Upgrading Search API Solr 4.3.1 on Pantheon

I recently needed to update Search API Solr to 4.3.1 and I ran into some issues and I wasn't immediately clear on how to resolve them.

To be clear, while I've used Search API Solr for a while now, it's pretty much a black box to me.  I have always gotten the results I've needed by following various tutorials and documentation, and just enough experimentation that it just seems to work like magic.

It's time for a change

I've been building Scott Sawyer Consulting since 2005, surviving the Great Recession and enjoying many years of growth.  In that time, I've met a lot of wonderful people, worked on exciting projects, and enjoyed taking part in the success of my customers.  It's been an amazing journey, and my absolute pleasure to serve so many small businesses and non-profits over the last 15 years.  

DrupalCamp Atlanta 2020

DrupalCamp ATL, like every thing this year, was a bit different.  The folks that organize the conference did a hell of a job pulling off a remote conference.  So proud of those people.

I was really pleased with how many people attended the sessions, some sessions had nearly 200 attendees!

Anyway, I was honored once again to present, this time it was on Entity Reference Layout ( Layout Paragraphs ).  There were some great questions at the end.  I really enjoy the opportunity to share experiences with the community and learn from everyone else.  Such a great crowd.

Rate Calculator: Lead Generation for Real Estate Attorneys

I am proud to announce our newest product, Rate Calculator (https://rate-calculator.com), the most effective lead conversion tool available for real estate attorneys. 

Real estate law firms spend a lot of time and money on marketing and advertising to drive traffic to their Websites.  However, they have limited options for actually converting that traffic to leads.  A simple "Contact us" call to action is not very convincing.  Most visitors aren't ready to call when visiting the firm's site.  In reality, most just want to know prices.  

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.