Building websites that are content-rich often means creating a user interface that displays lots of content on a single page. Sometimes it's hard to fit it all. Many designers turn to tabs to fit in all the content. In Drupal, there are several ways to implement tabs.
The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC), is one of the most comprehensive university health centres in North America. It includes a network of five major hospitals and is both a patient and research-oriented organization.
If you haven't noticed already, we are getting pretty excited about cloud computing at Evolving Web. Our latest deployment included 5 Rackspace Cloud servers being controlled by Puppet and provided the client with the ability to scale up and down easily depending on traffic. Scaling up involves spinning up a new server instance and configuring it for its role. But what is the best way to configure it? By hand? By scripts? By images? Well technically any of those methods will work, but I want to tell you about one you may not have heard of.
Lately, we have been involved in a project where our clients needed a site capable of serving a large number of anonymous users and a reasonable number of concurrently logged in users. In order to reach these goals, we looked to the cloud. I'll give a quick overview of our configuration using nginx, boost, apc, cacherouter, memcached, and glusterfs. This has allowed us to scale up considerably.
Recently, I've been working on the search interface for McGill University's course catalog. The University wants to allow students to browse courses at friendly URLs like:
Creating a search interface for a website with a lot of content requires providing a variety of filters. Sometimes those filters can take on a life of their own, providing hundreds of options for users to filter by. While building widgets for our Drupal/Solr projects, we looked at a couple non-Drupal examples of search interfaces for content-heavy websites.
Sometimes, we find issues with content that are not anticipated by the planning process since they don't show up by looking at sample content or discussing the major use cases of the site. By looking at real content during the data import phase, these issues can be dealt with at an early stage in the development process.
Building a comprehensive information architecture for a content-heavy website can be a challenge. Luckily, Drupal is great for rapid development and by building content types early on, it's easier to discover issues with either the content, design, or architectural decisions.