Democracy of Sweat
Launch Site

Democracy of Sweat is a new independent clothing line that focuses on the average man's committement to fitness. It's intended to be a humbler, more down to earth sports apparel line. I came across this opportunity from a former co-worker and in addition to another developer, the three of us did the development. The original partner handled the design, store and front end development, the other helped with the front-end/mobile development and I managed the CMS setup, project integration and deployment.

Some of the challenges with this build were to manage putting all the individual pieces each member was building together into a cohesive end product. With our team separated and doing front-end html work as a flat file site, I had to manage merging the code into the modular layout system that breaks each page section up into separate files to allow for reuse. It's challenging because some areas have to be reconfigured since the modular system requires a standard setup but the development of individual html pages tends to lead to structural drift as the developer tweaks or improves the design. We also took advantage of the LESSCSS utility to precompile the css files before the page loaded and only when the stylesheets were updated.

The site itself is built on PHP and uses Silverstripe as a CMS which I've come to find is a very flexible with a wealth of community support. With each build I get a lot more proficient with the system and the features it allows. The most recent version had a new CMS design and a lot of new features so I was pleased with how quickly the build went. The store aspect was setup independently to run on Shopify hosted servers which ended up being a matter of skinning the site, saving us time and allowing us to focus on the content related system.

Some of the best features of the Silverstripe system are the number of community supported modules I ended up using the blog module for this build which is fairly complete out of the box but we did a good deal of customization. Instead of using the commenting form built into the blog, we installed a Disqus commenting tool. I also built a custom search form to allow users to search through the blog posts.

One of the biggest reasons I like Silverstripe so much is because of its internal custom data modeling system. Aside from the individual pages that need to be custom defined, the system also has what it calls a ModelAdmin data template. This allows you to define custom content types that aren't page based. This can be useful for all sorts of modular content components that show along sidebars, in body content or across multiple pages. This build really taught me a lot more about designing, querying and displaying custom data types and learning how to work with some of the lower layers of the API to access content.

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