Labor Pains, or Bringing a New Website Into the World

Unbelievably, my first Drupal website is nearing completion and approaching launch.

“Nearing completion” rightfully belongs couched in quotes as I’ve been daily uttering “today is the day I finish the website” — for the past 3 weeks!

I’ve been burning the midnight oil every day and night, but the goal-post keeps moving as I realize how many of those non-glamorous but essential tasks remain to be done.

The site is looking and working great in a general way and I’m really pleased with how far I’ve come in my understanding of Drupal, PHP, jquery and CSS. It’s really not a very large or complex website, but I’m proud that I architected it in a way that is highly scalable and truly dynamic. My highest priority was to deliver a site that is pleasant and easy for my client to update himself. I think I’ve done that.

But there is still so much to do! Here’s what I’m sure is just a partial list…

  • Create responsive styles for mobile devices
  • Add donate button and functionality (client wants it on bottom nav and as “ad” on a few pages)
  • Create user role for customers
  • Give users a way to unsubscribe to newsletters (otherwise: “you can check out any time you want, but you can never leave!”)
  • Create admin dashboard/landing page for client with limited editing capabilities, but no ability to really mess things up!
  • Implement quantity based discounts and add product bundles to store
  • Configure shipping options and rates
  • Optimize database
  • Style error and maintenance pages
  • Upgrade core and modules so everything is clean and duckiny
  • Map existing http://www.gench.com site and create redirects for any abandoned links
  • Test shopping-cart-to-paypal end-to-end
  • Setup google analytics optimize for search robots
  • Enable Mollum and register site with mollom.com
  • Train client on updating content and store inventory
  • Backup exisiting gench site
  • Promote new gench site to production!
  • Start next Drupal site! I’ll be overhauling http://www.thomasdimuzio.com – can’t wait!

The site can currently be viewed at http://www.gench.com/new/drupal, but I am only updating it each evening with the day’s work (which I complete on my local server/site).

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