At the start of another busy year, I am finally taking a moment to look back and catch up on latest developments. Recent projects here include the design and launch of veterinaryha.org, a new Joomla 3.4.x web site for the Veterinary Hospitals Association, a non-profit organization based in St. Paul, MN. The original web site was built in WordPress, and the initial plan was to optimize the site for mobile with a responsive WordPress theme. After the first meeting, it became clear that the functionality requirements would be difficult to manage in WordPress, so I converted the site content to the Joomla platform, developed a new design, and implemented quite complex access levels for the many types of membership that the VHA offers. As a note of explanation, I actually appreciate and enjoy working with WordPress (I have several clients using the platform), but for more complex feature sets, I prefer to use Joomla or Drupal. The alternative would be to install a lot of plugins, which, as any experienced WordPress developer will tell you, can be quite problematic.
The launch of the new elmwoodproperties.com website design was followed by the development of a custom, multi-step lease renter application that integrates renter data directly into the company Access database. I had the very good fortune of working with Andy Oaks, at Oaks Consulting. Andy is knowledgeable about almost every aspect of Access, which is to say, a subject of which I am completely ignorant. My job was to transition a series of pdf forms with many fields into a streamlined web app. New renters can log into the site, edit their profile, choose their preferred apartments., and apply for a lease online. The new process saves a lot of time and money AND (like all my new projects), works perfectly on mobile devices.
In other news, I am in the middle of large Drupal project that involves upgrading a Drupal 6 site to Drupal 7 and then optimizing the site for mobile. Working with Drupal makes me appreciate how easy it is to run mundane and routine tasks in WordPress and Joomla. On the other hand, the ability to map csv values onto fields is very cool and is also the main feature of this new project. More news to follow on that!