All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
‘Think of the technologically best content-management framework, think of Drupal!’
The statement stands true and its adaptation by the big-shots of every industry possible acts as a strong confirmation for it. Drupal has anyway been the most favored platform by experts of the community. And the release of Drupal 8 has just been accelerated this demand. The rich and robust open-source community of Drupal has always been a reason to choose Drupal over any other framework. But now with the length of futuristic and competent upgradations that Drupal 8 has come with, the popularity has taken an unbelievable rise and extended reach. In fact, now, even the non-technical decision makers around the world have been citing the strength of Drupal 8.
At AddWeb, we have been Drupal-ing every day - ever since our inception. So from the experience that we’ve gathered in all these years, let us give you some epoch-making reasons to upgrade your site to Drupal 8. Have a look at them!
1) Multilingual Feature
The admin panel of Drupal 8 offers extensive multilingual features, along with multiple built-in features for translation. It enables you to have a page-wise filtration for choosing different languages. The Drupal community is wealthy enough to provide you with automatic translation updates. Businesses/website having a multilingual audience is no more a hassle with Drupal 8.
2) Magic done with HTML 5
Simplifying HTML5 coding is the next best thing done by Drupal 8. This brings in more clarity and direct access to different input fields like date, phone, email, et al. Even the compatibility and functionality with the other related devices like smartphones and tablets is increased. The theme based templates for writing HTML5 coding is like a cherry on the cake since it helps the budding web designers in doing their job.
3) Template Engine - ‘Twig’
Twig is a PHP based theme template engine that now comes as an inbuilt with Drupal 8. This brings in a lot of benefits since Twig is much more flexible, secure and fast-paced as compared to its other counterparts. And despite Twig templates being high on security, it is also the simplest since it is written in syntax.
4) Built-in Web Services
Drupal 8 has a robust open source community at its back and now it also comes with output content in several formats viz. JSON, XML, et al. The RESTful web API is a service that helps in exposing entities and other resources. The modified version of Drupal also lets you use the Hypertext Application Language.
5) Mobile Friendly
Designed in a mobile-first approach, Drupal 8 is a thoroughly mobile-friendly platform. Drupal 8 themes are designed in such a manner that it can easily be adapted by devices of different sizes. It also comes with a ‘Back to Website’ Button so that one can also have the experience of a website’s desktop view on their mobile device itself.
6) New Configuration Management
Drupal 8 also comes with a built-in configuration system that smoothens the task of carrying different elements like the type of content, fields, and views, etc. Every single change is minutely recorded by this very version of Drupal, which immensely helps in bettering the control and responsibility sharing.
7) Authoring with Ease
Powerful authoring tools are introduced to support and enhance Drupal 8. The content editor tools are WYSIWYG Editor and CKEditor, along with some draft creation tools. Elevation with the place editing, that comes with the core module, is done impressively. A simple editing window and you can now do your content editing in the simplest of manner.
8) Built-in Fields
The recent most and trending field types like entity reference, email, telephone, link, et al, comes included in the core of the Drupal 8. Hence, no further formatting and coding is required for all these new fields.
9) Easy Download
10) Accessibility Integration
A range of accessibility and support techniques gets a magnificent scope to elevate, which includes WAI-ARIA, Aria Live Announcements, TabManager, et al. All these techniques also enhance the internet supporting applications. Accessibility is one such facet of Drupal 8, which remains untouched and is unparalleled to any of its counterparts.
Are you also planning to upgrade to Drupal 8 and looking for the best of team to do it for you? Well then, hire AddWeb’s expert team of Drupal 8 developers, because only a true Drupal-er can bring justice to your expectations!
We can’t wait for a moment when we meet all Drupal friends at Drupal Europe.
This time the ADCI Solutions team has prepared the Drupal Marketing BoF and a session on team performance.
Agile Lean Europe is an unconference event that visits a different country each year and brings together people from across the continent. Agile practitioners and thought leaders come together for a 3-day event to share ideas around the topic of power transformation.Josef Dabernig Fri, 08/31/2018 - 08:46
Being a regular DrupalCamp attendee, I was excited to visit a more Agile-focused conference. Agile Lean Europe uses Open Space Technology to facilitate an environment where ideas are created and shared in real-time and that allows everyone to contribute to the program. Steve Holyer, who is a familiar face at Amazee facilitated or “held” the open space.
The Kraftwerk Innovation Space that hosted the event served as an excellent environment for up to a dozen parallel sessions. In contrast to my usual conference experience, the unconference format was much more interactive in the way the sessions were presented. Let me walk you through a few of my highlights.
Manuel Küblböck from Gini did a session about “Decision-making when there are no bosses”. His view is that efficiency can be gained by focusing on consent over consensus. Rather than trying to have all parties agree on a proposed change, you emphasise working out strong objections and then test the idea. Decisions are always made by those who carry them out and people who are impacted can give input. Check Manuel’s tweet for further information.
Momchil Brashnayanov from FFV presented a session on agile for service agencies, which was a great opportunity to discuss common challenges such as, how best to integrate customers into our workflows, how to focus on value instead of features and what contract frameworks best support agile collaboration. Like a couple of other sessions, Momchil applied the lean coffee format where we all gathered topics, clustered them and then iteratively discussed them and decided when to move onto the next topic.
Peter Stevens shared his insights and tools around personal agility. It was refreshing to see agile principles being applied to one’s personal life. Similar as in a project, life goals would get mapped to tasks, prioritized and moved along a kanban board. More information can be found on the related website.
Nicola-Marie O’Donovan discussed her experience working in a scaled agile environment and enabling teams to do a social plan roadmap together. Each team defines their vision and team projects upfront and then all gather to discuss the dependencies they have across teams. The teams then use the space to resolve all dependencies and get ready for implementation. She also has a medium article regarding that.
I particularly enjoyed the Clean Language session by Olaf Lewitz. In a very interactive way, we experienced how different and difficult it can be to apply such a tool. Clean Language enables you to have a conversation while trying to inject as little of your own views into the question and focus fully on your conversation partner. In other words, instead of reflecting things, the focus is on getting a better understanding of the topic from the perspective of your interview partner. More information available.
In addition to the talks mentioned above, ALE18 had a lot more to offer. The keynote “Going where no one has gone before” on Yle’s agile transition by Mirette Kangas and Antti Kirjavainen from Finland, was full of inspiration and good advice, and so too was the Scrum@Scale session by Paolo Sammicheli.
I particularly appreciated the side program that was put together. Conference attendees partners and kids would organize a city program. Random attendees were able to connect in the evenings by signing up for “Dinner with a Stranger”.
The 3-day conference left me with tons of insights to the process. A few notables being tools like Powerful questions, or Minimum Viable Bureaucracy, models such as the Satir Change Curve or books such as The Preservation of the Agile Heart.
Agile Lean Europe 2018 was all about power transformation. One key insight for me was that Agile is less about following a strict process, and more about you being able to adapt a variety of tools to your current challenges and requirements.
Thank you to everyone who participated and contributed and for making me feel transformed. Special thanks to the organizing team and sponsors who supported the event!
Curious about the next one? Follow Agile Lean Europe on Twitter.
A better experience for developers and content users
Washington D.C., September 5, 2018 - The Drupal community has just announced a major upgrade to Drupal 8. This upgrade delivers a better user experience, turning the customer into a hero at work. From easier installation and more stable upgrades for the technical teams, to improved user experience for the marketing and content editor teams—Drupal 8.6.0 provides significant improvements over all past versions of Drupal.
A new demo is provided to inspire site builders with the art of what’s possible. Plus, marketing teams can publish complex content with ease using new content editor features, including: improved video embed support, a new media library, a workspaces feature for enhanced workflow moderation, and significant layout improvements. As with any major feature update, users will also see quite a few overall fixes and testing improvements.
Megan Sanicki, Executive Director of the Drupal Association, said, “Drupal 8.6 is a significant upgrade because of its emphasis on ease of use. This version levels up the customer experience, making it easier and less expensive to migrate from older versions, easier to install, as well as easier for marketing teams to deliver impact, faster. With a highly engaged community focused on delivering features that make customers shine, I’m excited about this release and what is on the horizon for Drupal.”
So what's new in Drupal 8.6.0?
A great feature in Drupal 8.6.0 is that migration support is greatly improved and makes it easier to migrate from Drupal 6 and 7 to Drupal 8. This release sees both Migrate Drupal (migrations from previous major Drupal versions) as well as Migrate Drupal UI (upgrade user interface) modules provide a solution to update older sites. This means that if you have a monolingual Drupal 6 or 7 site, you can now use a supported and built-in user interface to migrate your site to Drupal 8. Multilingual migrations are still experimental and now wrapped in the Migrate Drupal Multilingual module.
Also new in this version is built-in stable support for embedding remote media, shipped preconfigured to support YouTube and Vimeo videos. Also, in a new experimental module, you can now browse existing media and add new media using an integrated widget. The media library can be customized depending on customer needs.
The layout capabilities in Drupal 8.6.0 are much improved. The experimental Layout Builder module is an exciting advancement for site builders as it supports per-display customizations (e.g. full mode vs. search result). Rather than being limited by fields stacked on top of each other, users can create layouts with dynamic sections—creating more opportunities for custom layouts. It is also possible now to add content unique to a specific layout. This is useful for things like a promotion that is only visible within a single landing page.
Drupal 8.6.0 also offers a new demo profile and theme within the installer. This is particularly interesting for CMS evaluators and development agencies as it provides an easier way to see what’s possible with Drupal 8. The cooking magazine demo, Umami, is a beautiful, modern demonstration of Drupal's capabilities using an imaginary food site to showcase Drupal's data modeling, listing, page composition and content moderation capabilities. Sample author and magazine editor users are created to experience different aspects of using Drupal's content management interface.
Digital agency Palantir.net's CEO Tiffany Farriss states, “Drupal has powerful capabilities. For too long these have been hidden behind the scenes where only existing or technical users could experience them. We are thrilled to now have Umami, to show the strength and capabilities of Drupal to both technical and marketing users, right out of the box.”
Drupal 8.6.0 is also offering a new experimental workspaces module that is crucial when reviewing large amounts of content. The existing content moderation functionality is great when you need to move individual pieces of content through an editing and approval workflow. The new experimental Workspaces module will allow packages of content to be reviewed all at once, with the ability to define multiple workspaces, make changes and deploy between them with an intuitive user interface.
The Drupal community has worked hard to make it significantly easier to start a quick evaluator or development environment; the numerous technical improvements allow quick setup that opens a browser ready to use. The installer now also recognizes existing configuration and provides an option to easily rebuild a site from that existing configuration—pulling content from the cloud rather than requiring the content to be stored locally.
“This update is full of new and exciting features which show that Drupal is the go-to platform for ambitious digital experiences. On behalf of the Drupal Association and the Drupal community, I want to thank everyone who contributed to Drupal 8.6.0,” said Sanicki.
Drupal is content management software. It is used to make many of the websites and applications you use every day. Drupal has great standard features, easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. What sets it apart is its flexibility; modularity is one of its core principles. Its tools help you build the versatile, structured content that ambitious web experiences need.
About the Drupal Association
The Drupal Association is dedicated to fostering and supporting the Drupal project, the community and its growth. The Drupal Association helps the Drupal community with funding, infrastructure, education, promotion, distribution and online collaboration at Drupal.org.
More information about Drupal 8.6.0
Tim Lehnen, Director of Engineering, Drupal Association: email@example.com
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Drupal Europe is coming up in Darmstadt September 10-14. Let me walk you through my favorite aspects of the conference.Josef Dabernig Thu, 08/30/2018 - 16:07
This large-scale conference is entirely community-organized by a very dedicated team of volunteers. Drupal Europe will feature 187 sessions within a wide variety of topics. Diversity was also a goal that the program team worked for and 30% of the sessions have a speaker that identifies being part of an underrepresented group.
The organizers decided to give an interesting twist to the program. In contrast to traditional categories like “Development”, “Design” or “Project Management”, industry tracks are in focus. Drupal Europe, therefore, should be much more appealing to the decision makers who want to evaluate or share their experience using Drupal.
Publishing + Media focuses all on the media industry and what Drupal can bring to the table there. Expect case studies around Burda’s Thunder distribution or Content editing related sessions. I’m looking forward to seeing Building high-performance Thunder sites by former colleague Wolfgang Ziegler.
From Amazee our colleagues Stew West and Fran Garcia will talk about Handy modules when building and maintaining your site as well as Improving the Editor Experience: Paragraphs FTW.
Digital Transformation + Enterprise is all about large-scale clients & projects leveraging Drupal. Thursday’s keynote brings together Dries Buytaert, the original creator and project lead for Drupal, together with Barb Palers, Global Product Partnerships at Google and Leslie Hawthorn, Developer strategy at Red Hat talk about the Future of the open web and open source. Along with many other sessions in this track, I will share my approach on Upgrading vs. Upcycling - How Existing Web Sites Stay Ahead the Curve for those interested in Agile, Architecture and Web strategy.
Drupal + Technology is kind of the classic DrupalCon track focusing all on Drupal-technology related topics that don’t fit into one of the industry tracks. Amongst many others, I’m am looking forward to see Out of the Box is Out of the Box! to get an initiative update from Marc Conroy, Keith Jay and Elliot Ward. Join Amazee’s Philipp Melab for his session on Decoupling Drupal with GraphQL & Twig where he will dive into APIs, GraphQL, Theming and Atomic design.
Drupal Community discussed everything that keep our ecosystem running. I am particularly excited to join the 2 hours workshop by Shyamala Rajaram, Parth Gohil and Donna Benjamin on Building Local Communities - foster Drupal adoption. From Amazee make sure to see Ingrid Talbot in Learning to lead, after a life of going solo for some inspiring learnings on here transition in Being human & Leadership. As well as Bastian Widmer who will explain how to Opensource your daily work Docker Drupal Open Source.
Agency + Business touches on all the advice we need and want to share related to running a Drupal business. How to boost your team members performance by Marina Paych sounds like a very promising session exploring talent development and team culture. I’m humbled to host a panel discussion with Nick Veenhof, Ela Meier, Suzanne Dergacheva, Andre Baumeier, Steve Parks, Ashraf Abed. Together we’ll discuss Hiring Drupal Talent - A Recruiter's Dilemma Panel.
Make sure to check out all the other industry tracks on the program page. The Open Web Lounge also serves as a great opportunity to connect with like-minded open source communities thanks to partners such as CMS Garden, Open Source Initiative, Wordpress, Joomla, Contenido, and Typo3. Got something to share?
We are looking forward to seeing you in Darmstadt. Enjoy the conference!
One of our customers asked how to highlight an active menu item in Drupal and how to keep it highlighted once it has been clicked.
In this tutorial, you will learn how to achieve this goal using the "Menu Trial by Path" and "Pathauto" contrib modules.
In this example, we're going to use a site that has a main menu with different regions e.g. Alaska, California, Pacific. There is also a secondary menu, customized for each geographical regions. So we have the following URL structure:
- example.com/regions/alaska (Main Navigation)
- example.com/regions/alaska/al-link-1 (Secondary Navigation)
We all love Drupal's granular permission and access control system! And yet: its life-saving hierarchy of user roles and permission levels is strictly for creation/editing content. Since Drupal wrongly assumes that all site visitors should be able to visualize all published content, right? But what if this default assumption doesn't suit your specific use case? What if you need to restrict access to content in Drupal 8?
… to limit users' access to certain content on your website? So that not all visitors should be able to see all published nodes.
In this case, Drupal's typical access control system for creating and editing content is not precisely the functionality that you need.
But there's hope!
Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Five Quick and Easy Tips to Get the Most out of Drupal
Drupal, especially once you consider the many contributed modules available for it, is a vast system of open source software, and as with most such software, there are a lot of little things you can do to make sure you get the most out of what it has to offer. In this post, I'm going to go over a few such things and touch on how to make Drupal's admin interface more useful while also finding ways to improve site performance and stability.
Modules in Drupal are an integral part. They serve as a tool for extending site functionality and including more features. The main benefit of using modules in Drupal is that you are able to design your site on your own as you wish.Read more
You might have to scratch your head to reminisce about the worst things transpired in your life as you try to keep them at bay. Few corking good moments spent with your best friend will be indelible for the rest of your life. A good experience stays with you for a long time. It is much the same way with the websites. A great user experience with the website not only makes it alluring to the online visitors but establishes the camaraderie between them. Drupal can be a wonderful platform for you to provide an amazing digital user experience.
Source: TandemsevenUnderstanding the user experience
A good experience stays with you for a long time
Let’s dive into an example case straight away to see how a website can influence user experience. Skeleton screen is a blank version of a page where information is incrementally loaded. To keep your online visitors engrossed during slower load times, skeleton screen animation can be really useful.
How to explain user experience design to a layman? User experience stresses on establishing a deep understanding of users, their needs, what they value, and their limitations.
We often stumble upon the usage of words UI and UX almost happening interchangeably but other than the ‘I’ and the ‘X’ at the end, there is a major difference.
In short, UI is how things look whereas UX is how things work. Also, UX is a process and UI is a deliverable. Difference between the UX design and UI design can be summarised as depicted in the illustration below:
User Experience Honeycomb represents the qualities that should be at the heart of your UX design ensuring that users find value in what you are offering to them.
The qualities or facets of the user experience shown in the hexagonal depiction given here can be explained as follows:Source: Semantic Studios
- The website should be able to deliver value to the users. For instance, the UX should advance the mission for non-profits and contribute to the bottomline and alleviate user satisfaction.
- We must ask ourselves whether our products and services are useful.
- Usability is of paramount importance even though the interface-centered methods and perspectives of interaction between human and computer do not address every aspect of website design.
- Our brand identity should get more desirable in our pursuit towards building a robust online presence
- We should emphasise on building a navigable website with findable objects to help users find what they need.
- Making our website more accessible to differently-abled people which is the ethical thing to do.
- There must be credibility in what we offer to users and they should be able to trust and believe in our offerings.
To create a good User Experience, a well-planned methodology is required. You would have to think of every possible way a user can interact with your website so that you can strive to improve that interaction.To create a good User Experience, a well-planned methodology is required.
With the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape, your website might seem to be in need of redesign and look outmoded. Some of the simplistic ways to improve your website in order to keep up with pace of changing UX needs are laid down below:
- Using white space makes your content more legible and helps the online visitors to focus on the elements surrounding the text. White space around the text and the titles enhances user attention by 20 percent.
- Page speed hugely influences UX. Sluggish page load can prove to be an interrupting experience for the users and frustrate them to the core. Most often than not, users just do not have time to wait. Even if the page loading time has a 2-second delay, the website abandonment rate can reach up to 87 percent.
- Using attractive calls-to-action (CTA) that are marked with an action word enables the easy navigation on your site and the users can easily get to where they want. More than 90% of the users, who read your headline, would also check out CTA.
- Using hyperlinks on your page is extremely helpful to grab the attention of the reader. Visual cues like underlined text and different coloured text makes it easy to identify.
- Using bullets helps the users to get all the information they want quickly and precisely. They will be able to quickly understand benefits, how you solve their problem, and the key features of a product or service.
- Wise usage of images on your website to support the content can allow a visual break for the users from the text. You need to make sure that they are relevant. Like using an actual image conveying your brand and its services instead of a stock photography can create a connection between the user and the brand.
- Including well-designed and written headings based on what your potential customers are seeking can be useful. For instance, including keywords in your title can help in targeting your message and getting the attention of right audience.
- Maintaining website consistency is tantamount to a great UX. Heading sizes, colouring, button styles, design elements, font choices, illustration styles, photo choices etc. should be should themed in a way that your website design is coherent between pages and on the same page.
- Optimising your site to handle error 404 (page not found) can prove fruitful. Error 404 can frustrate a user and make him rethink spending time browsing your site.
- Making your site fully responsive should be of top priority. Mobile responsive and mobile-friendly site makes it easy to navigate and works well across platforms from desktops to handheld devices. 57% of users won’t recommend a business which does not have a mobile responsive website.
Take away 50+ User Experience Tips and make sure the user has the best experience on your websiteHow is Drupal 8 great for an amazing user experience?
Drupal 8 has been a leading CMS when it comes to a powerful and an astounding user experience. Let us look at what makes Drupal 8 so spectacular for designing a compelling user experience for your website.Responsive web design
Responsive websites are a must-haves nowadays to work well on any screen size. Drupal 8 helps in building websites with responsive web design approach out-of-the-box with some help of contributed modules. Also, there are several Drupal themes that help in creating a responsive design.Web personalisation
Personalising the content on your website helps in making users to view the content in which they are interested. Web personalisation can be done on the basis of demographics of the user, login time and date of the user, gender, device details of the user etc.
Acquia Lift Connector, Drupal module, offers integration with the Acquia Lift service with an improved user experience for personalisation, testing and targeting the frontend of website directly.Performance optimisation
A fast-loading speedy website significantly contributes towards the betterment of user experience, usability and engagement. Drupal 8 is one of the most efficient CMS for enabling enhanced page speed.
Caching is an important feature that you can configure for enhancing your website speed. Drupal modules like Internal page cache, Dynamic page cache, BigPipe, Redis, Varnish, and Memcache API and Integration offers different sorts of caching methods to meet the requirements of your website.
Page speed can also be accentuated by disabling unwanted modules or those which are seldom used. Drupal 8 also helps in optimising images for better performance.Multilingual capabilities
Drupal 8 core comes engrained with multilingual capabilities. It lets you translate content, site interfaces, language, and configuration out-of-the-box. For instance, you can translate the content of your website into a particular language on the basis of user’s geographical location.Social media
Connecting with friends in one of the biggest pluses of social media elements. Social media can also be a powerful marketing tool. Incorporating social media elements into your website allows users to share the experience, that they had with your website, to the world.
Drupal offers a suite of modules to help you. Easy social, a Drupal module, lets you add share buttons to your nodes.
A/B results help in determining how well is your website performing and how can you improve it further. Drupal 8 offers modules to carry out A/B testing.
Webform A/B Testing module helps in setting up A/B tests consisting of various webforms for determining the most effective one. It tracks how many times a webform has been shown to users and also how many users have responded by completing the form.How is Drupal Community striving hard to improve the admin UX?
With a highly active bunch of Drupal enthusiasts in the Drupal Community, the objective of making Drupal more and more better for everyone is an everlasting thing. While Drupal is great for improving user experience for online visitors, site administrators are not to be left out. The Admin UX User Study group in the Drupal Community has come up with great insights in a research done on further improving admin UX.
Being new to Drupal may prove to be an arduous task for the content editors to get along with the administrative interface that the platform has to offer. The Admin UX User Study strives to make betterments to the Drupal admin UI with the objective of making it an amazing platform for site administrators.Findings of Admin UX study
Key focus of the research was on content editors who are responsible for putting great content on the site. Survey was conducted to understand what content editors love about Drupal and where do they find it challenging.
Most of the respondents in the survey said that Drupal is flexible, customisable and lets them have control over their content.
When asked about the challenges, the survey gave some interesting insights. Many content editors opined that a lot of intricacies are due to the UI provided by the paragraphs and panels.
More hurdles were centred around searching for documentation, content editing UI, understanding jargon and technical terminologies, and media management. There was also a mention of complexities with content editing interface while adding content translation to the mix.Efforts to improve Admin UX
With a highly active bunch of Drupal enthusiasts in the Drupal Community, the objective of making Drupal more and more better for everyone is an everlasting thing.
Interestingly, among the things that Drupal Community is trying to achieve, the responses made by the content editors were already being worked upon. For instance, Drupal Gutenberg project aims to revolutionise publishing experience through a modern UI which is based on Wordpress’s Gutenberg project.
Also, configuration changes like minimising the user permissions for editors, offering access to an admin menu with limited set of options, and customisation of some of the default widget settings are being worked upon. That is, configuring a role for content authors out-of-the-box and altering some of the Drupal’s default configurations can offer a wonderful content editing experience.Success story
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which helps people to cope with natural and man-made disasters, chose Drupal for delivering a powerful user experience. The new digital platform was designed for dependability during critical times.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides up-to-the-minute details on several important facts during emergencies. The old version of FEMA.gov was not a dependable site with outmoded navigation features and slow page load speed that made it difficult to be accessed during critical events when traffic spikes.
Knowing the significance of delivering a reliable digital experience for users, FEMA wanted a user-friendly and highly resilient site with the provision of more meaningful communication. It also had to cope with traffic spikes and also be scalable at the same time.
Primary concern for the design team was creation of a friendly and functional design and user interface. By holding a series of user focus groups, they got the much needed feedback which indicated that the existing site was too convoluted, it was difficult to find information, and some of the content were outmoded. The site also did not support smartphones and tablets.
The existing system did not support swift and efficacious communication. Most often than not, the site experienced overloads and very slow page load times especially during emergencies when it is most needed. It was not resilient and was not able to consistently deliver a high performing experience. In addition to these issues , there was difficulties with content editing.Project outcome
To address these challenges, FEMA chose Drupal as the their preferred content management system. To handle the large-scale rebuilding of the site where thousands of pages had to be reviewed, updated and migrated to the new site, development and testing was done in iterative process. This helped in easily scaling the project and making adjustments and reorientations.
The website of FEMA.gov turned mobile friendly and could be accessed from devices ranging from desktop to mobile devices. It also paid special attention to accessibility for those users requiring assistive technologies. The new site architecture minimised the number of clicks that was needed for accessing information thereby making navigation and retrieval faster and simpler. Technical design solutions were implemented that were in accordance with Section 508 compliance standards.
After the launch of the new site, not only it proved cost-effective but provided value to the users. It offered better access to critical disaster-assistance details, higher interactivity and accessibility, cross-platform compatibility and the ability to rapidly and dependably disseminate key content in multiple languages.
Being open source, Drupal-based architecture assisted with the improvement of performance and enabled FEMA to provide the public with swift access to data that could be modified in real-time, if needed. With the mobile-optimised version of FEMA.gov, that has enabled enormous amount of information on-the-go, user experience and the over user satisfaction has improved as well.Conclusion
Offering the best digital user experience is the goal of every digitised firm. With right means of implementation and Drupal’s amazing features, building a site with a great UX should be cutting through a piece of cake.
Talk to our Drupal experts for developing a Drupal-powered website with best website design implementation for your business. To improve your website’s user experience, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Drupal Drupal Planet announcements features
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Content touchpoints are proliferating at a fast clip as consumers keep on marching towards vibrant and distinctive means of interacting with content. Internet of Things (IoT), conversational UI, digital signage and devices that are powered by machine learning algorithms among others are adapting to our characteristics to disseminate content accordingly. To cope up with such mushrooming milieu of consumer experience, API-First Drupal is well positioned for entire digital ecosystems.
Drupal can do almost anything to be the powerhouse of your digital business. But to leverage the benefits of technologies outside of the Drupal context, API-first approach could be a perfect choice.Understanding API-first approach
So, what is meant by API-first? It refers to the interaction between a central web service and several other applications to enable the two systems to exchange information over a network. Not only is this exchange limited to websites but extends to mobile apps, Internet of Things devices, and wearables. Using API-first Drupal basically refers to the decoupling of the front end and utilising a different technology for the presentation and the theming layer.API-first approach is the interaction between a central web service and several other applications to enable the two systems to exchange information over a network. In short, API-first Drupal allows:
- Integrations that are not defined in Drupal/PHP code
- Full decoupling
- Progressive decoupling where Drupal serves overall page and certain parts of the page offer JS-driven interactions
The key advantages that Drupal has are that it is a free and open source from end to end unlike other API-first content-as-a-service options like Contentful. Thus, all layers constituting accessing and retrieving data, exposing and consuming that data through software development kits (SDKs) are free.How does API-first approach work in Drupal?
Drupal as a backend is very tightly coupled to its presentation layer which means that taking that out of equation would mean a heavy loss. Everything including forms, control over layout, feature of previewing a content, and other great features of Drupal would be lost. Other challenges include introducing an extra point of failure, sacrificing the improved performance optimisation capabilities of Drupal 8, and loss of in-place and in-context editing. So, most importantly, organisations must know the benefits that outclass the losses by adopting decoupled Drupal approach.
Web services, as a developing technology, offer so many flavours but the one that stands out as the winner is the RESTful API. Representational State Transfer (REST) allows communication between devices like computers, phones, banking systems, televisions and IoT devices connected to a network by using the standard HTTP protocol. It is the leading API approach of choice for Web services because of its widespread acceptance across the web. Furthermore, Drupal is also enabled for non-RESTful approaches like GraphQL.
Various contributed modules allow you to add web services to a Drupal installation without the need for writing code. For instance, Developers can use Services module and the RESTful Web Services module to configure a server for enabling the Drupal installation to push or allow data that is to be pulled as needed with the help of REST API. No matter whether the action is push or pull, Drupal is the services layer. Using the content management platform of Drupal, it is possible to add content, user, and permission systems but the information is sent outside the context of Drupal.
Drupal 8 core has out-of-the-box REST API that allows operators to interact with content entities like taxonomy terms, nodes, users, and comments.How is Drupal moving towards becoming more API-first?
With API-first Initiative at the forefront, Drupal 8.0 was shipped with a built-in REST API which spelt the beginning of Drupal’s transformation as an API-first platform. Since then, subsequent releases in Drupal 8 has introduced remarkable web service API improvement.Drupal is perpetually moving towards offering a more robust API-first ecosystem.
Significant market trends paved the way for endorsing this strategy which comprised of incorporation of other technology solutions, increase in the adoption of JS frameworks, snowballing of new devices and digital channels among others.
Although Drupal 8 was launched with a basic REST API, Drupal community has been contributing with new REST API features in further releases of Drupal. For instance, Drupal community is working on shipping Drupal modules with web service APIs instead of depending on a central API module in the further releases of Drupal.
Also, GraphQL module has been gathering steam in its adoption and is an important component of API-first Drupal. It is also being envisioned to be added in the Drupal core(not formally decided).
OAuth 2.0 module, which is helping developers in building more secure decoupled Drupal architectures, is gaining grounds to be included in the Drupal core.
Not only these, several modules are being developed with API-first approach such as Open API, Lightning API, Consumers, etc. Drupal is perpetually moving towards offering a more robust API-first ecosystem.
Contenta, Drupal distribution, is a great example of incredible strides that Drupal has made in its pursuit of becoming more API-first. Contenta helps in offering modern API capabilities out-of-the-box with JSON API. It can feed content the JS-driven websites, mobile applications, TV and even mythical fridge application.
Whether it is single application development or multi-channel publishing, Contenta has it all to be a Create Once, Publish Everywhere CMS.
Reservoir, a minimalist distribution for decoupling Drupal, is doing great rounds. Being a flexible and simple tool for building content repositories for any application, it helps in modelling content, governing content, and interacting with that content through HTTP APIs.
Packed with API-first modules like JSON API module and OpenAPI, helps in accelerating decoupled Drupal implementations.Drupal and its competitors The biggest advantages that Drupal has over its headless competitors are that it can be:
- a terrific CMS for content editors to give them control over the presentation of their content.
- a rich headless CMS to allow developers build large content ecosystems in a single package.
Headless CMSes lag behind in the areas of in-context administration and in-place content editing. They are short of full-fledged editorial experience integrated into their front ends where they serve content. In-context governance and in-place editing are not possible if they do not expose a content editing interface linked to each front end which is why coupling is required.
Another significant focus lies in the display and layout manipulation to for the success of digital marketers. Drupal plays a vital role in controlling the appearance of content in a layout structure. In contrast, headless CMSes are not adept with the display an layout settings. Editorial tools, like in-place editing and in-context governance, that enable this need to be incorporated into the front end.
Moreover, content editors and digital marketers consider the state of published content. Especially for unpublished content, accessing end-to-end preview system is a must-have for editorial workflows. But in headless CMSes, to allow endless preview like setting up a new API endpoint would require developers to skip significant hoops.
These drawbacks can be handled in some use cases where the application requires less editorial interaction and is more developer-focussed. Keeping everything aside, headless CMSes do not have the toolkits for content authors. This is where Drupal sets the standard high.
Drupal is awesome for both content editors and developers alike.
Don’t jump into any conclusions as these drawbacks does not mean to say that headless is unimportant. Both the headless and traditional way of content management is important which is what Drupal excels at. Drupal is awesome for both content editors and developers alike.
API-first Initiative has been an absolute wonder towards advancement of existing and new web services efforts. This has streamlined the use of Drupal as a content service and more optimal for developers. Drupal Community has been constantly working towards the improvement of great developer experience through web services like JSON API and GraphQL and also through tooling to accentuate headless application development similar to the Waterwheel ecosystem.
Drupal is awesome for both content editors and developers alike. In spite of this, there are some limitations. You must adopt a coupled Drupal front end for editing and manipulating the front end without having to involve a developer thereby focussing on editor or assembler experience. Also, if you do not need the involvement of editors, Drupal can still be relevant.
Adding decoupled applications and keeping Drupal as a coupled website is a huge advantage. Such an architecture where it is simultaneously coupled and decoupled make it a great platform for both content editors and application developers. That means, your content repository should be public-facing website with an astounding set of editorial capabilities and also a centralised point for collection of applications which makes it developer-friendly.
With Drupal perpetually powering more and more websites, it is also being extracted to its full potential in order to serve content to other backend systems, native applications, single page applications, and even conversational interfaces simultaneously.Digital transformation stories
API-first Drupal can work wonders for so many industries. Let’s go through some success stories.Powers a swarm of devices
Let’s look at how API-first Drupal can power presentation devices on a major cruise line. Cruise ships look forward to make the experience of their passengers as best as possible. Passengers get to know the information about events, security and locations on the ship through daily newsletters.
For Princess Cruises, a major cruise line, the choice of digitising this newsletter was a perfect option for improving guest experience. It was using Drupal for its shipboard intranet due to its flexibility, dependability and an engaging open source community. Their IT team was already adept with Drupal. So, Drupal was an obvious choice for developing a newsletter app.
The daily newsletter was built as a full-fledged onboard passenger application that was customised for the interests of passengers. They could find event details, information on ports visited, current weather, menus, and stateroom account details. The application altered the ways passengers tried to find information on the ship thereby providing unique experience for the passengers.
Moreover, they realised that, with Drupal as services layer, they could do more with it as they did for the smartphone app. They used Drupal to power free video-on-demand service as well as digital signage sending content to hundreds of screens around the ship. The company implemented the system on other ships too and could deploy within a month’s time. With the response of passengers exceeding the expectations, they rolled it out half the fleet.Progressively Decoupled Drupal
Weather.com needed a digital ecosystem to cope with unpredictability. Before the company moved to Drupal, its digital properties were relying on hundreds of origins servers powered by different data servers. They wanted a progressively decoupled Drupal and to architect a new Presentation Framework to produce interactive experiences on a page rendered by Drupal.
Considerations revolved around accommodating diverse performance and caching requirements. On an average page, there are several caching and time load needs across each of the content sections. With a strategy involving a progressively decoupled Drupal, the weather channel built a new presentation framework breaking pages into different sections. Each of the sections, as referred to as a component, lived in its own subdirectory. The metadata about component was declared by a JSON file to the Drupal.
These directories were ingested into panel panes by Drupal. These panes were exportable and reusable and could be developed by the frontend developers without much engagement from the backend. The weather channel, with progressively decoupled Drupal, could specify regional content, pushed uniform content, and personalised content that were not cacheable and needed to be rendered on the client side.
With Drupal as a services layer is a practice that fast approaching towards maturity and enabling unthinkable digital ecosystems. While there are diverse set of applications of API-first architectures, moving towards an API-first solution may seem intimidating. At Opensense Labs, we can assist you to tie the knot tightly and connect you with the Drupal experts who have years of experience in Drupal development.
Drupal is a very complete system that can handle almost anything you need done. Have a conversation with our panel of experts at email@example.com to make your vision of digital experience come true.blog banner blog image API-first Drupal API-first approach API-first design API-first Decoupled Drupal Headless Drupal Progressively decoupled Drupal Drupal community Drupal module Drupal 8 Drupal Contenta CMS Contenta Reservoir distribution Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
At the Drutopia project, one of our big focuses has been improvements to configuration management in Drupal 8. In this series, I'll be covering our work to date along with related efforts and contributions.
Drutopia is a platform cooperative initiative, building out cooperatively owned and hosted Drupal distributions. In our 2016 white paper, we recognized that the Configuration Management Initiative (CMI) in Drupal 8 "produced a lot of improvements in configuration handling" while noting that these "mainly addressed the use case of 'staging' configuration from one version of a site to another, a site-building technique that lower budget sites often don’t have time or money for." We committed to focus on "the free software use case left out of Drupal core: reusable configuration that can be shared across multiple sites". For background, see Drupal 8 configuration management: what about small sites and distributions? and sections on Drupal 8, corporate influence, and the CMI in this interview.
There's a current initiative to improve configuration management in Drupal core. Dubbed "CMI 2.0", the effort comes out of a similar conclusion that limitations and missing use cases in configuration management are a major barrier to Drupal 8 adoption; see Angie Byron's post proposing the initiative.
In the past three years, we at Drutopia have contributed to a growing collection of Drupal plugins that together address some of the tricky problems involved in managing shared configuration. As well as in kind contributions by Chocolate Lily, some of our work was sponsored by Agaric and the National Institute for Children's Health Quality (NICHQ) to meet their needs for an in-house platform of community sites.
Just what do we mean by managing shared configuration?
Say I have a site built on a Drupal distribution that's for community organizing. I installed the site a month ago and got groups-related configuration such as a group type. Then I made some modifications of my own. I've just downloaded a new release of the distribution, including enhancements to the groups-related configuration. How can I update my site so that I have all the latest changes from the distribution--while still retaining any customizations I made? That's the key question we've tried to tackle.
A more abstract way of putting the problem is: how can we provide packages of shared configuration in a way that lets site administrators both customize their sites and merge in configuration updates?
This series will cover distinct aspects of the problem of managing shared configuration packages and, along the way, highlight specific solutions we at Drutopia have sketched in. Our efforts are very much works in progress. We're not sure we've even got all the problems right, let alone fully addressed them ;) But have we made progress? Yes, we have. By sharing it here, we hope to raise the profile of these problems and solutions and invite further perspectives and contributions.
OPTASY: 10 Drupal SEO Mistakes You Do Not Want to Make on Your Website: From Least to Most Harmful- Part 2
You've put so much effort into crafting and polishing the content on your Drupal website and it just won't... rank? Why is it that search engines' web crawlers won't index its “juicy” content? Why they won't give your site a big push right to first-position rankings? As it clearly deserves... Could it be because you're making these 10 Drupal SEO mistakes?
Knowingly or just recklessly...