So there you are, wondering how I work all of this magic. How can one man produce miracles with just a lap top, and an internet connection? While what I do is a lot less confusing than computers in the Matrix, it is not far off. Here are my main tools.
You may get sass from cranky teenagers, but you get none of that here. If I use PHP to manipulate the markup, then I need another tool to style it, so I use Sass language. I could just use raw CSS, but this is the age of abstraction. The cool thing about it is that I can take ordinary CSS files, and do my work with Sass, and the world is none the wiser. That is pretty useful when I am just popping in to make some quick changes to a page, or two.
Aside from the code though I try to keep my sass to a minimum.
Back in the days of yore my first VPS was an AWS microinstance. This is where I figured out the basics of running a remote server: installing Apache / Nginx, running back ups / upgrades, and bash scripting. I also experimented briefly with their Windows server instances.
I can still apply all of this cool stuff to any remote server, although AWS is unique in the depth, and convenience of their dashboard, and API. Although the costs can add up quickly for large projects you can not beat AWS for scalable cloud computing.
Drupal is among the other major players in online publishing frame works. It has an extremely active, and dedicated community of contributors, but it is not quite as intuitive as some other alternatives. Once you get over the learning curve though it empowers site administrators, and users alike to do some really wonderful things. If you are new to Drupal I encourage you to check out
sites made with Drupal before taking the plunge. See what can be done, and then we can go get 'em together.
So you already have the fanciest, flashiest, most engaging site that ever existed. People are flocking to your site in droves, and you are serving up the freshest content, hot and straight from the kitchen. Now you need some mechanism to see what drives your traffic. Moving beyond that though, you can start to manipulate content based on trends. Perhaps one of your products sizzles during summertime, but fizzles when school starts up. We can automate based on that. There is a lot you can do when you understand what your users want, and compiling the user analytics is only the first step.
So you have seen what I do. You have a sense what I am all about, but how can I apply that to you? How can I start to address your specific needs? Rest easy. You can just tell me what you want to accomplish, and I will tell you how we get can get 'er done. You want better exposure? We can improve your SEO, and start an online advertising campaign. You want more user engagement? We can get going with user analytics, integrate a web forum into your pages. You just plain old want more money? Well, you will need to be a little more specific than that, but not by much. I can figure out the rest for you.
What is the dynamic web?
At some point you heard about this new fad called the internet, and decided that it deserved some investigation. You may have heard some things about "web 2.0", "social media", and other marketing jargon. Here I want to share some of my insight as a professional, and hopefully clarify a number of these concepts.
Initially the web was simply static content very closely related to a word document, or slide show. We could write, and publish content for you to view in your web browser. At the time though it was very labor intensive, and specialized to create, and not especially engaging for our users, nor was it very flexible.
The dynamic web, also called web 2.0, is a the next generation of this earlier technology. Now we can dynamically generate pages from a single template using languages like
open source PHP,
Since now we can write logic to generate content rather than the content its self we can dynamically alter pages without nearly as much effort, creating a more relevant experience for our visitors. We can draw content from local, and remote servers to take advantage of data from all across the web to ensure that we have the best, and most current information, and we are able to receive, and display input from our viewers rather than publishing in a one sided interaction.
With all of these new possibilities the web has exploded as a publishing platform, and marketing tool. Some of these tools are fantastic; some are bunk. Like any project though you need an expert to separate the signal from the noise, and help you to get the greatest return for your investment. As it turns out I happen to know a