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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 Apps vs. Cloud Apps - Benefits and Differences
  The world of app development has gained a lot of traction in recent years. A staggering 91% of enterprises have built and deployed mobile apps, and 82% of the worldwide workload will migrate to the cloud. In this competitive environment, making the right choices when it comes to developing your applications is highly important.  As web and cloud apps are fighting in the race of popularity, we've crafted this article to outline some of the benefits and differences of web and cloud apps so that you can gain a clearer perspective on the matter. And reach the right decision. Key benefits of web apps Web apps, which use web browsers and technology to manage tasks over the internet, have several benefits, such as:   Accessibility. You can reach web-based apps from anywhere, at any time, through any web browser. Flexibility. If your browser is compatible, you can quickly and conveniently access web apps. Little maintenance needed. Compared to cloud apps, web apps require less support from the developer's end, thus reducing maintenance costs.  Lower computer requirements. This is very convenient for end-users as it provides greater usability at a lower expense.  Enhanced security. Since client information is not stored on web apps, the risk of threats is reduced for subscription-based web applications.  Compatibility. Web apps are cross-platform compatible and can function on multiple platforms, operating systems, or devices. Easy update. There's no need to reinstall the software on multiple devices when using web apps. They can be updated and managed without any further process in place.   No storage limitations. As web apps can be used without any download or installation, hard drive space limitations are not an issue.  What are the advantages of cloud-based apps? Today, many businesses are already leveraging the power of cloud apps, which offer them the opportunity to work conveniently through on-demand services. Among the essential advantages provided by cloud apps are:   Broad computing capabilities. Cloud apps offer a wide range of computing services, both offline and online. Minimal management effort. Applications that are based in the cloud require little to no management effort or service provider interaction. High customization features. When using cloud software, users and businesses are able to customize on-demand services for their own needs and demands. Having access to their information from any place and device creates location independence that is much appreciated in today's highly dynamic digital environment. Enhanced performance. Cloud-based apps are known for delivering high-quality services and supporting enterprises in their quest to streamline their work processes.  Scalability. Cloud systems support businesses in scaling rapidly outward when it comes to storage, memory, or processing.  Higher transparency. Users can monitor, report, and control resources much easier and in a more transparent way.    How do web and cloud apps differentiate?   From a structural point of view, web and cloud apps are entirely different. Cloud apps' functionality is not dependable on web browsers, and they can be accessed from anywhere without the need for a web interface.  Unlike cloud apps, web apps are not multi-tenant and don't support the diverse demands of different users. Compared to web apps, cloud apps provide a more comprehensive range of customization features. Cloud apps rely on a complex backend to guarantee uptime, security, and system integration. Cloud-based systems also support multiple access methods and scalability and require data mirroring and data synchronization. Web apps are more limited as they are stored on a remote server and distributed online through a browser interface.  Cloud apps provide higher security levels by providing users security enhancements that can be added to cloud environments. Web apps have a different security approach, deriving and verifying user information from an enterprise's data servers.   The future of app development seems to include a multi-dimensional experience. While web-based apps are still helping businesses improve the user experience and convert prospects into sales, the era of cloud computing is here to stay as well.  Digital users require affordable, responsive, and agile apps that meet their complex needs. This is something essential to keep in mind when choosing the way you want to tackle app development.  If you're still deciding between web and cloud-based apps, Optasy is a reliable advisor that can guide you on your development journey. Contact us and let's start making the right choices.  Photo credit: viarami on Pixabay.  ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 19'2021
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
Why You Should Build Medical Chatbots for Your Healthcare Business
  The COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge the global healthcare sector's workforce, supply chain, and infrastructure. The industry's efforts to overcome the healthcare crisis include accelerating digital transformation across the ecosystem to help health systems quickly adapt and innovate. Digital transformation initiatives involve adopting virtual reality tools, wearable medical devices, 5G technologies, telehealth, and artificial intelligence (AI).  One of the ways AI could revolutionize the healthcare industry is through medical chatbots.  According to a recent survey, 78% of physicians think that chatbots would be most beneficial for scheduling doctor appointments, as well as locating health clinics or providing medication data.  Conversely, around 70% of physicians believe that chatbots cannot effectively care for all patients’ needs and display human emotion. Despite some’s existing skepticism, the truth is that the healthcare chatbot industry is developing and is expected to reach $542 million by 2026. What are medical chatbots and how can they help? Chatbots are a form of AI developed with machine learning algorithms, including natural language processing, to provide real-time assistance for users.  Members of the healthcare ecosystem have already started to leverage these AI-enabled technologies, which have proved to be especially useful in: Simplifying patient care Cutting unnecessary costs Enabling streamlined telehealth delivery Reducing overload Improving healthcare outcomes Facilitating the patient experience  These AI-powered conversational solutions can help patients, insurance companies, and healthcare providers to connect more conveniently within the healthcare ecosystem. The role of medical chatbots in making relevant healthcare data available to the right people at the right time is an important one.  Among the key challenges healthcare professionals encounter is meeting the patient's demands and providing a streamlined patient experience. Healthcare chatbots can transform the remote healthcare delivery experience and support patients in understanding their conditions and treatments without visiting a doctor.  How healthcare chatbots can make life simpler in the industry There are three primary use cases of chatbots in healthcare. Healthcare providers use several AI-powered tools that vary in style, work, communication, and type.  1. Conversational chatbots Depending on their model, these chatbots deliver different levels of conversation and respond to the patient's intent. In comparison with the most basic chatbot that can only provide pre-set answers to repetitive questions, AI-enabled conversational bots deliver more personalized responses and resemble human communication. Healthcare organizations use these types of chatbots to optimize remote healthcare delivery and reduce healthcare professionals' overload.  2. Informative chatbots They provide helpful information to patients through notifications, reminders, or alerts. Automated information and customer support services are generated to help patients stay updated and access more detailed insights about any topic.  This is especially valuable in times of crisis when things change from one day to another and nothing is certain. As doctors and medical staff are under a lot of strain lately and can't meet the patient's need for information, informative chatbots seem like a smart and reliable solution.  3. Prescriptive chatbots Woebot is a type of prescriptive chatbots designed by the Stanford University to prescribe medical treatments like any other doctor. Unlike conversational bots, these AI-powered chatbots aren't built to respond but deliver therapeutic solutions, prescribe medications for everyday illnesses and even more severe diseases.  Prescriptive chatbots also help patients with their ongoing treatments by assisting them in taking their medicines regularly.  How to develop a medical chatbot Decide on the purpose of the project. What are you looking to solve by creating a healthcare chatbot? Maybe you want to keep your patients informed, or you are interested in simplifying the way you plan medical appointments. Whatever the use case for your new medical chatbot, it's essential that you clearly formulate it before you begin your development journey. Choose the right web development team. This may require outsourcing your medical chatbot development project to a field expert development team. Optasy offers AI-powered software development services that will help you make the most out of next-generation technologies.  Build a user-friendly interface. And optimize your application for mobile. This is extremely important in today's digital world, where patients demand seamless and convenient experiences at their fingertips.  What comes next for healthcare and AI? Patients are increasingly attracted to the idea of remote healthcare, especially in the current medical landscape. With proper algorithms, scripts, and AI integration in standard healthcare delivery, chatbots can continue to develop into powerful tools for medical care and treatment.  The future of medical chatbots rests in intensive research and testing. An excellent example of this kind of evolution is the use of AI in Radiology. After many years of research, AI-powered applications can now identify imaging results much faster and more accurately than the human eye ever could. This not only improves the quality of care and helps in the early detection of many conditions but also supports healthcare professionals in delivering faster, more reliable medical services.  That being said, the future of AI in healthcare seems bright. Bridging the gap between technology and healthcare delivery is an essential step towards a better quality of care and a more connected healthcare ecosystem.  At Optasy, we support you on your AI-powered journey so that you can:  Automate repetitive, manual operations across all departments and boost productivity. Gain quick and easy access to your data and make data-driven decisions only. Have your data automatically turned into actionable insights that you can leverage. Add an extra layer of physical and digital security to your business, taking human error out of the equation. Have an artificial “brainpower” automatically monitoring your business' overall performance. If you are interested in more AI-powered and Drupal web development services, contact Optasy. Photo credit: NCI on Unsplash        ... Read more
Raluca Olariu / Mar 09'2021
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 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
10 Best Headless CMS in 2020, That Cover Most of Your Requirements (Part 2)
Ready to compare the features of 5 other best headless CMS in 2020? We've got them ready for you to just dive in and: survey the key reasons why you'd choose one over the other discover each one's main use cases narrow down your options … and pick the one that matches your requirements. What Is the Best Headless CMS in 2020? 5.6. Directus An open source tool for managing and delivering content across an entire network of platforms and devices. And here are some of the top reasons for choosing Directus: it provides your editorial team with an easy to use admin app for managing content it can be in the cloud or self-hosted it provides API for your development team to fetch content 5.7. Netlify CMS  One of your top 10 headless CMS options, an open source one, that you get to add to any static site generator of your choice. A React single-page application that provides you with an easy to use UI, playing the role of a… wrapper for your Git Workflow. Basically, when using Netlify CMS your content gets stored in your web app's git repository (as markdown files), close to your codebase.   "How does a Netlify CMS Gatsby setup work?"   It's pretty straightforward: You enter your content via that user-friendly interface, then Gatsby uses it to come up with the right pages for your web app. Why would you use it? it fits both large and small-sized projects, with fewer pages to create, to add content to, to edit, and to manage you get to review/preview your content and make changes in real-time, and even control entries status in editorial workflow mode it provides you with an easy-to-use UI, with just 3 tabs: workflow, media, and content you're free to use it with any static site generator you get to extend its functionality: add your own UI widgets, editor plugins, customized previews, etc. 5.8. GraphCMS     An API-first content management system, a GraphQL-native one, that allows you to distribute content across multiple digital platforms. And not just anyhow, but… within minutes. Your developer team gets to create content APIs in no time, whereas your content team gets all the tools they need for a smooth editor experience.   Source: capterra.com GraphCMS vs Contentful: Main Differences GraphCMS works best for enterprise and mid-market companies, enabling them to build highly scalable applications GraphQL is its underlying technology: an open source query language for APIs, that's been growing more and more popular among developers Contentful targets top global brands, helping them distribute digital content experiences across complex networks of markets and channels REST is its underlying technology: a programming paradigm for distributed systems And here are 2 good reasons for choosing GraphCMS as your go-to headless content management system:  you get a CMS that's client-side and JAMstack compatible you get to tap into the benefits of a JAMstack approach to development (JavaScript & Markup & API) 5.9. Cosmic A cloud-hosted headless content management system that provides you with both GraphQL and REST APIs. But what makes Cosmic one of the best headless CMS in 2020? Why choose the Cosmic Headless CMS?  it ships with features like content modeling, media management, localization, and webhooks it grants you a smooth editor experience with its WYSIWYG  editor, that you can use to incorporate (by embedding code) third-party services like Typeform and GitHub. it integrates smoothly with AWS, Slack, Algolia, Stripe, HubSpot 5.10. Kentico Kontent A cloud-based content delivery API that turns your structured content into content that's easy to be "consumed" by any device or digital platform that you might use as a front-end delivery layer.  Why would you choose it over other great options of headless CMS? you get an AI chatbot when using Kentico Kontent it provides webhooks and custom elements that make third-party integrations a lot smoother you get content management API enabling content consumption And we've come to… the END of the list of 10 best headless CMS in 2020. Which one checks the most features off your list? Now, if you're facing a "Headless Drupal 8 vs Contentful" dilemma, we're here to: help you identify the one that works best for your business and your requirements make your headless CMS-based project work Just drop us a line!   Image by tdfugere from Pixabay   ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Sep 26'2020
10 Best Headless CMS in 2020, That Cover Most of Your Requirements (Part 1)
Overwhelmed with options? Are you building your first (e-commerce) headless CMS and you don't know what headless CMS platform to choose?  What are the best headless CMS in 2020, so you can at least narrow down your choices and start... somewhere? Which system matches most of your feature requirements? Here's a top 10: 1. But First: What Is a Headless CMS, More Precisely? Relax, I won't bore you with too many details — we already have an in-depth post on the differences between headless and traditional CMS. So, if we were to sum up the concept in just a few words, we could say that: A headless content management system is an architecture where content is separated from the presentation layer (the client-side front-end). Meaning that you get to create, store, and edit "raw" content (with no design or layout) in the backend and deliver it wherever needed —wearable, mobile app, website — via API. In short, what you get in a headless architecture is: a database to store your content in a dashboard for editing your content Source: Zesty.io As for the "head" that serves your content to the end-user : you're free to build your own front-end, from the ground up … and even multiple front-ends, if needed, that will all use calls from the API to retrieve and display content 2. … Then What's a Decoupled CMS? Headless CMS vs decoupled CMS: what's the difference? And why headless over decoupled? The role that the API plays… That's what makes the difference (and why you'd want to go for a headless approach): If, in a decoupled architecture, the API plays the role of an intermediary between back-end and front end, in a headless architecture the API can be used by any of the front-end portions for pulling data. In other words, a decoupled CMS does come with a built-in front-end delivery layer, that you can rely on, but a headless approach is an API-driven content repository. Which gives you more flexibility for delivering content to any type of display layer. … to multiple "heads". You're free to distribute it wherever it needs to get displayed. 3. Why Choose a Headless CMS? Top 9 Benefits Before I "divulge" the best headless CMS in 2020 to you, here's a shortlist of the key advantages of using a headless CMS software: you get to engage your customers with personalized content across an entire network of digital channels, at different stages in their journey you can deliver richer digital experience, tailored to each channel you gain platform independence you're free to choose your technology of choice you benefit from cross-platform support you get to manage your content from a central location and distribute it to multiple platforms/IoT-connected devices, in a universal format you're free to manage all your platforms from one interface your development team gets to choose the development framework of their choice, integrate new technologies and, overall… innovate you're free to redesign as often as you need to, without the dread of re-implementing your entire CMS from the ground up     4. … And When Should You Use It? 5 Best Use Cases  How do you know for sure that you need to adopt this approach? You know it because your scenario describes one of the following use cases for headless CMS: you're building a site using a technology you're familiar with you're building a website with a static site generator you're building a JS-based website or web app you're building a native mobile app you're building an e-commerce site and you know that the commerce platform you're using won't… cut the mustard as a CMS; or you need to enrich product info in your online store 5. What Are the Best Headless CMS in 2020? Top 10 "Which CMS should I use?" you wonder. "The one that meets most of your requirements…" So, you should start by pinning them down. What features are you looking for in a CMS? Maybe you need a system that should: be straightforward and easy to use for the marketers/non-technical people in your team be built on… Node be highly customizable and editable for your content team to be able to change overlay text, logo, background video/image be simple to set up integrate easily with Gatsby support multi-site setups not be tied up to (just) one specific database provide ease of content entry and rich-text support provide a granular permission system provide native support for content types What are the features that your project couldn't live without? Now, with that list of "mandatory" features at hand, just drill down through your top headless CMS options in 2020. Here they are: 5.1. Storyblok A purely headless CMS that ships with a visual editor, as well. Why would you go for Storyblok? What makes it one of the best headless CMS in 2020? it provides the experience of a page builder for all those non-technical users in your team: editors get to manage content via a more user-friendly interface it grants your developers easy access to the APIs they need 5.2. Prismic Its major selling point? It allows you to choose your own language, framework, technology… And these are the 3 good reasons to go with Prismic as your headless CMS: it allows you to model your content schema and to add your content you're free to choose whatever framework that meets your feature needs: React, Vue, Next, Nuxt, Node, Gatsby… you're free to choose either GraphQL or RESTful API to query content 5.3. Drupal 8 Headless CMS   Another great option is to exploit Drupal's headless capabilities and pair them with the JavaScript framework of your choice. Here are some of the best reasons why you'd use a Drupal 8 API-first architecture: Drupal's a mature and enterprise-level headless solution backed by a wide community, used by more than 1 million sites globally; you get to tap into its massive module collection and even create new custom ones to extend your website's functionality its JSON:API follows the JSON:API specification; developers in your team can start using the API even if they're not experts in working with Drupal you get to load your GraphQl schemas straight from your Drupal content repository; there's a specialized module for this: the GraphQL module you get to use all of  Drupal's famed features (granular access to content, processes, workflows, modules, etc.) right away; you get them out-of-the-box since the REST API is… rooted deep into Drupal 5.4. Strapi, One of the Best headless CMS for Gatsby. It's an open-source Node.js headless CMS, a "host it yourself" one, that allows you to build Node.js apps in… minutes. Why would you use it? because it generates available RESTful API or uses GraphQL shortly after installation, making data available via customizable API because it allows your developers to invest all their resources in writing reusable app logic (instead of having to use some of that time to build an infrastructure) because it's fully JavaScript because it supports plugins that extend the platform's functionality because it's open-source: you'll find the entire codebase on GitHub  5.5. Contentful  Looking for a platform-agnostic solution? A… content delivery network that would enable your development team to manage and distribute (and reuse) content to multiple channels? Then this is the API-driven headless CMS you're looking for. Here are 6 other reasons why you'd want to put Contentful on your shortlist: consistent APIs easy to set up you're free to create your own models easy to use: ships with a robust, non-technical, user-friendly UI you get to add custom plugins quick and easy you get to set your own schemas to get displayed the way you want them to, across different apps Good to know! There's even a Shopify extension available. What it does is connect your online store to your content, stored in Contentful. And if you'll need help with building, fine-tuning, and integrating your content hub, we're ready to tweak Contentful to your needs.  END of Part 1! Stay tuned, for there are 5 more candidates for the title of "the best headless CMS in 2020" waiting in line.  Image by Couleur from Pixabay ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Sep 25'2020