3 min read

Toms End of Year Review - 2018

Tom in the MadeByShape meeting room
Caution! This article is 5 years old, and our opinions may have changed.

Well well well. It would appear it is that time of year again. As 2018 draws to a close I’m going to take the time to look back on what has been pretty great year at Shape! 

This year there has been a lot of change in our workflow and technologies we use. It has been great to expand, develop and refine the way we work and the tools that we use. 

Hello Craft 3

The first thing I feel the need to mention about this year is the move to Craft 3. As a web design studio, we are always moving forward with the technologies we use in order to stay up-to-date and current within the industry. A big jump we made the previous year was moving from ExpressionEngine to Craft CMS. And we welcomed this with open arms. Craft CMS is a bloomin’ fantastic piece of kit to work with. From the intuitive system itself, to the ever-growing and super friendly network of people and companies that use it across the world. 

This year, Craft 3 was released, and boy oh boy were we excited about this. Upgrading to this alone meant massive changes in our workflow, but by all means for the better. From big changes like the brand new plugin store, to the finer details like being able to duplicate entries and it's children, everything about Craft 3 is just better. 

Half way through the year, I was tasked with rebuilding an ExpressionEngine site we build many moons ago in Craft 3. This was due to the growth of this site which the old site wasn't capable of processing. Here's a little bit of feedback from the client when we passed the site back to them in Craft 3...

"First of all the new CMS is really great and the structure easy to navigate."

Job well done!

Embracing Change

Along with the changes that we have embraced with moving to Craft 3, we have moved to other technologies which have really helped workflow and development. Most notably we have now started using Gulp  to run tasks including compiling and minifying our sass and js files, compressing and optimising images and process critical css to name a couple. 

Alongside this came the introduction of using npm to install, manage and update packages for our framework. Both of these tools have really helped bring on our custom framework, making it even more solid than previously and keep us up-to-date with all of the third-party plugins and frameworks we use. 

We have also moved to GitHub and DeployHQ for committing and deploying our sites. We have found that these work seamlessly together and have made pushing sites to production super duper quick. 

Dot All

In September me and Jay headed over to Berlin for the 2018 Craft Dot All Conference. This was a great event which had a number of guest speakers over a couple of days, going through a variety of topics all things Craft. We learnt a lot…from the importance of reducing the number of clicks in a commerce checkout process, to discovering that CurryWurst is 90% Ketchup. I wrote a blog about this trip the other month so rather than go on about it again here, have a read of my Dot All experience here.

Few picks from the year

Finally, it would be worth mentioning a few stand out projects that I have had the pleasure to work on this year. Take a look below...

Decor8 - view live site

Hartshead - view live site

IASDR - view live site

It’s safe to say that 2018 has been a damn good year for us at Shape, let’s keep this train rolling into 2019! Have a great christmas all, eat lots, drink lots, laugh lots. 

I've been at Shape for around 8 years now. I bagged a couple of weeks of work experience at the end of my first year at Salford Uni and from then on, well what can I say, they couldn't get enough of me.