Dropping Stones into the Path

Been on vacation for close to a week and a half.  Motivation to do much work has been hard with the concept of play is in a new context than what I am accustomed to in SoCal as of late.  No worries.  I did take my work with me and I got a few other unrelated projects out of the way.

So, as you know, the live site is up and so Im trying to go through processes all over again, learning them a second time and further drilling important keynotes into my repretoire.  Also am keeping the few modules updated on the live site (about 9 less modules than on my localhost version).  Admittedly part of my procrastination has been just the diverse learning experience that Drupal can afford since, well, Drupal can make all sorts of website types out there.

Im also going to use this "second time round" to get a good idea of how my workflow adapts to the Drupal environment.  There are common methods and sequences no matter if Im doing an html/css site or doing something such as wordpress.  Still, depending on your framework, it may differ.  This might be the first time that I fully write down my methods to madness.  Maybe this is a good way of taking my own advice since I tell people to write things down all the time.  Does writing something out make it more significant than being part of the trains that chug about in your head?  Hmmm.....

Step one was to make a site map on paper.  I did about 2 revisions, the first one just taking what sections/pages that this site had in its old incarnation and recreating them.  Then the elimination came, producing Version 2 which condenses defunct pages and elaborates on the section linking hierarchy will be.

Assessing your site's needs will determine modules you might need now or in the long run. Its important to work through things step by step.  You can always add, change and remove modules as needed so dont get too caught up by this.  Drupal's many options are what enhance your learning experience but can also deter you by overwhelming the part of your mind which innovates.

Now comes section-specific brainstorm time!  Focus on the main aspects of the site, starting with the most important one.  In this case, my site's number one purpose is to display products in a catalog form.  With Drupal letting one create content types with any type of field (with any kind of display type), it is probably best to brainstorm all the fields you will need. 

While most would suggest some of the ecommerce modules (Ubercart is a very popular choice), simple taxonomy is the method i am using for splitting my products into categories.  I need to get an idea of that category hierarchy and then create a product vocabulary.  Categories and subcategories will go under that vocabulary as a term.

With the brainstorm sheet(s) in hand and taxonomy created, start adding those fields.  At this point, one might want to install any further field display related modules.  ImageField is one of the most popular ones for product driven content such as mine. For me, some fields are going to be hidden to annonymous/guest users and others might be hidden to particular roles that authenticated users could be assigned. So, for "step 5b", I'll create those roles and set up permissions accordingly, including specifying fields which only certain role types  should be able to see.  Another optional step will leave me defining field groups for the product content type since I want to use fieldgroup tabs.

Once content types are set up with fields and/or respective taxonomy applied, you are nearing the end of the functionality part of things (but dont quote me on this, kiddies.).  Now you can get closer to the theming aspect of things. This includes determining layout aspects such as your menu's hierarchy and placement, colors, and overall placement of body content as well as dynamic blocks of content.  Ill leave it up in the air as I figure that part out myself.