All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
A lack of off-the-shelf eCommerce software products that could meet the unique needs of her family’s biotech manufacturing company was a real issue for Lisa Streeter. “We’re not a big enough company to afford large, custom database solutions, so we needed to figure out how to do everything in-house,” she explains. (Lisa’s work responsibilities included everything computer-related, and “some other stuff.”) That’s how it started, but instead of just a solution, Lisa Streeter wound up with a whole new, fulfilling career.
Her initial quest for a database solution quickly began to grow her fascination in web development (primarily eCommerce,) and lessen her interest in the family business. “I like the idea that in web development, you’re actually building something, architecting information rather than just analyzing it,” she explains. She fine-tuned her focus, and after discovering Drupal, began to seek an effective way to become proficient.
“I don’t remember exactly how I first learned about Drupal Career Online. I didn’t know anybody who did anything with Drupal, so in the beginning I was just trying to figure out how I could learn Drupal," she explained. She tried some self-teaching methods, but those were not providing her a clear and effective path forward. DrupalEasy was regularly popping up in Google searches and referenced on sites like Drupal.org. “Early on it made my short list of potential “good places to learn Drupal” and then it was just a matter of finding the right time,” she recalls.
It turned out the time was the Fall 2017 session, and according to Lisa, that’s when her interest took a fast track, “I started really getting Drupal. It was a transformative experience.” She dove into the curriculum, participated in class, and DrupalEasy matched her with Matt Glaman from Commerce Guys as her mentor. From there, her path became clear and direct. “DCO was just the right level of time commitment and intensity for me. It demanded enough of my time and effort to really accelerate the pace of my Drupal learning,” she explained. “At the same time, while I needed to give the class my full attention, it didn’t completely take over my life like going back to school full time would have,” she added.
The online, live instruction by an expert in Drupal and training was a great fit for Lisa. “Mike is an exceptional teacher who helped me really “get” what Drupal is all about, how to do things and think about solving problems in the “Drupal way.” This was something I wasn’t able to learn on my own from books, screencasts, or trial-and-error,” she recalled. She also appreciates the small class size and Mike’s personal commitment to everyone enrolled. She explained, his “personal interest in getting to know every student individually made the class seem tailor made for me, even as I could see that it was also meeting the needs of my classmates in different ways,” she continued.
Mike Anello, (@ultimike) has been a part of the Drupal project for more than 12 years, and developed and has been delivering Drupal career training since 2011 via live in-person and online sessions and contracted programs with organizations needing to train their development teams in Drupal. His curriculum has become the model for the development of several other long-form training programs. He keeps alumni connected and engaged in learning through the DrupalEasy learning community, which evolved from his weekly online office lab hours. According to Lisa, “When you take the DCO course, you definitely feel like Mike is personally invested in the success of each and every student.”
With her interest in ecommerce in mind, Mike connected her with mentor Matt Glaman, a Drupal project maintainer and one of the Commerce Guys. “For me, this resulted in a perfectly matched mentor, one who challenged me to tackle harder problems than I would have thought possible,” she said. Matt recognized Lisa’s passion and talent, shared his insights with Commerce Guys partner Ryan Szrama, and then according to Lisa, “It all happened pretty quickly! “ The DCO ended just before Christmas, and she was offered a position on January 16th.
This fast track is a result of Lisa’s passion and Commerce Guys confidence in her abilities and training. She explained, “Ryan decided that he’d rather not hire me as a “Junior Developer”, even though there was an expectation that I’d be learning and working to improve my Drupal skills. Instead, I was hired as a “Drupal Developer,” with the understanding that I’d take responsibility for my own progress.” It appears she has done just that, since in addition to serving as a developer, she recently was given the opportunity to be “Documentation Lead” (in addition to continuing dev work.)
Six months into her new career, Lisa is clearly fulfilled. She recounts, “Before I started at Commerce Guys, I was worried about whether I could really handle a real, professional job (working for someone other than my family) while also being a stay-at-home mom. But Commerce Guys has been a perfect fit in that respect. Many of my coworkers also have young children - everybody at Commerce Guys has been very gracious and understanding about my time.”
In addition to her documentation responsibilities, Lisa is currently doing site building, writing custom code and site administration. She also works on Drupal Commerce and related contrib module issues. “I write patches, including automated test code. Someone from the team reviews my code and gives me helpful feedback, which is also a really great way to learn and improve my coding skills, with the bonus that I’m directly contributing to the Drupal community,” she explains.
“The best part about my new career is that I have a “career.” For years, I’ve had an ambiguously defined job at my family’s company. I didn’t report to anybody, and nobody reported to me; I just “fixed” lots of random problems...I had to invent my own job title. So being able to say now that, “I’m a web developer” is pretty awesome!
She also loves being part of a team, she explains “After so many years of working independently, it’s great to have job that involves a lot of collaboration, especially when the people I work with are so talented. And being part of the Commerce Guys, an organization that strives to make an impact with the software it creates, I have a sense of greater purpose.”
Even with all of her success, she highlights that she is still learning. “In DCO, Mike talked about how he’s continually working to improve his own skills and how that’s something you need to enjoy doing to succeed as a web developer. I’m finding that to certainly be true for me. It’s just a really good feeling to be able to look back a month or 6 months and see how much I’ve learned and improved since then,” she explains.
Visit our web site to learn more about Drupal Career Online, attend an upcoming Taste of Drupal free mini webinar, and check out our career resources for information on web developer and Drupal-specific careers.
Module for getting feedback from the users and monitor the feedback.
Unicode characters encoded using UTF8 can technically use 1 to 4 bytes to represent a single character. However, older versions of MySQL only provided support for storing UTF8 encoded characters that used 1 to 3 bytes. This was enough to cover the most commonly used characters, but is not suitable for applications that accept user input where any character can be submitted (like emojis, which use 4 bytes). Newer versions of MySQL provide a character encoding called utf8mb4 to fix this issue.
The ability to create lists private and public in addition to the ability to share the lists with others.
Did you know that setting up a content workflow is included in Drupal 8 core? It can be easily set up by simply turning on the Workflow and Content Moderation modules. The Workflow module gives you the ability to define a workflow and the Content Moderation module sets up a simple workflow for drafts and the ability to create more content moderation workflows.
Provides a formatter to simplify daterange field output.
This formatter wraps https://github.com/flack/ranger to provide a simplified set of date output
options outside of the standard Drupal date format configuration. These options are enumerated by the PHP IntlDateFormatter class.
How often have you had to re-use existing fields?
How often is the same field with multiple values?
How often do you need the Unlimited field to have a limit on the number of values for a particular entity bundle?
In my projects this is a frequent requirement, thats why I wrote these widgets.
Module just provide a coupe of widgets for fields with limit settings at widget for Unlimited values.
So, you've installed your version of Drupal and you're now ready to actually start building your website. What essential tools should you keep close at hand, as a site builder? Which are those both flexible and powerful must-have modules to start building your Drupal site from scratch?
The ones guaranteeing you a website that:
- it integrates easily with all the most popular third-party services and apps
- is interactive and visually-appealing, irrespective of the user's device
- is a safe place for your users to hang on, interact with, shop on, network on...
- is conveniently easy for content managers and admins to handle
Luckily, there are plenty of modules, themes and plugins to overload your toolbox with:
This module allows you to block a Drupal role from having access to the CiviCRM admin theme.
Civi already has the civicrmtheme module built in, which allows you to select admin and public themes for Civi pages. This module extends that to block a given role from using the admin theme. The user will get the Civi public theme instead, or if not configured then the site theme.
This past weekend Vanessa and I took our much-anticipated annual weekend trip to Cape Cod. It's always a highlight for us. We set out to explore a new part of the Cape as we've extensively explored the Upper Cape.
We found The Platinum Pebble Inn in West Harwich by way of TripAdvisor, a small luxury bed and breakfast. The owners, Mike and Stefanie Hogan, were extremely gracious hosts. Not only are they running the Inn and serving up delicious breakfasts, they would ask what we wanted to do, and then created our adventure with helpful tips for the day.
On our first day we went on a 35 km (22 miles) bike ride out to Chatham, making stops along the way for ice cream, shopping and lobster rolls.
While we were at the Chatham Pier Fish Market, we watched the local fisherman offload their daily catch with sea lions and seagulls hovering to get some lunch of their own. Once we arrived back at the Inn where we were able to cool off in the pool and relax in the late afternoon sun.
Saturday we were up for a hike, so the Hogans sent us to the Dune Shacks Trail in Provincetown. We were told to carry in whatever we would need as there weren't any facilities on the beach. So we stopped at an authentic French bakery in Wellfleet to get lunch to take on our hike — the baguette took me right back to being in France, and while I was tempted by the pain au chocolat and pain aux raisins, I didn't indulge. I had too much ice cream already.
After we picked up lunch, we continued up Route 6 and parked on the side of the road to begin our journey into the woods and up the first of many, intense sand dunes. The trails were unmarked but there are visible paths that pass the Dune Shacks that date back to the early 1900's. After 45 minutes we finally reached the beach and ocean.
We rounded out the weekend with an afternoon sail of the Nantucket Sound. It was a beautiful day and the conditions lent themselves to a very relaxing sailing experience.
It was a great weekend!
Change can be hard and terrifying, especially at its inception. Yet, a change is what allows you to grow, evolve and progress.
I know it can get painful to take a decision as big as a migration of your Drupal 7 or 6 content management system – the one that you knew and have loved, but once done, you will know you have made the most brilliant decision, ever! Don’t just take my word for it, get hold of Drupal 8’ers (yeah, it can be a term!) and ask them. As you read on, you will know how Drupal 8 migration can play a key role in the success of your business.
It has been a while, about three years now, since Drupal 8 has made its entry into the field. The best of the Drupal community toiled for 4 years to produce this masterpiece of a CMS and finally announced its arrival in November 2015. Since then, more than 150,000 websites have migrated to Drupal 8, only to find a higher performing, robust and a more flexible solution. If you’re not ready to take the plunge yet, maybe these reasons will help you dive in.
This module helps to prevent the "File not Found"-Error.
It mostly appears when setting up a local instance of a live page via Git.
This module gets the files from the Remote-Server for you without downloading. Therefore you just need to configure your Live-URL in the Configuration Form.Dependencies
to make the module work, you need to add the below block to your sites/default/files/.htaccess.
Usain Bolt, in his last appearance at the World Track and Field Championships in 2017, stood third by a narrow defeat in the 100m race leaving behind a yawning gulf. Bolt finished the race just a hundredth of a second later than his fellow competitors.Every (nano)second counts!
Such is the importance of speed that even a three-time Olympic gold medallist, Usain Bolt, had to bear the brunt of those nanoseconds. Someone might ask “How do I get started learning about web performance?”
Visualise that it is the Mega Book Sale Day and the bookworms are thronging the best performing online stores that are selling the books of renowned authors. Coping with such a colossal turn-up, a site with much faster page load speed would be preferred over the ones that are a bit sluggish. Drupal offers a superb platform for an effective website performance optimisation thereby making it faster and user-friendly.The Significance of Website Performance Optimisation
Web performance optimisation involves monitoring the performance of web application analysing and assessing it, and identifying the best practices to improve it.
Web applications are a combination of server-side and client-side code. To improve the web performance, both the sides need to be optimised.
The server-side optimisation relates to database queries and other application dependencies to check how long it takes to run on the server for executing requests.
Performance optimisation is significant because of the following factors:User retention
BBC found that they are losing out of 10% of users for every extra second their website took to load. Also, DoubleClick by Google found that if the web page took more than 3 seconds to load, 53% of mobile site visitors tend to abandon the page.
We all strive to make our users engage in a meaningful interaction with what we have built for the web.
So, if it is an online store, you would like to see a prospective audience turning into buyers. Or if it is a social networking web application, you would want your online visitors to get ensconced in an arresting interaction with one another. High performing sites play a vital role in engaging and retaining users.An increase in user retention by 5% can result in increased profits by up to 95%.
It costs 5 to 25 times more to attract new customers. So, even a 5% enhancement in customer retention can lead to increased profits of 25%-95%.
By redesigning their web pages, Pinterest combated a 40% reduction in perceived wait times and witnessed a 15% increase in their search engine traffic and sign-ups.
COOK, a provider of high-quality frozen meals, was able to address the average page load time and cut it down by 850 milliseconds which resulted in 7% in conversions, 10% increase in pages per session and 7% decrease in bounce rate.Improved Conversions
User retention ultimately leads to better conversion rates. Slow sites can have huge repercussions on the business revenues. Better performance of sites can be highly profitable to shore up revenues.Source: Hubspot
According to 2016 Q2 Mobile Insights Report by Mobify, 1.11% increase in session-based conversion was seen for every 100ms decrease in homepage load speed. Moreover, a 1.55% increase in session-based conversion was noticed for every 100ms decrease in checkout page load time. The outcome was an increase in the average annual revenue by approximately $530,000.
Also, AutoAnything revved up their sales by 12-13% after decreasing their page load time by half.User experience
When sites ship tons of code, underwhelming performance persists as the browsers chew through megabytes of it on snail-paced networks.Source: Impactbnd
Even the devices with limited processing power and memory can find it hard to cope up with the modest amount of unoptimised code. With poor performance taking centre stage, application responsiveness and availability diminishes.
Better optimised code lead to high functioning and better-performing sites which in return alleviate the digital user experience.Strategising the web performance
Formulation of strategies to improve web performance can be done in two ways:Bottom-up strategy
Also known as performance-by-design, the bottom-up strategy is the preferred approach to integrate performance as a core development principle. In this strategy, the performance optimisation principles are framed, applied and maintained. This is done right from the application design phase.
The key stages that are involved in this approach are stated below:
- Performance principles are laid out.
- The key pages/transactions are identified, optimised accordingly, and then performance principles are executed.
- Performance SLAs (Service Level Agreement) are monitored and maintained.
Here's a chart by Infosys which explains it best:Key stages involved in bottom-up strategyTop-down strategy
If an existing application needs to be optimised for performance, top-down strategy comes into play. This is a preferred option only when the legacy applications are being optimised for high performance. Also, this is not cost effective and the optimisation options are limited.
Steps involved in this strategy are as follows:
- Factors that are contributing to the page performance are assessed using tools like PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest etc.
- Activities that would lead to maximum performance improvements are optimised.
- Other optimisations with subsequent releases are iteratively implemented.
In addition to these strategies, one must consider an important methodology called ‘Performance Budgeting’. It means setting a performance threshold that you aim to stay within. You can safeguard your site speed and detect any regression in the performance by setting up a performance budget to ensure continual eye on performance.
This is how we do it!
Expected load time and Google page speed score, as shown below, is the core of our perpetual and iterative development process.
The above chart shows that, while applying performance budgeting methodology, we take note of:
- Average load time of 2 seconds or less
- Defined maximum limit on page size and number of HTTP requests
- Verification of all server site tuning for an efficient and responsive site
- Google page speed performance grade of above 90
- Implementing performance optimisation
How to speed up my Drupal website performance? Drupal is loaded with an enormous amount of features which, when implemented smartly, can lead to superfast page loads. There are several techniques to make your website faster by leveraging the amazing features of Drupal.Keeping your site and modules updated
Outmoded modules can deter your efforts in speeding up your website. Thus, it is important to update every module enabled on your Drupal site.Uninstalling unused modules
Like those outdated modules, it is significant to keep a tab on least used or no longer used modules. The number of Drupal modules installed on the site is directly proportional to the time taken for code execution which affects page load time. Uninstalling unwanted modules can alleviate execution time.
Moreover disabling the modules also adds to the execution time of the code. So, a complete removal by uninstalling the unused modules can speed up the Drupal site.
Optimisation of native cache system ensures that all the web page components are stored in an easily accessible location after a user visits your site for the very time. So, whenever the user visits your site again, the page elements are loaded from the cache which leads to increased page load speed.
Drupal has the provision of advanced caching with a great set of modules:
- Internal Page Cache module helps in caching the web pages for anonymous users to increase the speed for subsequent users.
- Dynamic Page Cache module caches web pages for the anonymous and authenticated users and is recommended for the websites of all screen sizes.
- BigPipe module allows your users to quickly see the unchanged, cacheable page elements while the personalised content is exhibited next. This technology was inspired by Facebook. Drupal 8’s much improved render pipeline and render API is of huge help.
- Redis module helps in integrating Drupal with Redis key-value store thereby providing a robust cache system for static pages.
- Varnish module lets you integrate Drupal sites with an advanced and fast reverse-proxy system - Varnish cache - to serve static files and unknown page-views quicker and at high volumes.
Website coding is not the sole thing that can be optimised. Optimising database by regularly cleaning up the data and removing the unwanted piece of information.
Memcache API and Integration module, help in the integration of Drupal and Memcached. It stores your data in active memory for a limited period of time thereby making it faster to access.
So, instead of making queries to the database constantly, the information is readily available. Such a system also works on the shared web hosting plans.Incorporating a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Drupal 8 core is loaded with image optimisation feature to set the compression ratio of the images and fine-tune the page performance.
Moreover, the size of the images for screen sizes of different devices can be optimised in Drupal 8 to enhance the page load speed.Handling 404 errors
Lazy or on-demand loading is a perfect way to optimise your site’s performance. In this method, you split your code at logical breakpoints and then load it once the user has done something that requires a new block of code.
Basically, in traditional websites, all the images and content are preloaded into the web browser when someone accesses the site. Lazy loading loads these elements as soon as a user scrolls to view a content.
Blazy, Drupal module, provides the functionalities of lazy loading and multi-serving the images to save bandwidth and server requests.Better web hosting
It is of consummate importance that, while implementing every possible tips and trick and utilising the Drupal’s amazing features, you chose the best web hosting provider that will decide your site’s ultimate speed, stability and security.Case Study
The Drupal website of the Farm Journal’s MILK was optimised for high performance and better search engine rankings with a help of carefully drafted audit report by Opensense Labs.
In this section, we will focus on how we used our Drupal expertise to resolve the performance issues.Project highlights
Previously segregated CSS and JS files cached separately which escalated the page load time. We aggregated all these files and put them in one place which assuaged the page load time.
Moreover, we used Advanced CSS/JS Aggregation Drupal module to minify CSS, JS and HTML and reduce load time.
In addition to these, we enabled Redis, used as a database, cache and message broker, so that it can be used as the backend instead of MySQL. This allowed cached items to be retrieved swiftly and improved performance.Project outcome
On testing the performance metrics on tools like PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom, we witnessed significant improvement.
- Result on handheld devices
Post-implementation (Live Instance)
- Result on Desktop
Post-implementation (Live Instance)
PingdomPre-implementation Pingdom Score (Live Environment)
Post-implementation Pingdom Score (Live Environment)
Speed can be the determining factor in the amount of time an online user spends on your website. It’s important that you remove the sluggishness from your website and inculcate betterments in its performance. Drupal 8 can help by incorporating wonderful features to make your site a high performing space.
Feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org for developing a high performing Drupal website.blog banner blog image Performance Optimisation Web Performance Performance Budgeting Website Performance Optimisation User Retention Conversion Rate User experience Page Load Speed Page Load time Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
The platform service was optimized and adapted continuously besides other projects of the company, until Manuel Pistner, CEO of Bright Solutions, decided to form a team for this project, that already counted important customers.
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