Changes - some thoughts re. Web CMS Design

Over the course of the next few weeks there will be some new changes to this website. Initially I thought about replacing the entire design, make it more modern so to speak. But I've come to the conclusion that all I need is to include some new functions, and (for now at least) keep the design as is. Certain section here may however change a bit, and hopefully that will make the material and overall functionality more accessible.

Click to go to Drupal.orgWhile engaged in projects over the past few months I've learned a fair bit of new "tricks", both with rgds to front and back-end. Mainly about Drupal CMS which is my first choice in almost all respects, save perhaps very large eCommerce projects. But I've also spent a bit of time with other platforms. Of late also Wordpress. Quite a few seem to be of the opinion that that Drupal is a bit too nerdy or "academic", difficult to work with or downright complex. Especially whilst compared to WordPress which for many smaller projects has developed into become the choice.

And Wordpress is very good, but like with all other web CMS solutions you can go wrong here too.

The notion about Drupal's disadvantage with regards to complexity is a truth with more than minor modifications, in fact I am not even sure I'd call it truth. Like with all things in the IT world, whether we talk infrastructure, architecture, applications or interfaces, it is above all about good methodologies, and good processes. Without which anything, regardless of its inherent quality, simplicity or surface, can be circumvented or made more complex than it needs to be.

Drupal CMS is all about methodology, making the right choices and deploy an architecture that suits different approaches. What I like about the platform is the solidity, the framework itself, code and above all, scalability. Few other open source based CMS systems allow and include that many layers. Some of which enables you not only to build and maintain highly complex structures, but also allow for it to be easily accessible.

There are Drupal based sites out on the net with literally millions of users, and ditto millions of nodes, or if you like, documents. As always there's a potential for improvements, on many odds and ends, some of which you can quickly obtain by adding a new module, a new piece of function. Without at the expense of the overall look, feel and design. But as is the case with almost any web presence, sometimes it's more about reducing functionality and components, than it is about adding.

Quite frequently, when working with web projects and having proposed solutions or approaches to a client, I let people who's judgment I trust, do a test run. Then listen to feedback. This is especially valuable if the client have little or not concept of what they want, or what is required to deliver the maximum benefit to their web presence, and business. Some 20+ years working with web design, web content and architecture have provided me with quite a bit of insight. That however does not mean say one set of eyes always is enough to determine whether or not one is on the right, or better correct, path.

In my experience, building and forming a web presence is an evolution, there's always something one can improve. The problem, or should we rather say the challenge, is of course to know when enough is enough, or too much plainly and simply is,  too much. You know..... less is, quite often, more :)