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Drupal 10 New Features and How to Prepare Your Migration
  Drupal is a free and open-source content management system that allows you to create websites with a simple interface, but it has many powerful features for more advanced users. Drupal is being used by millions of people worldwide and many businesses and institutions like Harvard, Twitter, or Whole Foods.  The first version of Drupal was released on January 15, 2001, more than twenty years ago.  Drupal 10 is expected to be released in December 2022. It will be a refined version of Drupal 9 and it will include many new features, including: Symfony 6 compatibility. Site owners and module developers will benefit from as much Symfony 6 compatibility as possible and Symfony 4 deprecations in Drupal 9 for Symfony 5 will be resolved. Supported solutions for rebuilding jQuery UI functionality by using either vanilla JavaScript or frameworks like React. jQuery UI components used by Drupal core will be removed. Best practices for deprecating modules. Users will be able to use a proper mechanism for naming, versioning, deprecating wrappers, etc. A 'lifecycle' - property can be used in info.yml files for themes and modules. Better decoupled developer and site builder experiences, especially for menu and URL handling. Introduction of CKEditor 5 with better authoring experience and more modern editing (replacing CKEditor 4). PHP 8.1 compatibility for Drupal 9 and Drupal 10.  Theme Starterkit tools for bespoke theme creation.     How to prepare for Drupal 10 The following are steps that you should take before upgrading your existing sites to Drupal 10. Upgrade all modules on your current site to their latest versions. If you have not already done so, upgrade core to its latest release. You can do this by running drush up --all from within your Drupal root directory. Perform a full backup of your site. This includes database backups as well as files and folders outside of the Drupal installation directory. Update your site's configuration file. The easiest way to do this is to download the Configuration Upgrade Module module and run it against your site. To do this, go toUpdate your themes and modules to the most recent versions available. In particular, update any custom modules or themes you use to their latest releases. Will the upgrade to Drupal 10 be easy? New functionality for Drupal 10 is added to Drupal 9 releases, meaning module developers can start adopting new APIs right away. Old functionality is removed, but backward compatibility is kept. Once we are ready for Drupal 10, we remove deprecated code, breaking backward compatibility, but because developers had a chance to update their modules, the upgrade to Drupal 10 should be easy. More exactly, Drupal 10 is identical with Drupal 9, except for its deprecation list. There shouldn't be any big or unexpected changes. What are the Drupal 10 platform requirements so far? PHP requirements: At least PHP 8.0.2 and PHP 8.1 is recommended.  PHP 8.0 is being dropped after November 2023, but security patches for PHP 8 will continue to be provided by other organizations. Some of Drupal's Composer dependency packages might start dropping support for PHP 8 after November 2023. Database server requirements: Check out the Database server requirements documentation.  Web server requirements:  They are the same as for Drupal 9. If you need additional support for preparing your migration to Drupal 10, our experienced team of Drupal experts can provide step-by-step assistance. Learn more about our Drupal services today!    Photo credit: Unsplash. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / May 25'2022
Acquia Maintenance Services for Drupal Enterprise
  Acquia Cloud Enterprise is a fully managed cloud service that provides the infrastructure, tools, and services to run your site on the Acquia Platform. Acquia for Drupal Enterprise is an enterprise-ready version of Acquia's award-winning platform for building and running websites with Drupal 8. It includes all of the features you need to build, manage, and scale a modern website. It also comes with preconfigured modules, themes, and other content so you can get started quickly. What makes Acquia the right Drupal hosting provider? Acquia Cloud Platform offers secure and compliant web hosting services built exclusively for Drupal. You can use them to host your site and develop your content using Drupal 8, Drupal 7, or any other version of Drupal. They offer fully managed Drupal hosting, as well as a range of development tools. Their enterprise-grade security features include SSL certificates and access control lists (ACLs). They also provide world-class customer service. The following are some of the key benefits of choosing Acquia: Fully managed hosting - No servers to install, configure, maintain, upgrade, patch, or monitor. All you have to do is deploy Drupal. Focus on innovation - Having a fully managed Drupal hosting solution allows you to create digital experiences that focus on what matters most: the customer. Highly scalable - Acquia’s cloud architecture scales from small sites to large global deployments. Built for performance - Acquia has built its hardware and software solutions to ensure that your site performs at peak levels. Streamline compliance - Compliance requirements such as GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, and more are easily met through Acquia’s robust data protection practices.   Top features of Acquia web hosting for Drupal Drupal 8 support. Acquia supports Drupal 8 out of the box. This means you can start developing and deploying your next great project immediately. Built-in security. Acquia includes strong authentication and firewall controls. Robust developer tools that provide automated testing for development, staging, and production environments.  Real-time monitoring tools (Acquia Insight) that measure and report on application health. Add-ons. Acquia offers hundreds of add-on modules and themes to help you customize and deliver cutting-edge experiences. Best Practices for Acquia Setup & Maintenance  In order to optimize the performance and functionality of your site, we recommend the following best practices when setting up and maintaining your site on Acquia. Set up the environment before starting work. The first step in getting started with Acquia is creating an account and installing Drupal. Once your site is live, it’s important to keep it running smoothly by regularly updating core, contributed modules, and third-party extensions. Use the Acquia Dashboard. The Acquia dashboard provides a single place where you can view all of your settings, including installed modules, configuration options, and user roles. It's also where you can manage users, groups, and ACL permissions. Keep your database clean. As part of regular maintenance, make sure your database tables are properly maintained. For example, if you have many content types or custom fields, consider using the Field Permissions module to prevent orphaned records. Keep your database optimized. If you use the MySQL Query Cache feature, it will be automatically enabled. To ensure optimal performance, disable caching whenever possible. Optimize your codebase. Use the built-in Drush command line tool to perform updates and upgrades to Drupal core and other modules. Optimize your site architecture. Make sure your site has a clear separation between presentation logic and business logic. This helps separate concerns and makes it easier to maintain your site as its complexity grows. Make sure your site has a clean separation between presentation logic and data access logic. This helps separate responsibilities and makes it easier to update your site when new features are added. Test your site thoroughly. Test your site from multiple devices and browsers. You should test on mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and desktop.    FAQs about Drupal hosting How does Acquia compare to other Drupal hosts? Acquia is one of the few companies offering truly integrated Drupal hosting. The brand has combined its expertise in both technology and business management to make it easy for users to launch and grow their online presence. What is the difference between Acquia Hosting and Acquia Cloud Platform? With Acquia Hosting, customers get all the benefits of a full-featured, managed Drupal platform without having to manage servers themselves. With Acquia Cloud Platform, customers get all the advantages of a private cloud infrastructure with the convenience of a shared environment. Both options allow you to build, test, and deploy websites quickly and efficiently. Is there a free trial available for Acquia Hosting? Yes. You can try our services completely risk-free by signing up for a 30-day free trial. After the trial period ends, you will be billed $9.99 per month. Can I host my website using Acquia Hosting if I am not interested in running an enterprise-level site? Absolutely. Acquia Hosting is designed to work well with any type of website. It comes with everything you need to launch your new or existing website, including: A powerful Content Management System (CMS). An intuitive user interface. Easily scalable resources. Advanced security. Access to thousands of premium WordPress themes and plugins. Support for multiple languages and currencies   To learn more about Acquia Drupal, check out this page.          Photo credit: Unsplash.... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Apr 29'2022
How to Find the Best Drupal Developer for Your Needs
  Building a robust Drupal development project that supports your business objectives can be challenging and time-consuming. But with the right Drupal partner that has the experience and expertise needed to help you build a website that will meet all of your needs, you will find this process a lot easier. This article talks about the competitive advantages of hiring Drupal developers and how you can find the best fit that meets your Drupal project needs.  The benefits of hiring Drupal developers Hiring a Drupal developer is an investment in your company's success as it provides plenty of competitive benefits that set you apart from the competition. These advantages include: Building highly-personalized Drupal projects that boost your brand awareness and increase sales. Designing and developing custom Drupal features and functionalities that suit your project requirements. Dedicated support for your Drupal project throughout its lifecycle from content migration and system integration to API design and web accessibility. Having access to ongoing updates and continuous maintenance and support. Reduced costs and increased ROI by having a dedicated team working on your project. What are some of the challenges of hiring Drupal developers? Hiring a Drupal developer or a Drupal development team may not always be easy because there are many factors involved when choosing a Drupal developer. Some of these factors include: Finding a good match between your skillset and their technical knowledge. Choosing a Drupal developer who understands your business goals and objectives. Finding a reliable Drupal partner at a price that fits your budget allowance.     How to spot the right Drupal partner for your business requirements There are several things you should consider before hiring a Drupal developer. Here are some tips to help you identify the right Drupal developer for your project: Do your research first and gain a good understanding of what a Drupal developer is and what are their responsibilities.  A Drupal developer has plenty of duties like conducting research and installing Drupal modules that best fit your needs, extending existing modules so their functionality increases, managing how your website looks and works for high-quality user experiences, migrating existing websites and content, architecting  Drupal projects and web infrastructures, etc.   Also, a Drupal developer can have three main roles that you should pay attention to: Drupal Front-End Developer. A front-end developer is responsible for designing and building the interface of your site using HTML, CSS, JavaScript, jQuery, Bootstrap, Foundation or any other framework. This includes elements such as buttons, forms, navigation menus, or tables and also includes how your page looks. Drupal Back-End Developer. A back-end developer is responsible for programming the logic behind your site's functions and processes. This includes writing code that handles database queries, creates pages, manages users, and more. Drupal Theme Developer. A theme developer is responsible for styling the look and feel of the entire website including the layout, colors, fonts, images, and anything else that makes up the overall appearance. They will work with the front-end developer to ensure that everything on the site matches and flows well together.        2. Identify and examine your project needs.  Now that you know in more detail what a Drupal developer does, it's time to understand your project needs and what you require from a developer's services. Key questions to ask at this stage are: Do you need a back-end expert or a full-stack developer? Do you only need Drupal maintenance? Do you need a whole new enterprise-grade Drupal solution? Would you like to hire a freelance developer or a contract-to-hire? Do you just have a rough idea of what you’d like him/them to develop? What type of experience do you want them to have? How much time would you be willing to spend working with them? How many hours per week would you be able to dedicate to the project?       3. Know where to look for talented Drupal developers. Top channels to consider for passive searches: job portals like LinkedIn, Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed online Drupal (or PHP) communities freelance platforms like Upwork, Toptal, Scalable Path Top channels for your active searches: social media Drupal groups local IT communities LinkedIn (when you start analyzing particular profiles on LinkedIn your passive search becomes active) Drupal.org (select the top Drupal profiles there and start evaluating them against your own requirements) developer communities like GitHub, Stack Overflow       4. Ask the right questions. Among the most important questions to ask potential Drupal partners are: How long have you been working with Drupal development solutions? What Drupal experience do you have? Are you familiar with my business model? Can you provide references? What Drupal skills do you possess? What Drupal technologies do you use?       5. Evaluate your potential Drupal partner carefully. Essential things to consider are: How experienced they are in working with different Drupal versions What their technical expertise is / How skilled they are at Drupal module development Their GitHub Profile (how much time they spent on different projects, samples of their written code, details on their contributions) Their involvement with the Drupal community What past clients say about working with them   Optasy's team of experienced Drupal developers is here to help you We are a development company and we are ready to leverage and to "fuel" your project with all that Drupal expertise that we've been gaining as a Drupal firm during these +10 years: whether it's custom module development, Drupal migration, AI implementation, or any type of new feature integration with Drupal that you need us to do. We're web developers, but with a mobile-first approach to our website development projects, in fact: we commit to helping you deliver the message to your users in an intuitive, effective, and nonetheless appealing way, on all devices.  We'll be in for the long run: our Drupal development services include 24/7/365 support & ongoing maintenance, which means much more than just rolling out patches and updates; we'll ensure that your OPTASY solution (be it Drupal, Laravel, WordPress, Magento, React or Angular-based) keeps meeting your goals, that it continues to remain relevant in the context of future technology changes. From structure planning, to Drupal website development, all the way to maintenance and long-term support, we've got your back; stay assured: full-cycle projects are our specialty as a Drupal 8 agency. As a development company in Toronto we have the experience and the expertise to handle your most specific requirements:   back-end development: we design and develop the custom features and functionalities that suit your project requirements front-end development: from custom themes to user-friendly Uis, to user experience design, to designing responsive layouts content migration system integration API design and development web accessibility  website maintenance: pass over the maintenance burden on our shoulders; we provide ongoing updates and continuous maintenance and support   For more information on how our talented Drupal experts can help you build a robust project for your web development needs, contact us.    Photo credit: Unsplash.... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jan 21'2022
7 Key Stages Every Drupal Development Project Should Contain
  Drupal is a content management system that has been around for more than 10 years. The first version of the CMS was released in 2003, and since then it has grown to become one of the most popular open-source applications on the web today. Drupal is used by many different types of businesses, including small business owners who want to create their own website or blog, as well as large corporations looking to build a robust online presence. Our development team at Optasy has helped hundreds of clients with their Drupal projects over the past few years. In this article, we will go through each stage of our Drupal development process and provide you with some insight into what makes each phase unique.     What makes Drupal a popular choice? Drupal provides plenty of user and business benefits that can transform any web development project into a successful one. Some of those benefits are: Flexibility. Drupal is flexible enough to be used by small businesses or large corporations alike. It’s also easy to customize the CMS to fit your needs. Scalability. The platform supports thousands of users, making it perfect for eCommerce sites with lots of traffic. High customization. You can easily scale Drupal websites to match specific needs and traffic fluctuations.  Security. Drupal offers multiple security features that make it an ideal solution for government agencies and other organizations that need to protect sensitive information. Large community. There are over 1 million active members in the Drupal community, which means you have access to tons of support when you run into problems.     How do you know if your Drupal development project is successful? With the right insights or a team of Drupal experts by your side, your future website will: be feature-rich, which means it’s more likely to be used by your target audience. have an intuitive user and digital experience that allows visitors to easily find what they need without having to go through multiple pages. be mobile responsive, which will make your site look and function properly on any device. include rich media. This means that you can add video, audio, and other multimedia elements to your site with ease. be optimized for enterprise-level security. ship with a granular user management system tailored to your organization's specific needs when it comes to custom workflows. be "loaded" with custom Drupal modules to fit unique functionality needs. leverage an enhanced content management system; where content gets found, filtered — and, therefore, perfectly structured —  with utmost ease. be conveniently modular and extensible.   7 Key Stages of Successful Drupal Development Projects Drupal development projects are complex, but with the right insights or a team of experts to guide you through each stage of the project, you can be successful.  Let's have a look at seven essential steps that Optasy includes in every Drupal project created. 1. Identify the needs of your business. The first step is to identify what you want your website to achieve. You need to know why you’re building it in the first place so you can create a strong digital strategy. Our Drupal experts will ask questions like: What do you hope to get out of it? Who will use it? What problems does it solve for them? How much time will they spend on it? These questions help the development team understand how your site fits into your overall marketing strategy. 2. Create a vision for your website. Once we know who your audience is and what you want to accomplish, it’s time to create a clear picture of what that looks like. A good way to start is by creating a graphic design and representation of your brand identity and deciding which way to go with the infrastructure management. This helps us define the colors, fonts, and other elements that make up your brand. It also gives an opportunity to think about how your site might fit into your overall marketing strategy and messaging. 3. Design an architecture that works. Your website has many moving parts—from the navigation menu to the contact form. Each part must work together to provide users with a seamless experience. That means choosing which features to include and which ones to leave behind. For example, if you don’t want to offer live chat support, then don’t add it to your site. If you decide to include social media sharing buttons, then make sure those buttons are easy to find so visitors can share your content easily. 4. Deploy the development process. If your site is designed properly, there shouldn’t be any surprises when it goes live. But even the best-designed sites sometimes encounter unexpected challenges during deployment. To avoid these issues, we are using a staging environment before launching your site.  5. Migrate your content carefully. Migrating your content from one platform to another may come with some unexpected issues. In fact, migrating your data isn’t always straightforward. There are several different ways to move content between platforms. Some methods require manual intervention, while others automate the process. Regardless of which method it is chosen, we highly rely on testing the migration process thoroughly. 6. Optimize for search engines. Search engine optimization is an important aspect of any web presence. Without a proper SEO strategy, your site won’t rank high enough in search results. And without traffic, you won’t see any return on investment. So, we put a lot of emphasis on optimizing your website to have a high ranking on SERPs. 7. Test and plan your QA strategy. As your website is being built, testing it is imperative. Tools such as Google Analytics can monitor visitor activity and track conversion rates. Once you’ve reached your goals, it’s important to continue monitoring your analytics to ensure that everything continues working smoothly. Regarding the QA strategy, the following are important: Having a dedicated QA team member responsible for testing your site. Setting up automated tests to check functionality and usability. Creating a list of bugs and prioritizing them based on severity. That's it! We've walked you through Optasy's Drupal development stages so you can gain a clearer picture of how our team of Drupal experts can support your web development journey. Contact us now and let's start building your website.   Photo credit: Unsplash.... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Dec 21'2021
Drupal for enterprise. Is it suitable for your company?
  Drupal is a free and open-source content management system, and one of the most popular CMSs used by big companies in North America. It has been around since 2004 and it’s still growing fast. Drupal is an excellent digital solution if you want to build a website that can grow with your business. Drupal enterprise is built on top of Drupal core, which means that all features are available in both versions. The difference between them is that the enterprise version comes with additional modules and themes. If you need more functionality than what is included in the standard version, then you should consider using the enterprise version. If you want to use Drupal for big companies, then you should look into the enterprise version. This allows you to create a custom theme or module for your company logo, colors, etc.         Why CTOs of Big Companies Choose Drupal? Drupal has been adopted by some of the biggest names in technology. Here are just a few examples: Yahoo! - Yahoo uses Drupal to deliver its email service, Flickr photo-sharing service, and many other products. The New York Times - The New York Times uses Drupal to publish its news stories online. Facebook - Facebook uses Drupal to manage its social network. Twitter - Twitter uses Drupal to manage its microblogging service. LinkedIn - LinkedIn uses Drupal to manage its professional networking service.  Salesforce - Salesforce uses Drupal to run its CRM product. Why are these big companies choosing Drupal? Let's look at some of the top benefits of Drupal for enterprises.   Key Benefits of Drupal Enterprise   When used for big companies, Drupal can provide competitive advantages like: Delivering robust digital experiences on multiple channels and devices. You can use the same codebase to build responsive web pages, mobile apps, native Android and iOS apps, and even standalone desktop applications. Building experiences that combine the power of Drupal’s robust backend with front-end rendering using the tools developers feel will work best for customers. Providing robust development tools and environments for developing Drupal-based experiences. These make it easier for digital teams to rapidly begin building Drupal-based web applications. Offering a future-proofed digital express platform which ensures that your marketing technologies can be adapted to changes in the digital environment and emerging technologies, channels, and devices Acquia's Drupal Platform is built on top of the most popular content management system available today. With the help of Acquia Cloud, you can easily scale your site as your business grows. You'll also get access to a wide range of premium services, including managed hosting, performance monitoring, security updates, infrastructure management, etc. With a few clicks, you can create personalized versions of your site's home page that are highly optimized for top ranking on search engines. What is more, you can also make changes to pages as visitors navigate around your website.     Why the Drupal Enterprise Needs Acquia? If you're looking for an easy way to deploy a new project, Acquia offers a complete solution for managing all aspects of your Drupal deployment from planning through production. And if you need to add features or fix bugs, we have a team of experts ready to assist you. We are one of the most reliable Drupal service providers on the market and we want to ensure that you get the right support when you need it. That means providing you with everything you need to get started quickly and efficiently. Our expert consultants are always available to answer questions about how to get the most out of our solution.       How to Use Drupal Enterprise As an enterprise solution, you need to have a good understanding of how your business works, what problems you face, and how you want to solve them. You should also know how your organization uses IT resources, including people, time, money, and other resources. Before you start working with Acquia, you may want to talk with someone who has experience working with enterprises, such as a CIO, a Chief Marketing Officer, or another senior executive at your company. This person could serve as a mentor, helping you understand how to leverage Acquia to meet your needs. The following are some tips to consider when planning your deployment: Know your data. Before you deploy Drupal, you must first determine whether your data is stored locally or remotely. If your data is stored remotely, you might need to set up a secure connection between your local computer and the remote server where your data resides. Understand your budget. It's important to know how much money you're willing to spend before you buy Drupal. Depending on your current technology stack, you might be able to find free solutions. However, if you don't have a lot of money, you might need to evaluate alternative options. For example, you might choose to migrate your existing application to Drupal instead of buying new software. Know your timeline. When deciding how long it takes to implement a project, keep these factors in mind: Your team size (the larger your team, the longer it generally takes to complete a project), your skills (some projects take less time than others because they require fewer skills. For example, if you already have a custom database schema, you won't need to learn how to build one from scratch.), your expertise (some projects take less than others because you've done similar things before). Learn about Drupal. To ensure that you fully understand Drupal, you should read the documentation, attend training classes, and ask questions. You should also work closely with a Drupal expert during the implementation process. Is Drupal the Right Choice for Your Intranet? Drupal can help you create an engaging user experience by providing content that is relevant to users' interests. By using features like views, blocks, and dynamic menus, you can easily organize information into specific areas of your site. In addition, Drupal offers many modules that allow you to customize your site to fit your unique needs. If you’re looking for a platform to support your internal communications, then Drupal is a great option. With its robust feature set, Drupal provides a variety of tools to help you manage your content effectively. Whether you’re looking to provide employees with a way to share ideas internally, or you’re looking at ways to improve customer service, Drupal can help. Conclusion  The key to choosing the right CMS for your organization is understanding what you want out of your website and how your business will use it. This guide has provided some insight into each type of CMS so you can make an informed decision when selecting which solution best fits your needs and supports your open-source project. What are your experiences with different types of CMSs? Share them below!     Photo credit: Unsplash.... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Dec 14'2021
Is Drupal Good for eCommerce? 11 Excellent Reasons Why You’d Choose It over Another Platform
    "... wanna run eCommerce on Drupal 8 but don't know if it's a good idea."   But is Drupal good for eCommerce?    And, most of all: Is it better suited for your own online business needs and feature requirements than other eCommerce platforms out there? Some legitimate questions you're struggling with there… To give you a hand, here's a list of 11 excellent reasons why you'd lean towards Drupal eCommerce solutions for building your e-commerce site.    Reason #1: You're in Full Control of the Source Code to Make Any Changes You Want In other words, you don't need to convince the vendor first that the changes you need to make are beneficial for him/her. You're free to extend Drupal eCommerce platform's core functionality, to adapt, and extend its code till it meets your needs entirely.    … till it integrates perfectly into that specific software that you use.   Which is not the case when you go for a commercial solution: you're not granted access to the core code for any custom software development work that you might need to make. Of course, this "reason" becomes a really strong selling point only if/when: you have non-standard business requirements it's a large, complex eCommerce website that you're building Reason #2: Your eStore Grows With Drupal  Drupal scales with your business... effectively.   And by that I mean that it's designed to keep the resources and the time required to handle your online store's growth at a minimum.   Being: flexible by nature (its open-source nature) powered by the API-first initiative … Drupal eCommerce solutions make the best choice if "scalability" is on top of your list of requirements.   Reason #3: You Get to Reach Out to Your Customers Across Multiple Channels  "Is Drupal good for eCommerce?"   It becomes the perfect option for your own eCommerce website if you're planning to reach out to your customers across an entire network of sales channels, thus boosting your digital marketing efforts.  Let's say you have your main/central eCommerce website and you need to pull content from there and to distribute it across a whole ecosystem of channels — eCommerce apps, digital kiosks, conversational interfaces — and devices. Then, the API-first initiative allows you to tap into a headless commerce Drupal architecture and: use Drupal as a back-end content repository configure your content to fit all types of formats and reuse it whenever (and wherever) needed increase your outreach incorporate business automation into your development team's workflow: help them work smart and achieve more Reason #4: You Get to Deliver Content-Driven eCommerce Experiences With Drupal, you get the best of both worlds:   an eCommerce platform (by integrating one of its specialized eCommerce modules into the content management system) a content platform   And this is what makes it ideal for: tapping into the experience-led eCommerce model getting the most out of your content marketing efforts (think blog posts, effectively interconnected product pages, user guides, etc.) Reason #5: You're Free to Integrate Any Third-Party Service into Your Online Store From: marketing platforms to analytics services to payment gateways of your choice (there are 80+ payment options available with Drupal Commerce) to third-party add-ons that would automate your team's tasks and boost their productivity (while boosting online sales, as well) … Drupal & its eCommerce component accommodates any type of integrations you need to make.   Reason #6: "Is Drupal Good for eCommerce?" It Is for Delivering High-Speed eCommerce Experiences Just think… real-time shopping cart updates.  Or pretty much any action that your customers would need to carry out on your eCommerce site, then turbocharge it with top speed. A decoupled Drupal Commerce setup (add the JavaScript framework of your choice here) enables you to deliver such type of dynamic user experiences.    Reason #7: You Have No Limits to How Much You Can Extend Your Drupal 8 eCommerce Website Drupal Commerce can grow as much as your business needs. Whether you need to integrate: a whole network of third-party systems a whole lot of contributed modules an eCommerce Drupal distribution (a bundle of multiple modules) a Drupal eCommerce theme  … and extend your eCommerce store's functionality, there's no limit to what you can incorporate into your Drupal eCommerce website.   Reason #9:  You Benefit from an Extremely Configurable eCommerce Solution "Whereas eCommerce solutions are often developed with an application mindset, highlighting what you can do with it out of the box, Drupal eCommerce solutions were developed with a framework mindset, focusing on what you can build with them." (Source: Drupal.org)   Basically, you're free to customize every little piece of your Drupal 8 eCommerce site, till it: delivers that unique shopping experience you want it to meets all your ultra-personalized requirements: to trigger certain actions based on user input, to display multiple tax rates, to have an out-of-the-ordinary checkout flow, etc. Here, it's up to you and it depends on what you need to build: Are you looking for a cookie-cutter eCommerce solution, that would help you get a generic webshop up and running in no time? Or do you want unlimited customization freedom, that comes at the cost of…  investing more time in writing custom code?   Reason #10: You're Free to Sell Both Physical and Digital Goods And that thanks to Drupal Commerce's flexibility:   It provides you with the functionality you need to start building your product catalog and selling your digital products — subscriptions, tickets, online courses, etc. — on your online store. A key aspect to consider when comparing the features of your best options in terms of eCommerce platforms in 2020.   Reason #11: You Can Make the Most of the Granular and Differential Access to Content Drupal allows you to define different roles for your team members and to assign several levels of permission to each role. Not everyone would then be authorized to edit content, add products, manage orders, publish content, etc. This way you get to: set up a convenient hierarchy harden your online store's security  So, Is Drupal Good for eCommerce? Maybe a more appropriate question would be: "Is Drupal the right solution for my eCommerce business?"  It might be... And these 11 reasons mentioned here do become the best arguments for you to choose it over another platform (Ubercart, Prestashop, Shopify…) if: it's a growing or an already established eCommerce business that you run (otherwise, all that configuration and custom work might be an overkill for a small business) you have complex feature needs for your online store: you need to integrate it with coupon rules, several backend systems, and so on Do you fit the eCommerce business owner "profile"? For we do fit the profile of that Drupal eCommerce agency and development company you're looking for, capable to tweak it till it fits your complex requirements to the slightest detail. Just challenge us and see how Drupal eCommerce solutions can accelerate business outcomes.    ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Aug 10'2021
What Are the Benefits of Web Accessibility for Your Business?
  For people with disabilities, web accessibility is highly beneficial. They use multiple assistive technology tools that often require accessible web design and apps to function properly.  It is obvious how web accessibility benefits users with disabilities, but what about businesses? What are the advantages of building accessible sites for your company? Keep reading, and you'll discover seven key benefits of making your website ADA-compliant.    Why do companies hesitate to invest in web accessibility?   A survey of around 500 U.S. business leaders and web designers shows the main reasons behind the reluctance of some companies to make a website accessible. Most of the respondents confessed they are worried about the financial investments and potentially high costs (73.6%), while 66.9% think optimizing their sites for accessibility will require too much time.  We are here to tell you that making your website accessible for people with disabilities doesn't require too many resources, will highly benefit the user experience, and most probably keep you away from web accessibility lawsuits.    7 Benefits of Making Your Website Accessible   1. Increased traffic on your site. There's a myth regarding accessible websites that says accessibility only benefits the visitors. However, by improving the user experience and making it accessible for anyone, you plant the seeds for: Higher traffic rates on your site Better user engagement Improved search engine optimization rankings Higher conversion rate   2. Lower risk of legal complications. As legal requirements regarding web accessibility are getting tougher, optimizing your site for people with disabilities becomes non-optional—unless you don't mind being prosecuted. Make sure your site meets specific accessibility guidelines and pay attention to the accessibility standards required by the industry that you're operating in.    3. Bigger customer base. Making your website accessible means addressing the needs of bigger social groups, and that, in the long term, could lead to you growing your customer base. By investing in accessible design, you can attract more visitors that are likely to engage with your brand on a long-term basis.   4.  A more innovative business mindset. Building accessible design for your website visitors challenges you to deal with unanticipated issues and thus puts your creativity at work.  The constraint of adapting your design so that it incorporates a whole set of accessibility features challenges you to... come up with innovative solutions—and to preserve that mindset for innovation in the long term. In the current dynamic digital landscape, staying creative and ready for innovation is key to keep up with the ever-changing trends.    5. Boosted SEO efforts.  You can improve your site's accessibility by adding ALT-text to images, writing clear content, or choosing a clutter-free page layout. All of these steps also mean good SEO practices.  So, by making your website more accessible, you're also making it more SEO-friendly. You probably already know the importance of investing in robust SEO strategies in today's digital landscape. It's all about how high you rank on SERPs and the level of visibility that your website is gaining.    6. Improved brand reputation.  Accessibility is also essential for your business as it helps grow your brand reputation. By ensuring your website's universal design grants equal rights and easy access to your content, you raise awareness and build a positive reputation around your business.  Today, having an inaccessible website is the digital equivalent of sticking a big KEEP OUT sign in front of your business.    7. Faster page loading time.  It has been proven that if you improve a page's level of accessibility, you boost its speed score. As modern internet users demand fast website experiences, you want to improve your page loading times to keep up with your visitors' needs. By implementing features designed for users with disabilities, you're making your site a better place for all users.    There are many ways in which you can promote accessibility on your website. For example, users that struggle with visual impairments benefit the most from screen readers to help them understand the content on a particular website. This is a way to make your website accessible for people with sight issues and offer some support in making their daily lives a bit easier.    Hopefully, this article sheds some light on the importance of web accessibility for your business and how building a universal design for your site can positively impact your brand.  For more insights on how Optasy can help you make your website more accessible, check out our Drupal Website Accessibility services.    Photo credit: Wirestock on freepik.       ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jul 12'2021
6 Experts Talk About the Advantages of Using Drupal
  As the digital landscape is constantly evolving, there is increased pressure on web content management systems (CMSs) to keep pace with the needs of the modern consumer.  To meet these complex demands that revolve around highly personalized and interactive web experiences and streamlined connectivity between devices, companies require websites that can support these goals.  One of the most powerful enterprise-level CMS platforms, Drupal, can handle more complex projects and its capabilities, as the Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, reveals, only get better with experience.    Why is Drupal web development the right choice?   There are multiple competitive advantages that organizations can reap from using Drupal to handle their online presence. How do you know if Drupal is the right choice for your next web development project? Check out this list of key features and capabilities that Drupal offers and see how they can fit in with your needs and demands.   Are you looking to highly customize your website and content? Drupal's widely-known customizing power allows you to adjust and edit over 16,000 plug-ins and modules. If you need a CMS that can support your web development projects by implementing additional custom features like CRM, security, or SEO, with a focus on customizability, then Drupal might be the best fit.   What do the experts say? Nick Wilde, a Full-stack developer (including DevOps) at North Studios, thoroughly recommends Drupal for companies looking to change and customize their digital approaches:  "I love a *lot* of the changes in Drupal 8 compared to 7 or 6, but most of them didn't really change the way I worked. I mean, sure, using slightly different hooks etc. - but that's not really any different than integrating with different modules to my mind at least. What really did change my way of working was the Configuration Management Initiative's work, and by changed I mean massively improved. Yes, some degree of custom integration is possible with Drupal 7 with hook_update_N() and/or the features module, but in Drupal 8, a solid reproducible, testable CI and deployment process is not just possible but easy. (Yes, I'm a smidge of a fanatic about DevOps and process, despite being primarily a developer). When doing complex back-end work, moving to an Object Oriented system has felt like coming home since I started programming with Python in an OOP code-base.”   Is flexibility important for your web development project? A major selling point of Drupal lies in its rich potential to build and manage a wide range of content types, whether it is a blog post, podcast, or any other custom content types. By enabling a flexible design platform, Drupal allows users to create and manage content-rich media or eCommerce sites.    What do the experts say? Alex Moreno, a software architect, based in London, is helping big companies with their Drupal and IoT projects and has revealed how he uses Drupal's flexible core capabilities to catch up with the ever-evolving technology transformations: “Although you could flex Drupal 7 to adapt to this changing environment, the real power and flexibility comes with having a Drupal 8 architecture, where this flexibility is already in the core. That has implications for performance, adaptability, simpler architecture of services around Drupal, etc.”   Are you considering scalability as an important asset for your web project? If so, Drupal is a winning choice. When accommodating content growth becomes a challenge, Drupal steps in with its tremendously scalable capabilities and supports your growth in an effortless manner.    What do the experts say? Drupal expert, Malabya Tewari, talks about how Drupal Modules can help build a responsive design and flexible user experiences: “When I started my career with Drupal 6 briefly and then moved on to Drupal 7, I really liked the abundance of modules Drupal 7 had. ‘There is a module for that’ was a common statement while building a feature. When I transitioned to Drupal 8 and when it was in its pre-release state, there were no contributed modules. Of course, views and entity reference were in core, but it lacked the huge pool of modules that Drupal 7 had. Instead, Drupal 8 had some great flexible and robust components which mostly worked for me. Even though there was a lot of learning to do, pretty soon I got the hang of it and found out that you don't need a module for that. That's how it changed my working approach with Drupal 8 because I can build a lot of great things without any contributed module.”   Do you need greater functionality around your site's translation capabilities? Drupal 8 supports 100 different languages for translation, and these multilingual features come with the installation interfaces. That means that you can build your multilingual Drupal website easier than ever before, at no additional costs.    What do the experts say? Penyaskito is a Drupal contributor and developer at Lingotek, who manages a cloud-based translation management system for their clients. He speaks highly of Drupal's multilingual capabilities: “Thanks to the Drupal 8 Multilingual Initiative, translation is not an afterthought in Core anymore. And thanks to the clean APIs that were designed with this in mind, we are able to improve every day functionalities for our clients in our integration with Drupal 8. While with other CMS we devote time constantly to integrate with contributed modules or alike, we can focus on new functionalities as this APIs make us compatible with most contrib modules out of the box without any extra effort on our side.”   Are you interested in building a content management framework based on API architectures? Drupal's caching modules support faster page loading, optimized bandwidth, and a robust web performance to meet the needs of the modern digital consumer. Whether used for content publishing or for optimizing the user interface, Drupal's 8 API-based architecture is a top upgrade compared to previous versions.    What do the experts say? Let's see what Dries Buytaert, the father of Drupal and CTO of Acquia, has to say about Drupal's web service APIs: “You want to enable your developers to easily deliver content to different devices, channels, and platforms. This means that the content needs to be available through APIs. This is aligned with Drupal 8's roadmap, where we are focused on web services capabilities. Through Drupal's web service APIs, developers can build freely in different front-end technologies, such as Angular, React, Ember, and Swift, as well as Java and .NET. For developers, accomplishing this without the maintenance burden of a full Drupal site or the complexity of configuring standard Drupal to be decoupled is key.”   If you are not yet sure about choosing Drupal for your next web development project, we are more than happy to help you with professional advice tailored to your needs and demands. Contact us and let's start your outstanding web development project. Also, you can check our Drupal Maintenance services as well.    Here's another quote from a Drupal expert, Nick Lewis, on how Drupal 8 is influencing the way he approaches his tasks:  “Drupal 8 is looking very interesting indeed, a big leap forwards from its previous versions. I’m busy working out how to get D8 modules up and running for a client project. Well I am working on a project right now for a large global fast food outlet (here in the UK), switching from one very popular CRM system into D8 as it will cut costs tremendously and not only that, recruitment will be easier given Drupal’s wide adoption in the community.”   Photo credit: Den Harrson on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jul 01'2021
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 web design agencies 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, it's 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 and discover our Drupal Maintenance services.    Photo credit: Ben Kolde on Unsplash.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jun 02'2021