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How Can Web Accessibility Grow Your Website
  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. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Sep 08'2022
Why Do You Need Drupal Website Maintenance?
  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. ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Aug 09'2022
How to Migrate to Drupal 9
  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.... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Jul 07'2022
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) (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:   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