Man, I’m all over the place lately. Actionscript 3 projects… PHP Development… what’s next? Crochet you say? Maybe finally master Bocce ball?
So, I’ve been working on a new project as of late. In doing a site redesign for an older site of mine, I’ve been using Joomla!Framework to structure and build the new site. I’ve used a number of different PHP frameworks and CMS’s over the years, notably Joomla, Drupal, CakePHP, CodeIgnitor, and WordPress, and I just really, really love Joomla. Maybe thats because I’ve spent so much time ‘under the hood’ in development, but to me, this CMS/Framework just makes sense and speeds up my development on new sites.
For this site redesign, the goal is to condense the old site which had roughly 30 different content pages, and a very basic, plain looking front end and give the graphics a shot from the spiceweasel (Bam! Kick it up a notch), while streamlining the back end so the site owner can take a more active role in updating the site himself.
In the old site, there was a Staff page which listed all of the staff members by department, all in such an elaborate nested tables scheme that if you even looked at the html, it would break. As such, it was very confusing for anyone who was trying to simply add a new staff member or remove one. Removing a staff member often led to broken tables and busted pages. No good!
So to streamline, I began working on a Joomla component where the site owner, in the back-end, could easily click “New Department” or “New Staff Member” and pretty, structured forms would appear asking for the information for the front-end. Then the thought occured, “why not just go ahead and make it an actual, fully releaseable component?”
I have to say, coding my pages where I’m going to be the sole updater/maintainer and coding pages that you’re expecting other people to use, maintain, extend, etc… two completely separate things! Maybe that’s saying normally I’m a lazy coder? Or maybe it’s just that if I know people will use something, I want to make it as simple, fast, and easy to understand as possible. OCD kicked in hard so many times as I lined up line indents and spaced things. But I think ultimately, just coding this simple component has taught me so much and was a hell of a learning experience. That’s what I love about web dev and coding… No matter how much you know and how good of a coder you think you are, there is still more, still something else you can do or learn or implement to optimize, streamline and grow.
You can check out a demo on my less awesome, yet more professional site, systemsunited.net