Last weekend I launched my new blog. I had launched the updated version of CultivateTechnologies and CodeMyDesigns earlier in the day and had a bug to update my personal site as well. I spent 12 hours building the site over a 24 hour period, starting on a Saturday night and finishing it on a Sunday night. Here's a screenshot to give you an idea of what I started with:

R.J.'s old blog

As you can see I didn't have a lot to work with. It was themed using the default Garland theme, Twitter integration was broken, and it was using an outdated 6.13 version of Drupal. I reviewed design files from previous projects that had never launched and found this gem, designed by @bradwason. It was 10pm on a Saturday night, let the fun begin.

I spent an hour trying to do the migration the "right" way using Drush up, troubleshooting errors, and getting updated modules. Finally I decided to use a makefile and install profile from a previous D7 project and started from there. By 2am I had the site fully functioning, minus the theme. Here are some of the major backend modules I used:

I started on the front-end theme the next day. I selected Zen because I've worked with it a lot, am familiar with it, and was in a rush to get the site out the door. I didn't even setup SASS or do anything responsive, I just created a fixed subtheme and started hacking away. I also used the @font-your-face module for quick integration with web fonts from Typekit.

The majority of the theme was finished by mid-afternoon (around the end of nap-time for my 2 & 4 year olds), so that evening I started on content. I spent about 5 minutes trying to get node_export to work when it dawned on me: it would take less time to manually copy/paste pages from D6 to D7 than to mess around with automating it. So instead of messing around with migrating content, I worked on the admin UI. Here are some content-entry and admin UI modules I selected for the site:

By 10pm I had setup the admin UI and migrated all content. A couple hours later I had it committed to git and deployed to prod.

And that's how you build and theme a Drupal blog in less than 12 hours!


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