The “create once, publish everywhere with close to zero knowledge of Drupal” is nothing but a myth! And you must have surely convinced yourself of that by now! This is why harnessing the power of decoupled Drupal has been a discouraging “mission impossible” for non-Drupalers. A “privilege” exclusively for those familiar with decoupled back-ends, for those who do know a thing or two (or more) about each of the Drupal modules' particularities. Well, it looks like the Drupal community is innovating for a brighter future! One where you, the non-Drupaler, get to leverage the decoupled Drupal 8's power hassle-free! And this future (which recently turned into present) is called “Contenta”! What started like an innovative and promising initiative at Drupalcon Baltimore is rapidly developing into a powerful, stable API-first Drupal distribution adapted to the needs of the non-Drupal “gurus”. How do its initiators plan to do that? By providing the users out-of-the-box Contenta “kits”, with all the needed tools, configuration, and demos that they could possibly need to start “fueling” their cutting-edge apps with content in no time (having Drupal 8 as a backend CMS to rely on)! What Was The Context That Favored Contenta's Emergence? Two key factors defined this favorable context: The app development process in a decoupled situation itself: for non-Drupalers it could easily turn into a daunting “ordeal” with all the setups to be made, the tools to be put together, master matching the app's front-end with its Drupal back-end etc. Drupal 8's outstanding capabilities for building decoupled applications A solution had to be found so that everyone should be able to benefit from a decoupled Drupal CMS at its full potential, especially since Drupal 8 already provided a truly powerful “toolset” to be leveraged. What Goals Has The Development Team Set For Contenta? Now that we've outlined the “problem” that this Drupal distribution comes to solve, how about pointing out the “objectives” that its team has set for it, as well? it should be highly accessible to non-Drupalers thanks to the provided “out-of-the-box” kit of tools (or quick installer) they'll need when building their apps (content models, demo content, modules suggestions, example consumer apps, default setup...) it should be quick and easy to use (thanks to its “load” of helpful demos and inspiring consumer examples) it should also turn into a go-to source of needed documentation it should be full-featured, perfectly equipped for powering decoupled projects, irrespective of the used front-end technology: Angular, Ract, Vue, Ember etc. How Do You (Quickly) Install It? Since we've already mentioned Contenta's “quick installer” feature, it's time we come up with proofs, right? Here are the simple steps to take for installing your API-first Drupal distribution, so that you can start building your consuming app in no time: first things first: install Composer ensure that you have the sqlite-extension installed in your local machine, as well ( sudo apt-get install php-sqlite3 in debian/ubuntu) then enter the following command for creating your new project: composer create-project contentacms/contenta-jsonapi-project MYPROJECT --stability dev --no-interaction next, just install Drupal as usual What Type of Demo Content Model Will You Get, Out-of-The-Box? “A recipe magazine”! That's right, this is the type of pre-built content model and demo content that you'll get to implement and to work with once you've installed your content API. What Front-End Technology Should You Go For? “Whichever you prefer”, since Contenta “spoils” you with a whole load of inspiring examples of consumer apps built in different technologies. And there's no need for you to get “suspicious” once you notice that all these examples feature the same structure.“In real-life” it's the front-end technology that will be powering them that will determine their look and feel (if it will be Angular, then your app will feature that already iconic material design, if it will be Elm, then...) Wrapping Up: Hypothetical Contenta Use Case Now, what a more suitable way to sum up our short presentation on this API-first Drupal 8 distribution here than with a hypothetical use case scenario, right? Let's proceed: “Let's take Matt, our hypothetical non-Drupaler (let's assume that he is a React developer instead). Matt here is in search of a powerful back-end CMS for that impressive app that he's planning to develop. He'll just need to install Contenta, quick and easy, and dig through the out-of-the-box collection of React-powered app examples that Contenta will deliver him, by default.” This way, via a quick installation process and helpful examples of consumer apps to get inspired by, Matt will be able to develop his React and Drupal 8-powered app in no time! Now we're curious to read your own thoughts on this initiative! How do you feel about this project? Which are your projections of its future? Are you currently looking forward to using it in your future decoupled Drupal projects?
Adrian Ababei / Jul 07'2017
“Viva la revolution!” Since we keep reading/hearing how AI revolutionizes the way people shop online, the way retailers leverage their user data to personalize the shopping experiences they provide, how AI revolutionizes the entire ecommerce space. So, how are you harnessing the superpower of AI on your ecommerce site? Your set of options includes: chatbots virtual personal shoppers ultra-personalized shopping experiences AI-based search queries machine learning-powered search results … and the list is an ever-growing one! Now you're probably disoriented: how do you know which one(s) of these revolutionizing forms of AI fits your own company's ecommerce strategy? Well, let us put each one of them into the spotlight and hopefully help you identify the forms of AI in ecommerce that best suit your goals: 1. AI Virtual Shopping Assistant The “Relax and enjoy your shopping experience!” turns into: “Relax, your virtual assistant will do the shopping for you, purchasing precisely the item(s) you need at the best possible price(s)”. In short, as you implement this form of AI on your ecommerce site, you're actually leveraging both the valuable user data that you will have collected and the set ups that your customers will make (for instance a certain day of the week/month when he prefers his virtual assistant to “go shopping” for him/her). Let's fancy this possible virtual shopping assistant-powered scenario: “you already have a load of priceless data on a customer's preferences and an enabled “sales” alert option. By leveraging this valuable information his online personal shopper can easily purchase that particular product/service precisely the day when the price drops down”. See the 2 main differences? The customer: doesn't have to type in a whole string of relevant keywords in the search box on your site, looking for the product he'd like to buy (for his virtual assistant already knows what items he'd like to purchase) won't be constantly notified (and eventually annoyed) whenever prices drop. The shopping experience without the time-consuming hassle! Moreover: the AI virtual shopping assistant can curate the products/services your customers would want to purchase, depending on their browsing and shopping histories! So, we're talking about proactively assisting your customers, ensuring future conversion, too! 2. Machine Learning for More Relevant Search Results Relevancy is key when it comes to search results, wouldn't you agree? But what if you could reach “the utmost relevancy” in the search options that you deliver to your online customers? You can reach it: by leveraging the machine learning technology on your Drupal site! Instead of relying on the conventional keyword matching technique, you'd better harness the power of machine learning AI and deliver the perfectly adequate search results to your potential customers! 3. A New Type of Search Query: AI Processing Natural Language Searching for products/services on a given ecommerce website is getting “out-of-fashion”! AI technology steps on the stage and steals the spotlight as it's equipped with natural language processing capabilites. Capabilities that the traditional way of searching for items on a given online store can't possibly compete with! Therefore, instead of typing several relevant keywords, which may or may not display the relevant search options, AI can “interpret” customers' natural language. It can recognize and decipher their natural expressions and thus display only the most relevant search results. on one hand we have a series of keywords that get, successfully or not, matched with their corresponding products/services on the other hand with have search results determined by the process of “deciphering” natural expressions See the difference? 4. Voice Search: Implement This Key Form of AI on Your Ecommerce Site AI-powered voice search has ceased to be a striking novelty for some time now. It slowly and surely turns into a “must-have” technology for every ecommerce site/app! Are you ready to leverage this form of AI on your ecommerce site, too? It's the epitome of convenience: users can just utter the items they want to visualize and eventually purchase and the AI technology implemented on your website does all the rest. Yet it's much more than “utmost convenience”: it's a way of deep-personalizing your customers' overall shopping experiences on your ecommerce website! By using voice-triggered searches you'll practically tailor, to their own needs, the search options that you'll display. The “traditional” way of personalizing shopping experiences (to the search terms that users enter in the search box on your site) can't possibly rival with this AI-powered type of personalization, don't you agree? 5. Evolving Content And we do mean “in real time”! A whole new dimension for the concept of in-depth personalized content going hand in hand with a perfectly tailored shopping experience. In other words: what this AI technology does is adjust the content on your ecommerce website LIVE, as the customers navigate through! The data collecting, followed by the content tailoring is no longer a viable tactic in today's ecommerce landscape. Content evolving in real-time is the new level of personalized customer experiences! And not only that it helps you craft an “ultra” personalized online shopping experience, with a high level of interactivity, but you're actually taking the burden of A/B and layout testing off your team's shoulders. As you leverage this AI technology, based on evolutionary algorithms, you'll be actually improving your online shopper's experience “on the spot”! And the list can easily go on and on! Visual search would have to be the next AI technology on our list, followed closely by... Yet, since it's a list that gets constantly enriched, we shall end it here. Do tell us now: have you already leveraged any of these forms of AI on your ecommerce site?
Adrian Ababei / Jun 28'2017
If content is king, then content personalization sure is queen! Which leads us to content globalization, an ever increasing demand that many organizations strive to adapt their marketing technology stack to. Yet manually getting heavy loads of content translated not just in one, but in several languages, and then sending it out precisely to their target audiences, at high speed and ideally scaled, is almost a “mission impossible”. And this is the particular context that the Cloudwords for Drupal 8 was launched in! It's the answer to organizations' challenge of dealing with users' expectations for personalized experiences while striving to spare their valuable resources of time, as well! For users do expect to be “served” promptly, you can't compromise on quality (by delivering them poorly translated content) and you surely can't waste their time (delivering them the translated version of the content on your website weeks or months later). And this complex workflow involving: large teams of content authors loads of content being constantly moved in and out of the Drupal website(s) a whole network of translation vendors to send it over to and to receive it from ... has its limitations! Therefore, integrating Cloudwords with Drupal 8 comes to turn all this from a cumbersome, time-consuming process into a fully automated workflow! Now let's get into more details about the “happy marriage” of these two innovative web technologies, Clowdwords and Drupal 8: Why Drupal? Why Drupal 8? What Does This CMS Bring To The Table? As you probably already know, it's been a while since we've got to use the Cloudwords for Drupal module. Why was Drupal “chosen” for the happy union? It's pretty logical: back then it was and still is large organizations' top favorite content management system! The one “equipped” with all the capabilities (flexibility, scalability, extensibility and all the other crucial “ity”-s) that are crucial for content-packed websites! So, since now we have Cloudwords for Drupal 8, a more than valid question would be: “But Why Drupal 8 in particular?” “Because it's been built with content globalization in mind! It provides companies with multilingual support right in its core!” What is Cloudwords? What Does It Bring to the Table? Simply put: Cloudwords is a software that automates the entire global content localization process! Basically what it does is eliminate all those resources-consuming tasks, that are now being carried out manually by “armies” of teams, and deliver a highly enhanced visibility into the projects' statuses. A “dream come true” for all the digital marketing teams involved in the production and the delivery of personalized content within large organizations. Like yours! Cloudwords's key role in this integration with Drupal 8 is precisely this one: turning your Drupal website's localization into a streamlined, automated workflow! Far easier to monitor and far easier to handle! Workflow automation + Unmatched project management capabilities The Challenge More often than not enterprise organizations need their websites' content translated in several languages (not just one or two) and also have not just one multilingual site to manage, but an entire “constellation” of sites. So, as you can imagine (since you're probably facing the same challenge) monitoring the entire translation process, promptly updating it whenever new content gets added to the website and adding new and new multilingual websites to the group is resources-consuming and prone to error! And this is the challenge that Cloudwords in Drupal 8 comes to help your own organization respond to! Cloudwords for Drupal 8: A Big Leap Ahead Into the Future of Content Globalization Now that we've: glided through each one of the two technologies' key capabilities relevant for this integration pointed out the “problem” that this “union” comes to solve … let's have a close look at this groundbreaking solution, shall we? First of all, what we can easily state is that it speeds up the whole website localization process. And that it protects it from human error, too, obviously! Since the entire workflow (implying the creation and the delivery of personalized content) gets automated, living up to higher and higher standards of speed, quality and scaling gets so much easier. Secondly, we're talking about efficiency in terms of quantity, as well: a high volume of web pages can now get translated at high speed, to more and more users located in different corners of the world and in more and more languages, as well. In short: accelerating translation at scale, that's what you'll achieve, within your enterprise, once you start leveraging Cloudwords for Drupal 8's capabilities! And How Exactly Does It Streamline Content Marketers' Workflow? The very first “present” that content marketers get is an increased visibility into their content translation projects! A key benefit coming to complete all the other ones deriving from the fact that all the time-consuming tasks, otherwise manually handled, are eliminated from the whole process. “Automated convenience”, that's how we could call Cloudwords for Drupal 8 from content marketers' standpoint! And there's more! The future has in store even more (more or less “surprise) “goodies” for content authors and editors: improved multilingual support (since we're talking about Drupal 8, after all) improved content authoring and editing experience CloudWords for Drupal 8: Features That You'll Want to Use Now let's outline specifically those key functionalities that you'll be using the most in your translation at scale projects: enhanced visibility into each project's status (a feature that we've just talked about) OneReview: in-content review functionality collaboration among all the teams and vendors involded, across departments, too; and good collaboration sure is a touchstone of any large scale project! How Does It Work? “You simply select the content on your Drupal site that you want to localize and let Cloudwords for Drupal 8 handle the rest!” The translation vendor that you'll choose for the job will get the content to be translated, then it will have it delivered into Cloudwords. A step-by-step website localization process that Cloudwords will streamline for you, taking an incredibly heavy burden off your team's shoulders! Moreover, it will also automatically detect and point out to you those specific translations that are outdated, as well as the new ones. And this is how Cloudwords for Drupal 8 works! Looking forward to hearing from you your very first impressions once you start integrating it into your organization's translation at scale processes!
Adrian Ababei / Jun 14'2017
Standard web pages have ceased to be the only data delivery medium available! And there's no way around it. You either respond to users' “pressing” expectations to be delivered up to the moment data, context-based data only, or, well, you'll be left behind! In this respect, Drupal-powered digital signage systems might just be the best solution to meet your customers' “new” needs and to remain relevant in your business! There's no reason to “act surprised” or be skeptical about Drupal being the right technology to go for! You have: data-rich APIs outstanding content management functionalities … so collecting data, turning it into “relevant”, contextual data, detecting a whole network of devices and sending out that data following a certain content model already looks like a plan. A solid plan for you to build your first digital signage system on! But let us dive into more details, (hopefully) answer all your legitimate questions and deliver you some of the key information you need for getting started with your digital signs project: Digital Signage Systems: A Few Examples What forms do these new types of digital experiences take? Where do we interact with digital signage in our day-to-day lives? Here are some representative examples: mall kiosks touch screens placed in various means of transportation (planes, cars, trains) voice interfaces These are all real-data delivery means! Digital signage solutions that we interact with daily (even if only visually) and which have already become indispensable to us. But Why Drupal? Why a Drupal-Powered Digital Signage System? … when you have Angular, Node, Amber React and the whole “suite” of cutting-edge, modern technologies at your disposal? The answer lies in Drupal's whole “culture” of empowering the end-user! In other words: Drupal provides an improved user experience compared to other modern technologies focusing mostly on enhancing exclusively the developer's experience instead. As simple as that! You need to build your signage system with your client (his team of content editors) in mind! It's them who will need to be able to grow independent once you pass them over the device; to be able to edit everything about it with the utmost ease. And Drupal excels at empowering the non-developer, the non-technical user! Real-Time Data Streaming = Managing Content With Great Ease And Drupal's well reputed for its capabilities as a content management system. It empowers those “in charge” with content with a whole structure of features and functionalities aimed at better organizing the editorial team, at handling and “refining” the delivered content (making it context-sensitive, as well). Now, let us point out some of its “star” capabilities: its whole “infrastructure of roles and permissions its revisioning feature its translation functionality its content types building tool How Does Drupal Handle External Data? Having data “flooding in” from “outside” providers is something to consider when you decide to develop your Drupal-powered digital signage system! This data can range from: social media to weather data to stock data to news to all kinds of crucial (for the passengers) public transportation-related data And the way Drupal 8 copes with this “flood” of data goes like this: the provider API is sent out to collect this data, then Drupal gets it processed according to the content model. Note: If content is king, then context is queen! Make sure you contextualize the data you deliver via your digital signs, that you perfectly adjust it to the given context (you don't want to send out information about a train's schedule on the “wrong” platform or data news from Baltimore to people living in L.A. etc.) Getting Started: How to Use Drupal for Powering Your Digital Signs Here are the very basic steps to take: enter the right command in Drush for collecting your data next store your credentials in Drupal 8 “trigger” caching (yet, be cleverly selective about what you cach, since you can't, obviously, cach everything when it's real-time data that you need to deliver) parse your collected data, using Drupal 8 to “spread” it to all the right devices, following the right content model path Getting Data from Drupal to Your Digital Signs: How Does It Work? Before you go ahead and pick the obvious answers to this question, “pull” or “push”, you'd better consider all the “pieces of the puzzle”: you can't really rely on the pull method since that would put a tremendous pressure on your server's shoulders (and heat up your devices) you can't rely on a “multiple APIs” method either, since real-time data restricts you to a to a highly selective caching (unlike on web pages) you can't reload as many times as needed, like on the web there's limited or no user interactivity involved (the huge blue screen can be viewed by thousands of people and the only thing they can do is just... stare at it) “Can't do this, can't do that: but what is it that I CAN do to make this data transfer work?” “You use websockets!” It's this solution that will provide you with an almost instantaneous, two-way type of communication for a longer time! It's One of Those Perfect Contexts of Use for “Exploiting” Drupal's Scalability Apart from being incredibly flexible, Drupal's highly scalable, too! We all know it, even those that don't use Drupal know it! A Drupal-powered digital signage system is the perfect “context” for leveraging this scalability. And it's going to be of great help when you think of the whole network of devices involved here! Drupal's powerful enough to send out the collected data via one of the websocket channels that you'll use for transferring your data to your devices. Moreover, it can multiply that data for as many devices as your network has. Unlimited scalability! Think Beyond Content Model: Think “Device Model”, Too! … for Drupal has the right capabilities for collecting, processing data and following the content model, yet you need to “give it some hints” regarding the devices, too. The devices that those digital signs will get displayed on. Let it know what is it that these devices can do, which messages get “triggered” by which one of the digital signs. In short: a well structured, crucial information-stuffed device model's needed, too! Overall: What Does Drupal Need to Know? If you want your Drupal-powered digital signage system to work at its full potential, then you need to “empower” Drupal 8 with all the key information: 1. what data goes to which one of your interconnected digital signage devices 2. the format that Drupal needs to display that data in (along with language, size screen, and other related key data) And now in order to “proof” your data, to ensure that it's just your own devices that have access to it, you can: whitelist your digital signage system (leveraging the metadata that Drupal can collect for you) establish TFA for all the involved users ensure that your services of choice (whether it's Google, Amazon or another one) ask devices for authentication How Does a Drupal-Powered Digital Signage System Handle Security? And this is, indeed, a “sore point” when dealing with digital signs! They're particularly vulnerable in case of cyber attacks. Now that we've pointed out the “problem”, let's jump to the possible solutions that you have: 1. this is a no-brainer and yet, we feel like adding this “rule of thumb”, too: always change the passwords that your devices ship with! 2. consider restricted access to them 3. ensure that the software you're using comes along with a patch/updates schedule, too, and that you remember to run those updates, periodically 4. secure your source data: get it validated and audited before you “release it out into the wild” 5. use SSL And now all there's left for us to add is: good luck with your first Drupal-powered digital signage system!
Adrian Ababei / Jun 10'2017
Adrian Ababei / Jun 06'2017
Still wondering how the weather will be next week in Maryland! It's “crucial” information for us, you know, since these days we're packing our bags for next week's DrupalCon 2017 Baltimore! About DrupalCon 2017 Baltimore Needless to add that the Drupalcon North America is THE “peak” of all the other Drupal-themed meetings, events and camps taking place all over the globe, year-round. This year it's Baltimore's turn to host the event (and to welcome the no less than 3000 Drupalists and Drupal enthusiasts who'll be attending it), from April 24-28. And for living up to the scale of this event, it's the Convention Center, on One West Pratt Street, that it puts at the Drupal community's disposal! OPTASY at DrupalCon 2017 Baltimore We have exciting news! This year OPTASY'S both one of the attendees and one of the sponsors who'll “power” this mega gathering! And we have to admit that we're, still, so proud of this opportunity (with the risk of slightly “breaking” the laws of modesty)! Therefore, do feel free to stop by our booth #140 and get to know the OPTASY team! We're ready to answer to all your questions, whether they'll be closely related to our work or to the “must-see” attractions in Toronto. A Multifaceted Event With A Jam-Packed Program No matter how hard we've tried, we just couldn't put together a hierarchy! A calendar, yes, but not a hierarchy. We'd love to attend all the sessions at DrupalCon Baltimore, ALL the sprints, all the summits all the social events, all the special events (not exactly realistic, we know that)! In other words, we're looking forward: to Dries Buytaert's keynote, on the 25th of April to attending community discussions to participating to the sprints (oh yes!) and be part of all those knowledge sharing, creative thinking challenging and innovative ideas spreading types of Drupal-y gatherings to attending trainings (so that we can get the bags that we're packing these days loaded with great tips, strategies, trends to watch in 2017, Drupal best practices, know-how, demos, etc. from the Drupal legends themselves) to attending some cool social events (definitely!) to attending community sessions (getting ourselves informed about Acquia's latest products, about its planned roadmap for 2017 and exchanging ideas with members of the community is, after all, one of the reasons why we attend DrupalCons) to attending session tracks on UX, PHP, project management, DevOps and the list of tempting topics can go on and on. A quick recap See you next week in Baltimore, at booth #140 and at all the other “can't miss” events listed in the event's jam-packed program! Now, let us continue with our bags packing and weather forecasting...
Adrian Ababei / Apr 21'2017
Google's been not just “a” member of the open source community, but one of its leading members. It's been advocating for the usage of open source as a sure path to innovation for a while now. This is no breaking news for anyone! Therefore, hearing that the California-based giant has taken a big leap forward in terms of “openness”, in terms of “exposing “behind-the-scene” details of its relationship with open source software, hasn't surprised us, the OPTASY team, all that much! “Not so surprised” and yet: we can't deny that we're still excited about Google's announcement! It practically opens a large window for us, the “outsiders”, to “peep into” the company's code and other “in-house” code created for developing their open source projects. The website's not just a repository of key information on Google's projects and processes, but it gives away details on how precisely they're being used inside the company. The revealed code will co-exist both on Google's own self-hosted git service, as well as on GitHub. And, in this equation Opensource.google.com will play the role of a central directory for them. And “feasting” on the information showcased there is not just for “fun” or for mere curiosity, but you should take it as an opportunity: it actually offers an insight into the best practices when it comes to developing open sources projects! And this is just the beginning for, Will Norris, Open Source Programs Office at Google declared: “it also contains something unexpected: a look under the hood at how we “do” open source”. Google's planning to showcase there information about project life cycle and they commit to keep adding new and new details on how they approach open source “in-house”. So, no need to put on your “binoculars” and try “spying” on what's happening “behind the closed curtains”, at Google. No need to strive to get your insights on their open source projects! The future looks bright for you! For it seems that the company's willing to put its inside information “on a silver plate” for you. Meaning: under one single handy URL! About Google's Own Open Source Philosophy … revolves around one essential principle: everyone can benefit from open source! In Google's own “philosophy” open source sets the perfect context for teams to collaborate, to share information and to work together for creating new technologies. The company sees open source as a sure path to innovation, as we've already stated! “Collaboration” is, therefore, the main word behind Google's idea of open source. And “collaboration” goes hand in hand with the idea of “community”, with the idea of “the community of developers participating” in developing open source projects together. In addition to this, Google has revealed its other key principles supporting its open source philosophy: the “more is better” one. What does it mean? It means that the company's committed to showcasing as many open source projects as possible on their newly launched website. And this because they agree that they do not know, from the very start, which ones of them will have a larger audience. Therefore, they're decided to keep posting code, this leading to a repository of thousands of open source projects that developers can “scan through” and select the information they need. Opensource.google.com: What's Its Purpose? One of the clarifications that the Google's officials have made was that their new site isn't designed with a one and only purpose in mind: to showcase the company's open source projects. It's supposed to be a “tool” that developers can use to discover how these projects are used internally. Both overviews of these projects and explanations on how they're being used are provided there. Also, another mention they've is that developers shouldn't take their showcased code and explanations on how this is being utilized inside the company as “absolute” how-to guides.They're just “starting points” or “inspiration” on how the company approaches open source. They're aimed at empowering you to venture yourself on the open source-provided path to innovation. An incentive to collaborate for creating new technologies. But What Type of Information Will Go Public More Precisely? You're more than entitled to ask yourself right now: “But what type of topics will the information on Google's new site be covering?” And, also: “How will the content get structured on Opensource.google.com?” In this respect, let us detail a bit. Here's what Google's public collection will include: information on how to submit patches to other open source projects Google's policies regarding third-party open source projects key information about Google's release processes for its new open source projects Up to now Google's new site sums up 2000 projects. When it comes to content structuring and facilitating the user's/developer's access to certain information, a search feature has been added (besides the drop-down menu displaying the categories available on the website). This turns out to be a more than useful tool in case you already know what you need a certain project for, but you don't have your mind set on a specific bit of software. In Conclusion: Judging by how other Google open source projects, such as TensorFlow and Kubernetes have evolved (turning into “constellation” type of projects, each with its own set of ecosystems gravitating around it), the documents piled up and made public on this website are a major opportunity from a developer's standpoint. No doubt about that! It also delivers inspiration for other companies to embrace open source and to showcase their own “behind the closed door” code. How about you? How do you perceive the new Google site's release and how do you position yourself, as a company, when it comes to open source? Do you see any opportunity in revealing your internal code to “outsiders”?
Adrian Ababei / Apr 03'2017
We just couldn't keep it to ourselves! Especially since we're fully aware that you, our long-time or new partners, are “responsible” for this recognition. Being ranked there, among all the top web development companies in Canada's so competitive digital landscape, is an overwhelming honour for our team. But also an incentive for constant self-improvement and a huge responsibility! No doubt about that! Allow us to express our gratitude for your acknowledgment of our work! Of the expertise and the creativity that we've invested in delivering relevant, adaptive and overall business success-driving digital experiences. Not the “one size fits all“ type, but the one reflecting our customers' visions and geared toward helping them meet their business goals! We simply love what we're doing! And we love getting better and better at what we're doing! That's it! No secret “ingredient” in this “formula for success”. It's our passion for our work that has allowed us to broaden our offer of services from (exclusively) building Drupal websites to developing custom modules, theming, offering maintenance and support and delivering adapted Drupal e-commerce solutions, as well. And yet, we did add a not so secret ingredient to this formula for success: “always putting clients first”! And this prioritization includes both the input that our clients give us during their web projects development, as well as their own visions and goals. For we're never putting together “just” visually-appealing, functional Drupal websites: we develop Drupal websites that respond to our customers' particular needs and which help them achieve their own business goals. What we're actually trying to say to you is: "Thank you, we take a bow before such a recognition of our work! It's been and will continue to be an honor working with you"! Another “culprit” of our pure enthusiasm (we won't be getting over this news soon... if ever) is the research company who's put this top itself: CLUTCH! Worldwide famous for the innovative methodology it uses for conducting its researches, an efficient “blending” of: interviewing both past and present clients of the “target” company evaluating the quality of work evaluating its industry experience ... it's become one of THE top go-to resources providing decision-making information to all companies interested in contracting software services providers. At the end of this news-type of post, allow us to make a “pledge”: “Not to rest on our oars, to turn this honor into a responsibility (and thus not to get “intoxicated” by “fame”) and to approach our work with even more professionalism and determination in helping our customers meet their goals!”
Adrian Ababei / Feb 22'2017
How well did you keep up with Google's frequent updates in 2016? Didn't you feel, at some point, that striving to keep the ever changing “rhythm” that Google imposed was like “striving to keep yourself steady on quicksand”? Preparation is key, right? So, if you want to keep a steady balance while “walking on wire” this year (whether as a marketer, as a web developer in Toronto or as an online business owner) you need to anticipate the upcoming shifts in the SEO landscape. In order to lend you a hand with that we have analyzed Google's most significant changes in 2016, read the forecasts of some the most influencing experts' in the field and we're here today, in front of you, ready to empower you with a list of 6 updates in Google's algorithms that you should expect to impact your business this year. And here they are! Each one could easily win its own star on Google's “walk of fame”, the one grouping its most impactful updates along the years: 1. Google's Index Goes Mobile-First In this respect, we couldn't be happier here, at our web development company in Toronto, with Drupal 8's mobile-first features! Now this Google update is huge! It will most likely shake the entire SEO landscape and will challenge you to reconfigure all your digital marketing initiatives, plans and strategies. If you have already implemented all the right measures for optimizing your website for mobile, for turning it into a welcoming place for your mobile users to land on, good for you. Don't rest on your oars! Keep up the good work: 2017 means higher search ranking for you! If, for various reasons, you've missed the train, and you stubbornly put all your faith (and therefore your brand's whole future) in your desktop website, “take a cold shower” and then get to work! ASAP! The wind of change will blow from Google's direction and might just sweep off your online presence if it lacks a strong foundation! And that foundation, my friend, is made of mobile optimization-oriented measures. Just think about it: not only that mobile-friendly will become a ranking signal, but it will be the primary source of ranking! Google will push forward, right into the spotlight, mobile-optimized websites, while the desktop ones will remain behind, “in the dark”. Moreover, it's not just a whole new way of marketing online that you should adopt, but a whole different mindset, too: you need to think mobile, not just to “act” mobile! We witness the end of an era when marketers geared all their efforts towards making Google happy. The modern day marketer should first and foremost make his user happy: by crafting the best mobile user experiences! Here's how: crafting unique content adjusted to the mobile's particularity (long gone are the days of keyworda and links-stuffed content and of those when you would transfer content from your desktop site to its mobile version in such a rudimentary manner) ensuring them an intuitive navigation guaranteeing them fast-loading web pages And Google will always favor those who pay attention to and rush in to meet their (mobile) users' expectations. 2. Google Will Start an Intrusive Pop-Up Ads “Hunt” Or better said “Google has started...”, for the announced change came into effect on the 10th of January. How will this impact your website? Well, the proper question would be: are you using interstitials on your mobile pages? How much screen space do they take up? You should know that Google has started to rank lower precisely those mobile website which keep annoying users with interstitials covering most of the content they want access. Here are just a few of interstitial-related signals that will make Google wave its red flag: a pop-up ad that the user has to close before he's given full access to the main content a pop-up add that covers almost entirely the content the user is reading, the he has to dismiss before (re)gaining access to the main content the usage of a specific layout where the above-the-fold section of the web page is an interstitial, while the main content is moved underneath the fold and thus is hardly accessible to the user If the above practices sound too familiar to you, you should definitely consider revising your mobile marketing strategies! Google is sure to strengthen its efforts for tracking down and penalizing those websites that will continue to annoy their users with pesky interstitials contributing to a bad user experience. Accessibility, in the sense of easing users' access to that valuable content prepared for them on your mobile site, which goes had-in-hand with a good user experience, is what Google favors. And intrusive ads are definitely not a means for achieving it! 3. Google Assistant Will Outshine the SERP Search It's true that Google has a lot to catch up for being able to “rival” Siri and Cortana, voice assistants who've had the time to constantly improving their technologies, but we've gathered some really strong signals from this direction. Can you imagine an SERPless future? Google's Voice search technology would then efficiently guide users towards the information they're looking up for! And, given the long-tail keywords, their whole search experience will get significantly improved: Google will bring the risk of irrelevant search results close to zero. How prepared are you to reconfigure all the ads on your website, your overall online advertising strategy? 4. Google Will Expand Its Use of Rich Cards in Search In the name of an optimized search experience Google's complimented its snippets with rich cards. It did this last year in May, so no news here. The news is that Google's strengthening its efforts for adding even more industries to its list of verticals included in its rich card results. And this might impact your business, too, more precisely: the way your brand gets listed in searches, before your future visitors' eyes. Therefore, even if you're not operating in the movie industry, you don't organize online courses or run a restaurant, mind you don't leave this Google trend out of your sight! These days Google might add your industry, too, to its list and then you'll be challenged to adapt, quickly! Get yourself prepared by experimenting various pieces of content presenting your brand and “luring” users in, content that would go in the richer previews enabled by Google. 5. Google Will Favor Those Participating in Its AMP Project Here's another strong signal that Google's moving at high speed towards mobile indexing! We've already talked abut Google's Accelerated Mobile Page on this blog, but we'd still like to stress this project's importance. It's Google's way of encouraging website owners/web developers to focus their efforts on perfecting the mobile web experience for their users. Expect this open source initiative to become even more impactful in 2017! And here is how you could benefit from getting involved in this “mobile-friendly environment creating” initiative that the AMP project aims at: you improve your users' overall experiences on your mobile website (and this is definitely a benefit for you too: happy users= higher search ranking in Google) improved loading speed for your web pages, which, again leads to a better exposure in search results 6. Google Will Start Penalizing Unsecured Websites It looks like it's “raining Google penalties” this month! In addition to the pesky interstitials-related one, scheduled to come into effect on the 10th of January, Google will start to penalize websites that do not run on HTTPS secure browser connections. Of course, not any sites, but those requiring all kinds of private details from their users: passwords, credit card details etc. If your website falls into this category, here are the 2 major measures you should take lest you should start 2017 with a Google penalty: install a certificate from a trusted vendor on your website migrate all the traffic on your website from HTTP to HTTPS Now that you've taken a peek into the future of SEO, that Google's drafting for you right now, it's up to you to incorporate all these impactful updates into your future digital marketing initiatives.
Adrian Ababei / Jan 13'2017