Open Source Made Easy - Full Drupal Sites & Reciples Installed instantly.. and for "free"'s picture

Would you like a website as functonal as one of the top drupal newspaper sites. Would you like that for Free and deployed in 2 minutes.. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just click a button and have a full site installed .. that works.

This is what the Simple Idea makes possible

The current installation and configuration process for Drupal is a significant barrier to entry for:

  • Not For Profits
  • Charities
  • SMEs
  • Developers

Currently Drupal and other CMS are difficult to set up for end users - ie not developers.
Some systems are getting better at deploying functional sites:

  • e.g. wordpress - 1 click new site setup
  • Drupal - Installation Profiles - but these have not been taken up and are "monolithic"

Our solution "The Simple Idea"

  • web based system that enables easy installation of a site
  • the site would be available at any stage - clean install, configured, content.
  • functional recipes.. could be installed and selected - eg "a shop", a rated directory, a social group site, etc.
  • modules, themes can easily be added
  • new open source applications and drupal versions can be included.

The system would run on elastic secure hosting, and mean that 1000s+ of companies could have fully functional sites. The real dream of Open Source.

An example - I would like a site.. just like
Currently .. I could download the modules, if I knew what they were... but there was a lot of work in tying them together, etc.. Net result.. I don't have a site.. this functional.. Or the other great site.. DrupalSN - I'd love one like that for my local club.. again.. I can't do it easily.

=>The Simple Idea - the answer would allow for a site developed on The Simple Idea to be "template" and redeployed to another domain "instantly". These can then be further developed, before being retemplated, etc.. This makes it an ideal development tool, and also an ideal learning tool.

Current Opportunities to develop and where Proposal would help

  • Hosting - correct set up - and scalability planning - already in discussion with major hosting companies in US and UK, one with significant experience of Drupal, but more is required
  • Hosting - possible seed funding to ensure available - expecting that at 1000 live sites at £100/yr - the system would be self funding
  • Upgrade automation - ideally system of "safe versions" with automatic upgrade would be possible - tie into Aquia etc.. - individual sites could choose to depart if they wanted
  • Legal - ensuring clear lines of 1 - liability, 2 - licences
  • Legal - setup of Ongoing sustainable structure to run the hosting, etc.. and make it "freely available"

We are already discussing demo'ing the prototype at the UK Drupal Camp, and will also be offering full installations of all their workshops for people to trial - ie you will be able to have a domain - point it at the Simple Idea, and have any workshop site installed onto it, fully functional. You will be able to get access with ftp, etc.. so an ideal learning aid.

and would be happy to discusss with any interested parties - &

The system has been successfully used to deploy - - - - - - - => All started by a non technical users who had less than 30minutes of training. (they are running drupal 5.x and drupal 6)

The Simple Idea is already up and running in principle, but this proposal, will allow us to take it on to the next level and make it robust before giving it back to the community..

How does your proposal meet the stated goals of the Knight Drupal Initiative program?: 

Our overall result will be a step change in the number and quality and effectiveness of websites to disseminate useful information and help people, while at the same time reducing the barriers to entry.

If we review the goals of KDI - we see clear synergies

To enable more people to enter the digital conversation by lowering the technical barriers to entry. => completely aligned
To provide powerful tools for digital publication, free and open to all. => that is the intention, we provide distribution for the recipes (the tools)
To encourage people to improve their communities by supporting the free exchange of information and ideas. =>the "repositry" aspect makes this very possible, and a further add on would be to have integrated apis for sharing information between sites build into the recipe sites, being deployed.

Anyone wanting a website will have a far reduced barrier to entry. Any individual or organization with limited technical resources may benefit from the project.

Designers who don't have technical skills will be able to deploy and design functional sites, improving the breadth of themes and take up of drupal - again benefitting the end individuals.

Developers will have a more robust route to publish their sites, and for making their community work more widely available.

Training and Education groups will have an easy method of sharing their recipes and best practices.

How long will your project take to complete?: 

We believe we can get a stable phase one live within 6 months. This would take our beta version and make it available.

1 - Define security and hosting requirements (1 month).
1 - Recruit beta testers and collate "recipes"
1 - Spread intial message via, etc..
1 - Set up project framework

2 - Test hosting scenarios and stress test (2 months).
2 - Arrange legal support and framework
2 - Develop UI for webaccess

3 - Release live beta to Drupal community (3months+)

4 - Incorporate feedback into UI
4 - Monitor hosting enviroment
4 - Stress Test

5 - Publicise avalability and make available to Drupal Developers - limited avaiability
5 - Make available to charities - limited availability
5 - Build press / launch awareness

6 - Release v1.0 of The Simple Idea to public
6 -
Incorporate feedback into revised proposal and publish security standard (2 weeks).
Release first beta of secure file module (3 weeks).
Document module usage (1 week).
Create simpletests for module (1 week).
Incorporate bug testing and feedback from community (2 weeks).
Publish documentation (final step)
Release 1.0 of securefile module (final step)
Total: 12 week project (10 weeks plus 2 weeks for overage).

How will you implement and distribute your project?: 

We would be working with

  • Simon Hedley - Psi Pi - Overall Ideas, and Process Expert - non technical
  • Paul Conolloy - IP Products
  • The Simple Idea - this would be formed to hold the IP, etc..
  • Hosting companies - Rackspace, WorkHabit, OnTapDataHost
  • Legal - still to be finalised
  • Finance - PK Group
  • Branding - stefanie and Taniemedia®
  • Marketing - and Sales Growth Coach, Client Getter, Design Illustrated,
    => launch of will help get exposure in press, and will work with Packt, Oreilly etc..
    => Connections with major corporates via Psi Pi will enable greater exposure

  • Drupal Development - the community, Bright Plum, IP Products,

  • Drupal Theming - , and others

The current intention is to "soft launch" over beta phase working with increasing numbers of 1 - testers, 2 - developers, 3 - end clients, this will build up case studies, and live examples.

We would be able and happy to give access to any 3rd party looking to develop drupal sites during testing (we already have a list of several people interested).

Phase 1 Release would be via Drupal Cons, Drupal Camps etc.. with which we have already made initial contact.

What is your total budget estimate and how much funding are you requesting: 

$30,000 for hosting - tbc - but to cover growing number drupal sites, and scope of hosting for the future state - initial hosting costs may be lower, current quotes range from $500/month => $8,000 month at full capacity
$60,000 for 2 programmers for 100 hours at $100 / hour.
$20,000 for a project manager and architect to work 200 hours at $100 / hour.
$5,000 - legal + finance to ensure sustainable
$10,000 - Travel and Meeting costs - virtual working where possible will be followed.
$10,000 - Development Space Rental -
$10,000 - Design and Marketing to ensure successful launch.

Private Funding is also available. Minimum available $50,000 provided by
Psi Pi has also offered to provide ex-gratis consultancy, and UK workshop space. As well as free project accounting.
Many of the parties involved are willing to discount, or work for gratis initially.

Once proof of concept delivered and "clients" can be taken on - on donation or payment basis expect funding to come from that provision. Also clear opportunities for sponsorship and 3rd party funding revenue. (Books, Training)

Total $145,000 total request.


sneak peak..'s picture

This is a sneak peak or the working prototype
here we uploaded a module from all without svn or ftp..

Plugin Manager

RobLoach's picture

Have you seen the Google Summer of Code Plugin Manager project? It does part of what you're outlining here.

Another thing you should investigate in is Patterns. After you have a full website up, install profiles arn't that helpful. Patterns try to create a pattern of configuration of module families, which seem like the direction you're going here. Don't miss the Patterns Drupalcon session. Might be helpful.'s picture

Thanks for the suggestions, I hadn't seen these but they look like they will become key pieces to the puzzle.

There have been some very inspiring conversations, which I can't disclose yet, but I'm confident that we can produce something that people will like and more importantly use, I know have 2 pro-active beta testers lined up, and would love to get someone on board that is good or expert with Patterns & Plugin Manager.. - volunteers?

Someone described it today as "OneClickDrupal".. and another as "building a cars" rather than "bulding a road" and I think between what we've developed, patterns, plugin manager, and a few other pieces, this is very close to being a reality, and very exciting.

I really I wish I could make Drupalcon, but can't fly at the moment - will it be webcast? do we have the exact date/time, prelim slides?

Site recipes

ChrisBryant's picture

How are you planning on implementing the "functional recipes.. could be installed and selected - eg "a shop", a rated directory, a social group site, etc?"

You mention install profiles but it doesn't seem you are using or planning to use them. What do you plan to do for that?

Gravitek Labs

needs a name.. but "snapshot"'s picture

The system could work with profiles, patterns, etc..
and also live sites..

it doesn't differentiate between them..

It could be enhanced to make installation profiles, patterns on the fly, fairly easily.
(if it can be codified)

we really will have a few aspects..

1) robust scaleable hosting
2) easy to use system..

I think arranging a time to demo might be best.. happy to show anyone 1-1 if they get in touch.

We already have a working prototype.. in essence..
having logged in .. you could choose from a drop down..
- clean site
- installation profile
- pattern
- template site

then pick the one you want from that.

roles/permissions can be deployed on top so people can only see right versions..

I may be overcomplicating..
but for non-technical users.. they can simply.. press one button.. and back up a site .. press another button and deploy it again.. on that domain or another domain..

Sounds interesting - demo would help

gusaus's picture

This is available if you're interested in giving a demo. Sounds like a very interesting project.

Gus Austin
PepperAlley Productions

Gus Austin

The Simple Idea - What is it good for..'s picture

A few people have asked that.. well the answer is "Absolutely everything".

How about this as an example.. of what I've been asked to do, and currently can't provide easily

In the UK, we have Red Nose Day - a big charity day coming up.
For every one who is fundraising, doing their projects (10,000+), we'd be able to give them a website, using a base setup, theme, etc.. that would allow them to collect money (paypal, etc.), list their events, would automatically link back (SOAP/Feedr) back to a base site at Red Nose Day, etc..

wouldn't that be cool.. especially if all they had to do, to get it was go to a website and click "get a site"

All they'd have to do is say, I'd like one.. and "bing" a fully featured site..

Even better, I know designers (£40k+ people), who would do that theme for free.. if they knew it would actually be used...

You could do it with multisite, etc.. but not in scale, and not robustly and not as easily as this, that anyone even with basic drupal skills would be confident to do it.'s picture

We've now demo'd the system to about 20 people in the last few weeks, and the feedback has been very positive. I think we should discuss a wider demo once the excitement from DrupalCon is still present..

Anyone interested please get in touch.


I've had a lot of people say it's difficult to know how to vote.. can this be made easier?