DSquaredB Blog

  • DrupalCon New Orleans

    Once a year, Drupal developers and users from around the world gather in North America for DrupalCon. Again this year, I was one of many (more than 3,000) who traveled to New Orleans for a week of training, networking, and inspiration. DrupalCon New Orleans did not disappoint.

    After a couple of years of anticipation, we were finally able to celebrate the recent release of Drupal 8 which offers users a better interface and developers a more modern code base. It was exciting to see how quickly Drupal 8 is being adopted by both large and small organizations as they upgrade their websites.

    During DrupalCon New Orleans we also had a tongue-in-cheek ceremony to mourn the end of life for Drupal 6. Now that Drupal 8 has been released, Drupal 6 will no longer be in active development. Although websites built with Drupal 6 will continue to function, there will be limitations to how those sites are maintained.

    After a week full of training sessions and discussions with other developers, we have returned inspired to create dynamic websites for our clients. We are actively looking for clients considering a move to Drupal 8. If you have an upcoming project, contact DSquaredB Consulting today.

  • Drupal 8

    If you currently have or are considering a website built with the Drupal content management framework, you may know or have heard that there are different versions of Drupal but aren't sure what the version numbers mean or which is best for your website.

    Like most software applications, Drupal uses a numbering system to designate the versions of the software. A simplified explanation of the numbering is that major versions of Drupal that significantly change how Drupal is structured are designated by numbers like 6, 7, and 8. Within those major versions are many minor version changes that can include security updates, bug fixes, and some new functionality are designated by numbers such as 7.43 or 8.1. 

    Drupal policy is that the two most current versions of Drupal are supported, meaning that they undergo security reviews, bug fixes are released regularly, and they are in active development. When a new major version is released, such as when Drupal 8 was released in late 2015, the oldest supported version (in this case Drupal 6) then reaches end-of-life. 

    So, what does that mean for your current website or for a website project you might be considering?

    That doesn't mean a website built with an older version stops working, but it does mean that owners and maintainers of older version websites should strongly consider updating their websites to a newer version that is supported. Without security reviews, software is more susceptible to hacking and without active development it will be much more difficult to add features to your website as your needs change.

    Whether you choose to upgrade your current site or build your new site in Drupal 7 or 8 really depends on a number of factors. Most important is what functionality or features you need on your site. Drupal 7, released in 2011, is stable and mature with hundreds of contributed modules to extend core functions and build complex functionality. Drupal 8, while stable, has not reached the same level of contributed modules as Drupal 7 and does not yet have some of the more complex functionality available.

    However, Drupal 8 is perfectly viable and a good option for many websites. This and many other websites have been built on Drupal 8, with new functionality being added every day. If you are in the planning stages for a website upgrade or build, Drupal 8 may be right for you.

    DSquaredB Consulting can analyze your website needs and help you determine what is best for you. If you are ready to get started, contact us today.

     

  • DSquaredB Consulting website

    We often tell our clients that a website should never be "done."

    If a website is done, that implies that there is no room for improvement or that the website can't adapt to changing needs of the organization or business. It can also imply that an organization is inactive by only offering stale content to visitors. Worse, it could imply that the client is not willing to protect the investment made to create a website by keeping it updated.

    As noted in a previous post, the cobbler's children often have no shoes. The cobbler is often so busy making shoes for others that there is little time to make shoes for the family. That is again where we find ourselves while upgrading the DSquaredB Consulting website to the newly-released Drupal 8. Our priorities are our clients' websites and our company website gets whatever leftover time we can devote to it.

    So, firmly believing that a website should never truly be done, we decided to launch this "in-progress" website re-design. As Drupal 8 matures and time allows, we will continue to improve and update it. But for today, we are content to be another "never done" website.

  •  

    Like many businesses and organizations, DSquaredB Consulting realized recently that our focus has shifted somewhat from when we first began. As our client list has grown, the majority of our work has been building and managing custom Drupal websites, with less emphasis on managing social media accounts. So while we will continue to assist our website clients with their total online presence, including social media, we will no longer offer just social media management as a service.

    With the decision to move away from social media management, we knew our branding needed to be updated. Since we are no longer "distributing digital buzz" through social media, our logo needed an overhaul. So, today we unveil our new logo. It is still a work in progress and may undergo a few minor tweaks, but we will begin using the logo below immediately.

     

    DSquaredB logo

     

     

     

     

     

    We may be updating our focus and our branding, but DSquaredB Consulting hasn't changed our commitment to our clients. We will continue to provide personal attention to all our clients' website needs.

    Considering a website project? Let DSquaredB Consulting tell you how we can help. Contact us today.

     

  • Laptops in coffee shop

    Where do you do your best work? Do you need the structure of reporting to an office each day? Or are you at your best with your laptop sitting on the couch in your family room?

    More and more employees have the option of working remotely. For some it’s a day or two a month or a day each week. For others, it’s a full-time arrangement. Technologies such as Skype and email and cloud file storage remove many of the obstacles to working outside the office that existed just a few short years ago.

    But if you have the option of working remotely, should you? There are definitely some pros and cons to both working in an office environment and in working remotely.

    The office environment provides structure to your day and allows for quick and easy exchange of ideas and information. Your working hours are usually pretty well defined and are easily separated from your leisure hours (unless you often bring work home with you). It’s easy to pop in to your co-workers office or cubicle to bounce around an idea. Those are a few pros.

    But they can also be the cons. Who hasn’t felt constrained by a 9-to-5 workday? And have you ever been trying to concentrate on a project with a deadline when a co-worker stops by to chat about nothing in particular?

    Working from home can provide the flexibility to work on a schedule that fits your lifestyle and family obligations. (Your work schedule, of course, is something that needs to a mutual agreement between you and your employer.) And unless you have a house full of toddlers, your home office can be free of many of the “water-cooler” distractions of the office.

    Again, the pros can also be the cons. If you aren’t self-disciplined, not having to punch a time clock can lead to irregular work habits or blurring the lines between work and leisure time. And if you don’t make an attempt to stay connected to co-workers, you can end up feeling isolated.

    And then there’s the coffee shop option. I recently read an article by Wesley Verhoeve entitled “Why You Should Work From a Coffee shop, Even When You Have An Office.” Due to an office move he was forced to work remotely (he chose to work in local coffee shops) for a short period of time. For Verhoeve, the “experience of working out of coffee shops was so positive that even after we moved into our new home, I made sure to get in a few 'coffee shop days' each month.”

    Was it just the coffee that made the experience so positive? Not exactly. It was the combination of a change of environment, less distractions, and interaction with people. Maybe the answer to the cubicle or couch question can be partially answered by coffee.

    What do you see as the pros and cons of working remotely? If you have the choice, which do you prefer?