Building a Podcast Site in 20 Hours

sapicon.jpgDrupal makes building websites easy. I was reminded just how much this is true when Bob and I recently built the website for the Super Average Podcast. From the start of the design to the finished product being ready to launch we spent about a total of 20 man hours. And, while we sometimes complain about some of the ways we have to bend over backwards when theming a drupal site (this is greatly improved in the next drupal release), spending only 20 hours to create this site definitely says something. Let's take a look at some of the modules we used that made this so easy.

  • Audio Module - It provided the cornerstone for managing the audio on the site. We use it for the flash player, to manage the id3 tags, add the art to the file, and more.
  • Podtrac module - We are using this as a replacement for the audio modules built in download tracking. The built in tracking can be expensive for performance. This offloads that to Podtrac which, also, provides richer information.
  • XML Sitemap module - This module takes care of the work of submitting the content to the search engines. The only thing to watch for is on high traffic sites having the sitemap submitted only on cron runs.
  • Scheduler module - I don't want to have to remember to publish the content every Monday when it launchers. Scheduler does it for me.
  • Bio, CCK, and Automatic Node Titles modules - These module helped us build the host pages.
  • Captcha and re-captcha modules - You have to have some security against comment spam. Some site require you to log in to comment. I find this to be too much work and logged in users don't get the benefits of the aggressive caching we are running. This is a little better for performance. To remember a commenter's info we are using the comment info module.
  • Simplemenu module - We are using a one column design. When someone is logged in we are using this module to access the navigation menu.
  • To round out the functionality of the site we are using the views, imagecache, google analytics, and html corrector modules.

Installing drupal, these contributed modules, and configuring them to what we needed took about 2 man hours. Everything on top of that was creating the design, turning it into a drupal theme, and beating the CSS into submission.

Unless you are a drupal wiz who knows what you are going to build I wouldn't suggest using 20 hours as an estimate. This is not an amount of time you could expect someone to build a site in. A big part of site design is knowing what you are going to build and we knew that before hand. This isn't our first podcast or podcasting site. And, the fact that we had a design in less than 20 hours much less it turned into a theme is a miracle in itself.

But, for what it is, this is a testament to how fast you can build something with drupal.

Very useful

Some great information here. Thanks for posting it. I can see people getting a lot of use out of this.

5 hours next time

If you create an install profile out of it you could make it even easier next time someone needs a podcast site! :)

drupal builds

good to know... I just got two drupal gigs and have to build both sites by March. I think that's enough time, but I've only completed one site in Drupal thus far... so I'm not that fast (Basic CMS requirements). To speed things up though, I've been using a web host that does the installs and drupal updating for free... included in the host price.