Stella and the crew over at Matchist have put together a full on case study about some Drupal work I did for a design studio run by Jason Early out of Chicago. His company has a cooler name than mine, “Grunt Monkey.”
I’ve been working on a redesign of the DevDm.com Home Page for some time now. I wanted it to be ME instead of what I thought people were looking for in a portfolio site. In the end I needed to build something and say the things that attract the type of people I want to work with. So that is what I’ve done. Part of this launch is also the creation of the “Idea Will Call.” At the end of the day I am still a web gun for hire so take a look and share your ideas with me.
I’ve created a WordPress theme for developers to use as a spring board for building responsive WordPress based websites for their clients. If you are a web developer you should go check it out!
About three months ago I had this idea that I would make a theme for small businesses that would be easy to use and contain some very business specific components (services, hours, photo-gallery,logo -all the basics to get someone up and running). I decided that first things were first (duh!) and I knew that I needed a “starter” platform to get things going. So I set out creating DevDmSmallBusiness based on Twitter Bootstrap 2.3.1. This was my first no timeline, could build it how I wanted to build it, no budget WordPress theme. So I really took the time to read EVERYTHING and try to understand what the best standards and practices for building a theme were. At my 9-5 we do a lot of basic theme building on the cheap or template flipping so I wasn’t getting the proper education I wanted.
I then saw a thread on Reddit where a theme designer was polling the hive mind about what they were looking for in a theme. The responses in this thread determined my mission. It was no longer to create a theme that I would profit from. The project turned into “How can I give back to this community?” I changed the project name and proceeded to create DevDmBootstrap. Now there are already a few Bootstrap starter themes out there but they were not tailored for developers in the way that I wanted to. Many have been sitting for months and months untouched, some don’t even work, some are bloated, and some are just, well, bad.
So I’ve spent all these weeks building this “thing” and trying to make it the best I could. Then the unexpected happened as I was nearly finished. Twitter releases Bootstrap 3 rc1. This was painful for me and I was pretty bummed but I had a decision to make. Do I redo everything I’ve done for the new release candidate? or do I stay the course with what is already solid and push on?
In the end I decided to stay the course. I’d come too far to go back now. Even though I will lose some of those bleeding edge developers (until I release DevDmBootstrap3 THE RECKONING!) it was in the best interests of the community to provide a SOLID foundation.
This blog right now is using a child theme of DevDmBootstrap and I have a plan to create a few more child themes to show people what is possible.
At some point your mental focus changes when you work on something that you intend to give away for free. The community suddenly becomes EVERYTHING. You start to think about all those people who provided all those FREE plugins, themes, and advice that YOU have benefited from over the years. It is a feeling of liberation that washes over you as a new sense of purpose inside your heart is manifested. The web as a whole MUST remain open and free. The opportunity for people of ALL casts to educate themselves and contribute to their world must BE FREE. It is counter productive to put a monetary “price” on progress.