Saturday, April 19, 2008

Prefab Site : The Soft Launch

About a year or so ago, I had an ephipany: people want turnkey websites-- like REALLY easy installations. If you say to them, "you have to install this driver" or "what does the .htaccess file look like?" you've failed. You need to ask them the absolute minimum of questions and get to work. Ask for a few minutes of patience and then deliver the website as close to ready as possible.

Enter Prefabsite.net.

When I first got things underway, I had some complex grandiose dreams: the ultimate mash-up maker-- need a website for diner/hotel/video store? Sure. How about a blog-forum? Easy. That was a little too complex to make work without grinding the gears. If I waited until I got that right, I would NEVER launch the site-- the scope of the task combined with the amount of free time I have in a given week would have prevented my conclusion of this project. So, I went with a version 1.0: you can create pages and maintain a blog. Keep it simple, stupid. Examples of this set-up from the Alpha phase:

Version 1.1 : Choose which type of site you want to have: reviews, Flickr mash-up, catalog and many more models will be available.

How is this all possible? Drupal-- I am using an optimized version of Drupal 5.7, configured for turnkey use. Yes, I know there is the Fantasico Installer version: it loads Drupal 6.1-- so the first task is to re-download a new version (6.2). After that, you have a vanilla install. There are the installer profiles for Drupal. They are good, but they not built to be turnkey.

Did I mention that you check out the site? Prefabsite.net

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