Launching Early with Drupal 7



January 28, 2011

We've been very busy working on Drupal 7 enhancements for the last two years.  It's gotten really hectic around our office in the last few months so we're not able to devote the time we wanted to launch a flashy new design.  We've got a new design in the works to replace the one we set up back in early 2007 when Drupal 5 came out, but we've been prioritizing our efforts on getting to our clients sites rather than finishing up ours.  

Given that we're not going to be able to launch the new design in January, I've decided that we'll workshop this process and document our process & enhancements along the way.  Like so many busy organizations we haven't been able to invest the time in doing regular enhancements to the look & functionality of our site.  Keeping up with our blog has been a challenge, and our site just hasn't really kept up.  We have recommended clients that they skip releases of Drupal to mitigate costs.  Doing a major upgrade every 2-3 years is just too expensive for most organizations.  However, sites should always be changing to reflect the needs of both the organizations & the individuals they serve.  We are going to begin the process of documenting what we do more formally.  

We'd gotten very tired of our old site and we're far from happy with how the site looks right now, but figure that we don't have much to loose.  As ugly as the current theme is, it demonstrates what can come from the new Bartik theme, with almost no customizations.  This theme adds some nice accessibility enhancements over our existing site, but also has nice rounded tabs for a more modern navigation.  The read more link should have an impact on SEO and also help move our site closer to WCAG 2.0 AA.  

Please add your comments, we could really use your input in the process of upgrading our site.

About The Author

Mike Gifford is the founder of OpenConcept Consulting Inc, which he started in 1999. Since then, he has been particularly active in developing and extending open source content management systems to allow people to get closer to their content. Before starting OpenConcept, Mike had worked for a number of national NGOs including Oxfam Canada and Friends of the Earth.