Category Archive for: Drupal Maintenance Austin

rfp-robotRFP ROBOT: Website Request for Proposal Generator

The time has come for a new website (or website redesign), which means you need to write a website request for proposal or web RFP. A Google search produces a few examples, but they vary wildly and don’t seem to speak really to your goals for developing or redesigning a new website. You need to write a website RFP that will clearly articulate your needs and generate responses from the best website designers and developers out there. But how?

Have no fear, RFP Robot is here. He will walk you through a step-by-step process to help you work through the details of your project and create a PDF formatted website design RFP that will provide the information vendors need to write an accurate bid. RFP Robot will tell you what info you should include, point out pitfalls, and give examples.


Spaceship! Building with Legos and Blocks in Drupal 7 and 8

My son Jett is a total Lego genius. He can take a pile of random blocks and design something symmetrical, dynamic, unique and wonderful. Something that only he could have imagined.  I like to think of building Drupal sites like building with Legos.  You have all these standard pieces, and when you put them together, you get something usable, dynamic and wonderful.  The Lego analogy is especially relevant to this post because we’ll be talking about Drupal “blocks”. In the Drupal Content Management System, “blocks” are little pieces of supporting content used primarily for sidebars.  Our clients’ use of blocks is most often to showcase promotions or call-outs to specific content on their sites.  The Drupal back-end lets you create custom blocks on-the-fly that contain text or HTML, or you can write a custom module that will output blocks with custom content.  Many contributed modules also create blocks for specific…

Read More →

Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) with Drupal

COPE has been becoming increasingly popular in the web content management industry for the last several  years. That said, create once, publish everywhere (COPE) is really just taking the idea of a Drupal CMS to its logical conclusion. With COPE, you  can get maximum value from your content with minimal effort. Also keep in mind that Drupal development and COPE go hand in hand. Drupal’s inherent modularity makes it ideal for creating mobile-friendly, all in one COPE content distribution systems. More on COPE COPE is a content management philosophy that permits content creators to produce content one time and re-use it in various forms and locations. For example, a sports writer pens an article and uploads it to a central content repository. In a COPE system, different parts/versions of the content can then be used in different media: online on a website, print, mobile web app and so forth. COPE…

Read More →

Our Top Drupal Events in Austin, New York and Los Angeles

1. Austin | SXSW  Hipsters and nerds of all kinds from all over, come together for one week in Austin to geek out over music, film, and technology at SXSW. Austin Drupal developers are a strange mix of the two: a city hipster and a cyber world dweeb. Party, drink, and grub down with this strange breed of developers at Tech Lover’s Karaoke Night or Drupal Drop-In. Austin’s thriving technology community knows to show fellow nerds a good time at Drupal developer events and on 6th Street.   2. Los Angeles | DrupalCon Thousands of Drupal developers, users, designers, and supporters from around the world came to party in Austin last year at the Drupal camp, DrupalCon. This year, the party is moving over to Los Angeles, the #2 ranked party city in America. And the nerds aren’t just now invited to the parties; they are throwing the parties… and…

Read More →

Drupal SEO Tips

Strong SEO is easy if you build your website with Drupal.  Unlike most other content management systems, Drupal is designed from the ground up for search engine optimization. Given that Drupal is the preferred platform of Drupal web developers for building search-friendly websites, and because of Drupal’s large community of developers, there are many high-quality plug-ins available that make strong SEO simple. Of course, the fundamentals of SEO for Drupal are the same as for any other Drupal CMS: make sure to use descriptive titles, include your top search keywords in your page URLs, and keep your content fresh and focused. Read on for a few Drupal SEO tips to boost your search engine rankings and bring traffic to your website. Three top Drupal modules for SEO Pathauto module The pathauto module is very useful for SEO. Pathauto automatically creates custom URLs based on title, taxonomy, content type, and username.…

Read More →

Drupal Tips for Boosting Your Search Engine Rankings

Strong SEO is easy if you build your website with Drupal.  Unlike most other content management systems, Drupal is designed from the ground up for search engine optimization. Given that Drupal is the preferred platform of Drupal web developers for building search-friendly websites, and because of Drupal’s large community of developers, there are many high-quality plug-ins available that make strong SEO simple. Of course, the fundamentals of SEO for Drupal are the same as for any other Drupal CMS: make sure to use descriptive titles, include your top search keywords in your page URLs, and keep your content fresh and focused. Read on for a few Drupal SEO tips to boost your search engine rankings and bring traffic to your website. Three top Drupal modules for SEO Pathauto module The pathauto module is very useful for SEO. Pathauto automatically creates custom URLs based on title, taxonomy, content type, and username.…

Read More →

Double Americano and Mobile First Drupal 8

As I sit in my rusty independent coffee shop looking for an angle for this topic, I can’t help but look around and size up the technology at work around me. Directly across from me is a young, college aged woman using an iPhone while reading an old growth book, she has a closed laptop before her. Seated next to her, another young woman sporting a “Be The Best Sorority” T bangs away on her Dell laptop, taking short text breaks here and there on a bedazzled iPhone. Across the cafe, near a window, sits a middle-aged Jimmy Buffet lookalike reading a laptop while listening to…best guess, “Margaritaville”. No phone at work there. Two other people in my immediate area are in the course of random tasks on their laptops with no other noticeable devices in use. It appears that recent mobile vs desktop statistics don’t hold up in my…

Read More →

Pixeldust Saves the Day With “On Demand” Drupal Support in Austin

Pop quiz hotshot! You just learned that your wadget just went viral because Justin Bieber got arrested while using it in a school zone and your site URL is now burning across every social media outlet in the Matrix. You check the load time, just for peace of mind, and get the dreaded Drupal white screen of death. What do you do? What do you do?!? Okay, maybe the Keanu Reeves movie references were a little forced, but you get the picture. Sometimes, things fall apart when you are least prepared. Not everyone has a Drupal team on standby waiting for the next great disaster, but fear not, Pixeldust is here to save the day. Pixeldust Offers Full Service Drupal Support The keys to our Drupal support are to provide 24/7 availability, quick response times, seamless integration into existing development workflows. Try to eliminate any division between your team and…

Read More →

Breaking Bad Drupal with Best Practices

The Pixeldust approach to every site utilizes the latest stable Drupal core, savvy content architecture, a fully responsive and dynamic theme, and strict adherence to site building and Drupal coding best practices for functionality requirements. The division between layout and content is a core concept of all content management systems, and in architecting any site, we build an intuitive, content-first, site architecture. Our approach is to translate content ideation into semantically scoped Drupal entities resulting in extensible, future-facing, content structures. Theming and layout are completely separate from content, utilizing dynamic templates that fluidly scale into theme requirements, rather than dedicated content-type based design. As our site building best-practices, this approach ensures the site is easy to administer, optimized for SEO, and malleable enough to handle feature augmentation or refinement. Building functionality and workflows from stable, contributed modules will guarantee the site is easily updatable and will scale to incorporate new…

Read More →

An Approach Complicated Entity Hierarchies and Relationships in Drupal

Client Abrams Learning Trends Challenge In moving their web presence to Drupal, Abrams wanted to redefine their product organization in such a way where product updates were streamlined, and product relationships were dynamically displayed within the site. Solution With hundreds of products sold both individually and in bundles, and related to one another through various, often hierarchical categorizations, making sense of the Abrams product catalog was a major piece of this project. Both the client and Pixeldust worked closely together to build a sustainable product structure that met both the client’s organizational and update wishes, and fit neatly into Drupal’s capabilities. We broke down our problem-solving approach into:  1) Organization, 2) Product Updates, and 3) Product Relationship Display. 1) Organization We pinpointed the product relationships that mattered to the client as: categorization through normal taxonomy tags. categorization through hierarchical taxonomy tags, where one item may belong to several tags within…

Read More →

Pixeldust Street Team Getting the Word Out

The Pixeldust Street Team has been working hard to get the word out around Austin about our Drupal Development services. If you see them running from the cops, please don’t be offended if they can’t stop to chat. They are just doing their jobs. The post Pixeldust Street Team Getting the Word Out appeared first on Austin Drupal Development by Pixeldust Interactive.

Pixeldust and Pantheon Partner for Practically Perfect Drupal

Pixeldust is a pleased to announce that we are now Pantheon Drupal Development Partner! We’ve been using Pantheon Hosting for almost a year now, and we are excited to sing their praises. Drupaltastic Hosting Site hosting is an often-underrated, but integral piece of every website. Hosting has a huge impact on site performance, and hosting can either cripple or empower your developers in doing their job. Some development issues are at the level of your site code, but when they’re at the hosting level, a good hosting development toolset and good support can save you time and money bugfixing. There are plenty of hosts offering one-click Drupal installs and Drupal web development tools, but Pantheon’s Drupal Hosting is above-and-beyond the best Drupal solution we’ve used. Tailored to the specific needs of Drupal development, Pantheon provides an array of savvy features that’ll make your developers salivate. Multiple Environments One of the…

Read More →

Drupal Commerce 2.X

I recently wrote a post about the exciting new changes and features which are being addressed in the upcoming Drupal 8 release. Another exciting development is the release of Drupal Commerce 2.x which is expected to coincide with the Drupal 8 release. These two packages will change the world of Drupal-based commerce. Drupal Commerce 2 at DrupalCamp Austin, TX Ryan Szrama recently spoke about Drupal Commerce 2.x at DrupalCamp Austin, TX. It is set for release in late 2014. Ryan started his career at Ebay and went on to create Ubercart. If you know anything about Drupal, you already know that for a long time Ubercart was the only commerce module to use with Drupal. In the past few years Ryan moved on from Ubercart and began working with Commerce Guys to become a primary developer of Drupal Commerce. Here are a few high points from his presentation. The first thing…

Read More →

Abram’s Responsive Drupal Commerce Launch

To address its commerce needs, Pixeldust helped Abrams develop a product hierarchy that added logical structure to their heretofore sprawling product groupings. This reproducible hierarchy made it possible to import over 1200 products into Commerce with the structure intact. No easy task. In the course of this project, Pixeldust developed two custom modules that will be contributed to the Drupal community. Pixeldust used Foundation as the framework on which to build a responsive theme. This project marks our first partnering with Pantheon Hosting. Pantheon is a Drupal specific hosting platform with amazing development and performance benefits.  Abrams Learning Trends  is an Austin, TX based innovative publisher of high quality Pre-K–5 supplemental educational materials in literacy, phonics, math, science, health & safety, and more. Visit www.abramslearnigntrends.com The post Abram’s Responsive Drupal Commerce Launch appeared first on Austin Drupal Development by Pixeldust Interactive.

Are you ready for Drupal 8?

The long awaited Drupal 8 is set to hit the tubes sometime in 2014. The Drupal Nerds here in Austin, TX and all over the world are giddy with anticipation. (There is no official release date set yet.) Currently, if you check here https://drupal.org/node/2026719, you can download the Alpha 2 release. I’m sure its buggy as all get-out, but it may appease your eager anticipation.  What’s all the excitement about you ask? Well, lets take a look. According to reports, Drupal 8 will be the most customizable and adaptable release of Drupal to date. Drupal 8 offers many new ways to customize data structures, listings, and pages, and adds new functionality for mobile device support, API building and expanded multilingual support. And that’s just the beginning. Here are some more of the improvements you can expect to see in Drupal 8.  Fields of Dreams – Drupal 8 includes more field types in…

Read More →

Drupal 7 Helps Scott & White Get Ready for the New Health Insurance Marketplace

Pixeldust Interactive is proud to announce the launch of the fully ACA-compliant Scott & White Health Plan website (SWHP.org). This nine-month website development project  was designed to provide Scott & White, a major Texas-based health insurance provider, with a user-friendly, multi-function website to comply with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act mandating access to the newly-created health insurance marketplace. [] The new Scott & White Health Plan site includes a main website and 10 sub-websites on a single Drupal 7 installation. Visitors to the site can browse through the various information and education pages provided by Scott & White, and then choose among Scott & White plans and the plans available on the health insurance marketplace (also called the health insurance exchange). The Scott & White Health Plan website is a professional, easy-to-use  resource for comparing health insurance options, as well as a one-stop health insurance portal for SWHP…

Read More →

Agile Development with Drupal 7

Agile software development was introduced in the late 1990s and came into its own in 2001 with the issue of the Agile Manifesto. Agile development methods have continued to grow in popularity in the 21st century. In essence, agile development involves dividing software development tasks into small, manageable units, and tracking progress with regular scheduled meetings of all parties. Agile utilizes abbreviated work cycles, so problems are identified earlier, and can thus be solved faster. The incremental nature of agile methods builds in more flexibility than the old-fashioned “waterfall” software development methods. At most enterprises, agile development is structured as series of “sprint cycles.” Virtually every aspect of the development process, including technical requirements, design and so forth, are continually revisited throughout the lifecycle of the project. When a team re-evaluates the direction of a project once a week or so, you catch problems and make changes to get back…

Read More →

Drupal 8 Delivers Improved Developer Experience

Drupal 7 was a big step forward for Drupal developers. It addressed a number of user experience issues in Drupal 6, and a flexible architecture was added to the Drupal 7 core including fields in core as well as other improvements. Drupal 8 has just been rolled out over the last few months and the suite of new features has the Drupal development community from Austin to San Francisco excited. But it’s not just the new features that have everybody so excited — it’s also about fully embracing the PHP ecosystem and the improved developer experience Drupal 8 offers. New Drupal 8 Features Drupal 8 is finally becoming a full-fledged member of the PHP ecosystem.  Third-party components, such as Symfony, Backbone and Twig , are incorporated into this release, providing the Drupal development community with a raft of sweet new tools. This kind of platform cross-pollination will both stimulate further…

Read More →

Gatti’s Pizza

Pixeldust put a lot of digital mojo into gattisjingle.com. Utilizing a musician’s flyer feel, we designed and developed a clean microsite that would ultimately serve as a bridge for the 40th anniversary, remind Austinites that Gatti’s started in Austin, and generate excitement and interest among new and existing customers. And they wanted to conquer social media.

Artifacts of Existence

Artifacts of Existence is a collection of work by David Brown featuring a non-fiction novel, screenplay and ‘inside Hollywood’ documentary. Pixeldust designed and developed an earthy site that would help him release his work on the web. The site also features free downloads of work from local artists.

Back to Top