New Client Site, Built in Drupal: International Biochar Initiative

Time for that rare moment in this business, when you actually get to unveil a project that’s been in development for months. In this case, the International Biochar Initiative’s new online home is also my first site built using Drupal, which turned out to be a lot of work to learn but well worth it (though next time I’m charging about 50% more…). Drupal sites require tons of setup time because the system is bare-bones straight out of the box, meaning that every advanced feature has to be configured (and often installed) separately. Which of course can be a pain in the butt, but it means that you can end up with a site that’s tailored exactly for your (or your client’s) needs.

I started working with IBI back last Fall to begin planning the site, and we dove into the design and development in earnest earlier this year. The group will use the site to promote their issue (biochar, a simple technology with applications ranging from improving agriculture to sequestering carbon in the soil) and to connect practitioners and researchers around the world, so we integrated in a Democracy In Action/Salsa CRM account for mass-emailing, supporter-management and donations, helping to solve several problems at once. We also used several Drupal add-on modules to create a sophisticated events calendar, a easily updated list of recent news stories and an extensive database of biochar-related articles and scientific papers. Check it out! Now, the joy of maintenance…


Written by
Colin Delany
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  • Unintentional I’m sure, but I did smile at your use of “or” in “you can end up with a site that’s tailored exactly for your (or your client’s) needs” – as if it’s a choice between doing what your client wants or what you really want 🙂

  • Cpd,
    Thanks for you great work.
    Being far more than code challenged myself, your skills are those of a modern priesthood,
    I am personally upset with many of the blog pages that don’t allow cut & past comments. which are my only skills.

    cheers ,

  • I wonder if you could talk about the pros and cons of Drupal v. Joomla. I am a Joomla user myself and haven’t made the leap into Drupal. I am curious about your thoughts in that regard.