Mini Case Study - TechWell.com
DrupalEasy was fortunate enough to be be hired to develop version 2.0 of TechWell.com - a software development news site by Software Quality Engineering (SQE). TechWell.com covers a wide range of topics including agile development, software testing, quality assurance, and project management. This mini case study will detail some of the modules and techniques we've used to build the site.
The site is built using Drupal 7 along with a number of contributed and custom modules and a custom theme built on top of the Omega base theme. This mini case study will provide a brief overview of the techniques used to build the site.
The main navigation of the site is based on a single "topics" vocabulary that categorizes each story into one of nine topics. The Taxonomy Menu module is used to translate that vocabulary into the main menu. There are several other vocabularies in place, used mainly for further classification of stories.
Stories on the site utilize a combination of Image Styles and the Imagefield Crop module to display different versions of their main photo depending on the context. In lists, a scaled and (manually) cropped version of the photo is used while in the full node view a scaled and uncropped version of the photo is used. This will accomplished with a small bit of custom theming code.
The Radioactivity module is used to populate the "trending" carousel on the home page. Radioactivity allows popular stories slowly decay over time so that only "recently popular" stories will appear in the carousel. The carousel is generated by a custom Views module based on the Elastislide jQuery plugin - mainly because Elastislide is responsive, and the carousel needed to stretch and shrink depending on the device size it is being viewed on.
Flag module is used for content editors to mark stories for the "featured" block. This block appears on the various topic pages as well, and different stories appear in the block based on the current topic.
Several content types were created to handle site "partner" information and content. Partners can have their own section of the web site populated with content they provide. In addition, individual site topics can be sponsored as well, a custom content type to help manage that process as well.
The "events" block is mainly populated with training events from SQE. Again, a custom content type and view is used to enable this functionality. Similarly, content types for "web seminars" and "featured resources" were created, and the Draggable Views module is utilized to give content editors the ability to arbitrarily re-arrange the order of the "featured resources".
Custom modules are used to help manage the "TechWell To Go" newsletter functionality, both for capturing subscriber information and for generating newsletter templates (with current site content) for use in a separate customer relationship management (CRM) system. Several patches were created and contributed back to the community for the Eloqua module as well
The "Share URL" functionality found on all story pages is made possible by a number of modules as well as a custom URL shortening site powered by the Shurly module. The Shorten URLs module is used in conjunction with a custom module to and custom theming to complete this functionality.
Additional custom modules were created to capture various parts of the site configuration in code, to generate some custom blocks, for improved search (indexing of RealName data), and some custom administrative functionality.
The site is fully responsive, with a significant amount of work that went into making sure it delievered an efficient experience on mobile devices. Use of the Omega theme combined with the Delta module helped keep costs down and implementation speed up.
Overall, this project was designed with speed and sustainability in mind. The only logged-in users will be administrators (comments are outsourced using Disqus), and a minimum of custom code was created (most of the custom modules are less than 150 lines of code). The client has been thrilled with their new site, and we look forward to watching their business grow using this new resource.