So, I’m trying to get a Drupal 8 Version of this built. While I’m doing that I’m considering what I may want to do in a full site rebuild into Drupal 8. This would mean that everything in Fanbards.net would be upgraded to the new version of Drupal, not a bad thing per say. It does allow for a reexamination of how I have things done with the current build, and how I might improve. It also allows me to consider how I may want to rebuild DhampirDreams.com which, while different in setup Fanbards.net has some similar needs.
So what have I learned from the Drupal 7 version of Bookshelf, as well as the way I do things on the site? Firstly, it’s easy to come up with a structure that works, but I’m extremely dependent on third-party modules. I’m a site builder at heart, a person who makes use of the tools and modules available to make a site he wants to put out. This means that I use a lot more modules then say someone who knows PHP and can build in more through code as opposed to being dependent on other devs.
Another thing I’ve learned. The layout of where I put things is just as important, especially when what I see is nowhere near what the less accessible user uses. It’s always been a bit of an issue that, what I see and am able to adapt to is NOT necessarily what my users are able to adapt to. This was proven when I tried to build the site originally using the core Book Module for story organization. It provided a ton of great features built in, but the use of it was just too difficult to expect of users who weren’t nearly as interested in adapting as I was.
Since then I’ve had a chance to look at and play around with a few other Drupal Modules, some that have been transitioned to Drupal 8, some that are still in progress, have yet to be released, or outright abandoned. In this tinkering, I’ve been trying to think of how I should improve both Bookshelf and my Web Sites in General.
One of the things I want in the new build is more control over layout and adding content beyond just blocks of Text. I want to be able to add images, video, Twitter Embedded Tweeks, Facebook Posts, and other things of a similar setup. It’s difficult to do all of that in CKEditor, the WYSIWYG Editor I’ve been using in Drupal 7 for content creation. That’s why I’m going to look at using Paragraphs instead. Paragraphs allows for a great deal more leeway in how I set things up, even with layouts and such in an article/chapter. So say I want to put a Picture in an article. I can create a set of PAraqgrpahs Bundles that setup if the Image is by itself, or with text.
Another thing I need to work on and improve is my social media integration. The only really solid integration I’ve had has been through the Twitter Module, and even then the link I send out is very basic. I want to send out Tweets that are dynamic, both image and text like a good Twitter card. I also NEED To have solid Facebook Integration. Both when it comes to publishing and when it comes to commenting. Now, I think I could do better with a fresh install of Metatag and not being overly specific in how things go. Also, I will need to setup Facebook Instant Articles, which improves readability from Facebook on Mobile devices. I know there is a Google-specific variant of the same thing, but as of now there really isn’t a good integration of Google Social Media and Drupal, as Google hasn’t really been playing nicely with others.
I also know I need to considering how I want to present Bookshelf to the Community. Is it a standalone profile that is meant to help create Story Archives for anyone? Or are parts of it meant to replace things like the Core Book module? These are ideas and things that frankly need some work and some help from others to even begin to get close to an answer on. Which is why you are all welcome to discuss it with me.