Drupal Meetup and Website Management

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jethro's picture

Thursday night I went to my first Brisbane Drupal Meetup. It was great. There were 8 or 9 people there so most of the time was actually spend learning a little about each other (and kidding Mark about coding on reel tapes).

Jeff and Sheree and Josh from Marmalade Soul organised it. I also picked up cards from Mark, Chris, and Tony. Nick from Our Brisbane who I had already met because I am hosting and maintaining www.studybrisbane.com.au was there too. He is a real funny guy!

I had decided to present a summary of the tools and methodologies we employ here at Jethro in looking after something like 30 Drupal websites. As promised I have listed below the major tools and their uses below. This is a much bigger subject than the 10 minutes I gave to it on Thursday and I am really interested in seeing what others are doing.

ms office logo Disclaimer: Yes I live in a Microsoft world. No I do not hate Macs or open source. and yes, sometimes Microsoft products are not the best products to use. On their own. But; most of the Microsoft tools that we do use are either because they are awesome or because of their integration and synchronisation with other MS tools. They are also generally easy for new staff to learn to use.

Process flow – we manage the tasks for setting up a new client in One Note. In fact we pretty much use One Note for all Ad Hoc site management.

Here is our documentation process

  1. Create newclient folder (on server)
  2. Copy contract masters folder from Web Hosting\contract masters and rename all files sample with client name
  3. Open all word docs and change properties for company name
  4. Make edits for specific settings for web hosting account
  5. Open password management file from server not as read only
    1. Create new line entry for the new account and generate password
    2. Open web host manager on the web server and create the new account using the correct details
  6. Open Cuteftp and create new site with the ftp details - forward to staff who need access to add to their ftp site manager
  7. Open Cpanel on the web server and create new email users as required – set up spam assassin
  8. Create the new contacts in outlook for each user and add to users category
  9. Create new folder in outlook for account
  10. Create new folder in Develop for account - create develop sub folder
  11. Create new customer account in Quickbooks and invoice as required
  12. Create new folder in OneNote Development Notebook under websites and client sites section for customer

imgres OneNote then is the tool of choice for managing ad hoc data about the site, passwords and logins, emails from Outlook can be posted to it with a single button click from within Outlook, screenshots of API keys, specific site settings, and other information can be stored there,

excel We manage all our clients sites and modules in a single Excel spreadsheet. This lists all the sites, what version of Drupal they are on and all the modules that are enabled on that site. It also identifies the core modules for versions 4,5 and 6 of Drupal.

word  We manage all our client communications using Outlook, OneNote and Word. Word 2007 is particularly useful for our contracts. We have 10 or so pages of contracts for any new client involving the hosting arrangements. Buy simply changing the client name in the  document properties this change is made through the entire file just like that.

imgres We use Live Mesh to synchronise all our data. It is by far and a way the easiest thing we have ever found to manage the remote staff we have around the world. During the development phase we manage the themes folders for development in a live mesh folder. All the One Note Notebooks are being synchronised with various staff as needed for development, documentation and notes.

So how do you consistently manage a portfolio of clients, websites and all the information that goes along with developing, hosting and maintaining websites for clients?


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Keith Stieneke's picture

I should investigate Drupal

I should investigate Drupal again. I tried using it once to create an Article Directory but didn't have very good luck with doing so as my programming skills aren't the best.

Keith Stieneke's picture

I am trying to post a comment

I am trying to post a comment here and my comment is not spam. I merely wanted to say that at one time I tried using Drupal to set up an article directory website and I didn't do very well configuring Drupal. I may look into using Drupal for another type of project in the near future.

Thank you.

jethro's picture

thanks for your comment. If

thanks for your comment. If you do want to consider drupal again let us know and we can provide assistance!

Anonymous's picture

Thanks cool post mate.

Thanks cool post mate.

Web Designer's picture

Great post, haha, I love the

Great post, haha, I love the disclaimer, I don't live in the "Microsoft" world either, I just work for a company that uses it ;)

eve isk's picture

I may look into using Drupal

I may look into using Drupal for another type of project in the near future.