Website Re-Development

Posted 11th August 2013

Until very recently, this web­site was pow­ered by Dru­pal. Now although Drupal’s great in a whole raft of sit­u­a­tions, there are times when either it’s overkill for some­thing small, or just doesn’t fit into one’s work­flow. I came to realise that both of these applied to this site, so when it came to re-​developing, I decided to aban­don Dru­pal for the site altogether.

In the end, I decided to rebuild the site using Jekyll, along with a few other tools along the way.

This post explains the moti­va­tions behind the deci­sion, what I did next and some of the chal­lenges I faced along the way.

The Need for Re-​development

There were sev­eral aspects that made re-​developing my site some­thing of a priority.

First, it wasn’t mobile-​friendly. I may have been able to get away with that some years ago when I first drafted the site, but now that’s just not accept­able. After weigh­ing the pros and cons of a respon­sive vs a sep­a­rate mobile site, I decided on the for­mer — and the only way to do that would be to start the front end build again from scratch.

Gift Certificates in Drupal Commerce

Posted 4th May 2013

There isn’t really an out-​of-​the-​box solu­tion for gift cer­tifi­cates in Dru­pal Com­merce; there’s no mod­ule (at time of writ­ing) you can sim­ply down­load, enable and for­get about. Being Dru­pal, there are many ways to skin a cat, so to speak, so in this post I’m going to out­line how I got them work­ing on a site I built.

Of course, the way your gift cer­tifi­cates work may well dif­fer from site-​to-​site; I had a way I wanted it to work, but your require­ments might be sub­tly dif­fer­ent, but hope­fully what­ever your require­ments, some of what fol­lows is of some use.

To out­line, here’s what I wanted to achieve:

  1. Gift cer­tifi­cates avail­able as prod­ucts, which a cus­tomer can purchase
  2. A range of val­ues (£5, £10, £20 etc) available
  3. A prod­uct dis­play page that dif­fered from “con­ven­tional” prod­ucts — there are less fields required, so the lay­out was likely to be different
  4. I wanted a cus­tomer to be able to spec­ify a recip­i­ent for the gift certificate
  5. The cus­tomer needed to sup­ply an email address for the recip­i­ent, so we can send it to them via email
  6. I wanted the cus­tomer to be able to spec­ify the recipient’s name, to per­son­alise the email
  7. The cus­tomer ought to be able to enter their name as they wished it to appear on the email; the billing name on the order might well be too formal
  8. There ought to be an optional text field to add a per­sonal message
  9. The gift cer­tifi­cate needed to be sent out via email when the order was com­pleted, and paid for