I had been getting a little bit bored (and frustrated) with my professional technical writer site, willkelly.com over the past few years. The continued rocky period on my employer’s federal government contract and an endless cycle of halfhearted Dreamweaver templates got me on the road to migrate willkelly.com to the Drupal Content Management System (CMS). It has been a rather mixed experience. I tore it all down the other weekend and started over, not as much out of disappointment, but to knock the kinks out of my first deployment.
Here are some lessons I learned:
Spend more time on the MAMP (drawing board). In retrospect, I should have built out the full site on MAMP and not stopped at just being able to install Drupal and getting it talking to MySQL. I should have held off on my victory lap until after I had a fully functioning version of willkelly.com running on MAMP on my MacBook Pro. I should have played with willkelly.com in the sandbox a wee bit longer before releasing it to the public web.
Setup modules more methodically. If I had it to do over again, I would have taken a more methodical approach to installing Drupal modules and themes. The second time around I took the methodical approach and it worked so much better than my first run.
Focus more on social media integration up front of the project. While I’ve had willkelly.com as a domain since the late nineties, I seem to get most of my online traction through this blog you are reading right now, LinkedIn, and Twitter. My Google Analytics account tells me in gory detail which of my web properties gets traffic and at some point I may look at merging willkelly.com and willkelly.org into one site.
What lessons did you learn the first time you installed Drupal?