Episode Number 02

Events and Calendars in EE with Jae Barclay

Sep 05, 2013 @ 11AM MT

Calendars and events seem simple at first glance, but can quickly become more and more complex. Jae Barclay joins us to discuss these complexities for ExpressionEngine sites, the limitations of EE native functionality and how it led him to Solspace Calendar and Low Events. We also chat about dealing with client expectations, that registration functionality is possibly the Holy Grail, and tips on what to consider when creating calendar sites with EE. We also chat about EE news and find out what’s in store for Creat-ee!

Tags:
jae barclay
interviews
calendars
events
planning
project management
education
expressionengine
business
eecms

Episode Transcript

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CTRL+CLICK CAST is proud to provide transcripts for our audience members who prefer text-based content. However, our episodes are designed for an audio experience, which includes emotion and emphasis that don't always translate to our transcripts. Additionally, our transcripts are generated by human transcribers and may contain errors. If you require clarification, please listen to the audio.

[Music]

Lea Alcantara: You are listening to CTRL+CLICK CAST. We inspect the web for you. Today we’re talking about managing events and calendars in ExpressionEngine with special guest, Jae Barclay. I’m your host, Lea Alcantara, and I’m joined by my fab co-host.

Emily Lewis: Emily Lewis.

Lea Alcantara: This episode is sponsored by EE Coder, the EE experts who play well with others. Do you sometimes wish you had a trusted partner for your projects? EE Coder has been providing reliable ExpressionEngine development, consulting and maintenance to companies with needs like yours since 2007. Add our experience to your team. Say hello at eecoder.com.

Emily Lewis: CTRL+CLICK would also like to thank Pixel & Tonic for being our major sponsor of the year. [Music ends] Hi Lea, how are you doing?

Lea Alcantara: I’m enjoying the last remnant of summer. I can’t believe it’s September already.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs] I know. It’s been a blur.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah. So I’m kind of counting down to my birthday.

Emily Lewis: Oh yeah, that’s coming up soon.

Lea Alcantara: And speaking of birthdays, happy early birthday to you as well.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I know. It’s two days away, and then I’ll be one year from 40. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Wow! Wow!

Emily Lewis: I know, it’s sort of mindboggling.

Lea Alcantara: Time flies. Yeah, I have no idea how it happens. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: I know, it’s crazy. So speaking of the last remnants of summer, has Seattle delivered a good summer since you moved in there?

Lea Alcantara: You know what, it’s been fantastic, you know?

Emily Lewis: Oh, nice.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, a lot of people always talk about how it’s rainy and everything, and I’m sure that’s coming for the winter.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But this summer has been so perfect like I can count on one hand how many days it actually rained.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: And it’s been like really brief. Nothing like huge or a big deal, and it was beautifully sunny. The other day I think it was like 80 degrees Fahrenheit or whatever the other day.

Emily Lewis: Nice.

Lea Alcantara: And in some ways, like because I’m new to Seattle, it feels like I’m still vacationing, you know?

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Like I went to the beach the other day, you know? [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: That’s great though. I mean, I’ve spent summers in Seattle as well. I have family and friends there, and it is really just beautiful. Those three months in summer are just some of the best weather on the planet.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, because it’s so mild, like it’s warm but not too warm.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: It’s not that humid, so it’s just a great summer. How about you?

Emily Lewis: Yeah, it’s been pretty good. I mean, it’s typically hot.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Like it’s always hot here in summer. It’s one of those things where you need, if you want to go for a walk and you don’t want to die, you need to do it before 8 a.m. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: But yeah, I can sense that fall is around the corner. We had a nice monsoon season. We had about – I don’t know – a month of pretty regular rain which is really nice here. When I say regular rain, I mean, we’ll have like an hour of rain. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Emily Lewis: But for about a month, we got some good rain which is nice.

Lea Alcantara: Well, that’s cool.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. So I’m happy that fall is around the corner though, it’s my favorite season here. I think fall in New Mexico is just unbelievable. It’s just incredible.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I love fall in general too, even in Canada.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: It was just too short back in Canada.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: Canadian weather is like basically winter, winter, winter, winter, winter, spring/summer for like two days and then winter again. So… [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: But when there’s like that little transition period, I just find like the crispier air and the changing of colors, it’s just so awesome, and of course, like it’s my birthday, so it always feels like there’s a little bit of a transition to celebration.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: And then like, “Oh, it’s fall, how beautiful?” [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs] I know what you mean. We’re both Virgo, so… [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, exactly.

Emily Lewis: All right, let’s talk about a little bit of news. There has been some ExpressionEngine news, I guess, the past week or so.

Lea Alcantara: So like the biggest thing is EE 2.7 is out.

Emily Lewis: Yes, yes.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: I’m actually looking forward to this. I’m very interested in trying their grid field type.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: And seeing how it compares with what I’ve used in the past which has primarily been Matrix. Some of the other things that are included in the update, I’m not so sure where they are going to fit in with me, but Safecracker is now in a channel form.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: So that’s pretty interesting. They’re also incorporating New Relic for monitoring performance.

Lea Alcantara: And I think that’s going to really appeal to a lot of the enterprise and high traffic sites out there.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. I haven’t taken a look at the change log to see what bug fixes have been done, but that’s on my list to do later today and just see where we stand with some things.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: You know…

Lea Alcantara: So far…

Emily Lewis: Oh, I was going to say, this update, it came at a time when I have a client that requested, like a week ago, to update their ExpressionEngine version from like 2. – I don’t know – 3 something or whatever.

Lea Alcantara: Oh wow!

Emily Lewis: And I was going through their add-ons to see where we stood with add-ons, and I find it really frustrating when add-on developers don’t provide a change log.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Because then there’s no way for me to have an at-a-glance view of whether they have updated anything for a new EE version.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: Like some do, but not all of them, and that was really frustrating. So if you’re an add-on developer listening, please put a change log out there. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, and I think maybe even in just terms of change log stuff, those that do you have them. They mention like database changes, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: But like make sure that you also explicitly say, “This is compatible with 2.6 or 2.7.”

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Lea Alcantara: Or, “This has been updated specifically for this EE version.”

Emily Lewis: Yeah, it’s really critical if you’re getting ready to do an update for a client on an old system who has add-ons that are perhaps old. I don’t know if we’re ready to do an update because I don’t know where we stand with our add-ons, or at least half of the add-ons I looked at yesterday during my audit, so…

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, still though, it’s a good exercise to kind of like wait and see a little bit to see how the community reacts and how updates have been going, and if you’ve got low-risk sites to update or like local update tests and things like. Do that before you try to upgrade your other like client sites and stuff, so…

Emily Lewis: Yeah, so we also have some other pretty big news in the EE community. Low announced that he’s moving his add-on sales exclusively to Devot:ee.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, so this is pretty much I would say the second major developer to exclusively move their entire store to Devot:ee.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, I think it’s cool. I mean, that’s where I go.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: When I need an add-on, I go to Devot:ee first, and depending on where the documentation is, the support form or whatever, I may go to the add-on developer site, but I really love how Devot:ee manages licenses. It also makes it really easy to transfer licenses.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, I think that’s the biggest thing as just the repository aspect that we can have access to all our add-ons in one place and be able to transfer it to clients very easily.

Emily Lewis: It’s one of those kind of moves that I like seeing because it shows that there’s still a huge commitment to the add-on development to EE community and kind of integrating all those into a major resource to make it even stronger.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: I’m excited about it. I’m glad that Low made that decision.

Lea Alcantara: Cool. Yeah, me too.

Emily Lewis: All right, cool. So let’s get to today’s episode. We’re talking about working with events and calendars in ExpressionEngine with Jae Barclay. Jae is a web designer, developer and educator. He founded and runs eJaeDesign which specializes in EE-driven sites and Magento e-commerce. Jae also runs Creat-ee which provides online web design training including beginner through advanced ExpressionEngine topics. Welcome to the show, Jae. Thanks for joining us.

Jae Barclay: Hey, how are you, Lea? How are you, Emily? It’s good to join the podcast. Obviously, I’ve been a loyal listener, and it’s an honor.

Emily Lewis: Okay.

Lea Alcantara: Thank you. That’s great. So before we move…

Jae Barclay: And…

Lea Alcantara: Sorry…

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and also, by the way, I’m also counting down my birthday since you’re talking about birthday.

Lea Alcantara: Oh.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Jae Barclay: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: When is your birthday?

Jae Barclay: Next March.

Emily Lewis: Oh, okay.

Jae Barclay: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Six months from now. [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: I’m still counting it down.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: I have a calendar that counts down every day until March next year. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Nice.

Jae Barclay: Yeah. Well, anyway, it’s worth it. It’s great to join you guys.

Lea Alcantara: Thank you. So before we move forward, can you tell our listeners a little bit more about yourself?

Jae Barclay: Oh yeah, sure. Thank you for the introduction. Yeah, we run eJaeDesign, which is our own studio that me and my wife runs. She’s the boss obviously.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: And we have two other developers in house, so there are four of us altogether, and we were in New York City for about a dozen years or so before we moved down to lovely Austin, Texas.

Lea Alcantara: Awesome.

Jae Barclay: I still can’t believe that actually have this zip code. I lived in Boston, New York. I’m a Northeastern guy, and it’s a bit shocking still once in a while. [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: It’s like, “Hey, I live in Texas.”

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Of all places, so yeah, we actually just focus on doing a lot of ExpressionEngine sites, and also Magento on the e-commerce site, and also, Emily and I have talked about teaching EE and education in general before, and we’ve started Creat-ee about three years ago, and it’s been pretty wonderful. EE has been great, and I always tell folks that. Oh, by the way, I also do a free webinar every month. We professionally have one with EE and who are curious about it, so we have anywhere from 3,200 people joining us.

Emily Lewis: Oh, my gosh, wow.

Lea Alcantara: Oh, wow!

Jae Barclay: It’s great, and I’ve doing it at least once a month ever since for about 2-1/2 years and, you know what it gives me also is that the kind of questions that they ask, it gives me kind of an insight into what people are looking for when they’re choosing ExpressionEngine versus some of the other platform.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Because obviously not all of them actually choose EE for their platforms, but they’re certainly evaluating EE against Drupals of the world or WordPress or Joomla or what have you. So it’s been a great experience to run EE, and we thought about changing the name because it was so fad. It actually have everything in and in dash with you.

Emily Lewis: Yeah. [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Timestamp: 00:10:00

Jae Barclay: In fact, but I already decided my logo, so you know? Hey, I can change the logo that I designed, but I got to keep the name.

Emily Lewis: So speaking of Creat-ee, why did you create it?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, like I said, we first learned EE when we were doing actually a big evaluation on all the CMSs that we were looking at that point. I mean, when we first started the studio about seven or eight years ago, I didn’t know anything about EE to be honest with you, and we actually did a survey. We actually stopped work for about two weeks and we did nothing but evaluate the CMSs at that time.

Lea Alcantara: Wow!

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and it was really difficult because I came from an agency where we were doing basically huge projects for Fortune 500, and I was lucky enough to work with those “enterprise level” projects where I had $50,000 budget for a CMS or $100,000 for a CMS as well. When we opened our studio, I had maybe a $1,000 budget.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: It may be, right? So we evaluated, and it was really critical, and we came across EE and we absolutely fell in love with it because it didn’t have the issues that we had with some of the other CMSs. So we love EE, and it really helped us get our studio off the ground. But after a while, I also have kind of what I’d call the itch to teach.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Which means if you’re a teacher, you just love teaching. You just want to do it, and you actually make opportunities to teach. One thing that I didn’t mention was that when we were in New York, I actually ran a Meetup group where I would go and actually have a live seminar, and anyone can join. It wasn’t really all about EE, but about web design. These folks one day were going to be my clients. They’re small business owners with much smaller budgets than what our studio was looking for.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: But I had maybe 30 people or 50 people who joined me once a month and it was a lot of fun asking and answering basic, basic questions about how to handle web design. These are people who sometimes they have a million dollar annual sales and they had no idea how to run their websites.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Or to hire, or how to hire, so that was a lot of fun and I have about 700 members there, and it’s still going.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Jae Barclay: And yeah, so it’s that itch to teach, right? But the other thing was that there was really kind of a gap, and I think it was a good opportunity because Ryan Irelan, obviously, a highly respected member of our community, although back then he didn’t call it Mijingo, but he had his screencast through EE Insider. But those were big screencast, and we also Michael, Michael Boyink, who are doing in live seminar and workshop type, and there was really no one that was doing live online courses.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And I thought that was kind of a nice place for me to actually kind of fit our kind of service in, and it worked out pretty well and also I got to be honest that when we did Creat-ee, we knew that it would also help us, our agency, our brand new studio, eJaeDesign, on the agency side because weren’t really well known in the community, but we thought it will help, and I think it did, yeah.

Emily Lewis: So you mentioned earlier that you spent about two weeks evaluating different CMSs before you really fell in love with ExpressionEngine. During that process, did you find any other CMSs that you use on occasion? Or is EE just the right fit for the kind of projects that you’d choose to work with?

Jae Barclay: Oh yeah. In fact, we actually surveyed and literally installed and tested out. We actually built a small mini-site on every single one.

Lea Alcantara: Wow!

Emily Lewis: Oh, my God, wow!

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and in fact, we actually stopped all paying work altogether for two weeks, and this is what we did because it was so critical for our business, and basically, we actually didn’t find anything else. In fact, we were doing work in WordPress, Drupal and Joomla, and we actually stopped accepting all other work that wasn’t EE.

Emily Lewis: Wow.

Jae Barclay: And I think this was our thoughts behind it. It was a big risk. It was kind of a make or break, but we also thought that if for some reason we didn’t make it, I mean, it’s tough to make it in New York City as a new business and you know that saying about in New York about work, “For every ten restaurants that open, nine fail within the first year or year and a half.”

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: But I kind of feel that way with web design services in New York. There are a lot of freelancers.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: There are a lot of people who break out on their own who just don’t survive.

Lea Alcantara: Sure.

Jae Barclay: And yeah, so it was a critical decision for us, but to be actually honest, we knew that we were confident enough in what it did and it allowed us to grow with EE, and we literally stopped, not long after we finish the projects, they already it in Drupals and Joomlas and WordPress. I have nothing to bad to say about any of those platforms, but for us, it really was the right fit, and we really did. We stopped all other work. In fact, we turned away work on Drupal, on WordPress, and if when a client would come in and say, “You know, I want to do this in Drupal,” then I would say, “Well, Drupal is great, but have you considered EE?” And more often than not, they’re going to say, “Oh, you know, I didn’t know anything about EE. Let’s go with EE after talking to us a little bit.”

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So yeah, to this day, we are an exclusive EE shop, except on the e-commerce site where we do Magento, and we’ve been a certified partner of Magento for a number of years. Now, this may change in the coming future because we are very much interested in Craft and we’d like the direction that it’s going. We’re still very much committed to EE, but Craft might be the only candidate that came along, if you will, in the last several years that we may look in and make it kind of our core platform of choice.

Emily Lewis: Cool.

Lea Alcantara: Interesting.

Emily Lewis: That’s very impressive, and I think it probably makes it a lot easier to pitch something to a prospect when you may be pitching ExpressionEngine, but you have the reference for all of those other content management systems.

Jae Barclay: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: So you know if someone is coming to you and they say, “We want Drupal,” you have reference for what Drupal means to a project, and you can educate that prospect on what would actually be the best solution for their project.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, absolutely. In fact, especially early on when we did not have such an impressive array of add-ons for EE, there were sort of those painful moment where I realized that EE just could not do the job because the add-on wasn’t available.

Lea Alcantara: [Agree]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Or, to be absolutely honest, because we weren’t that experienced in EE early, early on.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: So…

Lea Alcantara: Sure.

Jae Barclay: We had to turn it down, and I tell you, that was painful for our pockets because every dollar would help our business stay in business and also to grow. But when I think about it and my boss, my wife…

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: My partner and I anticipate…

Lea Alcantara: Slash, slash, slash.

Jae Barclay: Slash, slash, slash, CEO, slash, slash. We talked about it once and we go, “You know, that was the best and the dumbest decision we’d ever make.”

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs] Nice.

Jae Barclay: Because when I think back on it, I couldn’t believe that we actually did it. Do you know what I mean?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: We actually turned away projects. But it’s really a survival thing because we had to specialize, and we can’t be one of the hundreds of Drupal developers. We couldn’t be one of thousands of WordPress developers. But we have to sort of draw the line in the sand, if you will, and say, “Okay, we’re going to be known as a Magento provider and an EE provider, and kind of roll with it.”

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And again, thank goodness that it actually kind of worked out.

Emily Lewis: So let’s talk about some of the projects you’ve worked on, specifically some of the calendar and/or event projects since that’s our topic today.

Jae Barclay: Sure.

Emily Lewis: Can you tell us a little bit about maybe some of the commonalities amongst these projects in terms of calendar and event management?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, well, obviously, when people are talking about events, they could be talking about a lot of a number of different things.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So I think what we want to do, and I’m sure this is what a lot of other developers do as well, is they’ve kind of talk to that person and the client more about exactly what they’re looking for, and again, going back to recommending the right tool for the job, we want to make sure what the range of scope is and say, “Okay, now, if you’re doing event management, I’m looking to do X, Y, Z.” And then the more you’re familiar with solutions that I’ll be talking about today namely Solspace Calendar and Low Events, and you could say, “Okay, it fits within that, or it doesn’t fit with that.” Sometimes you may have to say that, “Okay, you know, so far with EE, we can do X, Y, Z.”

So when people come to us because now actually, people or most of the clients who come to us actually now come to us because we do EE and they know us to have experience in doing EE stuff, they say, “Okay, you know, I want to stay with EE, and I want to expand on it. I want to build up my brand inside an EE. You know, what are the kind of functionality that we could do?” And that could actually describe their wishes and desires in terms of, “You know, I want a calendar that does this, or I’ll have a set of events that need to be able to be scheduled in this manner.” And I’d say that the most common thing that they want is obviously a monthly calendar or a weekly calendar.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And that’s very typical, but if you talk to your clients more, they probably have a lot of other things that they didn’t know that was possible with EE. For example, a good case study is actually a Film Forum, which is actually a bit famous, I guess, in New York City if you live in New York. It’s an independent movie theater. It’s been around for a really long time. It has a beautiful theater right near SoHo on Houston Street, and in fact, I used to go there all the time because they’re not only showing mainstream movies, they show classic movies or brand new documentaries or foreign films, and that’s one of the benefits of working in New York is that sometimes there are great places that you go, sometimes they become your clients. And because it’s such a unique site, it’s a movie theater, and you actually have to go ahead and schedule out one year worth of movies.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And although that’s not a common thing, but they become a part of, I think, what the clients would tell you is that they would have a standard list of their default wishes. But almost without fail, what they’ll have is after I have the monthly view, then they would actually throw in something like, “Well, can I also have a weekly view? Can I have like a mini-calendar and a weekly view?” And then you could say, “Yes, we could definitely do that.” And you could show them examples.

Timestamp: 00:20:15

  So I’d say not just commonality and I’d say just their functionality, I’d say calendar is one of those things where you have to kind of peel back the layers a little bit. Just like e-commerce, I keep asking questions in what they really want to do. Oftentimes, they will not be able to articulate what they want, which is kind of common. If you have clients who are fantastic managers or fantastic business owners, but they are not really used to the vocabulary that you and I use as developers, so you have to ask sort of an in-common – I almost said – common tongue.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: But because I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones lately.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Oh, we’re watching it for the third time.

Lea Alcantara: I totally got that.

Jae Barclay: So you have to ask them in plain language in about what they want, and again, they will tell you more about what they need to have and then you can make the right recommendations. In fact, when you do, it’s not necessarily, “Oh, you know, well, Low Events can do this, or Low Calendar can do this.” It’s really to make sure to eliminate those projects that are not the fit for EE.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: For example, once in a while you’ll see something like, well, you almost got the project. You’re almost doing the project and then you’re excited and they’re excited, and then at the last minute they’ll go something like, “Okay, can I then go ahead and make a reservation system?” Because for the clients, that’s a very logical jump between events and reservation systems.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: But it is actually very different to do on event management site versus a reservation system. In fact, we have had a chance to work with another client whose platform actually wasn’t in EE and their reservation system was this custom program that apparently a lot of certain industries use and that’s what they use because they need to connect with other systems. It’s not just a functionality of making reservations, right?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Because when we talk about reservations, we typically think about, “Well, you know, if we reserve a hotel room, the nights from September 3rd to 5th is booked up.” Well, that’s an easy thing, and you go, “Well, why can’t we go from calendar to that?” Then the answer is no because if you have a reservation system, it needs to fit into an e-commerce system most likely, and in fact, the email will also fit in to any other kind of third party, maybe a booking system for their particular industry and some sort of a third party custom software. So a lot of other stuff are involved so when someone says that, you immediately have to say that’s something, that’s how it’s done at the scope of what we can do, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So it’s really to make sure that it’s not a matter of what you can do for the client. Sometimes, you have to ask questions to make sure that you’re not taking on a project that you cannot do for that particular client.

Emily Lewis: So when it comes to something like a registration system or a reservation system that requires some level of e-commerce, is there a way to utilize EE with Magento with Solspace Calendar, or is that one of those situations where there’s not a way to integrate ExpressionEngine with something that supports an event commerce?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and unfortunately, again, this might be my lack of awareness of a solution that’s out there, but right now, there is none without a lot of custom work, and the big difference here is because of membership. With things like CartThrob or Brilliant Retail or Expresso Store, what they offer is the members or your customers and clients to be members of ExpressionEngine, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Well, unfortunately, with some of those reservations, in fact, most of the reservation systems, the customers need to be in some other platform because it also ties into their CRM or what have you, right?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And because of that, it’s very difficult, if not, impossible. So I’d say, although this may not have already thought at first, about why this cannot work, it’s not that we can’t really link, except for the reservation site because there’s also a ton of other logic that goes into making a reservation system, but when it comes to e-commerce in EE and Calendar Events, it’s really the membership and the customers. Now, if you have a client that says, “You know, I don’t really care. You know, I’m running a mom and pop bed and breakfast, and I have a very, very, very simple reservation needs, where can I have some queries, just checks off the dates and gives you some yes or no answer, and I could do all of the checkouts through Brilliant Retail, for example.”

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Then yeah, it might be a possibility, but even then, it doesn’t work out of the box. There still that custom bridgework that needs to be done in checking those dates to make sure that they won’t fail, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So right now, again, the list of the solutions that we’ve worked with, there are still out of the box mechanisms to do that, and that sort of rules out the reservation part of it, and because of that, it also cuts out the e-commerce part of it immediately. Now, I actually call it the “Holy Grail.” In fact, when I was talking about calendar on Engine Summit, one of the last slides that I had was that I wish that in one of these days, there would be this kind Holy Grail where all of the forces come together, right?

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Where we can have events, plus some sort of a reservation mechanism, plus a hook up to CRM, plus hooking up to Brilliant Retail/Expresso Store and/or CartThrob, and we actually don’t do any add-on developments and I wish that we could take on something like that. But from my experience, it’s a significant undertaking.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And to be honest with you, I’m not sure what the market would bear if they would actually pay you back for the time that you invested in making that connections.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So I think it’s kind of a drawback. I think in working with EE, as much as we love EE, it’s not WordPress, and surely it’s not Drupal, and I think, although we have a lot of pride on working with EE, a lot of folks actually make few EE as a secondary CMS, not in terms of feature, because they’re always shocked when they know about EE, but if you look at search traffic, EE just doesn’t compete in terms of what people are looking for unfortunately, right? What that also means is that unlike Magento who is kind of the de facto king if you will of e-commerce, a lot of people are making a lot of add-ons that will serve some of those niche needs of your clients. So in fact, there is a reservation plugin for Magento. There are really several ERM hookup plugins for people who are doing this type of stuff. We just don’t have any in EE, and also I’m not even sure if the market would bear it.

Lea Alcantara: Well, what I’m interested in is if a client does come up to you and they’ve got calendar event stuff and then they throw the bomb of “Can you have a registration at the end?”

Jae Barclay: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: And you’re almost ready to sign the dotted line, do you just have a third party service that you generally try to hook up to the event calendar? Because what I tend to see, like or at least, this is just my anecdotal observation is when people “give up” [laughs] over how to do something super custom with EE, they just use something like Eventbrite.

Jae Barclay: Oh, sure.

Lea Alcantara: And then just attach whatever that is and just give the client a tutorial over, “You have to use this one and then plug in the embed code here.”

Jae Barclay: We’ve done that, and even that, in fact, we’ve even used Eventbrite ourselves, and I love the platform, and Eventbrite is great for what it is. But again, it might be a – what’s the phrase – kind of the breaking point where if…

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Again, it comes back to members.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: If the customers who buy the events, if they need to be inside EE, then again it’s out of the question.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: Because then you are dealing with two different separate membership database. Yeah, sure, you could build it in. You could use the EE’s utility tools and then do it, or you can actually go ahead and do a custom little build where you use some add-on, maybe JSON data or XML to automatically or semi-automatically sync a third party CRM data with their members to that.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Or you could build in some type of manual import/export, but again, e-commerce is so real time that it needs to happen pretty much at the second that someone makes a purchase of that.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Then I say then it’s my wish to keep this project and keep the client as attractive as to maybe to grab that project. Am I doing this person really a service by kind of go around or have too much of a complex workaround? Sometimes the answer is no, and it’s not just because of the goodness of your heart, at least for us anyway, that we go, “Okay, the time and effort that we’re going to take to educate the client and to teach some of the third party, and then…”

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Now, we don’t keep up with Eventbrite.

Lea Alcantara: Exactly.

Jae Barclay: We don’t know what their many features are, then I have to have a study. If they ask a question in the middle of the project, I’m don’t have to actually go and research what it can and it cannot do.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: Is the project ready for that, or am I better off as not just ethically, but also financially and for the survival of our business? Is it better to just say no and take on those projects where you have done the project at least for three times, if not, dozens of times before, right?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So we tend to go with letter, and I think again it has paid us back in multiple because that client may go away, but he or she may recommend somebody else, “You know, these guys were actually honest about what they can do, what they cannot do.” And if they do that, then sometimes that’s better than grabbing that person that’s in front of your eyes. That may be very attractive, I understand.

Timestamp: 00:29:55

Emily Lewis: All right, let’s talk about ExpressionEngine specifically. Let’s start by talking about what it offers for event or calendar management natively, out of the box.

Jae Barclay: Sure, and this is the painful part of our podcast. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Because what you see, like this was my impression when I do it. Remember the old 1.X?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: The initial build, and you have that strange kind of tan, was it tan or green or pea green or what?

Emily Lewis: It’s like blue, right?

Jae Barclay: Like blue or whatever it was then.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Do you remember that site, that there was a default install, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: We’re really going back to memory lanes here.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: And then on the side bar, there was a calendar, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Jae Barclay: A calendar-looking calendar, and I go, “And I got duped.”

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: It comes with a calendar. That’s awesome.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Well, we all know that it’s not a calendar. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Well, let me put it this way, what it’s actually doing is it shows entries that have a certain entry date and it checks against that each day and show it as a little tag that actually outputs a calendar, or what I call the view, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yes.

Jae Barclay: A monthly view, but it is not a calendar because in order to answer that, let’s define what a calendar does. A calendar in the way that Low Events does it or Solspace Calendar does it, it means that you have to have a certain thing. None of these things are possible with EE natively, so that’s why it’s a painful point because you know we all know what we have to go through to make custom member profiles, for example, right, for EE.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Where because the native EE member module does not allow anything more than the three very basic field types, namely text input, text area and select dropdown menu. If you have a member profile, that goes outside of that, in fact, which is everyone of our projects, you have to do a manual solution or you purchase a custom add-on like Zoo Visitor. That’s the only way to do it. Well, it’s the same thing with events. The native way of doing this, and it really hasn’t changed, just like the member accounts field, selection and choices haven’t changed since 1.-whatever. It’s very much the same with the calendar. It has not changed, and in fact, I’m glad, although this may sound sort of ironic, I’m glad EE is not touching it because I still believe in EE’s core principle of besides the whole thing with Pixel & Tonic which I won’t get into of basically focusing on the EE’s own native functionalities, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: And the core system, and I don’t want EE developers to work on calendar. I don’t want them to work on what Zoo Visitor has already worked on.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And to go back into this a little bit, there was and there won’t in the next days, there was this little add-on called RepEEt, with two Es, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, yeah.

Jae Barclay: R-E-P-E-E-T, right?

Lea Alcantara: Of course.

Jae Barclay: And it sounds like repeat. We have used it as well, and what that did was to bring a new functionality that was one of the basic requirement of having an events management, which is a repeatable event.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: And yes, if I talk about it the other way, natively, EE cannot do repeatable events.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Now, what do I mean by repeatable events? It means repeating rules, maybe one of several kinds. You can have a rule that repeats every Sunday, for example, every Saturday and Sunday, or you have a rule where it repeats every day from September 1st until my birthday in March 7th and 10th, or any of those, or every Saturdays, or once every year. Those are repeatable rules in logic. That is really the foundation and one of the basic requirements of having a event management site. So I think, to make a long story short, that natively, EE cannot do it.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: You have an end date, you also have a begin date. We all know what they are, and that’s it, and the native calendar which hasn’t really changed is not really a calendar. It’s really showing you the entry dates in a calendar-like view.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: That’s what it do.

Emily Lewis: A grid, right?

Jae Barclay: A grid, exactly.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and because of that, we’re saying, it’s yelling at this joy, screams of joy, when we discovered RepEEt because we couldn’t even do the simplest of calendar thing.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: I mean, what client would come to you where every event lasts exactly from one date to another date and that’s it, right? Nobody. So when we had RepEEt, and in fact, we’re actually doing aside for a fairly major site for the City of Hartford, Connecticut called Riverfront.org, and they had a calendar. They love EE. In fact, they were going to go with Drupal. We talked them out of it, and one of the reasons why we’re able to get that project was because we found this brand new thing called RepEEt, right? This was many years ago, and the wording was still 1.x4. So yeah, natively, and unfortunately, because I don’t want EE to work on it, but unfortunately because again a lot of folks actually like it when the functionality is actually in native, EE cannot do what we define as calendar out of the box.

Emily Lewis: And so that’s why you turned to Low Events and Solspace Calendar?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and in Solspace Calendar, again, someone would probably correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it came earlier than Low Events.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and in fact, we started working with Solspace Calendar pretty much right away when it first came out. In fact, right after Calendar came out, the developer, which I thank for, stopped developing and basically said, “Hey, finally, we have something that we can all use, which is Solspace Calendar.” And if fact, if you actually kind of Google RepEEt, then it actually has a nice little blurb about the Solspace Calendar.

Emily Lewis: So what does the Solspace Calendar option bring to the table?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and obviously, Solspace and Low’s solutions bring again fill the basic requirements. That’s right. So for example, they have text, dedicated text to give us the different views, and when I say views, again it could be a weekly view, it could be a monthly view, it could be a daily view of events. It could also do some filtering. They all work with categories even, so if you have a…

Emily Lewis: So you’re talking about like the user interface that’s on the website, these views?

Jae Barclay: No, these views actually are at the front end.

Emily Lewis: Yeah, okay.

Jae Barclay: So do you see, right?

Emily Lewis: Okay.

Jae Barclay: On the back end, user interface is actually I have to kind of go back down at the back end. Now, I’ll come back to the front end views. On the back end, both of those add-ons would give you a unique field type. So for Solspace Calendar, it gives you a certain field type. For Low Events, that’s all the same, and that’s when you would actually go ahead and add your logic and the rule for that particular event, and also obviously the good news is that any entry can be an event. You don’t have to have a specific event channel which is a good news.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Jae Barclay: And you can actually have a series of events that come from multiple channels, and that’s why for some…

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and in fact, for Solspace Calendar, it makes it really easy because as long as that channel has the calendar field type, that channel automatically becomes an event channel on the site, so what that means is you can add, and this is the same with Low Events as well, you don’t have to start with Low Events or Solspace Calendar. You could have an existing site, add the custom fields and now you can add those entries as events and show them using the custom tags that both of those add-ons give you. So you don’t have to have it like if you have a maintenance client or client that you’ve been working with for a while and they love you and they love working with you and they love the site that you’ve done, and they may even like you personally. But sometimes that’s not the case. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: What they’ll want to do is to say, “Hey Jae.” I hope all of my clients like me personally, but I don’t know. They say, “You know, hey, right now I want to add a calendar.” And I could say, “Hey, that’s great.” And you could at that point create a custom channel or you could work with the existing channels and tandem into again events. So that is one of the things that you could do on the back end. It’s just a custom field. In fact, the back end is much, much easier to deal with. Then let’s say the front end worked because the front end work definitely had a logic to be built in. Again, to go back to the Film Forum example, let me just keep going back to that particular site because I had absolutely the most layered requirements that I’ve probably ever seen in calendar for sure and even in some of the other sites. I just never realized how complex scheduling for a movie theater might be. I think maybe I should have. I thought, “Well, you know, this movie just plays on a certain date and is seen on certain show times. Yeah, yeah, no problem.” But it’s very complex because each event can be a different event type that the client would tell you. It could be in a category and the output of it can also vary depending on the type of movie. It has all kinds of crazy scheduling, and maybe possibly because it’s not a mainstream movie theater where one movie starts some day and ends some day. But we also didn’t realize at first, although we resolved all of these issues, things like two for one movies. What do you do if you have two events that need to go on at the same time?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Which is actually a group of events. So how do you handle a group of events, but present that as a single entity or single entry page on the site? So then you have to go into things like you would go ahead and define the dates for each of those events or entries, and then what you’ll do is you’ll go and add a Playa field from Pixel & Tonic obviously, and then each of those other movies that are being related to that group entry which defines the group of movies, they’ll all have dates and they’ll all have independent dates. So again, instead of getting more into more technical stuff, there are ways to go ahead and fulfill some of these more complex requirements using native add-ons, and we are at this point where by using either the wonderful add-ons that we haven’t seen on events unless it has to do with reservation systems. But we haven’t had to say no, we can’t do it for a really long time now.

Timestamp: 00:40:01

Emily Lewis: So with the Film Forum site that you were just describing, which add-on did you choose? Did you go with Solspace Calendar, or did you go with Low Events?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, we actually went with Solspace Calendar. The only reason is because we are more familiar with Solspace Calendar, and we knew that Solspace Calendar actually could do this really well, which is the next point is that Solspace Calendar can do what I would call subtractive and additive rules. What that means is that let’s actually come up with like the craziest schedule that we could come up with.

Let’s say we have an event that runs every Saturdays and Sundays until end of this month, but on the next month, it still goes on Saturdays and Sundays except on the third week, but in the middle of the fourth week, we have a unique special day on September 28th or 29th where it just kind of randomly kind of happens in the middle of all of this, and in October, we still go Saturdays and Sundays except for the second Saturday where we have a company picnic and we don’t have events scheduled that day. Now, that’s a pretty crazy complex rule, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: So how do you handle that? The only way to handle it is by doing what we call subtractive and additive rule. So in Solspace Calendar within the unique custom field type, what you could do is you cannot only define one set of rules, let’s say, “Hey, run this event every Saturday, every Sunday until end of October.” You could go ahead and create a second rule that adds to the first rule, or you could add a second rule that subtracts from the first rule. You can have as many rules as you want.

Lea Alcantara: Cool.

Jae Barclay: And when you can add these rules, it could be random dates where you could click on the date or you could do every, if we repeat, every week, every month, every year. You can even do every day, but on a certain time, which is what a calendar calls occurrences. So you can have these subtractive and additive rules and that’s why we need it. In fact, the client was very impressed. He told he’s using a third party solution and a bunch of PHP custom, and it couldn’t do half of what we could do with EE and Solspace Calendar. Now, on the other hand, with Low Events, let’s say, and it has advantages where, let’s say, if you’re using Low Search, for example, right?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: Low Search works really well with Low Events, and there are well together, so what that means is if you have a site where you need to go ahead and not only create these views, but also go ahead and say define certain searches or certain keywords, it could go ahead and do that. So they both offer something a little bit unique, but again, you cannot go wrong with either.

Emily Lewis: So when it comes to choosing the Low Events versus Solspace Calendar, you mentioned for you for the Film Forum project, you chose Solspace because of your experience working with it in the past. But is there a project or situation where introducing these add-ons would almost be overkill?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, in fact, just to make sure, you do not want to use both of these add-ons together, so it’s one or the other.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: That goes back to what we’re talking about early on, is that you want to ask a lot of questions. When you’re doing calendar, don’t take any calendar project lighter than you should because it often has layers underneath. It’s just like an e-commerce project. Before we take on any e-commerce project or a calendar project or even a membership project, because it does involve a lot of inputting members, inputting content, and now we’re talking about DataGrabs of the world or Solspace Import or things like that. But then we know that we cannot have just a few email go back and forth and go ahead and think that we know the scope of it. So with calendar, we have to go back to the client, make sure that we get every scope and the details really correct so that you would know how to grab that one thing, that would be a make or break requirement from the client, and don’t have the surprise and have that requirement come up in the middle of the project.

So it goes back to that, you want to ask a lot of questions. You’d get everything, and then you are able to then make a very intelligent and experienced response and seeing which one to go with or to take the project at all. So again, I like to emphasize that portion of it which is critical.

Emily Lewis: During that process, I’m curious, do you utilize like a standard questionnaire template for calendar that you’ve developed from experience, or it starts as a cold discussion with the prospect?

Jae Barclay: Oh, boy, good question. No, we don’t have a standard set of templates for specific functionality like that where we have kind of a design questionnaire or something like that. No, we definitely have a talking point list when we’re talking about the project in general, but not when it comes to calendar. It’s just the way that I think I do it. I think it’s partly maybe because we’ve done so many calendar projects that I know how to get those things out of the client. Do you know what I mean?

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: You almost develop this sixth sense, and this is the same thing for e-commerce projects. You almost get a sixth sense of if you talk about this a lot, if you’re doing a lot of calendar project, you know what the client may not be able to tell you, or more accurately, they may not be able to articulate. Do you know what I mean?

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And then we’ll say something like, “This is an important part of the project. You know, they need to talk to their staff.” In fact, that’s the other part. I’m glad you mentioned that because one of the layers that we know that we have to get through is that events projects, the content is coming from everywhere, everywhere. For example, let’s talk about Woodleigh, which is actually a private school in Australia, and it is a project where all of the events are coming from several departments at once.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And it’s because it’s an educational institute, and similar to Thiel University and some of you may be familiar with Thiel, and that was actually an interesting what we call like co-pilot project where I teach EE, but the client may be coding or I may help with the coding at the same time, and in fact, it’s over a long period of time and we actually built a site almost together which is what we call a co-pilot program. He was a first time developer, and he did an amazing job because he really picked it up well, but he built the brand new site on thiel.edu, and it’s launched with Solspace Calendar. So when that happens, obviously, it’s exciting because he’s learning everything for the first time and I’m able to both teach and code at the same time. But even on that site, the client had to actually go back and ask the admissions department for event and their requirements, the academic departments, and so that’s one of the things you have to remember is that sometimes the client is not ready to make these decisions.

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: They do not know, so you have to say, “Go back to whoever is going to give you the content and make sure that you have the right scope,” because sometimes they don’t because they obviously don’t realize sometimes how complex managing calendars just on the logistical side could be, “what are some of the real key requirements, and you have to go back and really talk to those people, then come to us and then we’ll discuss it.” Without that, again there might be a surprise because it might be that admissions or the dean admissions, it comes back in the middle of the project that says, “Oh, by the way, let’s do this.” And when you’re talking about it at that point, “Oh, by the way, we can’t do it. You should have told us.” You don’t want to get into that conversation with a client.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: So…

Emily Lewis: Are there any challenges or drawbacks to doing a calendar with ExpressionEngine on one of the add-ons you mentioned, for example, like performance on the front end?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, absolutely, and that’s one of the things that we found when we’re doing the Film Forum site was that, and I’d give you a very specific example, every movie has a show time, right?

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: And at first, we were all excited because we forgot how to use the custom field set up and how to use the additive rules, and in ways that we weren’t using it before, we actually found this little routine of actually how to set up a different show times for each movie. We’re very excited because that means later on as we build on our search feature where, “You know, hey, you know, I’m in New York for Saturday and I want to see what movies are around 2 to 3 p.m.” And then it’s going to give me all the movies around 2 to 3 p.m. I sounds amazing, right? It sounds great. Well, except when we did it, it really kind of had a performance issue.

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: And because it goes back, if you think about it, every event has these rules, and sometimes very complex rules, and on top of that, you are also defining what Solspace calls occurrences at the same time. So each entry may have just a ton of calculations that go on, and then you’d times that by the X number of movies and you times that by 30 days. Now, you’re dealing with just a huge amount of queries that go back and forth. So what ended up happening was then we actually have to then lean on optimization techniques where it could be CE Cache or it could be Solspace Template Morsels. It could even be server-based solutions like Varnish. Whichever that you want to go with, it’s something that you definitely have to consider. So to make a long story short, if you’re doing calendar, Low Events actually runs much faster, at least not how I experienced it. But still whether you are doing either Low or Solspace, go ahead and consider an optimization add-on. Again, CE Cache works wonderfully. I know we all love CE Cache. Template Morsels also work great, so definitely make that part of your budget and part of your scope to do that.

Emily Lewis: Before we let you go today, Jae, I’d love to find out what’s on the horizon not only for eJaeDesign, but Creat-ee.

Jae Barclay: Oh, let’s see, we have a lot of things going on. We are actually finally relaunching our site, and it’s embarrassing.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Because I actually was born in Korea, and I lived on there until I was 13 before we moved to Boston, and I still speak Korean, and obviously not right now. But in Korean, we have this saying, that there’s a wonderful proverb that says, “Monks cannot shave their own heads.”

Timestamp: 00:50:04

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: But it says that, “Is that so?” So appropriately, if you’re a developer, like your site tend to be like the most delayed.

Lea Alcantara: Yeah.

Emily Lewis: Yeah.

Jae Barclay: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Yeah, totally.

Jae Barclay: And it’s like forever. That’s exactly the way it is with our site. Our site is still on 1.X.

Lea Alcantara: Wow!

Emily Lewis: Wow!

Jae Barclay: I know it’s crazy, and it hasn’t changed in so long, and obviously my convenient excuse is that we’re too busy with work, and then that’s when it gets shut down really quickly by our CEO here.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: She kind of rolls her eyes disappointedly. But finally, it’s designed. It’s on 2.61. It’s on Responsive. All these things that we recommend to our client, we just never do for our own site. So it is finally on the Responsive framework. It finally uses Stash and Git and all the modern workflow and a brand new design, and it’s launching. I’m still writing content, but it will launch soon so we’re very excited about that. One of the things I actually want to tell why we want to do the redesign and the relaunch is because we want to make sure that we emphasize our different services. For example, people know that we do EE development, but some of our clients actually don’t know that we also do a lot of SEO work. Also, humbly speaking, but I think we are experts in doing maintenance sites, so these are sites that have been built by another developer, but we take over. We fix a lot of stuff. We add a lot of stuff. So do a lot of those work.

One of the other new exciting developments is that we actually have several rebuilds or what we call turnkey websites. These are actually fully built out into ExpressionEngine sites, and if one of our clients don’t have the budget to do a full custom build, then we actually go ahead and have this. So this is not a template. It’s actually a fully working EE site, but we actually built these sites to serve a particular market. So one has calendar already built in.

Emily Lewis: Oh.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, one has Brilliant Retail already built in, and they’re fully functioning EE sites with everything that’s in it all hand coded and all we need to do is just changes in design, so that is what we call prebuilt turnkey sites, and that would be under another domain that we have. So we will have three domains. We have eJaeDesign, Creat-ee, and this would be under 00:52:18 Drunken Templates. Now, that, I can’t believe that was available. We are very excited.

Lea Alcantara: Drunken Templates.

Jae Barclay: Drunken Templates. It doesn’t mean we could while we’re drunk. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Actually, it comes from drunken noodles, which I love, which comes with little fish, yes.

Lea Alcantara: Oh, okay.

Jae Barclay: So yeah, we’re excited about that. Otherwise, on the Creat-ee site, our advanced EE course, which we finished another exciting course in August. We just added doing Erik Reagan’s amazing multi-config. I know he was on the pod…

Lea Alcantara: [Agrees]

Emily Lewis: [Agrees]

Jae Barclay: I mean, we’re just so thankful, and currently, I’m bowing in his general direction right now for releasing that to the public. Also, we added Stash, really a much requested thing that the people wanted to add to the curriculum, and a multisite manager site. So we’re adding new stuff to the curriculum. We’re trying to pack it in as much as we can in addition to doing obviously a session on calendar and then also site optimizations and also a Brilliant Retail and things like that. And also, and I mentioned the co-pilot program before. That’s really not known to folks so we’re probably going to announce that as an official kind of service again if you are a developer for the first time, or if you’re handling a large site for the first time, for example, again thiel.edu is a fairly large site. It had to be launched in EE, but they’ve never done it before and what we do is again I go ahead and teach and built it with you just like a co-pilot.

Lea Alcantara: Oh, cool. Cool.

Jae Barclay: Yeah, and that’s actually what’s on the horizon other than counting down until my March birthday.

Emily Lewis: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Emily Lewis: Bring it full circle. [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Nice, nice.

Jae Barclay: [Laughs]

Lea Alcantara: Well, thank you, Jae.

Jae Barclay: Well, I got to say, Lea and Emily, we just cannot thank you enough for doing the podcast.

Lea Alcantara: Oh.

Jae Barclay: I definitely want just to do that.

Lea Alcantara: Oh.

Jae Barclay: Because I recommend it to everyone, even the people that just may have one interaction with me on the free webinar, and certainly for the students, unless they know about your podcast already. I say, “Go here.” I mention EE Insider. I mention Devot:ee, and I always mention what used to be EE-Podcast and now CTRL+CLICK CAST. You guys are doing an amazing, amazing service to the community, and we look forward to every episode. It’s amazing the people that come on and share their experience freely and transparently, which is not the same in some of the other communities that I know of. So again, thank you both very much.

Emily Lewis: Well, thank you so much, Jae, and the same can be said of you of the service that you’re providing the community, especially with Creat-ee, so thank you. [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: Thank you very much.

Emily Lewis: So in case our listeners want to follow up with you after the show, where can they find you online?

Jae Barclay: Yeah, sure. Obviously, I pick my head in the #eecms, and my Twitter handle is @ejaedesign or they could obviously email me at jae@ejaedesign.com or visit us at www.ejaedesign.com or creat-ee.com, which is spelled creat-ee, there’s that dash ee thing.

Lea Alcantara: [Laughs]

Jae Barclay: It’s just creat-ee.com.

Emily Lewis: Great. Thank you so much, Jae.

Jae Barclay: Thank you. It’s been wonderful.

Lea Alcantara: Awesome. [Music starts] So now, we’d like to thank our sponsors for this podcast, EE Coder and Pixel & Tonic.

Emily Lewis: We also want to thank our partners, Arcustech, Devot:ee and EE Insider.

Lea Alcantara: And thanks to our listeners for tuning in. If you want to know more about CTRL+CLICK, make sure you follow us on Twitter @ctrlclickcast or visit our website, ctrlclickcast.com.

Emily Lewis: Don’t forget to tune in to our next episode when Ben Callahan is joining us to talk about Responsive Web Design with content management systems. Be sure to check out our schedule on our site, ctrlclickcast.com/schedule for more upcoming topics.

Lea Alcantara: And don’t forget to update your iTunes. Now that we are CTRL+CLICK , we’ve ended the EE-Podcast feed. So if you listen to iTunes, you need to update your subscription. The link is on our show notes for this episode. This is Lea Alcantara.

Emily Lewis: And Emily Lewis.

Lea Alcantara: Signing off for CTRL+CLICK CAST. See you next time.

Emily Lewis: Cheers. [Music stops]

Timestamp: 00:56:25