Describe the Project (Goals, Requirements, and Outcome):
The overall goal of this project was to provide clear access to the wealth of content Realtree.com has to offer in a way that would be easy and intuitive for any user on any device.
From an admin perspective, site admins needed a way to produce and manage content across a variety of authors, and also be able to display that content in various places and formats. The blogs, articles, and photo essays on Realtree.com being key areas of content that is created daily across dozens of authors.
In the end both front-end users and back-end authors were overwhelmingly pleased with the result, as were we.
Why Drupal Was Chosen:
The previous site was built with Drupal 6, and as we have become Drupal experts over the years since, Drupal became the only logical choice. We needed a CMS we knew was highly customizable and scalable. Drupal meets both of those criteria with flying colors.
Oh and well, we also just love Drupal!
Key Modules, Theme, and Distribution Used:
The base theme is built on top of Zurb Foundation.
We used a lot of great contributed modules, as well as, created our own. It's hard to pick a few, but some key modules that come to mind are:
WYSIWYG + WYSIWYG Filter + ckeditor 4
We did not use a distribution. We wanted full control of all modules used in order to keep a lean and tight site.
Why these Modules, Theme, and Distribution were Chosen:
We wanted to use a responsive framework for the theme. Zurb Foundation was an excellent choice. There are many things we like about Zurb - the grid layout, block grids, and custom form styling to name a few.
As far as modules, we wanted the authoring process to be as clean and intuitive as we could make it. We used a WYSIWYG module with cKeditor 4 to create a streamlined toolbar, and also used CSS to make the WYSIWYG body area look exactly as it will on the front-end of the site. This really aids authors in knowing what to expect when they publish.
We used OpenLayers for mapping user generated, geocoded input. Using OpenLayers allowed us to create custom taxonomy based map markers so that nothing felt default or out of place with our theme.
Semantic Views and Display Suite did wonders for cleaning up what is often a mess of code generated by Drupal and/or views while also giving us fine grained control of front-end output. Display Suite also enabled us to use display modes and layouts in a very admin-friendly way.
Clientside Validation may seem like a minor module to list, but the enhancement it brings to users as they fill out forms (especially very long forms) can not be quantified. With this module we were able to combine clientside validation, Zurb Foundation custom forms, and our own custom error messages and styling. Which again, does wonders for the user filling out a form.