About the Bobbing Wide web development blogs
At the time of writing the version of Drupal being used is 6.20 ( from drupal.org/project/drupal )
The blogs use the same style (aka theme) as the main Bobbing Wide website ( www.bobbingwide.com)
The Bobbing Wide web development blogs have multiple purposes:
- To talk about web development.
- Tests environment for functionality intended for the Bobbing Wide site, or any other Drupal site developed by
- Bobbing Wide, if that site does not have its own environment.
And the dot co dot uk site has a list books that I use for web development, a FAQ, and forums for Artisteer, WordPress and Drupal.
Since a lot of cloning has gone on between sites there is quite a bit of duplicated content.
Overtime the delineation of content will become clearer... hopefully.
What is web development?
When I started Bobbing Wide, I wasn't using any Content Management Systems (CMS). I simply developed sites using XHTML, CSS and PHP. Using the PHP programming language I developed routines to make it easy for me to write pages, create menus and links and other nice stuff that would require a lot of hand cranked HTML. So at that time I would have considered web development to be the programming side of websites.
Nowadays, I primarily work with two different CMS's.
- Drupal - an Open Source Content Management System
- WordPress -blog tool and publishing platform.
These tools can make it a lot easier to create and arrange content. Plus they open your website up to the world of interactivity and sharing - part of web 2.0
So web development for me has become more about configuration than coding.
However, the 'official' documentation for many of the Drupal modules and WordPress plugins often doesn't show you the look and feel that you can achieve when using them.
So it's still very hard work to do something for the first time
and I still do have to do some coding.
In fact, some of the coding has become a lot harder!
Therefore, the blogging part of this site will mainly focus on the use of Drupal and WordPress and the different packages (e.g. Ubercart for e-commerce) , modules (e.g. Views) and plugins (e.g. Fast and Secure Contact form) used by Bobbing Wide when developing, enhancing and maintaining websites for our customers in order to satisfy the requirements of the web design.
What is web design?
Web design is more about how you want something to look and behave rather than how to do it.
But it's not just a pretty display. A site can look beautiful... but it still must achieve its objectives.
And, of course it should go without saying, that you want people to be able to find your site, and once they've found it they should be able to use it, willingly.
So if you're more interested in web design or you particularly want to learn how to do things in WordPress then you may find www.Bobbing Widewebdesign.com more appropriate, as that is a WordPress site.
Why did we replace the original Bobbing Wide site?
As noted above, the Bobbing Wide dot com site was hand cranked. It did not have a database so only allowed the information to be viewed in one form. We're now promoting sites developed using WordPress (for smaller simpler sites) or Drupal, with Ubercart for e-commerce.
So it makes sense to practise what we preach.
But I couldn't simply replace the site. Instead I developed the replacement as
Bobbing Widewebdevelopment.com, then when the time was right, archived the original site to
Bobbing Widepcsupport.co.uk ( a spare domain name ) and then cloned Bobbing Wide web development to Bobbing Wide (dot com).
Why choose Drupal over WordPress?
I chose Drupal with Ubercart as the CMS for the Bobbing Wide website replacement for a number of reasons.
- I know it better. I've got more experience with it ...and that also explains why I didn't choose Joomla, Magento.
- I think that when used in conjunction with Ubercart, Drupal is more suited to e-Commerce than Wordpress with the e-Commerce plugin (for instance). Same reason as above really... I have experience.
- I believe that some out of the box functionality is better. e.g. being able to choose on which page(s) a particular block should appear.
- But I do appreciate that (in its current form) Drupal is not as easy to administer as WordPress.
- In my opinion it's easier to choose the "right" set of Drupal contributed modules to implement a particular web design need than it is to pick the right set of WordPress plugins.
Anything else to say?
Working with Drupal, especially module programming and theming is not for the faint of heart. I have many books on Drupal - some considered to be bibles - but none of them get close to making me feel comfortable that I'll learn the right way to do something. I wish there was a proper cookbook that said "If this is what you want to do then this is how you achieve it".
Even Pro Drupal Development fails to hit the mark many times over.
So in the blog part of the Bobbing Wide web development site I will attempt to write what I have learnt. Again for a number of reasons.
- So I can remind myself how I achieved something
- To attempt to document the step by step process so my customers can understand how they need to do something. A sort of offline help.
- And it should also be useful to other developers... once they know about it.