LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Take your daily dose of (only) relevant news, useful tips and tricks and valuable how to's on using the latest web technologies shaping the digital landscape. We're here to do all the necessary information sifting for you, so you don't have to, to provide you with content that will help you anticipate the emerging trends about to influence the web.

6 Secrets Behind the Best Drupal Web Development Projects
  You know a top-notch Drupal website when you see it—it has personality, it's flexible and intuitive, and it doesn't compromise on the user experience. The most successful Drupal web development projects are well planned by development teams and Drupal experts to match the needs of the existing online environment and promote a robust online presence for various companies.  Regardless of the nature of the development project, all successful Drupal websites seem to have some things in common—the secrets of web development masters that turn Drupal projects into art. This article will look at ten best practices that the most successful Drupal experts use to build highly functional and secure websites.    Secret #1 Revealed: Build a robust project plan from the get-go.   Knowing exactly where you're heading with your Drupal project can frequently make the difference between success and failure. That's why you must start by setting the organizational website requirements and creating strategies with the end-user in mind. In other words, know what's what from the beginning of your Drupal project and follow this scheme throughout your development journey. Benefit: Easier to avoid getting stuck in the complex nature of Drupal development projects.    Secret #2 Revealed: Put the user experience first.   If there's one thing you shouldn't compromise on when building a website, the user experience(UX). After all, the success of a website is determined by whether or not the end-user is comfortable with the site's functionality and UX. The secret here lies in empowering the user with a satisfactory level of control so that it can fully enjoy and immerse into the content of your website.  Benefit: Boost your audience's engagement and generate more visitors.    Secret #3 Revealed: Choose a reliable, secure web hosting service.   The digital environment means connection, and that's what a web hosting service can offer to you—it allows all your site content to be seen anywhere at any time. When choosing a web hosting partner, pay attention to elements like loading speed, uptime score, and the cost-performance index. Benefit: Improved site performance and security.    Secret #4 Revealed: Make the most out of Drupal modules.    A successful Drupal web development project lies on a foundation of highly customized and optimized modules. To maximize the potential offered by Drupal modules, consider what needs you may be able to address by installing a specific module and how it can shape certain functionalities and content sharing capabilities on your website.  Benefit: From flexibility to time efficiency, modular development meets a wide range of demands in your Drupal projects.   Secret #5 Revealed: Work on your project step by step.   It is widely known that Drupal web development can be pretty complex, and that's why many companies choose a Drupal development agency or outsource their companies to other experts. But if you wish to do it yourself, make sure you set realistic milestones. The lack of project leadership can be a confidence killer for even the most experienced developers and may cause your Drupal development environment to become a highly unproductive one.  Benefit: Boost productivity and confidence amongst developer teams.   Secret #6 Revealed: Build solid brand identity.   Part of what makes the user experience a great one is the ability to make the user comfortable. Solid UX/UI design relies on consistency, bringing comfort to the visitor as it makes him feel in control and know what to expect. If you want to position yourself as a trustful brand with a robust online presence, create a style guide with basic typography and a color palette. Also, don't be afraid to introduce new design elements from time to time to spice things up a bit and re-engage your audience.  Benefit: Attract and retain more customers.    Content management systems like Drupal provide multiple benefits, but Drupal projects can also be hard to handle—if you want to build highly successful websites. With these six best practices at your fingertips, you can manage and optimize your Drupal project more quickly and efficiently.  If you find that you can't reasonably handle Drupal's complexity and want to make more of its performance-enhancing capabilities, let us take care of your project. At Optasy, we put all the six best practices outlined in this article at work and more. See how we can revolutionize your Drupal web development project,    Photo credit: Ben Kolde on Unsplash.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jun 02'2021
Everything You Should Know About Headless Drupal
  Traditional Drupal websites use Drupal as the end-to-end solution for creating, storing, and displaying content to the end-user. Modern approaches leverage headless Drupal, where building and storing happen on Drupal, but displaying is not.  Headless Drupal approaches make Drupal the backend content repository and build the frontend in different technologies that communicate with Drupal through an API.    Why is the headless approach an effective one? Today, many companies opt for using headless Drupal solutions, and the reasons are not few. If you don't want to sacrifice the user experience but still enjoy the powerful tools provided by Drupal, a headless approach might be the best fit.   Decoupled Drupal is known for its several benefits such as:   More channels to display content on In the hectic digital landscape, your marketing team knows that communicating with your customers on multiple channels is critical. The way companies use content management systems today has to do with their need to push content on various channels, thus increasing their digital presence.  If used properly, headless Drupal can be a source of content for various consumers. It provides content on the frontend site and serves content via API to be consumed on mobile devices, applications, or IoT. This gives great flexibility for headless Drupal users.    Meets the need for intuitive user experiences Bringing together Drupal with a frontend Javascript framework is a smart strategy for making the most out of Drupal's capabilities for content creation and data storage while at the same time create easy to use, fast frontend applications.  If you're thinking of choosing a headless Drupal approach for your next web development project, combining these two solutions will offer greater functionality—why not enjoy the power of Drupal's modules and the intuitiveness of a Javascript frontend application at the same time? You can really have the best of both worlds!   Technological reliance is widely spread This means you get to be more dynamic in managing frontend technologies without the need to re-architect large Drupal backends. From a developer's point of view, this is a real blessing.  Many businesses redesign their websites every few years, and separating the frontend from the backend makes it much easier to rebuild. This saves a lot of resources and reduces the expenses associated with rebuilding Drupal websites.    Drupal works best with a headless approach One of the reasons Drupal is often chosen for a headless project is because this CMS has most of the required functionality and API modules. As the Drupal community is committed to continuously make Drupal a reliable API-driven CMS, Drupal is known for efficiently serving and receiving content via APIs.    Microsite manager If you need to create multiple separate websites, a headless approach is the right way to do it. It's a lot easier to build one content engine such as Drupal and use it to deliver content to all microsites. As a result, you'll have all your content in one content hub, and you'll be able to create and close microsites when needed quickly.    What are the challenges associated with a headless approach? Before deciding to opt for headless Drupal development, you might want to consider these aspects:   A headless infrastructure is harder to manage than a traditional Drupal site Keep in mind that headless development can be complicated and complex, and you might need a professional developer or Drupal agency, like Optasy, to help you on the way.    Headless Drupal is more expensive You're likely to spend more resources with a headless approach as you now build two systems. The development process will take longer, and therefore the expenses associated with it will be higher.    You'll have to manage two teams Since headless Drupal requires two separate components, that means that you'll often have to manage two teams (backend and frontend). At this point, you want to ensure that you enable great collaboration and coordination between your teams as data models have to be agreed upon.    Higher maintenance costs As decoupled systems rely only on REST API, maintaining these systems to function properly requires intense testing. Compatibility issues when editing and making changes can arise between the two systems. What is more, security updates are required more often as there will be a need to patch more than one system.    How to decide If you're still torn between traditional Drupal projects and going for a headless approach, seeking advice from Drupal experts might be needed. At Optasy, we offer expert guidance based on your business needs so that you can get the most out of your next web development project.  Photo credit: Nubleson Fernandes on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 06'2021
Pros and Cons for Drupal Web Development
  When thinking about web development, there are usually three content management systems (CMSs) that come to mind: Drupal, WordPress, or Joomla. This article highlights the pros and cons of choosing Drupal for your web development project so that you can gain a broader perspective on your website building options.    Top Pros of Drupal Web Development   1. Drupal is very effective for building complex, highly customized websites. As a free, open-source CMS, Drupal offers excellent opportunities for companies of all sizes. It is probably the best choice on the market if your project involves creating a large and complex website with high customizing options.  Drupal also provides flexible content integration and taxonomies. You have the freedom to integrate many types of content into your site and group your content in any kind of configuration that you find is right for your business objectives.  One great advantage of Drupal that developers are pleased about is how easy it is to scale Drupal websites to match specific needs and traffic fluctuations.  As a Drupal user, you will also enjoy the multilingual functionality built in Drupal's core without installing any additional plugins.    2. Drupal has a large community of developers and users. Drupal's extensive online community is one of the greatest things about this CMS. You'll get free support regarding almost anything Drupal-related via documentation, support groups, user forums, and other resources. Another advantage of Drupal's community is that programmers and users regularly build new modules, plugins, or bug fixes that you can access for free.    3. Drupal is known as the most secure CMS.  Websites build with Drupal are less prone to hacking than other CMSs due to its strong emphasis on advanced security features. Drupal's built-in access control system allows users to create roles with special permissions.  Another way in which Drupal is focusing on security is by regularly posting and reviewing Drupal reports which are quickly worked on and updated.    Top Cons of Drupal Web Development   1. Drupal can be more complex than other CMSs. When starting your web development journey with Drupal, you have to be ready to read a lot of documentation. Your learning curve might be steep no matter if you're an expert developer or an amateur user so having a lot of patience at this point is a must. Also, Drupal might not be the most inspired decision if you're a total beginner as it requires some basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP.  Another obstacle in handling Drupal as a beginner or casual user is its interface. As it was built with professional web developers in mind, Drupal's interface is not very intuitive and user-friendly.    2. Drupal requires time and effort.  To install themes and modules that match your site's needs, you'll have to invest some time in research. Also, many Drupal modules need to be purchased so take into account that you'll probably have to invest some money for higher functionality.  As Drupal has many custom-coded themes, you'll probably need to hire a developer to create the theme that your website requires.  Drupal does not support backward compatibility, which means you can' perform legacy installations. This translates into you having to dedicate more time and work on additional upgrades.    3. If not optimized accordingly, Drupal can have performance issues.  Like all digital platforms, speed and accessibility are what sets the leading ones apart. Specific tools like a third-party module or plugin are designed to improve configuration and accelerate Drupal websites. However, this requires extra time and effort that you have to be willing to invest in your web development project.  Drupal's module compatibility sets this CMS apart from other similar platforms. Still, it's essential to keep in mind that if you're running multiple modules with their own code, you risk having the wrong combination in place. And a faulty combination of modules might lead to Drupal core crashes.    Conclusion Like all things on earth, Drupal has its advantages and disadvantages. If you're still unsure whether you should pick Drupal for your next web development project, contact Optasy for professional support. We are happy to provide all the necessary information so that you can rest assured that you have made the right decision for your business.     Image credit: Tumisu on Pixabay.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 29'2021
What Are the Key Benefits of Drupal Commerce?
  Custom eCommerce development is undergoing continuous changes. As this environment keeps transforming and evolving, different challenges arise, and businesses face new issues.  Building custom eCommerce functionality into your Drupal site can take up many resources, especially when it comes to scaling your website by adding more features and improving its functionality.    Top challenges of custom eCommerce systems   Let's have a look at some of the biggest challenges you may face with a custom eCommerce system.   Implementing new features can be a slow process. It's difficult to have a proactive mindset when working with custom development since everything you add to your site needs to be built. There are no frameworks or other time-saving options that could help you accelerate your workflow.  Not being able to integrate third-party platforms can be costly. Open-source solutions are a blessing when it comes to integrations. Whether it is a new payment system or a marketing tool, being able to quickly integrate third-party platforms is a must for any successful eCommerce website. When opting for custom development, the lack of underlying frameworks makes it harder, more expensive, and time-consuming to build any type of tool.  Sacrificing the front-end experience. As custom development is created mainly by developers, the design and presentation of a website rarely come as a priority. Building code and building design are different things, and not many developers are skilled at both. Unfortunately, missing the point when it comes to good UX and design might seriously affect your business performance, as customers expect top-notch front-end experiences today.  Not having a community. One of the best things about Drupal is its community. If your website is fully custom-made, everything you need, any issues you might run into can only be solved by your team of developers. All the community-made modules for extending your site's functionality are a great advantage offered by the Drupal community.  With the custom eCommerce development approach, you don't get to leverage that benefit.   Depending on an internal development team or agency. A company using custom development is tied to the original development team that has built its website. It's a real challenge to hire new developers when you don't have a predefined framework, and supporting them in learning how your eCommerce components were made can prove to be highly expensive.    Top benefits of Drupal Commerce    This Drupal-native eCommerce module is a popular choice among eCommerce businesses since 2011.  It is widely known for providing secure, scalable, SEO-friendly, and highly optimized Drupal frameworks that work for specific needs and business requirements.  Let's have a look at the key benefits that Drupal Commerce provides for online stores.   More straightforward setup and development. Drupal Commerce has out-of-the-box modules that don't require too much hassle to install.  Combines commerce and content. Being able to manage your content approach on your eCommerce platform easily is a must. With Drupal Commerce, you can handle complex content marketing strategies and build custom landing pages that keep your visitors engaged. Customization and scalability. Drupal eCommerce's architecture can be highly customized for specific business needs. However, all its extensions follow a general standard, making it easier for developers to handle the software more efficiently. Drupal eCommerce can also scale to meet the demands of all-sized businesses.  Third-party integration. One great benefit of Drupal is that its modules were built with integration in mind. Interaction with third-party tools like payment gateways, analytics, or SEO is much easier and can be done quickly.  Community support. With Drupal, you can take advantage of a multitude of modules made by users from the community. If you need advice on anything related to Drupal, you have a community of highly skilled developers to answer you.   All things considered, whether you choose a custom eCommerce system or you opt-in for Drupal Commerce, you need a strong and reliable team of experts to have your back at all times. That team can be Optasy, an agency formed by Drupal experts with 10+ years of experience building and maintaining successful Drupal projects. Have a look at our services, and let's start your Drupal journey! Image credit: mohamed_hassan on Pixabay.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 26'2021
5 Steps to Migrate Your Drupal Website to Another Host
  At some point in their business journey, every website owner can encounter the need to migrate their web host. As more lucrative hosting options are making their way in the industry–VPS, shared, or dedicated hosting—it's no surprise that many website managers choose to perform host migration.  This article provides support in handling one of the most popular DevOps services, hosting server migration, by outlining five essential steps that help you complete a successful migration.   When is the time to move your Drupal website to a new hosting server? The decision to switch web hosts is not an easy one to take. The good news is that there are multiple signs that can make it clear that your website requires hosting updates if you know where to look. It won't be comfortable to acknowledge them, but as soon as you start on this journey, you are transforming your website for the better.  Let's have a look at how you can spot these signs on your Drupal website.  Downtime has become a recurrent issue.  Your customers demand availability and speed, so every time your website is down and unavailable for users, you risk building a bad reputation of unreliable and low-quality services. Your server can impact your site's availability if your hosting equipment’s quality is low or your host's security features and plugins provide poor protection capabilities, as cyber-attacks can often lead to downtime.  Your host is hard to reach. As a website owner, you want to ensure that the communication with your web host is fast and streamlined. There may be times when your server crashes or you a server error, and you need to get in touch with your host as soon as possible to provide troubleshooting guidance and get your site up and running.  An unreliable host may not only affect the functionality of your website but can also cost you customers. Getting the support you need when it comes to your hosting account is paramount to provide high-quality user experiences. That's why making sure that you have a solid customer service team at your side at any time is good for the business. Your current host costs you too much. Web hosting can sometimes be the most significant investment when running a website. It's a recurring expense, so you want to ensure that you choose the best option. However, expensive web hosts aren't always necessary. You have to figure out if the features and the amount of server space that your host provides are a good fit for your site. You don't need to break the bank for hosting servers that don't serve your current needs. You can always review your needs and upgrade to a more expensive plan. You don't get the security you need. As far as investments are concerned, paying extra for a secure web host is worth it. A host that takes security seriously will bring significant benefits to your website.  By investing in a secure hosting server, you'll avoid losing data and parts of your website, having user data compromised, and losing credibility in front of your audience.  When choosing your web host, watch out for features and plugins like Secure Sockets Layer certificates, malware scanning, or server firewalls.    How to switch to a new hosting provider Migrating your Drupal site to a new host is a process that involves contacting your current host, performing database backups, connecting to a new server, and uploading your files. It's not uncommon for issues like corrupted backups to appear during the migration process. Consider this when planning your migration, and think if you can save some resources by hiring a professional agency like Optasy to complete this process for you.  There are a few essential steps to follow when migrating to another web hosting server. Let's explore some of them.   1. Turn Drupal caching off. This is the first step to take in order to avoid potential disruptions. Go to your Drupal admin dashboard and: Click Configuration - Performance - Caching - Select "No Caching.” Uncheck "Aggregate CSS files" and "Aggregate JavaScript files" in "bandwidth optimization" and click "Clear all caches.”   2. Backup your Drupal files. Connect to your remote server - Enter the connection details - Hit "QuickConnect" and connect to the remote server that hosts your website.  In your main site's folder, download the content on your local device, and you've done backing up your Drupal files.   3. Export your Drupal database. Go to the phpMyAdmin on your server's control panel in the Database section.  Click "Check all" on your Drupal site database, then "Export method and the SQL.”   4. Migrate your Drupal database to the new host. Create a new MySQL database on your target server. Click "Import" at the top of your database, then "Choose File,” and press "Go.” You've now restored your site on the new hosting from the backup.   5. Turn on Drupal caching. Go to Configuration - Performance - Enable Drupal caching. Kudos to you! You've officially migrated your Drupal site to another host.    Conclusion Building and managing a Drupal website is a complex process, and hosting is one element that can be pretty challenging to handle. There are plenty of hosting options available on the market, and you might find it difficult to decide which one is the best fit for your website needs.  If you're considering server migration or just need some professional advice on how to handle your hosting server successfully, our team of Drupal experts at Optasy is glad to help.    Photo credit: bsdrouin on Pixabay.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 12'2021
Drupal Commerce vs. Magento - Who Wins the Battle for eCommerce?
  In 2021, it is expected that about 27.2% of the world population will shop online at least once.  A lot of potential customers out there, right? As eCommerce is becoming the new norm, digital businesses seek out ways to thrive in this competitive landscape and position themselves as leading trend-setters.  To do that, companies need to realize the power of digital transformation and how they can embrace it in order to support the modern demands of speed and accessibility that customers require today.  This starts with leveraging the right tools for building robust digital assets. One of these tools is represented by eCommerce platforms, which are getting increasingly popular for businesses that seek to deploy an eCommerce system.  Drupal Commerce and Magento are two of the leading eCommerce solutions on the market and are often seen as direct competitors in the industry.  This article provides a side-by-side comparison of these two platforms in regards to technical capabilities, development, costs, scalability, security, and mobile responsiveness. Hopefully, this information will help you narrow down your choice in order to ensure that you choose the best fit for your business needs.    Key eCommerce Capabilities Enabled by Drupal and Magento Drupal Commerce was released in 2011 and offers an open-source application framework that supports retailers in building and managing inventory, track orders, or handle payments.  Magento's initial release was in 2008. This PHP-based eCommerce site provides high levels of PayPal protocol integration and supports 12 worldwide payment gateways.  Both platforms offer, through native features or third-party add-ons, the following benefits: Intuitive, easy-to-use user interface and control panels. No technical knowledge is required to customize and edit basic features. Full-featured CMS that supports social sharing. Business-centric structure for online stores. Native integration of inventory-driven advertising material Integration capabilities with third-party analytics, invoicing, or quoting solutions One thing to keep in mind is that neither of these eCommerce platforms is a "plug and play" solution and making the most out of their potential may require further expertise.    Headless eCommerce The headless version of Drupal Commerce has been in the spotlight in the last few years. This new initiative is an eCommerce solution that stores and delivers content without a front-end delivery layer. It's an API-driven implementation that transforms eCommerce functionality, making it available across a wide range of potential host environments.  A headless eCommerce model inclines towards a more SaaS-oriented, platform-agnostic solution that allows for better employee adoption and considerable time savings across IT departments.  When it comes to Magento, the open-source eCommerce platform, headless eCommerce is equally prioritized. Both Drupal Commerce and Magento are supporting headless models as the future of eCommerce.    Pricing Drupal eCommerce's technical cost of entry is free. However, depending on scope and scale, the costs of developing and maintaining performant and secure eCommerce servers might reach tens of thousands of dollars.  Drupal Commerce project costs are directly proportional with a business needs for specific development architecture, module integrations, custom theme styling, or particular feature integrations.  Magento's newer modules are not offered as open-source and upgrading from Magento Open Source to Magento Commerce might be challenging.  From this financial point of view, Drupal Commerce seems to be a clear winner.    Scalability Drupal Commerce has relevant capabilities of staying highly performant at scale. However, this CMS platform does not provide out-of-the-box database sharding and it can only be implemented on a third-party basis.  Drupal Commerce has lower requirements than Magento Commerce when it comes to the web server—the minimum required RAM for PHP is 64 MB and production systems usually require 128 or 256 MB.  Drupal Commerce-based implementation splits the eCommerce experience across three related Drupal domains. As a result, scaling is better, bottlenecks are eliminated, and the content and purchasing experiences are efficiently separated.  On the other hand, Magento's cloud hosting solves a large number of scalability issues, although at a higher price. The minimum RAM requirement of 2 GB will probably not scale well and distributed networks or caching may need to be deployed with greater care to keep up with the heavy load.    Security Drupal is proven to be the most secure CMS and Magento's infection rate is much higher than Drupal's. From the point of view of security, Drupal Commerce is a winner for businesses that want to prioritize secure platforms.  Source: Sucuri.net   Mobile Responsiveness As most websites transition to a mobile-first approach, eCommerce platforms that prioritize mobile responsiveness are a must.  Fortunately, both Magento Commerce and Drupal Commerce provide robust mobile capabilities to satisfy the need for accessibility and performance.  Drupal Commerce's themes allow building a fully responsive design for eCommerce websites and offer screen flexibility for creating versatile experiences. The most popular themes like Corolla or eStore provide: Multi-level responsive header menus Custom layouts and color options Box shadow and background textures Custom field additions Magento Commerce is close to Drupal when it comes to mobile optimization capabilities. Its responsive web design features help users create optimal viewing experiences for multiple devices. Magento Blank or Luma are out-of-the-box themes that deliver a fully responsive design.   Who's the winner for eCommerce? While both Drupal Commerce and Magento Commerce are reliable options for a digital company that wants to thrive in the eCommerce market, every business has its own unique needs and requirements. Choosing the software that best supports these needs is a process that involves a lot of research and planning.  If you want to speed up this process and ensure that you reach the right decision, don't hesitate to contact Optasy for professional advice and support.  Discover which platform is most suited to provide a robust eCommerce experience for you and your customers.  Photo credit: Mark Konig on Unsplash.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 06'2021
Drupal DevOps Best Practices for 2021
  Today, businesses interact with their customers in many forms of digital services on all kinds of devices. As the digital world is more and more present in our lives, delivering streamlined experiences at the tip of your customers' fingers is the key to success.  A vital role in delivering rapid, accessible IT services is played by DevOps, a set of practices that brings software development and IT operations together. And when it comes to Drupal web development, DevOps represents a valuable instrument that can maximize the potential of Drupal-delivered projects.    How does DevOps work and what benefits does a DevOps model deliver? DevOps, the culture that encompasses most digital businesses today, uses automation and advanced tech stacks to add a new layer of velocity to a company's infrastructure. “DevOps represents a change in IT culture, focusing on rapid IT service delivery through the adoption of agile, lean practices in the context of a system-oriented approach. DevOps emphasizes people (and culture) and seeks to improve collaboration between operations and development teams. DevOps implementations utilize technology — especially automation tools that can leverage an increasingly programmable and dynamic infrastructure from a life cycle perspective”. - Gartner, Inc. Businesses that incorporate a DevOps model into their workflows see benefits like:   Scalability. Fundamental processes like infrastructure and development are operated at scale, which allows for a more efficient approach to developing, testing, and producing environments in a repeatable and streamlined way. Faster and more reliable delivery. The modern customer's need for speed is real, and DevOps can support organizations in their quest to speeding up feature releases, bug fixes, and other types of upgrades. Continuous integration and delivery are two critical practices that can automate the release process. High velocity. Adopting an efficient DevOps model allows professionals to build digital innovations faster and keep up with the trends imposed by ever-changing markets. Security. When adopting DevOps, you don't have to compromise on safety as DevOps models provide automated compliance policies and configuration management mechanisms.   DevOps best practices To make the most out of DevOps, there are some key practices to follow when implementing your model:   Leverage microservices architecture, which allows breaking down large systems into more specific, independent projects. As a result, developers and architects have more flexibility over managing these projects, and applications are more pliable and allow faster innovation. Install minor updates on a regular basis to solve issues and fix bugs quicker. The DevOps model aids companies in deploying updates more often and constantly optimizing their ongoing processes. Use continuous integration and continuous delivery to overcome operational challenges in complex development workflows.  Don't forget about infrastructure as a code, as automating your infrastructure provides better computing resources and higher responsiveness to possible alterations.    DevOps for Drupal development Implementing a DevOps model into your Drupal development workflow will not only accelerate your development cycle and delivery but will also contribute to better user experiences and business outcomes.  As more companies are adopting DevOps models (according to a recent report, 60% of businesses are using or are considering DevOps for their organization), it is expected that DevOps will gradually become even more essential for any digital business. With this growth will come better opportunities for building future-ready Drupal deployments and web experiences suited for the modern customer’s complex needs.    Wrapping Up DevOps continues to grow in new industries, opening possibilities for enhancing security, product monitoring, development, and cluster computing. As it will become the new norm, DevOps will continue to integrate more departments, improve solutions and designs.  As we've seen, DevOps models can also support a Drupal development team that focuses on improving project timelines and delivery. Optasy is the right partner for fostering digital innovation and can help you create customized Drupal digital experiences.  What do you need support with?  Photo credit: PCB-Tech on Pixabay.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 02'2021
Tips and Tricks for Building Drupal Websites
  "A successful website does three things: It attracts the right kind of visitors It guides them to the main services or products you offer It collects contact details for future ongoing relation." - Mohamed Saad   When embarking on the quest to building successful websites, developers and website builders face various challenges such as: Crafting the site without coding Designing a good structure and making it appealing to visitors Adding specific modules and features Fixing bugs and disrupted features Connecting your brand new website to services like Google Analytics   Sailing through the rough waters of web development can be tricky at times. However, you shouldn't be discouraged. There are plenty of tools and techniques that can help you navigate website creation more skillfully, and this article will guide you through leveraging some of them. More specifically, we'll focus on Drupal web development and outline some essential tips for crafting more successful Drupal websites.  What types of websites can you create with Drupal? If your new to using this CMS, then you might be asking what Drupal can do for you. Well, Drupal is an excellent choice for almost any type of project: Personal or business websites E-commerce sites Blogs, portfolio, art, social networking websites Forums and news sites, etc. As you can see, Drupal is a versatile software that can address a wide range of needs and requirements. You only have to know how to use it to your advantage.  Keep reading and get more familiar with the world of Drupal web development.   3 Elements to Consider When You Start   1. Drupal modules. From managing user accounts to organizing basic content, Drupal offers a wide range of functional modules. It's important to remember that Drupal is known for its fantastic customization capabilities. Take advantage of the suitable modules to build personalized sites that match the needs of your visitors.    "Optimizing for impact means creating software that works for everyone. In recent years, our community has prioritized accessibility for users with disabilities, and features like lazy loading of images that help users with slower internet connections. Drupal's priority is to continue to foster diversity and inclusion within our community so all voices are represented in building an Open Web." - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.   2. Web hosting allows all your site content to be seen anywhere at any time. There are some key factors to consider when choosing your web hosting service:               - loading speed: consider a host that loads faster than the current average, 850 ms.               - uptime score: look for hosts that provide high uptime scores, preferably above 99.5%.              - customer support: collaborate with a host that provides high-quality, responsive, and reliable support.              - cost: choose a host that you can afford and count on for reliability and professionalism.   3. Environment. Drupal web development is a complex process that requires focusing on functionality, appearance, or code integrity. Many elements contribute to successful side building and the environment that revolves around your Drupal project is one of them. Good environments can foster growth and are usually dependant on the following factors:                - How big the project is. This allows you to plan more efficiently, especially when dealing with multi-project environments.                  - The size of your company. This is related to the growth of your business and is underpinned by elements like discipline, culture, management, knowledge, etc.                - How skillful your team is. Having a highly experienced team that is reliable and efficient is essential when it comes to the environment.    How to maintain your Drupal website   Proper website maintenance can be challenging. Here are some aspects to pay attention to. Status report This is a feature provided by Drupal that monitors your site's health. It checks folder permissions, disruptive modules, or libraries. The Status Report feature also helps with debugging technical support issues, providing excellent support for your maintenance practices.  Cron  This is an automated task that your Drupal website runs on periodically. It performs scheduled duties like cache clearing, sending emails, or reminders, and it doesn't involve any manual intervention. This tool also performs routine maintenance for the System Module and checks for available updates.  Caching In Drupal web development, there are two modules for caching: The Internal Dynamic Page Cache Module that aims to accelerate site speed. The Internal Page Cache Module which caches pages for anonymous users in the database.  Deployment Drupal deployment allows users to move content from one Drupal site to another. More precisely, when editing your Drupal site, it is helpful to use different environments to modify or test your content without harming the live site's performance. The changes are then deployed through an automated process.    When it comes to Drupal website maintenance, it often saves a lot of resources to hire a Drupal agency to do it for you.  Optasy can help you navigate the sea of challenges that come with your Drupal project. Be it your digital strategy, web design project, or maintenance services, count on us and leave your worries behind! Photo credit: Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 23'2021
Web Design + Digital Marketing = Success
  “Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” - Chris Brogan, Chief Executive Officer of Owner Media Group. And how else can you build brand reputation in the digital era than with a robust online presence? Today, leading companies are leveraging web design to sustain their digital marketing efforts and are seeing remarkable business results. The following article provides a clearer picture of how digital marketing and web design can work together to deliver digital-readiness and build long-term customer relationships. What makes a great web design strategy?   User-friendly web experiences. One of the primary purposes of a website is to build brand awareness, attract, and retain customers. Consequently, when crafting your web design strategy, the user experience should be a top priority. Think big: accessibility, usefulness, credibility, value, desirability, usability, ease-of-use. All of these are core elements of what attracts website visitors to turn back to your site and, ultimately, become your customers. Search engine optimization (SEO). An SEO-centric web design approach will help you build a solid online presence and a long-lasting brand image. When thinking of SEO, you must consider your long-term objectives and adjust your optimization techniques according to these objectives. On-page and off-page optimization methods, meta descriptions, catchy headlines, alt tags in images, etc., are just a few of the elements in the arsenal of a solid SEO strategy.  Content optimization. This is the backbone of your website, and it can work well in tandem with SEO. When done right, your content will be easy to read, accessible, comprehensive, and informative. You don't want to overwhelm website visitors with too much text, so keep it short and concise. And don't forget about engagement. Think from your audience’s perspective—what would you like to learn from the content displayed on your website? Streamlined navigation. It might sound basic, but the truth is many websites could use some serious work when it comes to navigation. A user-friendly website allows visitors to quickly move from one page to another without 'getting lost'. A site map can prove to be really effective for this purpose, offering interactive and functional features for the users to know exactly where they are on the website and how to get to the desired location.  Branding. Your website should reflect your brand's identity, your business’s culture, and the way you relate to your customers. You can create this brand-website link by investing in visually connecting your logo, print material, and brick-and-mortar location. In this way, you'll add an extra layer of credibility and enhance your brand’s overall image.  “Your website is the center of your digital eco-system, like a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.” - Leland Dieno. What makes a great digital marketing strategy?   Content management and planning. To be successful in digital marketing, you need to set realistic frameworks from the beginning. There are plenty of strategies and tools that can help you with this, such as content mapping, editorial calendars, or timelines. At this point, you want to plan smartly and organize your project with well-defined outcomes in mind. However, nothing is certain in life, especially in business, so leaving room for uncertainty can be a productive mindset. Set your key performance indicators (KPIs) and ensure that they match your overall business goals. Choosing the right KPIs. Speaking of goals and performance metrics, how do you accurately set them? To stay on target, you must understand your digital needs and marketing efforts. There are some key questions to ask here:      How are your KPIs connected to your objectives?      What's the subject of your measurements?      How do these measurements relate to the user experience?      To what extent do you need to monitor these specific metrics?      Answering these questions will not only help you go beyond data and address the human experience but will also support a solid digital and sales marketing strategy. Leveraging effective content strategies by addressing the 3 R's of engaging content: reliable, relatable, and relevant. Getting to your audience and performing effective outreach campaigns relies on wisely chosen content. Provide your customers with fresh, relevant information, and you'll quickly build trust and position yourself as a reliable advisor.   Strategies are important, but so is flexibility. In business, as in life, it is always wise to leave room for uncertainty. That means building a strategy that is flexible and can adapt to new, unexpected scenarios. In other words, leave some unfilled spots in your timeline so that you can, later on, incorporate things like viral competitors' articles, trends, and current events, or unforeseen expenses in new technologies. To build flexibility, ask yourself these questions from time to time:      Where could I improve my strategies?      Which tools should I choose to keep the business in line and better organized?      Where is the business getting the most traffic from?      What KPIs am I interested in at this stage? Measure your content's performance and see where it is heading. In digital marketing, you always want to know where the business is standing. That's why visualizing a clear direction and planning accordingly to reach your goals is essential. That means being aware of each stage of your funnel and adapting your strategies to match your current activity’s needs and demands.  Why web design and digital marketing should work together?   The impact of web design on your digital marketing outcomes is substantial. The way you design your website speaks volumes about your brand, and it plays a vital role in how your overall business is perceived and engaged with. Elements like the website experience, SEO, social media outreach, and branding are essential components of your digital marketing ecosystem. Blending web design and digital marketing is a modern approach that takes digital businesses to the next level.  “Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” - Paul Cookson. What are your thoughts on the importance of connecting digital marketing and web design in a holistic business approach? If you want to leverage the full power of the digital, have a look at Optasy's services and see how our experienced team can craft a personalized digital strategy that will suit the needs of your business. Let us build your roadmap to digital success! Photo credit: edhoradic on Unsplash.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 18'2021