(do you see the 3d image? if so, email us what the visual is and we will send you a FREE symmetri technology baseball cap.)
4 Ways to Stay Focused on Design
Getting into the groove. Finding the sweet spot. Feeling the flow. Whatever you call it, sometime it’s hard to find, and even harder to keep, with so many daily interruptions.
5 Ways Drupal Can Reinvent Government
We’re really excited for the first Code Michigan event this week in Detroit. Hackers will gather for a three day hackathon helping reinvent government technology. The event will be at the Madison building, home to several Detroit technology companies.
Flat Design: When Should Design Go Flat?
I’m a fan of both flat design and skeuomorphism (realistic design style). But recently I’ve noticed that flat design is popping up everywhere. This isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t sit right with me. More and more people and companies are moving away from realistic, skeuomorphic interfaces, and trading their in-depth button designs for simpler, edgier ones. This had me wondering: why go flatter? Flat design done right can make an amazing layout and even better user experience. But is this why web designers started to favor a flatter look?
Staying Secure with The Duo Security Drupal Module
We’re excited that Duo Security in Ann Arbor brought a safe and secure module to the Drupal community. The <a href="http://www.duosecurity.com/docs/drupal">Duo Security Drupal Module</a> works wonders in allowing two factor authentication for your website.
Streamline your Style Tiles with Sass and the Style Guide Module
Is your creative team completely opposed to designing in code? They shouldn’t be. Here’s a hybrid approach to rolling custom Drupal themes that has the potential to significantly streamline your workflow and ensure greater visual consistency throughout your project’s lifecycle - all thanks to Style Tiles.
Meetup: Securing Drupal, Two Factor Authentication, and more
We're happy to announce the Michigan Drupal Web Design September Meetup: Securing the Stack: Hardening Your Drupal Deployment.
Test Sites (Like a Boss) in 5 Minutes with Placecage and devel_image_provider
devel_generate is a staple of the Drupal developer's toolbox. It allows you to create arbitrary content, users, and more with placeholder text and images automatically. This allows you to QA performance of queries, test wrapping of headings and text, and a lot more.
Grand Opening and 5-Year Anniversary
It could be argued that a 6-person Drupal web development firm may not need a nice office; or any office for that matter. A year ago I would have agreed. We launched some really amazing web sites at our individual home offices or over coffee at the local cafe; for an average daily rent of $3.00 (not a bad deal!). But as both our client list and team grew, it became apparent that having a home base was a must. Not just for the space, the new desks, or even the beer fridge — but really for the culture.
Debugging Drupal: Flashback to DrupalCamp Michigan
I dug this video out of the archives from the first DrupalCamp Michigan in 2011. While many Drupal developers have a lot of success building websites without a coding environment more complex than a text editor many times more serious tools are required. My presentation below gives users a basic introduction to debugging Drupal and how you can get started within no more than an hour worth of effort.
Common Sense Drupal Security & Spam Prevention
One of the nice things about Drupal is the low barrier to entry: anyone can download it, install it & have a basic site up and running in a few minutes. Unfortunately, once the initial setup is complete, people often don’t bother to look at anything else other than what they need to start adding content to their sites.
Building a scalable Drupal deployment in the cloud
When Commercial Progression launched the new [Ad Sales website](http://www.commercialprogression.com/project/national-geographic) for National Geographic Networks, they loved it so much that they wanted everyone to come and see it. To help encourage them, they sent out an e-blast to thousands of ad agencies around the world that offered a chance to win a free iPad to first 100 visitors. The resulting traffic spike brought our server to it's knees.
We're Featured in U of M Dearborn's Alumni Magazine!
Creativity and innovation have inspired a number of alumni to forge their own careers across southeast Michigan. I was one of the alumni featured in the most recent issue of Legacy.
Google Analytics Events in Drupal
It's easy to get Google Analytics set up on your website. For a Drupal site, it's as simple as installing a popular contrib module. Oftentimes, though, your site features on-page interactions that do not register by default to GA, but that you still want to track.
Being an intern at Commercial Progression
When I first walked into Commercial Progression as the new intern I was nervous. That’s understandable… for the fact is that this is my first job in my field, web design, that I've had up to this point. I’d done some work for local businesses around my hometown but this feels different. I was hired on, going to be in an office working with other people, trying to move a company forward with work that I’d help create. The thought was frightening at first, but once I got to sit down and work, it just felt natural. The communication that everyone has around here is amazing. The fact that you can walk 4 feet from your desk (most times just turn to your left or right), find one of the five other guys here, sit down and hash out a solution to your problem, most of the time in a matter of minutes, is just great.
Project Overview: National Geographic Ad Sales
When National Geographic Networks needed a new Drupal site to preview their shows for advertisers, they turned to the Drupal experts at Commercial Progression.
Commercial Progression is on Forbes.com!
We received a visit from a Forbes writer at CP HQ recently that resulted in an article telling our story about website development with Drupal in Michigan. Check-out what they said about us, along with shoutouts to some of our wonderful clients…
My Drupal Development Tools
I am always fascinated by the tools that other developers use. It’s usually the first thing I ask them. “Hey, I know I haven’t asked you your name yet, but what operating system do you use? What IDE? How many git commits have you made today?”
How to remove tabledrag rearranging from multiple-value field widgets
Drupal developers tend to treat overriding theme functions as a last resort. However, it's sometimes necessary in order to eliminate default functionality provided by core.
Presenting at Wordpress vs Drupal
I'll be participating on a panel discussion about the decision to use Wordpress or Drupal for your organization's website. Having experience as a former Wordpress developer and now a dedicated Drupal advocate I'm looking forward to this event at the June 1st Lunch Ann Arbor Marketing meeting!
New Class! Drupal: Build and Manage Powerful Websites
I'll be teaching a class at Washtenaw Community College this winter semester entitled Drupal: Build and Manage Powerful Websites. It's a 6 week long class meant for Drupal beginners and will focus on using Drupal instead of developing or installing Drupal.
Presenting at September Ann Arbor Drupal User Group
Come join me at the September Drupal User's Group meeting in Ann Arbor on September 27th, 7PM, at SPARK Central.
Detroit Public Television Webcast This Wednesday
I've been asked to webcast an event this Wednesday morning, September 1, by Detroit Public Television. The event will be taking place in Auburn Hills, MI and will have some big players including the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.
Watch it Wednesday, 9/1/10 @ 10 AM ET on DPTV.org
Drupal vs Joomla is the Wrong Question to Ask
I had the pleasure of visiting the Detroit Joomla! Group last week after being extended an invite by Shane Sevo to start a discussion between our two groups of how Drupal and Joomla compare and contrast.
Michigan Drupal Meetup Group
If you're around the Detroit Area come learn and share information about Drupal at the Michigan Drupal Meetup Group.
Tony Zink and I co-founded the group earlier this year to help connect the Ann Arbor and Detroit Drupal communities with something equidistant for everyone.
Git Introduction for Drupal 7
Watching a really good webinar from the Los Angeles Drupal User Group on how to use Git for version control (Drupal.org is moving from CVS to Git with Drupal 7).
If you're familiar with CVS or Subversion this is a great introduction that provides some comparisons between methodologies and commands. If you're new to version systems then Git is a great place to start.
Applied Drupal: Leveraging The Nature of Open Source to Deliver Great Websites for Clients
Below is a video from my presentation at Refresh Detroit last month. The audience consisted of web designers, librarians, Wordpress and Joomla fans, and more. I explained a little about why Drupal is open source, what that means to people and businesses, and how you can both benefit from and contribute to Drupal.
Presenting at Refresh Detroit 6/16
I'll be giving a presentation in a couple days at Washtenaw Community College. I've been invited by Brad Czerniak to speak as part of Refresh Detroit's monthly meeting on using Drupal to solve real-world problems. The presentation is entitled Applied Drupal: Leveraging The Nature of Open Source to Deliver Great Websites for Clients.
Presenters are Brad Czerniak, Alex Fisher and Steve Colson.
Override how a Drupal Page is Displayed Based on Content Type
Have you ever wanted to change the way Drupal displays pages for certain content types? Drupal has built-in functionality that allows you to add additional template files to your Drupal themes. However, as of Drupal 6, it will not allow you to override page.tpl.php based on content type. You change this by adding a small amount of code to your Theme's template.php file:
Two Types of Web Designers: Which Is Building Your Website?
There are two types of people who design websites. The first, who I'll refer to as Type 1, is someone who's less experienced or not fully focused on web design and lets technical issues or the constraints of an off-the-shelf template dictate the end web site product. The second, called Type 2, is someone who figures out what the site must do to be relevant and meet business goals and then designs the site so it does exactly that.
3 Helpful Hints for using Drupal 8 REST APIs
A recent internal Commercial Progression project allowed us the opportunity to set up a Drupal 8 site and get REST working on it. In the process, and by merit of the stack being new with the documentation catching up, I learned a few tricks that might be useful for enterprising developers out there.
How To Create A Blog With Drupal
Creating a Drupal based website with a blog on a page other than the front page can be frustrating and a bit confusing. By default, when Drupal is installed it has two content types, Story and Page, and lists on the front page any stories or pages you create and mark as Published and "Promoted to front page". However, many sites want their front page to be a static or semi-static Page and a blog in a different section of the site.
Drupal Webforms With Dynamic Select Boxes Tutorial
When I originally set out to create a form with dynamic select boxes I thought it'd be easy enough to just create some fields, throw some values into the fields, and then repeatedly modify the options on one field based on the option selected in another field. While Drupal is built around forms (and provides many ways for creating and changing them) the best way for handling dynamic select boxes populated from an external database wasn't obvious.