Jurcatalog.by

News Site & Business Directory
jurcatalog.by
Once I performed little WordPress bootcamp for one of my customers. One of the employees – attendants of that bootcamp left that customer in a while and gone freelancing. When one of her new customers asked to recommend some WordPress Guru she pointed at my direction. That’s how my friendship with Ilya Latyshev began.
Ilya is a lawyer in the third generation. He had a WordPress blog on legal issues that he wanted to transform to some kind of portal with legal news and a catalog on legal service providers.
Initially I developed custom WP plugin for the catalog of legal service providers. Might seem a piece of cake. But it is not. I had to develop catalog itself, import-tool for MS Excel files, two editors (for admin area and user area), setup mechanism that enabled different field sets for different member types, and custom field set per each user later. Second stage of this project was to make a custom WP theme, using PSD mockups designed by some other UX/Design studio.
The problem was that studio provided non-responsive mockups for only one resolution. So I had to adapt markup myself for lower resolutions.
Since there were no customer request for smartphone version, I created partially responsive design. 768px was the lowest adaptive resolution. In a little while, when the site became more popular our hosting provider complained, that our site is too resource-hungry. “Too many sql queries” they said. naked-gun-facepalm My bad. Overestimated wordpress internal caching. In order to optimize the performance, I developed little WP plugin that allowed me to analyze bottlenecks with SQL queries. It helped me to optimize some queries and cache results of others. My last improvement to this site was login with Facebook. Might seem trivial at first. But I decided to make it classy. By classy I mean I decided to improve overall auth process so that one could login without page reload. And that forced me to update all the mechanisms that required authentication to react when user logs in.
In conclusion I should say that this is one of my favorite projects and it still makes me feel proud.
What makes me feel proud
  • Made a nice site from scratch.
  • During work on this project I improved significantly my ZF-Core framework and created separate WP plugins for Authentication, Comments and Built-in Search Engine.
  • Tried out responsive markup.
  • Created JS library that later became jQuery.Scroolly.
  • Began using git as version control system and as a part of deployment process.
What leassons I learned
  • I recommended my client a designer company without checking their portfolio. Never again.
  • Style guide was created in the end. Should be at the very beginning.
  • Email was the main communication platform. Basecamp or Trello should be used instead.

Ilya Latyshev

Owner of Jurcatalog.by, Managing Partner of RLN

Together with Boris we began to work on my project jurcatalog.by in January 2013. The most of the development was completed by the summer of 2014 and thereafter Boris provides support for the project. It is nice to work with Boris. He is more than just highly qualified professional. His attitude to the work he is doing is responsibility and devotion. Unlike many others, Boris goes far beyond the formal customer request. Not only he does what he is asked for, Boris tries to understand deeply the main idea of the project, it’s mission. He becomes a part of the project team, gets involved in the overall project activity and generates ideas that are often get implemented in a while. Boris reviews the job done by other teammates, and if he sees any potential upcoming problems he is always eager to help with an improvement or alternative solution. That is why I felt a little bit sad when the development was over and we moved to the support stage. I’d like to thank Boris for his significant contribution to the jurcatalog.by project. Significant indeed.