’s broken. And so is this link. We’re working to fix both.” The result is funny, pointed and makes visitors feel like they are interacting with a personality instead of a computer.

12.  Thou Shalt Test Everything (Even Assumptions)

Google the words “SEO tips” and the search engine returns with more than 43 million hits in .37 seconds. Since it is unlikely that all those pages are full of carefully curated information on how to get more people to your page, it’s understandable why there is so much misinformation about what works and what doesn’t. In addition to getting potentially erroneous information online, people also tend to assume that people exhibit the same habits as themselves on the interwebs. Thus,  we must test different web elements to make sure they are intuitive for the majority of the people who visit your site. 

13. Thou Shalt Iterate

Consider the following quote by Milton Glaser: “I move things around until they look right.” When designing for the web, this method still should ring true. Repeatedly moving things around until they look right is the best way to find what works for your audience. 

14. Thou Shall Prioritize

We’ve all been there: You call a meeting to discuss a project and end up discussing everything but the project. Getting sidetracked, brainstorming ideas that end up not being feasible due to budget or time constraints, etc. are all time wasters that no one has the patience for. The solution? Get better at prioritizing. One of the best sources for learning how to do this at the very first kickoff meeting is Kevin M. Hoffman’s Kick Ass Kickoff Meetings post on A List Apart. Read it. Learn it. Live it.

5. Engage Thy Community

Instagram did a poor job of relating their change of terms of service. This was actually pretty good for Flickr, who had just launched their great iPhone app.

Big companies buy small companies to get the cachet that the small companies have. “Isn’t that right?”, Jeffrey asks Rey. “Yes.”

Fonts.com are beginning to get more playful and engage with the type community. It’ll never be as cool as something like Dribbble (because fonts.com is a big company) but they can still push things forward.

The Happy Cog website has comments via Twitter (because, hey, who comments on blogs anymore?). A List Apart has embeddable comments: you can take a comment with you and embed it on your own website.

6. Love Thy User As Thyself

The first five commandments are really about this: knowing your user, and making sure they have a good experience, regardless of browser or device. Be responsive — not just in the technical definition of responsive web design, but in your mindset. Don’t make dumb assumptions just because someone is using a phone.

7. Remember The Content

Jeffrey brings up my blog post about Content First. And, of course, Mark has been writing about A Richer Canvas. Jeffrey took our words and wrote about them thusly: put the content first always. Instead of asking “Where should we put the sidebar?”, ask “Do we need a sidebar?”

Karen McGrane talks about content strategy for mobile and how it is literally becoming the law of the land: governments are mandating that content must be accessible on mobile. You don’t want to be the test case in a law suit.

10. To Thine Own Self Be True

Ah, the old Hay.net site: have hay, need hay. The site has since changed, but it’s still about hay. It didn’t “pivot.”

Smart talented people get promoted to being directors, but they might not be as good or as happy at that.

11. Think For Yourself

A bonus eleventh commandment. Don’t be a lemming.

 

What would you choose for your website ?

What would you choose for your website ?

Custom Design, Updates, Web Design

When it comes to website development , you have a range of options in front of you. Beautiful designs, amazing features, great content…. you can go on and on. You have decided that you want a website for your blog, business or just for something you love. I made this website (and I still work on it) to learn about web design, programming, show photoshop stuff etc. and I love every bit of it

Whether you are making it on your own, are a developer or have hired one, knowing the core your website from the start can save you much trouble . Assuming you are just somebody that doesnt know a thing about website languages, I present to you the most common website development languages of the web. Ill try to explain as to which website code should make your site and why but ultimately, its your decision. If you disagree with the list, you are free to make your won suggestions 

Ready? still here…?? Ah good, then we can continue.

The languages I am about to differentiate are – 

  • HTML
  • PHP
  • JAVA
  • WORDPRESS

Please note that although wordpress is not a programming language, I still included it as millions of people use it to create website. I wont be discussing CSS (Cascading Style Sheets ) since its a supportive language in  my believe. You can still have a website without CSS; a damn ugly one. I am not including any other CMSes other than wordpress, but you are free to suggest it in the comments or show me a website where it worked for you.

Now that we have made it clear…and you are still here…lets move on

 html-php-java-wordpress

 

I hope this helps you take a better decision for creating your new website or revamping your existing one

Cafe Website Design

Cafe Website Design

Custom Design, Just for Fun, Templates, Updates, Web Design

I made this template keeping mind that the users of today browse through the next generation phones and tablets. This also means that the website will be responsive  (which is a must nowadays). Though there were a lot of inspirations on the web, I wanted to keep it simple and beautiful. I’m sure somebody else could make a better design of the same theme, but I am proud of it. Dedicated to my college friend, Mona

monas-mocha
Mona’s Mocha – The Stylish Cafe