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IFLScience

Development notes: 

Key development tools

  • Separate mobile/desktop themes
  • Editors can select colours for taxonomy terms (categories)
  • Advertising integration (DFP module)
  • High-performance optimization
  • Code and configuration¬†managed using features,¬†install profiles,¬†make files and git

Development notes

I F*cking Love Science (IFLScience) began as a Facebook page, created to share cool and interesting science tidbits. Followers increased quickly, and when we began development of a companion website in July, 2013, it had 6.3 million followers. This brought a few interesting requirements for the website. Firstly, since traffic is driven from social media, mobile-friendly version was important. Secondly, the site needed to withstand huge burtsts of traffic driven from Facebook.

At first glance this is a pretty typical blog site. I has articles with comments, related posts, tags, and some contextual advertising. Posts are arranged into categories, each with an associated colour. The colour selections are made through the Drupal admin panel: site administrators can select colours for newly created categories. This was implemented using the Colour field module and a theme function which makes the colour values available to display in different contexts.

Rather than using responsive web design, the mobile version is implemented as a separate mobile theme. This allows the design to tailor content and navigation for smaller screens. The home page in particular displays much less content than the desktop version. This allows users to more easily access content in shorter chunks, while the full desktop version provides longer teasers and quick access to social sharing widgets.