Starting a Business

I started my current consulting business about 14 years ago.  Since then, I have enjoyed the privilege of working with businesses and non-profits of about every kind.  I been inspired by many of the passionate people who started those businesses.  In that time, I've had several ideas for different businesses, but due to the time committed to consulting, they have all died on the vine.  I just did not have the bandwidth to invest in these ideas in the way it takes to be successful.  Well, now I have a business idea that I think I can start with an absolute minimum of commitment, at least to

Creating links to ECK Entities in Twig

This post is mostly so I don't forget, as it took several hours to figure out.

Recently, I needed to create some links in a twig templates to various ECK ( Entity Construction Kit ) entity types, mostly to Add, View, and Edit.  Now, it's not really a good idea to try building the paths manually, since the paths may change ( if I update the pathauto patterns or something ).  Routes are much more stable.

In Twig, there are two main functions for generating links, link() and path().  Link creates an absolute URL, while path ( wait for it ) creates a path or relative URL.

Component Driven Drupal Theming

When designing a Drupal based site, there is a killer tool with which most of us are familiar, Paragraphs.  Paragraphs allows us to create a component-based architecture, whereby authors can add components to a page in a structured way.  How can we use the flexibility of Paragraphs to create a component-driven author experience that empowers the author while ensuring a consistent design language?

Stuff Used In This Post:

Creating a Recurring Monthly Newsletter With MailChimp

I love MailChimp.  It does so many things really well, the price is great ( especially if you don't have a lot of contacts, since it's free for less than 2,000 ).  It would seem like the perfect solution for a small business to send a monthly newsletter to it's customers.

One challenge I recently discovered, however, is that MailChimp really wants you to log in and create each newsletter.  While it's certainly a good idea to create a unique newsletter each time, this is not always something a small business will have the resources to manage.

Server Based Development

Modern development can be a complicated process, between build tools, deployment management, dependency management, version control, etc.  There are a lot of options out there, and we've spent a reasonable amount of time evaluating existing options and creating a process that works for us, for now.  In the end we reached the conclusion that a server-based development process works for us.  This post explains some of our challenges with other popular workflows, how a server-based workflow solves several of these challenges, and gives some insight about how our process works.

Why choose Drupal for your nonprofit organization?

Non-profit organizations have a lot of similar needs to other businesses when it comes to their Website.  They need to establish their brand, they need to increase revenue, they need to keep the public informed about updates, changes, and events.  But in a lot of ways, non-profits have some special considerations.  And this is what makes Drupal a great platform for Non-profits.

WordPress Password Security

I see it all the time, basic security principles totally ignored by otherwise responsible people.  Maybe it's ignorance, maybe it's laziness, but in every case, it's totally unacceptable.  If you own a Website, and for every Website you visit, you must use strong passwords and keep them private.  By far, the biggest security threat you face is poor password security.  Here is a list of the most commonly used passwords in 2013, it's astounding to me that people would actually use such ridiculous passwords.

When is Time to Redesign?

Designing and developing a Website is not a small task.  It's no wonder then, that most businesses hang on to an outdated Website long passed it's expiration.  For many, the pain of that last redeisgn still burns in their minds like it was only yesterday, even if it was five, six or seven years ago, or maybe even longer.

Updating WordPress

WordPress is sophisticated software, and as mentioned earlier, every software has bugs which can be exploited.  But as long as WordPress enjoys widespread support, these bugs are discovered and patched.  However, this only benefits you if you have the latest version installed in a timely manner.  Most times we see problems with WordPress sites, they are badly out of date.  So it's important to make sure your Website is regularly updated and this means more than just WordPress core, you most likely have plugins that add various features to your site, and they must be updated as well.