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.
Raluca Olariu / Feb 26'2021
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 and Drupal web design 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.
Raluca Olariu / Feb 24'2021
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
Raluca Olariu / Feb 22'2021
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
Raluca Olariu / Feb 18'2021
Adriana Cacoveanu / Sep 26'2020
Adriana Cacoveanu / Sep 25'2020
Drupal 9 Modules Readiness: How Hard Is It to Find Compatible Modules and Build a Website in Drupal 9?
Is it (still) too early to give Drupal 9 a try? To start fresh and build a website from scratch in the latest version of Drupal? Should you stick to Drupal 8 for... a little longer and upgrade later? How difficult will it be for you to find compatible Drupal 9 modules (and themes)? Let's find out: 1. But First: Why Drupal 9? What are the biggest benefits of Drupal 9 over Drupal 8? Why would you choose precisely this version of Drupal to build your new website with? because of the automated updates that it makes possible because of the headless support that it ships with because of the robust multilingual capabilities because of the improved performance: your web pages will load faster thanks to the BigPipe technology because it removes a lot of the legacy code because of its layout features because of its extensibility: you get to incorporated third-party systems quick and easy because of its media library and robust media functionality because of the new, Twig-based theme engine because it's easier to use: you can make the most of its in-place editing (CKEditor) And particularly because there will be no more major re-builds (aka "major pains to upgrade"). Instead, a set of new features gets released every 6 months, including new improvements and additions to be incorporated seamlessly into your Drupal 9 build. 2. Most Drupal 9 Modules Don't Change at All So, stay assured: you won't be having a hard time finding compatible modules for your new Drupal 9 website. Many of the modules on Drupal.org have been, are being made, and will be made compatible with Drupal 9. There's a collective effort coming from the Drupal community in this direction. And where do you add that the process is pretty straightforward: Same code, but without the deprecated APIs. 3. But What About Those that Do Need Changes? For there have been changes under Drupal 9's hood. Changes in coding with a direct impact on some modules and APIs. Which means that some modules have turned from Drupal core modules to... outside dependencies: this is good news, considering the performance gains you get but also a challenge if you were relying precisely on those modules for your Drupal 9 website Luckily, you have at least 2 helpful tools at hand that you can use to: identify the Drupal modules that still need to get updated apply the fixes needed to make those modules compatible with Drupal 9 3.1. The Upgrade Status Module Why use it? Because it offers you a view of all that has been changed in Drupal. Source: Drupal.org You have links to the modules' pages there, that you can access to review those changes. 3.2. The Upgrade Rector Module The great thing about this tool is that it provides you with automated code fix suggestions to help you make your target modules Drupal 9 compatible. Source: Drupal.org 4. Some Module Get Removed from Drupal 9 Now, there are a few Drupal modules that didn't get the chance to grow into Drupal 9 modules. And I'm talking here about: Simple Test, that's now replaced by PHPUnit Place Blocks, now replaced by the Layout Builder As you can see, in both cases you get to use better alternatives. So, it's just a matter of favoring more powerful solutions. Good to know! Expect other modules and themes (i.e. the Classy theme, the Stable theme) to get deprecated and removed by the time we reach Drupal 10. 5. What About the Contributed Modules? What if you need more than the out-of-the-box Drupal 9 modules to build your new website? What if you depend on particular contributed modules? Or on... many contributed modules? Well, then things get a little more challenging... Because many of the contributed Drupal modules still need to be made compatible with Drupal 9. They need some time to catch up with the new version of Drupal. Take for instance: updating tests to PHPUnit or updating deprecated API usages. Now, what you can do is give a helping hand to accelerate the updating of these modules. And the steps/best practices to follow are pretty simple, as suggested in this guide on Drupal.org : use the patch referred to here, create an issue in the module project (first, make sure it doesn't exist already), and choose a title suggestive enough to let the maintainer know that it needs to be tested for Drupal 9 deprecations add an explanation for the signaled issue ... and follow all the other steps suggested in that Drupal.org guide. Tip! Ask that contributed module's maintainer how he/she would like to address the issues you're signaling. Because the guidelines available for Drupal core aren't always relevant for addressing contributed module issues, as well. The END! Now, assuming that: you only need a limited no. of contributed modules for your new Drupal 9 build it's not a heavily customized website that you're building ... how do you get it up and running in? We're here to help. Just drop us a line! We've been building Drupal websites since... Drupal 5. Image by Siggy Nowak from Pixabay
Adriana Cacoveanu / Aug 28'2020
A few weeks ago, I had the chance to take the Acquia Site Studio (formerly Cohesion) Certification exam. In this post we are going to discuss why I took this exam and more importantly, how I passed it and became an Acquia Certified Site Studio Site Builder. Optasy and its commitment to quality through knowledge You already know that quality is part of the corporate culture of Optasy. For us quality is a key factor to protect our clients' investments and guarantee them a high ROI. But having a good QA department is not enough. Actually, it's often too late when the QA team detects an issue. At Optasy we prefer to ensure quality at the early stages of our projects, analyzing deeply the needs of our clients and transform them into effective digital experiences but we also know that the quality of the code we produce comes from the experience and the skills of our developers. That's why Optasy has an internal 'skill knowledge acquisition program' to help its employees (optasians) to acquire new skills or improve them. This program gives to each optasian one day off per month (paid by the company) to study a particular field. As a way to ensure knowledge acquisition and validation, optasians also receive paid leave to study and give their Acquia certification exams. This includes the exam cost too, that’s why many of the optasian developers are actually Acquia Certified developers or Acquia Certified site builders All things considered, it was a pretty easy choice for me to take the exam, not only do I get to improve my skills, but I get paid for it too! What are the Acquia certification programs? Acquia is a preferred Optasy partner that delivers a cloud-based digital experience platform built on Drupal that enables organizations to build experiences that scale. Acquia is committed to facilitating certification programs allowing developers to validate their Drupal skills year after year. Acquia certification exams are administered at Kryterion Testing Centers in more than 750 locations across the globe. Exams are also available as online-proctored tests and are often offered at DrupalCons across the world. What is Acquia Site Studio? Acquia Site Studio (formerly Cohesion) is a low-code solution for building and editing Drupal sites. As an Acquia partner, our team got the chance to become an early adopter of the technology. Acquia Site Studio is a sort of layout builder on steroids without writing any line of code. Not only can you build layouts or templates, but also you can build whole websites from the headers to the footers, and everything in between, like components and widgets, just by using the interface. No code required! It's a kind of atomic design system (like Pattern Lab) where you can create and preview CSS style guides, components, template layouts, page layouts or view layout from a visual user interface with simple “drag and drop”. And all of this within your Drupal site! To be fair, Acquia Site Studio is an amazing tool allowing designers and marketers to create and modify any layout component without calling the development team. If you’re a designer with no coding knowledge you’ll be able to create totally unique layouts based on your designs using intuitive drag and drop layout builder. If you're an editor, you may choose the layout you want to use and add all the pre-designed components you wish. Want to add a slider or a 'Related Articles' block? You drag and drop it in your layout! 5 tips to successfully pass your Acquia Certified Site Studio exam As other Acquia Certification exams, the Certified Site Studio exam requires both experience and knowledge. Though the test is not difficult, it’s not something you want to run into unprepared. From my experience, the questions ranged from a very low to medium range of difficulty, there were barely any difficult questions. This exam validates your ability to: Understand the features and functionality provided by Site Studio Install and configure Site studio environment on new or existing websites. Build a website using Site Studio style builder, components and website structure design elements. The official description of this exam can be found on Acquia's certification overview page. But in short: The tests are all multiple choice. They don't require that you actually configure a Drupal site or write any code. They are available in person at a testing center, or at home by installing the exam software on your computer. The price was $155 (In my case, Optasy paid for the test) Get a good understanding of Drupal Layout Builder As I mentioned earlier, Acquia Site Studio is a Layout Builder on steroids and many concepts are the same, so having some experience with this Drupal module will help you a lot, like the inline editing tools or the concept of drawing element into the layout. This is not mandatory, but I felt really comfortable with Site Studio having this previous experience. Read carefully the contents of the exam On Acquia's certification overview page you'll find the blueprint of the exam like the following: But below it, you'll find the content itself. Read it carefully and repeatedly. This should be your guideline during your study. This will help you focus on what really matters but also to recap and structure your notes. Read and study the documentation While there are really good videos on the Acquia Academy site about Site Studio, watching all of them won't be enough. If you don't have prior experience with Site Studio, it's a good starting point. But it definitively won't give all the knowledge you need to pass the exam. Reading the documentation should sound obvious, but you'll really need to read and study all the documentation in depth. Don't leave anything behind cause the exam covers all the aspects of Site Studio, from the basics to more advanced topics. This will also give you the right vocabulary to understand the questions of the exam, since sometimes they can try to trick you changing just one word. So the technical vocabulary has an important role, and that's where the documentation comes into play. Write down some notes after reading each section. This will help you a lot during the recap! Train on the Acquia Site Studio demo environment You can request an online demo environment for free at the bottom of this page The main benefit is that you won't need an API key or an Agency key, so you can test Site Studio for free, the environment acts just like a normal Drupal website. and the site will be all yours to experiment on. This site will be your friend during your study, you should test everything you learned in the documentation here. Do it several times and try different cases. The night before the exam, after reading back your notes, try to build a site from scratch in this environment to recap all the main concepts. This is key! Don't forget the 'Miscellaneous concepts and features' part These three concepts are not placed in one section, they are dispersed in the documentation. Study and practice all of them because you'll have a question about each one. They are only three, it doesn’t sound like a lot but they are worth 15% of the exam! That is a quick and easy win! A bonus tip What really worked for me was to read a section, practice the concepts of this section in the demo environment, read again the same section and take some notes. The day after, read all the notes of the previous day, do the same 7 days later, reading back your notes and practicing again on the demo site. That way, 80% of what you studied will stay forever in your memory. Conclusions Acquia Certification Site Studio Site Builder can be a good way to validate your skills and knowledge There are barely any difficult questions Study all the documentation because the exam is based on it, but also because the exam will cover all of it. Practice a lot, recap a lot.
Karim Boudjema / Aug 27'2020
10 Best Tools for Conducting a Drupal 8 Site Audit (to evaluate its performance, security, and stability)
You want to audit your Drupal website's infrastructure, SEO, best practices, security, stress, overall performance... And you ask yourself: Are there tools that help you run a Drupal 8 site audit? ... and generate the reports you need? There are quite a few, actually. To narrow down your too many options, we've made a list of 10 tools and Drupal modules that you can use to test your website's performance, security, and stability. 1. 3 Best Tools to Run a Website Security Audit 1.1. Coder What does it do? it checks your code to see whether it meets the industry standards it checks your text, so you'll know whether i's properly sanitized or not quite In short, a Drupal 8 audit module you'll want to have in your toolbox when conducting a website security audit. 1.2. Qualys SSL Server Test Another tool that you'll want to use during your Drupal 8 security audit process. Why? Because it performs a thorough analysis of a public SSL certificate and generates a grade for you. 1.3. Security Kit How does it work? It provides you with a set of security-hardening options, that strengthen the shield around your site against CSRF, XSS, and clickjacking attacks. 2.3 Best Tools to Run a Drupal 8 Site Audit Focused on Its Performance 2.1. PageSpeed Insight, YSlow, GTMetrix Take these 3 website performance audit tools as your the "swiss army knife" in your toolbox. They run multiple tests on your website and generate a whole set of practical recommendations on how you can boost its front-end performance. Here are just some examples of recommendations: cut down on the number of elements the browser's forced to parse by simplifying the DOM cut down on the number of requests by aggregating your JS files or using image sprites 2.2. New Relic An all-into-one Drupal site audit module that helps you monitor different sections on your website: from infrastructure to server, to browser and application. Now, here's precisely why you'll want to keep it close at hand while assessing your website's performance: it allows you to set up multiple customized dashboards that show graphs and charts of your website's performance data it enables you to keep an eye on your website's traffic and performance in real-time it allows you to isolate bottlenecks and set up alerts for key events 2.3. Performance Monitor Let's say you've just moved your Drupal website to another hosting and you now feel that it has slowed down. And that the new server needs to be optimized for Drupal. This is precisely where this module comes in handy: It gives you a clear picture of how your website's performing now, while comparing different servers/hostings. Here are some of the features you'll love: it checks the Mysql status and variables (and provides recommendations) it tests the overall system performance (it runs database, CPU, and file operations performance tests) it evaluates the "Performance score" 3. 4 Best Tools to Evaluate Your Website's Stability 3. 1. Behat, PHPUnit, Nightwatch Or you can put together your own "combo" of unit and functional testing tools. Automated testing will improve your website's stability... in the long-term (and nothing can beat the peace of mind that you'll get). 3.2. Code Sniffer Whenever you need to assess your code's quality, just reach out for this Drupal 8 audit tool. It will... "sniff on" your code and signal you if it doesn't meet the coding standards. Also, while testing your code's stability, you'll want to have a look at: the quality of your links the cycles of peer review for codes the factors that influence the SEO the access and breadth of documentation the modules you have on your website: are there any outdated ones? 3.3. Tugboat You save time and money using Tugboat (or an alternative continuous integration tool). Here's how: it runs the automated and linting tests that you will have set up and generates a report to your developer before even merging or reviewing the code it builds a completely working website that incorporates that new feature you've added or has that specific bug fixed before it gets merged A true time-saver that you'll definitely want to have in your toolkit when testing newly added code for stability. 3.4. Linting Tools How do they help you increase the stability of your Drupal website? they get all the developers in your team on the same page when it comes to the code format to be used they (i.e. Drupal Code Sniffer) enforce the Drupal coding standards once integrated to your developers' text editors Tip! Make sure you incorporate your linting tools into your automated testing routine, the one that gets performed on each pull request. The END! These are your best options when it comes to the Drupal 8 site audit tools to include in your toolkit. But what if you dread the idea of digging deep into your code, checking every single one of your Drupal modules, evaluating the CPU performance... What if you could still get a clear picture of how you're website's performing without the dread of going through all these tedious, time-consuming tasks? Just shift the burden to us! Drop us a line and let's get your Drupal website checked for all the issues and bottlenecks affecting its performance, security level, and stability! Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Adriana Cacoveanu / Aug 06'2020