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Tips and Tricks for Building Drupal Websites
  "A successful website does three things: It attracts the right kind of visitors It guides them to the main services or products you offer It collects contact details for future ongoing relation." - Mohamed Saad   When embarking on the quest to building successful websites, developers and website builders face various challenges such as: Crafting the site without coding Designing a good structure and making it appealing to visitors Adding specific modules and features Fixing bugs and disrupted features Connecting your brand new website to services like Google Analytics   Sailing through the rough waters of web development can be tricky at times. However, you shouldn't be discouraged. There are plenty of tools and techniques that can help you navigate website creation more skillfully, and this article will guide you through leveraging some of them. More specifically, we'll focus on Drupal web development and outline some essential tips for crafting more successful Drupal websites.  What types of websites can you create with Drupal? If your new to using this CMS, then you might be asking what Drupal can do for you. Well, Drupal is an excellent choice for almost any type of project: Personal or business websites E-commerce sites Blogs, portfolio, art, social networking websites Forums and news sites, etc. As you can see, Drupal is a versatile software that can address a wide range of needs and requirements. You only have to know how to use it to your advantage.  Keep reading and get more familiar with the world of Drupal web development.   3 Elements to Consider When You Start   1. Drupal modules. From managing user accounts to organizing basic content, Drupal offers a wide range of functional modules. It's important to remember that Drupal is known for its fantastic customization capabilities. Take advantage of the suitable modules to build personalized sites that match the needs of your visitors.    "Optimizing for impact means creating software that works for everyone. In recent years, our community has prioritized accessibility for users with disabilities, and features like lazy loading of images that help users with slower internet connections. Drupal's priority is to continue to foster diversity and inclusion within our community so all voices are represented in building an Open Web." - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.   2. Web hosting allows all your site content to be seen anywhere at any time. There are some key factors to consider when choosing your web hosting service:               - loading speed: consider a host that loads faster than the current average, 850 ms.               - uptime score: look for hosts that provide high uptime scores, preferably above 99.5%.              - customer support: collaborate with a host that provides high-quality, responsive, and reliable support.              - cost: choose a host that you can afford and count on for reliability and professionalism.   3. Environment. Drupal web development is a complex process that requires focusing on functionality, appearance, or code integrity. Many elements contribute to successful side building and the environment that revolves around your Drupal project is one of them. Good environments can foster growth and are usually dependant on the following factors:                - How big the project is. This allows you to plan more efficiently, especially when dealing with multi-project environments.                  - The size of your company. This is related to the growth of your business and is underpinned by elements like discipline, culture, management, knowledge, etc.                - How skillful your team is. Having a highly experienced team that is reliable and efficient is essential when it comes to the environment.    How to maintain your Drupal website   Proper website maintenance can be challenging. Here are some aspects to pay attention to. Status report This is a feature provided by Drupal that monitors your site's health. It checks folder permissions, disruptive modules, or libraries. The Status Report feature also helps with debugging technical support issues, providing excellent support for your maintenance practices.  Cron  This is an automated task that your Drupal website runs on periodically. It performs scheduled duties like cache clearing, sending emails, or reminders, and it doesn't involve any manual intervention. This tool also performs routine maintenance for the System Module and checks for available updates.  Caching In Drupal web development, there are two modules for caching: The Internal Dynamic Page Cache Module that aims to accelerate site speed. The Internal Page Cache Module which caches pages for anonymous users in the database.  Deployment Drupal deployment allows users to move content from one Drupal site to another. More precisely, when editing your Drupal site, it is helpful to use different environments to modify or test your content without harming the live site's performance. The changes are then deployed through an automated process.    When it comes to Drupal website maintenance, it often saves a lot of resources to hire a Drupal agency to do it for you.  Optasy can help you navigate the sea of challenges that come with your Drupal project. Be it your digital strategy, web design project, or maintenance services, count on us and leave your worries behind! Photo credit: Sam Dan Truong on Unsplash.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 23'2021
Web Design + Digital Marketing = Success
  “Marketers need to build digital relationships and reputation before closing a sale.” - Chris Brogan, Chief Executive Officer of Owner Media Group. And how else can you build brand reputation in the digital era than with a robust online presence? Today, leading companies are leveraging web design to sustain their digital marketing efforts and are seeing remarkable business results. The following article provides a clearer picture of how digital marketing and web design can work together to deliver digital-readiness and build long-term customer relationships. What makes a great web design strategy?   User-friendly web experiences. One of the primary purposes of a website is to build brand awareness, attract, and retain customers. Consequently, when crafting your web design strategy, the user experience should be a top priority. Think big: accessibility, usefulness, credibility, value, desirability, usability, ease-of-use. All of these are core elements of what attracts website visitors to turn back to your site and, ultimately, become your customers. Search engine optimization (SEO). An SEO-centric web design approach will help you build a solid online presence and a long-lasting brand image. When thinking of SEO, you must consider your long-term objectives and adjust your optimization techniques according to these objectives. On-page and off-page optimization methods, meta descriptions, catchy headlines, alt tags in images, etc., are just a few of the elements in the arsenal of a solid SEO strategy.  Content optimization. This is the backbone of your website, and it can work well in tandem with SEO. When done right, your content will be easy to read, accessible, comprehensive, and informative. You don't want to overwhelm website visitors with too much text, so keep it short and concise. And don't forget about engagement. Think from your audience’s perspective—what would you like to learn from the content displayed on your website? Streamlined navigation. It might sound basic, but the truth is many websites could use some serious work when it comes to navigation. A user-friendly website allows visitors to quickly move from one page to another without 'getting lost'. A site map can prove to be really effective for this purpose, offering interactive and functional features for the users to know exactly where they are on the website and how to get to the desired location.  Branding. Your website should reflect your brand's identity, your business’s culture, and the way you relate to your customers. You can create this brand-website link by investing in visually connecting your logo, print material, and brick-and-mortar location. In this way, you'll add an extra layer of credibility and enhance your brand’s overall image.  “Your website is the center of your digital eco-system, like a brick and mortar location, the experience matters once a customer enters, just as much as the perception they have of you before they walk through the door.” - Leland Dieno. What makes a great digital marketing strategy?   Content management and planning. To be successful in digital marketing, you need to set realistic frameworks from the beginning. There are plenty of strategies and tools that can help you with this, such as content mapping, editorial calendars, or timelines. At this point, you want to plan smartly and organize your project with well-defined outcomes in mind. However, nothing is certain in life, especially in business, so leaving room for uncertainty can be a productive mindset. Set your key performance indicators (KPIs) and ensure that they match your overall business goals. Choosing the right KPIs. Speaking of goals and performance metrics, how do you accurately set them? To stay on target, you must understand your digital needs and marketing efforts. There are some key questions to ask here:      How are your KPIs connected to your objectives?      What's the subject of your measurements?      How do these measurements relate to the user experience?      To what extent do you need to monitor these specific metrics?      Answering these questions will not only help you go beyond data and address the human experience but will also support a solid digital and sales marketing strategy. Leveraging effective content strategies by addressing the 3 R's of engaging content: reliable, relatable, and relevant. Getting to your audience and performing effective outreach campaigns relies on wisely chosen content. Provide your customers with fresh, relevant information, and you'll quickly build trust and position yourself as a reliable advisor.   Strategies are important, but so is flexibility. In business, as in life, it is always wise to leave room for uncertainty. That means building a strategy that is flexible and can adapt to new, unexpected scenarios. In other words, leave some unfilled spots in your timeline so that you can, later on, incorporate things like viral competitors' articles, trends, and current events, or unforeseen expenses in new technologies. To build flexibility, ask yourself these questions from time to time:      Where could I improve my strategies?      Which tools should I choose to keep the business in line and better organized?      Where is the business getting the most traffic from?      What KPIs am I interested in at this stage? Measure your content's performance and see where it is heading. In digital marketing, you always want to know where the business is standing. That's why visualizing a clear direction and planning accordingly to reach your goals is essential. That means being aware of each stage of your funnel and adapting your strategies to match your current activity’s needs and demands.  Why web design and digital marketing should work together?   The impact of web design on your digital marketing outcomes is substantial. The way you design your website speaks volumes about your brand, and it plays a vital role in how your overall business is perceived and engaged with. Elements like the website experience, SEO, social media outreach, and branding are essential components of your digital marketing ecosystem. Blending web design and digital marketing is a modern approach that takes digital businesses to the next level.  “Websites promote you 24/7: No employee will do that.” - Paul Cookson. What are your thoughts on the importance of connecting digital marketing and web design in a holistic business approach? If you want to leverage the full power of the digital, have a look at Optasy's services and see how our experienced team can craft a personalized digital strategy that will suit the needs of your business. Let us build your roadmap to digital success! Photo credit: edhoradic on Unsplash.   ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 18'2021
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Redesigning Your Drupal Website
  Drupal web development can be challenging sometimes—depending on the knowledge of the one performing it. On one side, this popular content management system provides amazing opportunities for customizing websites to meet the specific needs of brands, boosting web traffic, and business recognition.  On the other hand, Drupal web development requires skilled developers and site builders that master the art of the Drupal project. We, at Optasy, know that Drupal web development can be challenging and keep many developers up at night. That's why we crafted this article to help you on your journey with Drupal. More exactly, this post covers five mistakes to avoid when redesigning your Drupal website. It will help you gain key insights into the technical, creative, operational, financial, and strategic decisions that you have to consider through your Drupal web development journey.  Let's roll up our sleeves and start learning from the mistakes of others. But first, how do you identify when it's time for a website redesign?   Your website is not mobile-responsive. To avoid losing credibility and value, your website has to be optimized for a wide range of devices. Since 52% of all website traffic comes from mobile nowadays, optimizing your Drupal website for mobile is a must.  Navigation on your website is slow. Online visitors are now expecting seamless digital experiences at the tip of their fingers. A poorly functional website will chase them away and affect your brand's credibility.  Your website is more than five years. As the digital landscape is changing at a rapid pace, a complete revamp for your Drupal website is necessary from time to time.   Now that you have a clearer picture of whether you should plan a redesign project for your Drupal website or not, it's essential to understand what you should avoid doing in this process.    #1 Mistake Skipping the analysis of your existing website. To solve an issue, you must be aware of it in the first place, right? The most successful companies are proficient at analyzing and identifying challenges in their workflows and proactively search for ways to overcome them.  To evolve you must focus on your vulnerabilities and clearly define your weak spots. Only then, you can gain a sharper perspective of your destination.  Key questions to ask yourself when analyzing your current Drupal website are: How many visitors is my website attracting? What's the average loading speed of my site? Is the bounce rate too high? Where does my website rank on SERPs?   #2 Mistake Redesigning without a clear purpose. Like all things in life, your redesign strategy should have a well-defined goal (or goals). You can't build a lasting plan without first outlining its primary purposes. With that in mind, here are the main questions that can help you craft precise objectives: Where do you want your Drupal website to be in the next six months? How will the new versions of my pages help me reach my goals? What digital tools do I need in order to accomplish my objectives? When drawing your redesign plan, you need to know why you are doing it and then align your site updates with your marketing goals.   #3 Mistake Not establishing analytics benchmarks. Now that you've gained a clearer perspective of your Drupal redesign plan and goals, it's time to start focusing on setting metrics related to the performance of the old version of your website. Google Analytics is a reliable resource that can help you with this, by providing these types of benchmarks: Visits that actually lead to sales conversions How much time users spend on site, overall visits, and banner click-through rates Lead generation  When it comes to SEO, these are the metrics you should try to benchmark: Website traffic Organic traffic-generating pages Inbound links Conversion rates   #4 Mistake Not investing enough resources in a robust content strategy. Content is still king. Around 70% of companies actively invest in content marketing. Why is content marketing so important? Because it answers your audience's questions. It helps businesses build trust and generate more high-quality leads.  That's why you should redesign your Drupal website with content in mind and consider the pain points of your audience when crafting your content strategy.  What does a content strategy for the website look like? Defined goals and target audience Analytics & SEO review Content inventory & audit Style guidelines and publishing strategy Omnichannel/cross-platform considerations SEO strategy and metadata standards   #5 Mistake Ignoring your competition.  Competitive intelligence refers to the ability to gather, analyze, and leverage insights related to your competitors in order to better understand the market and make stronger strategic decisions.  How to get started with competitive intelligence? Step 1: Know your competitors. Determine which are your top five direct competitors and then your indirect, aspirational, and perceived rivals.  Step 2: Collect your intel. This might be the most time-consuming part of the competitive intelligence process. At this point, you want to take the time to explore your competitors' online presence, products, websites, social media posts, teams, content, etc.  Step 3: Craft your competitive analysis. Once you've gathered your intel, you should focus on breaking down the data and organize the findings such as trends or key insights so that you can easily communicate them throughout your enterprise.  Step 4: Turn competitive intelligence into results. Make your data actionable and leverage it to benefit your overall business tactics.    Wrapping up Having these key insights on board when you start your Drupal redesign project will help you navigate the whole process a lot easier.  Optasy can also support you in getting more out of your Drupal website with top-notch Drupal web development, maintenance, and support offerings—whether you want to build or upgrade your Drupal site. Have a look and contact us if you want to accelerate your digital transformation.   Image credit: mohamed_hassan on Pixabay.    ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 15'2021
The Best Drupal Developers Choose These Modules for Top-Notch Web Experiences
  Choosing Drupal as your content management system (CMS) is a big step in your digital journey, and it will transform the way you deliver web experiences. In order to make the most out of Drupal's unique capabilities and features, you need to install suitable modules for your website.  Don't know where to start? You're in luck. In this article, you'll discover which modules the best Drupal designers pick for user-friendly sites and optimized experiences. It's time to start expanding the functionality of your Drupal website and enjoy its full potential.   Paragraphs This must-have module is an author-friendly extension that empowers content authors and editors to create flexible and structured content effortlessly. The extension pre-defines complex elements and allows content to be added as individual paragraphs such as text blocks, pictures, quotes, popup elements with links, etc. With the paragraphs module, you have complete control over the fields you want to compose and their appearance. The drag and drop functionality allows for greater flexibility and streamlined workflows. The best Drupal developers use this module to improve and facilitate the content-editing process. Advantages Standard fields are more flexible Content-editing is more user-friendly Nesting is infinite The level of customizing multiple fields is more complex Disadvantages The set up of this module must be made by a developer "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." - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal   Webform  This essential Drupal Module is hard to ignore, given its robust and versatile functionality. Any website needs a contact form, survey, or feedback questionnaire. The Drupal 8 Webform module is the ultimate interface for creating customizable and extendable forms, used by the best Drupal designers to transform the form-building experience.  Advantages Flexible, easy to use interface Builds e-mail handlers, exporting options, and multi-step forms Highly customizable and extendable module Can export data to spreadsheets for further analysis Disadvantages Hard to operate, this module needs complex Drupal knowledge   Drupal GraphQL The best Drupal developers choose this module to generate GraphQL schemas and display Drupal entities with GraphQL client applications. In other words, this technology enables you to quickly obtain content from your Drupal site and send it to front-end applications.  Advantages Transfers the power to the front-end to request data Reduces the time spent on requesting data by grouping queries together Automatic caching system Disadvantages The GraphQL module is still limited in functionality   Display Suite This module is best known for its easy-to-use interface that acts as a handy tool to build page layouts. As a practical display module, it permits users to arrange content with intuitive templates, and the drag and drop fields allow for greater versatility.   Advantages Flexible, resilient layout module Provides custom layouts and easy-to-use templates Helpful template suggestions for website builders Disadvantages The Display Suite module has some minor functionally bugs and user experience flaws   Security Kit  When it comes to security, the best Drupal developers know that it has to be one of the top priorities when developing a Drupal website.  Drupal is said to be the most secure CMS on the market, and the Security Kit module has been developed to support that statement.  By leveraging this module, Drupal users can mitigate the risks of exploitation of various web app vulnerabilities. This all-in-one security module lets users configure, tweak, and create several options that decrease the risk of attacks on your Drupal website.  Advantages Content security policy implementation Prevents multiple kinds of cyber threats, including man-in-the-middle and eavesdropping attacks Provides support for setting up HTTP headers Disadvantages Can be quite complex to operate for beginners The best Drupal developers have this Drupal security module in their toolbox to help them protect their digital assets.  “The reason Drupal has been successful is because we always made big, forward-looking changes. It’s a cliché, but change has always been the only constant in Drupal. The result is that Drupal has stayed relevant, unlike nearly every other Open Source CMS over the years. The biggest risk for our project is that we don't embrace change”. - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal    Captcha Module Another Drupal module that was built with security in mind is the Captcha module, comprised of a challenge-response test. Its primary purpose is to determine whether or not the user is human, thus hindering form submissions from spambots. By differentiating between real users and automated ones, the Captcha module protects websites from fraud and abuse. Advantages Detects potential hackers and prevents online services abuse Protects registration forms on websites Makes online shopping more secure Disadvantages The module may fail in some browsers It may prove to be challenging for website visitors, especially for people with disabilities Tends to annoy site guests   How to leverage the full potential of your Drupal experience  Drupal's power lies in its unique customization and personalization capabilities. While implementing the above modules might work for the more experienced developers, it can prove to be quite challenging for beginners or non-technical Drupal users.  Here's where an experienced Drupal agency like Optasy can help. Optasy is an in-house team of Drupal experts that supports Drupal web development projects aimed at delivering best-in-class web experiences.  Take a look at our services and discover what the best Drupal developers can do for the success of your digital business.  Image credit: kreatikar on Pixabay.      ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 12'2021
4 Reasons Why You Need Drupal Maintenance Services
  Entering the world of Drupal web development can feel like diving into the unknown for many business owners. Once they've figured it out with the help of a developer or a Drupal development agency, the business runs smoothly for a little while.  However, building and optimizing a website is like buying a new house—it's functional at first, but things break down and need repairing and regular care in time.  Since spring is just over the corner, what better moment to start cleaning, improving, optimizing, and refreshing your website? Whether you do it in-house or hire an agency that offers Drupal maintenance services, it will work wonders and could actually double your potential market value. But first, it's essential to understand why a regular maintenance plan is critical, how to tell when you need Drupal maintenance, and what does Drupal maintenance include. This article will answer these questions.   Why you should stick to a regular Drupal maintenance plan  If you've already entered the world of digital marketing, you know that the journey towards attracting and retaining customers doesn't end with web development and deployment. Change is a permanent constant in life, and businesses have to adapt to this ever-changing dynamic.  Security  A few years ago, website maintenance was optional. Building a static website that you could leave unattended for the entire year was perfectly normal.  Today, as the digital landscape has expanded and become more prone to security vulnerabilities, Drupal support is imperative for maintaining a healthy security posture.  Although Drupal is known for being the most secure CMS, this only applies if your Drupal website is regularly optimized with security updates and patches. The Drupal community and Drupal security team continuously build security patches, fixes, and upgrades, and Drupal users need to be in the loop about these updates. In other words, keeping up with the news and module updates in Drupal security is vital in order to avoid breaches.  Constant Drupal core module updates can boost website protection and secure it against cyberattacks and threats.  Fixing errors To ensure that your website performs well and meets the needs for speed and agility that the modern digital user demands, fixing bugs and errors is a top priority. These malfunctions may happen for multiple reasons—rushed coding and deployment, inadequate testing, or miscommunication. They may affect your site's performance and loading speed or even alter your Drupal website’s functionality.  And since users don't want to spend more than four seconds waiting for websites to load, not paying attention to repairing bugs could cost you customers.  This price is too big to pay, and it's worth considering Drupal maintenance services as part of your website strategies.  Keep your content fresh with new features Another reason why Drupal maintenance matters is related to scalability. Drupal websites can grow together with your business goals. Constant feature and module updates allow Drupal users a high level of customizing capabilities that helps businesses keep up with the changing needs of the customer.  With Drupal 8, integration is much more affordable, so if you haven't migrated yet, you might want to contact a Drupal agency to help you decide whether an upgrade is the right choice for your business.  The user behavior has dramatically shifted in the last year, which is why content optimization, new features, and enhancements allow brands to stay fresh and align to this changing environment.  SEO optimization Ranking high on Google and other search engines is crucial for your website to stay relevant. An excellent Drupal maintenance team has SEO experts that provide Drupal SEO audits and optimization.  “Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.” – Jill Whalen   How to tell when you need Drupal maintenance If you're not yet convinced that you need Drupal support and maintenance services for your website, here are some indicators that you can't postpone it any longer without hurting your business: Your website is slow, and you have received complaints about its loading speed. Your web traffic has dropped considerably. You experience more security breaches. Your content and design are outdated. Links, buttons, or forms are not working.   These are some of the red flags of poorly maintained websites. If you recognize these warning signs as part of your website, it's definitely time to start planning your maintenance strategy. What do Drupal maintenance services and support include? A useful maintenance model covers: Security and module updates Third-party integration support Regression testing  Bug diagnosing, fixing, and testing Hosting infrastructure maintenance Hack, malware, down recovery   Partner with the right Drupal maintenance and support agency When thinking about hiring a Drupal maintenance team, you need to consider your needs. At Optasy, we cover a wide range of website maintenance requirements and can create a customized maintenance and support plan to support your website's specific needs.  How does this sound to you? Have you made up your mind whether it is worth investing in Drupal maintenance services or not? If yes, then contact a reliable, dedicated support partner like Optasy and see how our Drupal maintenance services can keep your website up and running.  Photo credit: geralt on Pixabay.     ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 02'2021
4 Reasons Why Drupal Is a Winning Choice for Web Development
  The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and shifted the world to an online-based environment. In this context, driven by the need to go digital, many companies have started to focus more on their web development capabilities and take steps to improve their online presence.  The challenges encountered on the path to building and optimizing a website that attracts and engages users are not few.    What are the most frequent web development challenges?   One common difficulty when planning a web development project is defining one’s goals clearly. "What are my intended prospects?, "What kind of experience I want to provide my users with?", "How do I want my brand to be perceived in the long-term?".  These are all valid questions that, if not addressed properly, can end up damaging your web presence. Another aspect of web development that keeps many decision-makers up at night is choosing the right tech stack. From programming languages, servers, frameworks to software development tools, deciding which tech stack is the best fit for your needs can be tricky and, if not planned correctly, considerably expensive.  Web development challenges during implementation are not to be ignored either. Site builders, front-end developers, and module developers often struggle to provide personalized user experiences, create catchy visuals, and optimize everything for mobile devices or tablets.  And, of course, everyone who takes part in the web development process knows about scalability and how companies struggle to build scalable, lasting web applications in a competitive digital environment.   How can you address these web development challenges?   This has been the dark side of the article. Now comes the positive, which outlines what it takes to successfully address the challenges mentioned above.  There are many ways in which you can start to build more robust web strategies, but we're going to approach just one today: the Drupal solution.  As one of the most popular content management systems (CMS)s, Drupal is known for its top-notch web development features and future-ready modules that make developers’ lives much more comfortable.    Why should you choose Drupal for your web development projects?   1. Security Drupal has a proven history of being the most secure CMS and application framework. The Drupal Security Team is actively working towards improving Drupal's capability to remain resilient to critical internet vulnerabilities.  With Drupal, administrators have granular user access control over who manages website content and how. Drupal's platform supports strong password policies, industry-standard authentication practices, and single sign-on systems.  Another feature that helps businesses secure their content and websites, and overcome security issues, is Drupal's Form API which secures data validation and blocks malicious data entry. With Drupal limiting the number of login attempts made from the same IP address, preventing brute-force password attacks is much more manageable.    “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.” - Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal.   2. Mobile optimization With 74% of users more likely to return to mobile-friendly websites, you want to ensure that you follow a mobile-first approach. Drupal 8 was built with mobile optimization in mind, and it enables the development of responsive sites that meet the need for mobile. Drupal follows best practices of responsive web design approach thus providing streamlined and reliable content experiences for mobile users. 3. Scalability When we discussed the challenges of today's web development landscape, scalability was amongst the most complex. Fortunately, Drupal can scale with your needs and efficiently support content-rich websites. Drupal's ability to manage a large number of content and visitors and handle continuous web traffic means flexibility and high-quality user experiences.    4. Content translation workflows When Drupal 8 announced four new core translation modules, it meant better opportunities to improve the digital experience. Drupal's multilingual support offers: 90+ available language packages Streamlined configuration and content translation workflows An intuitive interface language of administrators and content producers   “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 the 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.” - Penyaskito, Drupal contributor and developer at Lingotek   How to harness the power of Drupal for web development?   Depending on the size of your business and industry, there are several ways in which you can leverage Drupal at its full potential. You can learn to do it yourself, employ a freelance developer, or hire an agency that offers Drupal web development services. While the first two options may be more cost-effective at first, in the long run, hiring an agency that supports a holistic web development strategy is the smartest move. As an open-source software solution, Drupal provides flexibility and has been optimized for a better user experience. Still, when handling more customized projects and modules, the development process can get tricky. With an agency, you don't have to worry about these aspects and can focus on other vital parts of your business. Here, at Optasy, we provide holistic Drupal web development services, adding digital value to your business. Whether it is custom module development, AI implementation, Drupal migration, or any other Drupal feature integration, Optasy helps you build your future-ready website. Photo credit: mohamed_hassan and coffeebeanworks on Pixabay.                        ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Feb 26'2021
Top Drupal Agencies That Will Revolutionize Your Web Strategy
Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems (CMSs), with 2.4% of all websites using Drupal for web and mobile app development. Why is Drupal a favorite option for many developers and development agencies, you may ask? Many clients and companies choose Drupal due to the multiple competitive advantages and digital assets that it provides, such as: Top-notch, highly-personalized customer experiences Future-ready API architecture that supports scalability Robust functionality and intuitive modules High digital security standards To maximize the potential of Drupal for web development, design projects, or software development, it is advisable to get in touch with a Drupal agency that can help you accelerate your digital growth.  Why Should You Hire a Drupal Agency? A more valid question would be, "Why not?". There are plenty of reasons why hiring a Drupal agency to support your web development efforts is a smart strategy.  Drupal agencies provide professional services that cover the whole web development process (developers, designers, SEO experts, QA engineers). Your web development project will be handled by a dedicated, highly focused team, which raises the quality of work. Drupal agencies provide website maintenance and support, including continuous security updates, fixing bugs or downtime, website audit, or SEO optimization. Given the high level of market competition, Drupal services providers use the latest technological tools for streamlined and optimized web development.    There are many options available, and finding the right partner might get time-consuming and stressful. The purpose of this article is to provide a list of top Drupal agencies that offer high-quality services for developing and maintaining websites. Take a look - maybe you'll find the best fit for your company's needs.    MindInventory  This Drupal development agency provides services that cover web, software, mobile development, and web design. The company has a market experience of 10+ years and is currently addressing industries like business services, fitness, or health. MindInventory has a 4.5-star rating and is known for its high commitment to quality, efficiency, and attention to detail.  As a Drupal development agency, MindInventory can help you maximize your digital efforts with the help of experienced, tech-savvy Drupal developers that aim to deliver best-in-class web experiences. Optasy  Optasy is an on-site built-in Drupal web development agency working with this CMS for more than ten years. As a full-service software provider, Optasy offers a wide range of Drupal services that involve the latest web technologies to satisfy the need for digital innovation.  Let's delve into the primary services they provide: Create a reliable, goal-oriented digital strategy.  Build eye-catching visual designs. Create highly-personalized and optimized websites. Deliver user-friendly mobile and app development. Optasy is that kind of Drupal agency that can transform your business, support your digital efforts, and future-proof your development.    Trasaterra  This Drupal agency is recommended for being cost-effective and highly proficient in developing media, marketing, and advertising websites. Trasaterra is specialized in branding and interaction with a focus on user experience and building long-term customer relationships.  Among well-known companies and clients that have collaborated with Trasaterra for web development and design services are CNBC, The New York Times, or The Winter Show.    Konstant Infosolutions The services offered by this Drupal agency are software, mobile app, and web development. Konstant Infosolutions has been lauded not only for their project management skills and functional designs but also for how they approach performance-oriented strategies.  The US-based Drupal agency focuses on investing and developing mobile apps, eCommerce, IoT, AR/VR, cloud integration, and more.    Unified Infotech From 2010, this Drupal development agency creates optimized digital experiences by transforming how companies relate to website design, development, and mobile optimization. The company's focus is on providing customer-centric services that fuel digital growth and build successful business relationships.  Unified Infotech is a smart choice for companies interested in developing and optimizing their Drupal websites with a functional design and impactful content.    To conclude, Drupal development companies and agencies offer plenty of benefits for web and mobile app development. From improved workflows, designs, and digital marketing services, to mobile-optimized websites and better web experiences for customers, Drupal agencies can genuinely take your digital business to the next level.  See how Optasy, a leading Drupal development agency, provides support in developing, optimizing, and maintaining a future-ready Drupal website.  Photo credit: kreatikar on Pixabay.                  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Feb 24'2021
4 Key Things to Know When Optimizing Your Drupal Website for Mobile
  Approaching a mobile-first strategy for your Drupal website is imperative. Since 52% of all website traffic comes from mobile devices, businesses that want to strive must ensure that they optimize their site for mobile.  Why is mobile optimization important? A website designed for desktop use can be non-functional on a phone or tablet. Building a mobile-friendly site that looks good regardless of how users access it is no longer optional for companies that want to deliver high-quality digital experiences.  "If I were to start Drupal from scratch today, I'd build it for mobile experiences first and desktop experience second." - Dries Buytaert, founder and lead developer of the Drupal CMS There are plenty of benefits and competitive advantages of implementing a mobile-first approach to your Drupal website. We'll name a few: Positively impacts search ranking Improves loading times Increases visibility across all devices Enhancing mobile performance for Drupal websites is not rocket science, but if you're a rookie in web development, hiring a Drupal developer to help you implement some of the steps highlighted in this article may be the safest strategy.  Without further ado, let's start to learn how you can optimize your Drupal website for mobile use.   1. First things first: you need a mobile menu.  Start your mobile optimization journey by installing a mobile menu that enables navigation links to be displayed accurately on narrow screens.  A popular style for mobile menus is the 'hamburger' icon. This type of menu is substituted by a symbol with three horizontal lines when the screen narrows to a particular width. When clicked on, the icon displays the mobile-friendly main menu of the Drupal website. Want to use this type of menu? Start by installing the Responsive Menus module and download the tar.gz.file.  In your dashboard, open the Extend tab and select the Install New Module button.  Lastly, use the file browser to upload the tar.gz file. You should now be ready to use the module to customize and style your website's menu.  Remember that you can also hire Drupal developers at any stage of your optimization process to help you streamline your operations.    2. Don't ignore code minification.  One of the top priorities for mobile site functionality is quick loading times. As CSS or HTML files can get bulky, removing unnecessary elements from your website's code can help it render more fastly.  There are a few steps for successfully minifying your code: Install the Minify module  Download the tar.gz file and unarchive it Move the resulting folder into your website's Drupal modules section.  Enable the module from your dashboard You also have the option to enable the minify module to start working automatically. This will assist your Drupal website in loading quicker on mobile devices and thus improving the user experience.    3. Browser cache implementation for mobile-friendly Drupal websites. The next step in optimizing your Drupal site for mobile is to implement browser caching, which allows a user's browser to store data, so it doesn't have to repeatedly download the same files.  This reduces latency if, for example, your site has an extensive background image. The browser caching allows the picture to be stored on each visitor's device, so it doesn't have to be downloaded every time the user visits your site.  Browser caching is a built-in tool in Drupal, and although you can configure it in your control panel, we recommend that you consult the official guide before doing it or hire a Drupal developer to help you.    4. Consider image optimization.  Websites that contain many large image files can have longer loading times on mobiles. You don't want that if your goal is to provide high-quality experiences for your mobile users. Therefore, you can start optimizing your images to accelerate your site's performance. How can you reduce the size of your photos without jeopardizing their quality? It's actually easy. Drupal's ImageAPI Optimize module helps you manage your images before uploading them onto the website.  You only have to download the module's tar.gz file, install, and enable it in your dashboard. To automatically optimize your images for mobile devices, make sure to select ImageAPI Optimize as the default toolkit.  When creating responsive images, the amount of space an image fills on the screen is significant. Drupal lets you use @media rules to modify images depending on each user's screen size. This high level of personalization is allowed by the Breakpoint and Responsive Images modules.    Why Drupal 9 might be the best option for a mobile-first approach The latest version of Drupal provides optimized modules and features for mobile devices that enhance the user experience and address modern customers' needs.  Among the key benefits of Drupal 9 for mobile optimization are: Improved speed of content delivery Responsive design for various screen's widths  Editing content on mobile is easier  In conclusion, if you want to deliver high-quality, personalized user web experiences in the modern era, optimizing your website for mobile devices is a must. Optasy can help you build a mobile-first approach that satisfies the need for speed and high functionality that today's mobile users expect.  Image credit: deeptuts on Pixabay... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Feb 22'2021
How AI Will Forever Change Drupal Web Development
  The emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) opens a multitude of opportunities in different industries. According to a recent study, nine in ten leading businesses have already started to invest in artificial intelligence.  For instance, Robotics at Google is paving the way for future-thinking strategies and business models. AI is already performing repetitive tasks in the healthcare ecosystem, diagnosing and treating various medical conditions.  Nevertheless, in the web landscape, AI also provides an abundance of use cases. It's no secret that modern mainstream website development has lately focused on creating a customer-facing front-end presence and integrating front-end with enterprise back-office operations.  One of the leading content management frameworks for creating such enterprise websites, Drupal, is a pioneer in embracing digital innovation. Drupal web development includes multiple modules for implementing AI, helping digital businesses build and sustain a more AI-centric mindset.  This article highlights how integrating AI into Drupal web development can provide new digital growth opportunities and lay the foundation for future-oriented businesses.  Benefits and use cases for AI in Drupal web development Drupal architectures have been long used to build next-gen digital and personalized experiences. One way developers can use artificial intelligence integrations in Drupal frameworks is in the form of chatbots. By supporting cognitive computing abilities that simulate human thought processes, Drupal's Chatbot API module provides: An additional flexible layer that connects your Natural Language Processing (NPL) with your several personal assistants, thus increasing the intuitiveness of your website A streamlined conversational experience whenever your users need it The possibility to avoid writing new code when translating conversations from one interface to another The aim of leveraging AI in chatbots is to increase sales revenue with better predictions. AI techniques like data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and behavior analysis empower chatbots to accurately predict reactions and responses to users’ queries.  When it comes to the personalization of web content, artificial intelligence is a winning tool. By analyzing a user's digital persona, profile, activity, and intent, AI and machine learning algorithms can enhance content recommendations and deliver highly targeted insights that match a user's preferences.  “In keeping with our deep integrations to Web Content Management, Content Management Systems, and Marketing Automation platforms, our Drupal 8 connector is the latest example of Cloudwords building integrations that speed and scale a company's global marketing engagements with personalized experiences in any language”, revealed Richard Harpham, former CEO at Cloudwords Inc. Cloudwords for Multilingual Drupal module enhanced by artificial intelligence Cloudwords integrations for multilingual websites are a real game-changer. Drupal's multilingual module is efficiently supported and quickly streamlined through Cloudwords’ powerful workflow automation and project management features. The whole process of serving content in multiple languages to the market is facilitated by Cloudwords' CAT tool that utilizes AI and machine learning to increase productivity.  Azure Cognitive Services API The Azure Cognitive Services API Drupal module helps developers augment Drupal websites by adding speech, facial recognition, visual, and emotion detection features. More precisely, there are four submodules worth taking a look at: Azure Emotion API - This tool connects Microsoft Face API to your website and recognizes one or more people’s emotions in a picture. This allows for more intelligent, engaging, and discoverable applications. Azure Face API - Just like the Emotion API, this module integrates with the Microsoft Face API solution that can detect and recognize human faces. Face API identifies gender, age, or hair color, and it can compare similar faces and group their pictures.  Azure Computer Vision API - This module can aid in moderating content. It uses tags and descriptions to analyze the content on images, allowing you to apply restrictions on adult or inappropriate content.  Azure Text Analytics API - Used for NPL, this module provides sentiment analysis, key phrase extraction, and language detection.  Better personalization and direct targeting with Acquia Lift Connector This module integrates tightly with Drupal, allowing developers to make the most out of their Drupal skills and knowledge. It combines content and customer data into a single tool, enabling marketers to scale their web personalization efforts and increase their conversions. Among the most popular features, we can find: A drag-and-drop user interface for content targeting  Unified content and customer profiles Real-time, adaptive segmentation A/B testing and behavioral targeting How's the future looking for Drupal web development powered by AI? The future of Drupal websites that integrate AI-based modules looks promising. It is predicted that every digital user will have a unique ID that will store behavior insights like clicks, time spent on each page, or searches. By leveraging AI and machine learning,  companies will be able to automatically tailor and personalize web content to each user's individual needs.  Modern tools like AI and ML have a lot to offer when integrated with Drupal CMS, opening new opportunities to implement rich modules with futuristic features. Personalization and performance are unprecedented and efficiently support complex digital ecosystems through features like voice controlling and user behavior analysis.  A few decades ago, artificial intelligence was thought of as a technological power that will end up destroying the world as we know it. Today, AI is not seen as being so hostile. On the contrary, businesses have started to embrace and leverage the possibilities offered by Ai, and Drupal web development is a powerful example of how technology can revolutionize the world of business.  The full potential of AI-integrated Drupal modules is far from being explored, although digital-centric companies are already harvesting the benefits of investing in modern technologies. The journey towards uncovering more digital assets that can sustain revolutionary web development strategies continues. Stay tuned! Have you started implementing AI modules into your Drupal website? Optasy can help you accelerate the path to revolutionizing your Drupal web development capabilities with AI-powered tools that support digital growth. Image credit: geralt on Pixabay                                        ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Feb 18'2021