Droptica.com - New website 2016
Our website is now on Drupal 8 - learn how we built it

For the last couple of months we slowly worked on our new website. It took time, because client work always takes precedence. We finally did it.

Design stage

As with any new marketing website, we split the project into stages. First, we developed a content strategy - what do we really want to say and why? We wanted to avoid adhoc decisions done during development or design stages. The message is the most important thing on the website, the rest is just the packaging.

When the content was planned out, we created mock-ups of each page (we prototyped each page). We almost always use UXPin for prototyping - this our favourite tool. After a few iterations and internal discussions the layout was ready and a designer took over.

Development

Tools

When the designs came back, development started. Our new website uses Drupal 8. It was not our first drupal 8 project, but it is one for which we took a different approach.

First, we wanted to try out composer to manage the whole project. For this we used and adapted version of drupal which is build by Composer (https://github.com/drupal-composer/drupal-project). Additionally, as all projects we work on since a few months, we wanted to use Docker and to make docker easy we used our supporting app https://github.com/droptica/docker-drupal

Migration

We used the migrate module to move all blog posts from the previous version of the website. All other pages were completely rebuild.

Unusual development approach for landing pages

One of the interesting things is an unusual approach to building unique content pages like About us. Instead of creating content types and displays we created these pages in code. Each page has its own routing and a simple controller which returns an HTML file with content. This is not too comfortable for quick edits but gives you a lot of flexibility in arranging these pages which are unique and do not change often. This may not be a great solution for a non-technical client, but for us it works great.

Summary

To sum up, we are really happy with the outcome. Our experiences with Drupal 8 are also great so far. It is much more flexible and allows for greated order of modules and files at the same time. Websites build on Drupal 8 will be better.

Do you have your own website on Drupal 8? Want to share your experiences?

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