Accessibility for disabled individuals is extremely important because they use multiple assistive technologies that often require accessible websites and mobile applications to function properly. Web accessibility is not just for people with physical limitations; it has real business value too! Read on to learn seven important benefits of creating an accessible site for your business. According to a survey of around 500 U. S. business executives and developers, most of them admit that making websites accessible requires too much time and financial investment. We're here to let you know that creating an accessible website isn't hard at all, will greatly improve the user interface, and will most likely prevent you from facing any legal issues. Laws regarding web accessibility In the United States, laws are being updated to make sure that websites are accessible to everyone. The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was first passed in 1990 and has been amended several times since then. The ADA applies to public accommodations, including businesses, educational institutions, government agencies, libraries, museums, and other organizations that provide goods or services to the general public. It also covers places of entertainment such as movie theaters, restaurants, hotels, amusement parks, sports stadiums, and concert venues. As of 2020, there are no federal regulations requiring websites to be accessible to users with disabilities. However, some states have their own laws that apply to websites. For example, California's Business & Professions Code Section 5412(a) says: "All persons shall have equal opportunity to obtain employment, housing, and commercial transactions without discrimination or segregation based on disability." This means that if you operate a business in California, you must ensure that your website is accessible to people who use assistive technology. If you don't comply with this law, you could face fines up to $2,500 per violation. 7 Benefits of Making Your Website Accessible Improved conversion rates. It's true that accessibility only helps the visitor but if you improve the user experience and make it accessible for everyone, you're planting the seeds for: More visitors means more sales. Better user engagement Improving SEO ranking Higher conversion rate Legal complications are less likely when you invest in web accessibility. With increasing legal requirements surrounding web accessibility becoming stricter, making your website accessible has become an absolute necessity unless you want to be fined. Be aware of the various web accessibility requirements and ensure that your website complies with them. Bigger customer base. Accessibility means addressing the needs of larger audiences, which may lead to you attracting more people who are likely to interact with your business on a long-lasting basis. Invest in accessibility so you can attract more people who are likely to interact with your business on a longer-lasting basis. An innovative business mindset: an entrepreneurial one By building accessible websites, you challenge yourself to deal with unforeseen issues and so put your creative juices into action. Adaptability means that you need to be able to adapt your designs by incorporating accessibility tools into them. To stay competitive in today’s fast-paced digital world, you need to be innovative and always ready for change. Boosted SEO efforts. You can improve your website's accessibility by including alternative text for any image tags, making sure that your content is easy to read, or choosing a clean and clutter-free design. These steps also mean good SEO practice. By creating an easier-to-navigate website, you're also helping it become more SEO-friendly. You may be familiar with the importance of investing in strong SEO strategies in modern times. It's all about whether your site ranks at the top of search results and how visible your site appears on Google. Improved brand reputation. It’s important to ensure accessibility for your business because it promotes your brand image. Ensuring your web site has a universal interface makes sure everyone who visits your site gets equal access to your content and raises awareness for your company. Today, having an inaccessible website is the digital version of putting up a big "Keep Out" notice outside of your business. Fast page loading times. If you improve a page's accessibility, you'll increase its performance score. To meet the demands of modern web users, you need to improve your site's load time. By implementing features that are accessible to people who use assistive technology, you're making your website a better place for everyone. You can use several different methods to improve the accessibility of your website. For example, if you're designing a web page for blind users, they might be able to use a text-to-speech program to read out loud any important information on your site. Hopefully, this post helps shed some insight into the importance of web accessibility for your business and how making your website more accessible can positively affect your brand. If you'd like to learn more about how we can improve the usability of your website, please contact us today. Photo credit: Unsplash.
Raluca Olariu / Sep 08'2022
If you're new to Drupal web development and maintenance, it may seem like an overwhelming task. However, once you get started, things start to run smoothly. Building and optimizing a website is similar to buying a new house—you start out by making sure everything works fine, then you fix any issues that come up, and finally, you keep an eye on it, so nothing breaks down. The perfect time to clean up your website doesn't exist, so you might want to start as soon as you feel like it should be done—improve its performance, optimize it for search engines, and refresh it. If you do it yourself, you might even be able to increase your potential market value by 50%. First, it's important to understand why regular maintenance is crucial, how to tell if you need Drupal maintenance, what Drupal maintenance includes, and what happens during Drupal Maintenance. Read this article to find out more about why you need regular Drupal maintenance. Does regular maintenance help keep your site running smoothly? Yes, regular maintenance can help with plenty of aspects of your web strategy. Security Website maintenance used to be an option. It wasn't something that had to be done every month or even every week. You could just let it sit there and not touch it at all for months at a time. As the digital landscape continues to expand and become more vulnerable to cyberattacks, Drupal support is essential for maintaining a secure security posture. While Drupal is known for its high level of security, this only applies if you keep up with the latest security updates and patches. If you don't stay current on the latest security updates and modules, then you're putting yourself at risk for a breach. Updating Drupal core modules regularly helps protect websites from attacks and security breaches. Fixing errors If you want your site to perform well and meet the needs of the modern digital user, then it’s important to fix any bugs and errors. These malfunctions may occur due to rushed coding and deployment, inadequate testing, or miscommunications. They may affect your website's performance and loading speed or even alter its functionality. Because users don't want to wait more than four seconds for websites to load, they won't pay attention to fixing bugs if they're not there. Stay up-to-date by adding new features to your site One reason why Drupal maintenance matters so much are because it allows you to scale your site as your business grows. With Drupal 8, integrations are much cheaper than they were before, so if you haven’t upgraded yet, you may want to talk to a Drupal agency to help determine whether an upgrade is the best option for your business. User behavior has changed drastically in the past year, so content creation, new features, and improvements allow brands to remain fresh and aligned to this changing environment. SEO optimization It’s important to maintain good SEO practices so that your site stays relevant. A great Drupal maintenance team includes SEO experts who perform Drupal SEO audits and optimizations. “Good SEO only gets better over time; it’s only search engine tricks that need to be constantly updated when the algorithm changes.” -Jill Whalen. To know when you need Drupal maintenance, ask yourself these questions: Do you get error messages? If you aren't already convinced that you need Drupal Support and Maintenance Services for your website, here's an indicator that you can't delay it anymore without hurting your business: You have been getting error messages like "404 Not Found" or "500 Internal Server Error". These errors mean that your site isn't functioning properly. Your site might be down or slow to load. Your visitors will leave your site immediately if they see these errors. The solution is simple: hire a professional Drupal developer to do the job for you. We at Optasy have a team of expert developers who specialize in Drupal development. Our team of dedicated professionals will ensure that your site is always working smoothly. Check this page for more details. Photo credit: Unsplash.
Raluca Olariu / Aug 09'2022
Drupal is a free open-source content management system (CMS) that allows you to create websites, blogs, and other web applications. It has become one of the most popular platforms for building custom sites. The process of migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is no small task. There are several changes and new features that you’ll want to consider before moving forward. In this article, you'll discover some of the major changes that you’ll encounter when migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9. As you migrate to Drupal 9, you’ll notice a significant change in the way things look and function. The biggest difference between Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 is the introduction of a completely redesigned user interface. This means that you'll need to rework your entire site from scratch. What Does a Drupal Migration Mean? A Drupal migration process involves taking an existing Drupal website or blog and converting it into a Drupal 9 installation. You can also perform a complete Drupal 9 install by starting with a blank slate. When you migrate to Drupal 9 from Drupal 8, you need to update your Drupal 8 website to the latest version of both core and contributed modules and themes. If you have any custom code, such as custom content types, views, and fields, you will need to convert them to Drupal 9 compatible versions. You may also need to upgrade your database schema to support Drupal 9's new data model. And finally, you should make sure that all your files are converted to Drupal 9 standards. What Is Drupal 9? Drupal 9 is the same as the Drupal 8.9 version but without the deprecated code available in the previous version. It's identical to the 8.9 version for editors, website builders, and developers and it is built with an API-first approach in mind. Drupal 9 improves structural tools and editorial workflows. Key Drupal 9 benefits Drupal 9 brings forward a continuous innovation cycle that delivers all the best features of Drupal 8, plus updated system requirements that improve security support. Drupal 9 provides feature additions twice a year, so you'll be up-to-date with the latest technology innovations. What is more, your developer team will most likely work very easily with Drupal 9, as the Drupal 8 experience is quite similar. Prepare your upgrade process and get a cleaned-up, consistent, API-based modern environment. You might also like: Drupal 10 New Features and How to Prepare Your Migration. Migrating to Drupal 9: What do I need to know? Before you begin your Drupal 9 migration, there are three key areas where you'll need to take action: Update Your Site Core In order to successfully migrate to Drupal 9, your site must be updated to the latest version of Drupal 8 core. To ensure that your site works properly after the migration, you should use the same version of the core that you used during development. Upgrade Modules and Plugins When you migrate to Drupal 9 you'll need to upgrade all your modules and plugins to their respective Drupal 9 versions. For example, if you're using Views 7.x-3.0 then you'll need to upgrade to Views 8.x-2.1. Similarly, if you're using CCK 3.x-7.x then you'll need to move to CCK 4.x-4.6. Convert Custom Code If you've developed custom content types, views, or fields, you'll need to convert these items to Drupal 9 compatible versions so they work properly on your new site. How does a Drupal migration affect your brand reputation and business value? Upgrading to Drupal 9 comes with benefits like all system and software upgrades. To understand the business value added by such a migration, consider asking the following questions: Are your current features and modules secure and relevant for your business scope? How would you rate them? Do you clearly know the scope of a Drupal migration for you? How many resources like time and money do you plan to spend on this migration? Does your developer team have the necessary skill set to plan and complete it successfully? How will your Drupal migration impact the content design and architecture on your site? Tools & Modules For Completing Your Drupal Migration Now that you've asked the right question, you might be ready to start your migration. If so, here are some tools and modules to help you in this process: Core Migrate Module Suite: migrate your content and site configuration Upgrade Rector: automate module updates for Drupal 8 sites of common deprecated code to the latest Drupal 9 compatible code Drupal Module Upgrader: scan and convert outdated code on your site Upgrade Status Module: provide information about contributed project availability 4 Steps to Prepare Your Drupal 8 site for Migrating to Drupal 9 Check out this to-do list before starting your migration to Drupal 9: 1. Check that your hosting environment meets the compatibility requirements of Drupal 9. 2. Update your contributed projects so that you resolve Drupal 9 compatibility issues gradually, keeping Drupal 8 compatibility at the same time. 3. Make sure to upgrade to the latest Drupal 8 version available (Drupal 8.8 and 8.9). 4. Edit your custom code by removing deprecated API use. The transition from one version to another can be challenging, but the migration process is simple once you learn how it's done. If you find it overwhelming and want to opt for professional services, check out Optasy's services. Our dedicated team of Drupal experts will support you in every step of your migration process and ensure that your website is up and running smoothly after the migration. Optasy offers assistance and custom migration to suit the specific needs of each business. Photo credit: Unsplash.
Raluca Olariu / Jul 07'2022
Raluca Olariu / May 25'2022
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.
Raluca Olariu / Apr 29'2022
Raluca Olariu / Jan 21'2022
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.
Raluca Olariu / Dec 21'2021
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.
Raluca Olariu / Dec 14'2021
Adriana Cacoveanu / Aug 10'2021