Category: Open Source Software

Everything You Should Know About Headless Drupal

Introduction

You can manage and deliver the content in a more efficient way using Headless Drupal. This powerful platform offers a number of advantages over traditional Content Management Systems. In this blog post, we will discuss what Headless Drupal is, and how it can benefit your business. You will get the answer to all your questions about headless Drupal and why it is such a powerful tool. We’ll also provide some tips on how to get started using this platform.

A traditional Drupal website is responsible to provide customized end-to-end solutions for users. The prime objective of Drupal is to create, display, and store content for the end-users. However, using a Headless Drupal you can still create and store the content except for the display. This is because it is focused on the back-end approach of a website. The front-end of a website is based on different technologies and communicates with Drupal through API.

In simple words, Headless Drupal enables the team of front-end developers to have complete control of the UI, UX, & presentation of the website.

Where Did Headless Drupal Come From?

As the web has evolved, so has the urge to manage and display content throughout several devices and platforms. Initially, this meant linking website data to native mobile apps for display, or interfacing with enterprise-level hardware and software.

The concept of headless Drupal actually predates the platform itself. The idea was first proposed by Dries Buytaert, the creator of Drupal, back in 2007. At that time, he suggested that it might be possible to decouple the frontend presentation layer from the backend content management system. This would allow developers to build better integrations with third-party software and services.

Can Drupal Be Headless?

Drupal is a powerful Content Management System that offers several features and benefits. However, it can also be used as a headless platform. Headless Drupal refers to the decoupling of the backend CMS from the frontend presentation layer. In other words, the Drupal CMS is used to manage and store content, while the frontend presentation layer is built using a separate framework such as React or Angular. This approach offers many advantages, which we will discuss in more detail below.

What Is Headless Drupal?

In a nutshell, Headless Drupal is a platform that allows you to manage and deliver content without a traditional web browser interface. This can be done through various methods, including APIs or other specialized software. By using Headless Drupal, you can create more efficient and streamlined workflows for managing your website.

What Are The Objectives Of Headless Drupal?

The primary objective of Headless Drupal is to decouple the backend of a website from the frontend. This allows developers to build websites and applications using different technologies, without being limited by the capabilities of a single platform. 

For example, a traditional Drupal site might use PHP for the back-end and HTML/CSS for the front-end. With Headless Drupal, you could use Node.js for the back-end and React for the front-end. This flexibility provides a number of benefits, including improved performance, scalability, and security.

Image Source: Hinglish

There are seven objectives of headless Drupal:

  • To make life easier for content creators and editors by providing them with a user-friendly interface that allows them to easily create and manage content.
  • To make it easier for developers to create and maintain customizations and integrations.
  • To improve performance by decoupling the front-end from the back-end.
  • To make it easier to scale Drupal websites.
  • To provide a better security model by isolating the front-end from the back-end.
  • To allow for greater flexibility in how Drupal websites are designed and built.
  • To make it easier to migrate away from Drupal if necessary.

Who Uses Headless Drupal?

Headless Drupal is often used by large organizations that need to manage a large volume of content. It’s also popular among developers who want more control over how their content is delivered. If you’re looking for a more efficient way to manage your website, this may be the right platform for you.

Why Use Headless Drupal?

There are many reasons why you might want to use Headless Drupal. One of the most common reasons is that it allows you to decouple your content from your presentation layer. This means that you can easily change how your content is displayed without having to make any changes to the actual content itself. 

This can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Additionally, it provides greater flexibility when it comes to managing and delivering content. You can use different methods to deliver content, including APIs or other software. This allows you to tailor your content delivery to your specific needs.

How Does It Work?

Headless Drupal relies on two main components: the back end and the front end. The back end is responsible for managing and delivering content, while the front end is responsible for displaying it to users. This separation of duties can lead to improved performance and scalability. Additionally, it allows you to use different technologies for each component, which gives you more flexibility in terms of how you want your website to look and function.

Headless Drupal is a decoupled approach to building web applications. In a traditional “monolithic” Drupal setup, the front-end and back-end are tightly coupled together. This means that you cannot make changes to the front-end without also affecting the back-end and vice versa.

With headless Drupal, however, the front-end and back-end are completely decoupled. This allows you to make changes to either one without affecting the other.

Benefits of Using Headless Drupal For Your Online Business

Image Source: PSD2HTML

Pros of Headless Drupal

There are a number of ways that Headless Drupal can benefit your online business. Here are some of the most notable advantages:

Increased Efficiency:

Headless Drupal can help you manage and deliver content more efficiently. This is because it separates the back end and front end, allowing you to use different technologies for each component. As a result, you can create workflows that are tailored to your specific needs.

Improved Scalability:

By using Headless Drupal, you can improve the scalability of your website. This is because it relies on a modular architecture, which allows you to scale each component independently. Additionally, you can use different technologies for each component, giving you more flexibility in terms of how your website scales.

Enhanced Functionality:

Headless Drupal offers a number of features that can enhance the functionality of your website. For example, it includes a robust API that allows you to easily access and manipulate content. Additionally, it provides a wide range of tools for managing and delivering content.

Greater Flexibility:

Headless Drupal gives you greater flexibility in terms of how you want your website to look and function. This is because it allows you to use different technologies for each component. As a result, you can create a website that meets your specific needs and requirements.

Easy To Function:

Headless Drupal is easy to use, even for beginners. This is because it relies on a modular architecture and a wide range of tools. Additionally, it offers a robust API that allows you to easily access and manipulate content.

Cons Of Headless Drupal

Even though Headless Drupal has a lot of advantages, it also has some disadvantages. Here are some of the most notable drawbacks:

Lack Of Documentation:

One of the biggest drawbacks of Headless Drupal is the lack of documentation. This can make it difficult for beginners to learn how to use this platform. Additionally, it can be challenging to find answers to specific questions.

Complicated Workflows:

Another downside of Headless Drupal is that it can create complicated workflows. This is because it relies on a modular architecture and a wide range of tools. As a result, you need to have a good understanding of how each component works in order to create an efficient workflow.

Lack Of Support:

Another drawback of Headless Drupal is the lack of support. This is because it is a relatively new platform and there are not many people who are familiar with it. Additionally, there are not many resources available for troubleshooting.

Overall, it has a lot of advantages that can benefit your online business. However, it also has some drawbacks that you should be aware of before you decide to use this platform. If you have the time and patience to learn how to use this platform, then Headless Drupal can be a great option for your website.

How To Get Started With Headless Drupal?

Now that you know all about Headless Drupal, how do you get started using it? Here are some tips:

Install The Core Modules:

The first step is to install the core modules. These modules provide the basic functionality needed to run a Headless Drupal website. You can find these modules in the Drupal module repository.

Configure The Back End:

Once the core modules are installed, you need to configure the back end. This includes setting up the database and user accounts. Additionally, you need to configure the file system and web server.

Configure The Front End:

After the back end is configured, you need to configure the front end. This includes setting up the theme and creating custom blocks. Additionally, you need to add content types and fields.

Test Your Website:

Once everything is configured, you need to test your website. This includes testing the back end and front end components. Additionally, you need to test the functionality of your website.

Is Headless Drupal For Everyone?

No, Headless Drupal is not for everyone. This is because it requires a significant amount of time and effort to learn how to use this platform. Additionally, it can be challenging to find support if you encounter problems. However, if you are willing to invest the time and effort, then it can be a great option for your website.

Is Drupal A Decoupled CMS?

Drupal is a content management system (CMS). In its early days, it was known as a monolithic CMS. That’s because it consisted of one large codebase that handled both the back-end and front-end of websites.

In recent years, however, Drupal has become more decoupled. This means that the back-end and front-end are now separate entities. The back-end still powers the website but the front-end is now powered by another application, such as a JavaScript framework.

This decoupling has many benefits, one of which is increased productivity. When you don’t have to worry about the front-end while working on the back-end (or vice versa), you can get more work done in less time.

What Is The Difference Between Headless Drupal And Decoupled Drupal?

The difference between headless Drupal and decoupled Drupal is that headless Drupal does not have a front end. This means that you cannot use Drupal to create the front end of your website. Instead, you need to use a different platform for the front end. Decoupled Drupal, on the other hand, has a front end and a back end. This means that you can use Drupal to create both the front end and back end of your website.

Here are some key differences:

  • A headless Drupal is a platform that uses a modular architecture and a wide range of tools.
  • A decoupled Drupal is a platform that uses different technologies for each component.
  • Headless Drupal is easy to use, even for beginners.
  • Decoupled Drupal can be challenging to learn, especially for beginners.
  • Headless Drupal offers a robust API that allows you to easily access and manipulate content.
  • Decoupled Drupal does not offer an API, which can make it difficult to access and manipulate content.

Conclusion

Headless Drupal can be the best option for your official website if you are willing to invest the time and effort to learn how to use it. However, it is important to be aware of the drawbacks of this platform before you decide to use it. Additionally, Drupal is not a decoupled CMS but it can be used as a headless CMS. If you are looking for more flexibility and control over your website, then Decoupled Drupal can be a great option for you.

In case you want to discuss how Drupal CMS can benefit your business, contact Mpire Solutions for a FREE Consultation.

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Choosing Drupal: Good for Nonprofits or Enterprise?

Introduction

Drupal can be an appealing option for non-profit organizations or for enterprises who want to run their site on low-cost, open-source solutions. This article is a companion piece to the debate “Is Drupal good for NGOs or good for enterprises”.

This blog post contains the following information:

Overview

Drupal for Enterprises
– The Goods
– The Bads

Drupal for Nonprofits
– The Goods
– The Bads

PROS & CONS Affectance Charts

Conclusion

Top 10 Non Profit Websites Built with Drupal

Overview

Drupal is an open-source software used to create websites in an agile manner. It is powered by a very robust structure and codebase that makes it scalable and flexible. The platform uses PHP making it a simple process, where every task can be achieved without having to change the source code. Drupal is very powerful as it comes with inbuilt tools such as WYSIWYG and HTML editors, page building status, CSS, templates, etc which allow you to create a dynamic website.

The ability of Drupal to provide organizations with flexible, scalable, and secure platforms for online communication and collaboration is one of the key reasons for Drupal’s wide acceptance among non-profit, government, and enterprise organizations worldwide.

Is Drupal good for non-profit organizations or is Drupal good for enterprises? I mean, we can all agree that Drupal is awesome. It’s what powers your favorite sites like WhiteHouse.gov, NYTimes.com, and even TechCrunch.com! But is it really designed for nonprofit organizations or is it really designed for enterprises? This article will touch on that subject.

Drupal For Enterprises

According to a recent study by Gartner, large enterprise companies spend close to $130 billion on their websites. That’s double the amount most enterprise companies spend on their digital marketing. So it’s important to understand the process of choosing a content management system for your enterprise website.

The first step is to understand how much content you’ll need to manage. Second, get your online presence organized. And get it presented on the web in a way that contributes to your business goals.

Fulcrum Research shows that 80% of an enterprise’s content is unstructured, meaning it doesn’t fit neatly into the provided fields of a CMS form. In this case, you’ll need an ECM that can handle more than just text and images, like audio files and video files.

Enterprise Content Management Systems (ECM) are powerful tools with specialized features that help you manage and present your content—specifically unstructured content—in a way that helps drive revenue and improve customer experience.

Drupal is an open-source CMS (Content Management System). But can it be used for more than just a CMS? Does it have the modules and functionality to function as an ECM?

The Goods

Easy User Management

Managing users on your enterprise website is made easy with convenient tools in Drupal. The flexibility of the Drupal enterprise content management system (CMS) allows administrators to shape the system to their business goals, and grant users specific permissions that align with their roles.

This is important because different departments need different controls over the website. For instance, the marketing department may only require permission to edit blog posts and the news section of the site, whereas more senior employees may need access to create new pages.

Fig.1 shows the user management module of Drupal (source)

“Users are the people, roles are their functions, and permissions define what authorizations those functions have. Setting these up incorrectly can compromise your website’s security,” says Acquia – a SaaS based solutions provider to Drupal.

If you want users to be able to create and edit content only within certain areas of your site, you might choose a module like Content Access that allows you to set permissions at a more granular level than Drupal core.

Possibility of Custom Content Creation

Custom content creation is important for enterprise websites. Why? Custom content creation allows you to create and curate content that is tailored to you and your customers, instead of having to rely on default templates and content structures that may or may not meet your needs.

Drupal’s CCK (Content Construction Kit) module can enable enterprise businesses to custom create their website content. The CCK module integrates with Drupal’s core user-management features, which means it’s not only easy for admins to create custom fields for custom content, but also easy for users to manage their own custom content without needing a lot of technical skill.

Drupal’s CCK module has a lot of flexibility in terms of what kinds of custom fields you can use to create your custom content. There are all kinds of options for fields like text areas, images, lists, numbers, taxonomies (tagging), and more. You can also create nested categories for complex categorization practices—for instance, if you have multiple types of content that should be categorized differently but need the same general categorization system.

For example, let’s say you’re designing a site for an enterprise business that sells shoes. You can create tags based on shoe type (boots, sandals, heels, etc.), brand, style/trend, color, size/width availability—you name it!

Better Admin UI

In the early days of Drupal, running a website on the platform required a lot of technical know-how and a willingness to put up with a clunky admin interface. But as the platform grew, so did its ease of use.

“Some admin panels are used by many, sometimes inexperienced users. Therefore, they need to be very well designed and intuitive to use with many explanations and tutorials,” says Christian Behler of UX Collective.

Fig.2 shows the Admin interface of Drupal (source)

One of the biggest improvements in recent versions of Drupal is the admin interface: it’s now responsive, streamlined, and more intuitive than ever. Plus, there’s a WYSIWYG back-end panel that allows you to edit your site without having to touch a line of code. And all your setting options are properly aligned on the admin homepage.

A good admin interface is crucial to enterprise websites because it makes life easier for those who are managing these sites. With the improved Drupal interface, you can avoid endless hours spent debugging or searching for options—all you have to do is log in and get started!

Assisted Coding

Enterprise websites need to be built on top of durable, secure, and flexible content management systems (CMS). The problem is that many CMS can only be managed by experienced developers. Drupal, on the other hand, is a CMS that’s just as accommodating to developers with years of experience as it is to those who are just getting started.

Laying emphasis on the importance of coding, Douglas Rushkoff in his book says:

“Program or Be Programmed. Either you learn to program/code and thereby help steer your life (website) according to your interests, or you relegate the programming/coding/steering of your life (website) to others who will decide what your life (website) will be like.”

Thanks to the development community around Drupal, any developer with basic coding skills can easily dive into the project. That’s because Drupal has strict coding standards and guidelines to ensure that whatever you’re working on will work seamlessly with the rest of the site. The community also makes it easy for new developers to ask questions or get quick answers about how to overcome a specific challenge.

Furthermore, with Drupal, you’re able to add functionality through a set of hooks called Drupal API. The API allows you to extend your site’s core functionality and create modules that do just what you need them to do—all while working with core functionalities in place (rather than having to rewrite everything).

In short? Drupal lets you build what you need when you need it—and that’s exactly the kind of flexibility your enterprise needs.

Regular Updates

At first glance, it may seem like a good idea to use a lightweight CMS that’s not so feature-heavy. After all, wouldn’t you want a system that’s easier to manage? But if you’re looking for web development companies in Boston that provide enterprise web development solutions, a CMS that’s constantly updated is what will give you the edge you need.

Drupal is an open-source, community-driven CMS. It was originally created for individuals who wanted a great platform for their personal websites and blogs. Today, it’s used by some of the biggest organizations in the world, including NBC Sports, NASA, and even the Grammy Awards site.

Because it’s community-driven, Drupal has new releases packed with features every six months. These releases aren’t just about fixing bugs or responding to security threats—they’re about streamlining workflows and making sure your website has everything it needs to be effective for your customers and your company.

The more feature-rich a CMS is, the more likely it’ll be able to serve as a framework for your enterprise web development solutions. Drupal makes enterprise web development easy because it gives you all the tools you need without requiring that you do any heavy lifting yourself.

Improved Technology Stack

Technology stacks are the technologies used to build an application. There are two main types of technology stacks: traditional and decoupled.

Traditional technology stacks are monolithic, meaning all technologies for the front and back end of a website are integrated into a single stack. In recent years, decoupled architecture has become more popular as it allows developers to work with the front and back end development separately and still work together. 

Drupal is one of the most popular frameworks for building enterprise websites—and for good reason. It’s a flexible framework that supports both traditional and decoupled technology stacks, so it can support any site, no matter what you need.

Drupal’s multichannel publishing capabilities let you deliver your content in real-time without sacrificing security or user experience. Its structured data capabilities help you develop with less risk and make informed decisions about your business strategy. And lastly, its rich application ecosystem makes it easy to create native mobile and IoT applications that allow your users to have the best experience possible wherever they are.

Open Source Platform

When you’re building an enterprise website, open-source is your friend.

Open source means that the code is public and not owned by anyone, so it can be freely used, changed, and shared. Drupal’s community of developers has been contributing to the platform since 2001, which means it’s got over a decade of experience under its belt.

Fig. 3 shows the difference between Open Source and Proprietary platform (source)

That translates into some pretty powerful functionality—Drupal has more than 1800 themes available to use, as well as 24,000+ plug-ins that let you build custom functionality without writing any code.

There are nearly 1.14 million websites using Drupal for core content management functions—including Twitter, which built dev.twitter.com (a site dedicated to helping developers build apps on the Twitter API) with 750,000 Drupal developers taking advantage of its open-source nature and active development community.

Low-Cost Scalability

Drupal is scalable and flexible, so you don’t have to worry about getting locked into a CMS that won’t grow with you. It’s compatible with Pressflow, a branch of Drupal core that supports advanced web server software like Varnish (a reverse proxy used by NASA). All this translates into lower ownership costs for you: no licensing fees and no installation fees!

Incorporating these tools into an enterprise website costs less than using proprietary software, while also providing advantages in terms of free updates, security patches, and more.

Additionally, Drupal’s eCommerce integration is second to none—you can seamlessly merge Drupal with Ubercart to start selling your products right away.

The Bads

Not an Enterprise CMS (at least, it wasn’t made for it)

When Drupal was first created, it wasn’t intended to be used for an enterprise website. Instead, it was designed to allow small communities or organizations to create an online presence. It was a tool for personal publishing and collaboration.

Over time, the software matured, and its capabilities expanded. Now, Drupal can be used for a variety of website projects—including enterprise websites. Along the way, Drupal gained a lot of features and functionality that make it more adaptable to larger systems. However, with this generalization came some costs.

One of these costs was complexity. Because Drupal is so flexible, it has become a complex platform with many components that interact with each other in different ways. The architecture is complex and often requires significant custom code to make it work well on large websites.

No Oracle Support

Drupal doesn’t support Oracle databases out of the box. That means if you don’t have a database administrator for MySQL, or your database isn’t running MySQL, you’ll be in for some trouble.

The community supports only one driver for using Oracle with Drupal: pdo_oci driver. This driver is known to have a number of issues with it, including not being able to handle multiple database connections simultaneously and not providing support for the full range of data types provided by Oracle. That means if you can’t use MySQL, your database team will have a tough time dealing with the pdo_oci driver’s various problems.

Module Spaghetti Code

Drupal is known for being highly customizable, but this isn’t always a good thing: if you don’t have a clear understanding of what your site needs, you can end up with module spaghetti code—a mess of modules that will slow down your site, make it difficult to maintain, and ultimately hurt your brand.

Planning your modules correctly from the beginning can save you a lot of time and heartache down the road. If you are working on a large project, like an enterprise website, it’s even more important to get your modules-planning ducks in a row before you begin developing. Otherwise, you may end up with what we call “module-spaghetti code.”

Fig. 4 shows rule card for the Spaghetti Code identification (source)

Module-spaghetti code happens when you don’t plan out your modules well in advance of beginning development. Instead, your modules grow in an uncontrolled way as the project grows. This results in a pile of code that has no rhyme or reason. It’s messy and hard to understand, let alone maintain down the road.

Therefore, when planning an enterprise Drupal project, you need to seek out expert advice on which modules you should use—and how they should play together in your final codebase.

Hook System Gets Overused

Drupal has a hook system that allows developers to modify the core code of the application, but this system gets abused by developers all the time. The hook system, in general, is very useful and it can be used to modify just about any aspect of Drupal. However, some developers tend to overuse the hook system and they never think about the long-term consequences. 

The hooks that are implemented in one module might conflict with the hooks in another module, which will eventually lead to a maintenance nightmare. If you are working on a large enterprise website then you need to avoid these unnecessary conflicts at all costs.

In order to prevent these problems from occurring in the first place, you need to hire experienced developers who understand the technical limitations of Drupal. Most inexperienced developers think that they can solve just about any problem using Drupal hooks and that is not true at all. It is also important for you to hire a Drupal custom theme development agency for your enterprise website instead of using a generic theme that was created by someone else.

Complex Config Management

Drupal is a flexible platform that allows for customization, but that can be a two-edged sword when it comes to managing code for your site. If you’re developing on one machine and then pushing your changes to source control (via Git or other versioning systems) and then pulling them down on another machine (like a development server), you’ll have to configure a way to do so. It’s not enough to just copy and paste files—you need some kind of automation software like Jenkins in order to move your code from one place to another.

Even once you’ve done that if you have a complex deployment process with more than one development environment (like testbed environments) and then the production environment, you need to automate the process of pushing code from one place to another. This could involve multiple scripts depending on where the code needs to go.

Drupal has its own built-in way of doing this through the Features module, but it requires lots of tweaking and customizations in order for it to work correctly.

Speed Issues For Logged-In Users

Drupal’s standard rendering mechanism is based on a renderer service that is called while bootstrapping Drupal. This implies that all of the template data has to be processed through Drupal’s render pipeline, which can be expensive.

The processing of pages generated by Drupal is fast for anonymous users, thanks to a special reverse proxy called Varnish. When there are logged-in users, the speed gets low because Varnish and other reverse proxies are not made for managing user sessions. This means that you need to resort to your own caching implementation, which comes with a lot of extra work and adds complexity to the system.

Also, Drupal’s theme layer has some limitations when it comes to continuously delivering improvements. You cannot easily develop new features for websites served by Drupal or deploy them in an efficient way because you have to go through the entire Drupal render process and bootstrap every time you want to generate a single template.

Needs Manual Customization

We love Drupal, but it’s not really an out-of-the-box enterprise solution. If you’re using it, you’ll need to do a lot of customizations to really take advantage of its potential.

Now, if you’re a developer and love to play around with things and make them work exactly how you want them to work, then Drupal is perfect for you. You can integrate it with node.js (which we think is pretty cool) and get going. But for some people, the amount of work that has to be done in order to get your website ready for the demands of enterprise-level web traffic just isn’t worth it.

You should know that Drupal needs all kinds of modifications done in order to handle the demands of enterprise-level web traffic. You need to set up the server stacks for hosting environments, configure PHP opcode, utilize caching systems like Memcached or Varnish, as well as install Pressflow in order for everything to work properly together. And even then there are still issues that could arise when dealing with such large amounts of data being transferred at one time.

Drupal For Non-Profits

Drupal is a highly configurable, open-source CMS (content management system), which makes it a good option for many types of websites. But is Drupal good for non-profits?

Non-profits are typically looking for a low-cost option that allows them to customize their website and provide easy access to content. They want to be able to easily implement search engine optimization (SEO) best practices, and they want to make it quick and easy for site visitors to donate money and get in touch with the organization.

The remainder of this article will explore in detail some of the factors that determine whether or not Drupal is a good fit for non-profit organizations.

The Goods

The Securest CMS

When you’re a non-profit or NGO, you don’t have the time to waste worrying about your website’s security. You need technology to work for you, not against you. With Drupal CMS, you can rest easy knowing your donations are safe and secure.

Fig.5 shows the types of vulnerabilities that Drupal provides protection against (source)

Drupal is the only major CMS that complies with OWASP standards to protect against hacker activity. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is “a worldwide not-for-profit charitable organization focused on improving the security of software.” OWASP is a huge part of why we think Drupal is the best option for nonprofits and NGOs. Drupal’s core platform complies with all of OWASP’s standards, meaning that Drupal is built on a foundation that minimizes risk to your users.

It is one of the safest content management systems available, using TWIG language for protection against XSS attacks and other vulnerabilities. The Twig language that Drupal uses was developed specifically to be resistant to cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, which are when someone gets access to the data on your site by taking advantage of the input field. 

This kind of vulnerability is a common way people get access to sensitive data like credit card numbers. When you use Drupal, there’s no need to worry that something like this will happen to your site or your users. This ensures that your donors can safely make transactions without worrying about their money disappearing into thin air (or worse—cybercriminals’ pockets).

Easy Integration with Third-Party APIs

Need a new way to raise funds for your cause? How about a new way to participate in your favorite charity’s annual 5K? With third-party API integration, non-profit and NGO websites can expand the capabilities of their platforms by connecting to payment gateways, CRMs, ERPs, automate tools, and more.

Drupal is an API-first platform that makes it easy to exchange data from server to server. This means that you can connect your website to major platforms like PayPal or Stripe—or even smaller and more specialized ones. Whatever the purpose of your site, Drupal’s API-first technology will allow you to do more with less effort.

Great Community Support

Non-profit organizations, NGOs, and charities are often pressed for time and resources, so it’s important to have a CMS that will help them make the most of what they have. Drupal is a great choice for these organizations because of its strong community support that contributes to the codebase and provides support.

If you need help with your site at any time, there are plenty of tutorials available through the Drupal community—and if that doesn’t answer your question, there’s always someone who can.

Additionally, Drupal is open source, which means it’s constantly being modified and updated as new issues arise. This is a huge advantage to an NGO or non-profit organization because having a CMS that’s constantly updated means they don’t have to worry about their site becoming outdated.

Ready-Made Templates & Web Starter Kits

Nonprofits and NGOs, by their very nature, have a lot of work to do, and not a lot of time or resources to make it happen. In order to be as efficient as possible and get the most out of their efforts, they need tools that are easy and ready to go. Drupal fits that bill.

Drupal is an extremely versatile CMS. It’s got a host of pre-built professional features that allow you to get your site up and running quickly. There are plenty of website builder kits (like YG Charity and OpenAid) made specifically for NGOs, so you can jump right in with a pre-made template that looks great—and doesn’t require you to hire a web designer or learn how to code.

Even if you’re interested in building your own site instead, Drupal makes it easy! There are so many web starter kits available (like the YMCA) that you don’t have to worry about starting from scratch. Instead, you can pick bits and pieces from elements of this kit for development. So you don’t have to worry about reinventing the wheel when there are plenty of wheels out there ready for you to use!

Low Maintenance & Operation Costs

Drupal is a cost-effective solution for any organization because it’s free to use. Drupal is an open-source platform, so you don’t have to pay for licenses. Also, all of the modules and themes are free as well. This means you won’t have additional costs for a new server or ongoing maintenance either.

Nonprofits and NGOs have limited budgets. They need to spend their money where it will make the most impact, so they can’t only focus on building the initial website. The money needs to go towards programs or services that are part of the mission statement.

Since Drupal is open-source and free, it allows nonprofits and NGOs to allocate more funds to their overall goals rather than maintaining a website.

Multilingual Support

Multilingual support can also help non-profits and NGOs extend their reach.

In the modern world, more and more people are on the web from all over the globe, and many of them prefer to browse in their native languages. With multilingual support for your website, you can present content in multiple languages, which will allow you to connect with a wider audience.

Fig. 6 shows Drupal multilingual capabilities (source)

Drupal 8+ comes with four core modules that provide multilingual functionality: Language, Content Translation, Interface Translation, and Configuration Translation. Together, they enable you to translate every part of your site—from the simple text of a blog post to the more complex configuration settings that are needed when setting up content types.

Useful Nonprofit Distributions

Of course, Drupal is not unique in this regard—many content management systems could be used to build a non-profit site. But Drupal stands out because of its community of developers behind it, as well as the large number of modules built by those developers and available for all to use. Thanks to this community effort, anyone can go on Drupal.org and download a prebuilt version of a Drupal site targeted at specific organizations or industries; these are called distributions.

Distributions are like cookies you buy at the store: they’re ready-made (you don’t have to make them yourself), they come in several varieties (there are many different kinds of distributions), and they’re already pretty good right out of the box (they include lots of features that can be used for your website). You can then customize them to suit your preferences (for example, if you want chocolate chips instead of raisins in your cookie).

So Many Ready-Made Modules & Distributions for NGO Sites

The NGO community is a wonderful one. When you’re looking to build a site for social service, non-profit, or other charitable organizations, you want to be able to deliver on all the things that keep your organization running: integration with payment processing, event management, and fundraising campaigns. Luckily, the Drupal community has already built many of these modules for you to integrate into your site!

Donor Rally is a Drupal distribution that helps you set up and run a crowdfunding campaign. It makes it easy to track donations to your campaign, and it can be integrated with payment systems like Stripe or PayPal.

CityGroups makes it possible for people to find community groups based on location, which is particularly useful if you’re trying to get the word out about volunteer opportunities in a variety of different places.

CiviCRM Starter Kit is a multifunctional CRM for non-governmental organizations (NGOs). It has a built-in fundraising tool, social networking functionality for members, and an event management feature.

Open Outreach is another Drupal distribution that is designed to make your website user-friendly for nonprofits. It includes content types for event listings, media galleries, and FAQs; customizable forms; integration with Google Maps; and automated email notifications.

Springboard is Salesforce’s platform for fundraising and marketing campaigns. There are several different modules available: the base package provides features like mass emailing lists of donors and volunteers, while the “Springboard+” package adds more complex features like creating custom reports based on data from your website.

Townsquare module allows volunteers to track and manage their volunteer hours. It uses social media integration to allow these volunteers to share their volunteering experiences with friends and family, which can help promote both your organization and volunteerism in general.

Volunteer Rally helps nonprofit organizations manage and publish calendars of available volunteer shifts so that volunteers with specific skills can find the opportunities most relevant to them.

Watershed Now module was created to ensure that nonprofit conservation organizations can operate as efficiently as possible, both in terms of cost and operations.

OpenAid is another module designed specifically for NGOs that support small NGOs and projects with creating websites quickly.

Pathauto is a well-known module among Drupal developers that automatically generates SEO-friendly URLs for your web pages based on patterns you define.

The Bads

No Guarantees of the Code Quality

Drupal is an open-source platform. That means that anyone can access the source code and make changes to it in order to build their own site. However, because anyone can do this, there are no guarantees about the quality of the code or how well the site will perform. In fact, in some cases, changes made by people who don’t know what they’re doing can actually cause a site to underperform or, worse yet, not work at all.

Difficult Content Editing

Drupal is also not well-suited for content editing functionality by non-technical users. The learning curve is steep, and complicated tasks such as adding images or embedding YouTube videos require more knowledge than your average content manager has time to learn. Additionally, because the editing interface must be customized (using Drupal’s modules and blocks) in order to make it more user-friendly, it becomes clunky and cumbersome over time as new features are added.

Developer is Needed for Site-Wide Modifications

Drupal is an excellent CMS for many applications, but it does not lend itself well to customization. This can be very frustrating for non-profits, especially those who are using their websites to generate donations. If you want to customize the form fields on your donation page, Drupal takes a lot of work. Even creating a simple “Join our mailing list” form requires custom programming and is not easily done within the CMS interface.

Conclusion

Is Drupal Good For Nonprofits or NGOs? The Final Decision

Drupal works well as a content management system for nonprofit websites because there are plenty of modules you can use to make your site look and work exactly how you want it to—without having to do any coding yourself. There are also Drupal distributions (also called “site kits”) that are built specifically for nonprofits, so all you have to do is pick the one that will help you best meet your goals.

Finally, the security of Drupal is the best in the CMS world, so you can rest assured knowing your content and users’ data are safe.

There are some cons to building an NGO website in Drupal. The first one is that it’s more difficult than other CMSs to build a site from scratch—especially if you aren’t familiar with coding. The second con is that development for Drupal is hard, which means it’ll be tough to find developers who can customize your site if you need them to. But fortunately, most of these cons can be fixed with distributions and modules made specifically for nonprofit sites.

Is Drupal Good For Enterprise? The Final Decision

There are things that make Drupal really good for enterprise websites. First, it has an assisted coding feature that allows you to create your own modules and features. Second, it has an improved technology stack that includes the latest software like PHP 7.0. And third, Drupal’s new theme engine is Twig, which allows developers to write cleaner code with less risk of introducing security vulnerabilities to their sites.

However, there are still some cons when it comes to using Drupal for enterprise websites. For example, the module system can lead to spaghetti code as you try to build up your site’s functionality—but if you’re careful about how you design your modules (in case you are a ninja developer), this shouldn’t be a problem. 

Another con is the hook system: if you don’t use it properly, it can lead to problems with your site’s performance and reliability. And finally, there can be speed issues with Drupal in general: while the developers have improved the framework over time, the software still isn’t as fast as other options like WordPress or Joomla.

Top 10 Nonprofit Websites Built with Drupal

  1. Equal Opportunity Community Initiative
  2. Rotary International
  3. Doctors Without Borders
  4. Habitat for Humanity International
  5. World Vision International
  6. Human Rights Watch
  7. Save the Children Spain
  8. Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity
  9. The Wildlife Trusts
  10. Allard Prize for International Integrity

So if you want to discuss how Drupal can benefit your Enterprise or Non-Profit, contact Mpire Solutions for a FREE Consultation. 

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Hiring a Drupal Developer

Introduction

For companies and individuals looking for a Drupal Developer, we have put together an easy-to-follow guide that will make the process as smooth as possible.

When you hire a Drupal developer, how do you know the person you’re bringing onboard will be able to successfully deliver your project? How do you know they’ll be able to build the type of website that you need? And how do you make sure that the developer will actually be a good fit for your company’s culture and needs? In this guide, we’ll look at what goes into hiring a Drupal developer—from how to start your search to assessing whether or not they have the right skills.

This blog post covers the following information:

  • Information about Drupal Developers
  • Work Expertise of Drupal Developers
  • Hiring a Drupal Developer
  • Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Drupal Developer

Information About Drupal Developers

Drupal developers are an integral part of the Drupal community. There are many different types of Drupal developers, each focusing on a different area of the software. The most common types of Drupal developers are front-end and back-end developers, who build sites and applications that run on top of the CMS.

What is Drupal?

Drupal is a free, open-source content management system that allows users to build entire websites or sections of websites by themselves. It can be used for simple blogs or complex corporate sites, and it makes up a large percentage of the web today.

The Drupal platform can be installed on most modern web servers to provide every feature a typical intranet or internet community requires: content management, discussion forums, user profiles and permissions, taxonomies/metadata, blogs, RSS feeds, and more.

The entire CMS system is written in PHP and distributed under the open-source GNU license, which allows it to be freely used, copied, distributed, modified, and redistributed. It runs on a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) software stack.

Who are Drupal Developers?

Drupal developers are a kind of software developers who focus on developing for Drupal, a free and open-source content management system. A single developer is likely to have experience in a wide variety of systems, including content management, e-commerce, and search engine optimization.

They may even dabble in areas like design and project management. There are many different paths towards becoming a Drupal developer, but they almost always require a background in programming languages like PHP and MySQL.

Drupal developers are skilled programmers who build and maintain websites using Drupal based CMS.

  • They’re the ones who keep your Drupal website safe, secure, and responsive.
  • They make sure your Drupal website is easy to use and works across all devices and browsers.
  • They tailor your Drupal site to your needs, making it unique to your brand so that it reflects well on you and what you have to offer.
  • They might also help you customize the look and feel of your website, integrate with other applications, or even add new features that weren’t originally part of the core software.
  • Drupal developers must be able to work with a wide variety of programming languages, including PHP, MySQL, JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.
  • The developer also needs to learn Drupal’s unique coding language that controls how the user interacts with the site. This includes how content gets displayed as well as how it is edited.

How Do Drupal Developers Work?

Drupal developers work in a variety of contexts, but they tend to fall into a few general categories:

Drupal is open source and free, so anyone can run and modify the code. However, many Drupal developers are hired to make changes to the existing code, which is used by clients without direct access to the source code. These developers may be employed by a company or organization that needs the website to incorporate certain features.

Other Drupal developers create sites for individuals or organizations with specific needs, like online stores.

The third group of Drupal developers works for agencies that sell their services to web development companies in Boston and around the globe. These developers typically work remotely in a freelance capacity.

If they work as part of an agency, they may have many clients, working on different projects simultaneously. They may also work long hours while attending events and training sessions related to Drupal technology. Most spend some time outside of normal business hours working on client projects and other tasks associated with their profession.

Drupal developers can work in the following ways:

  • Building websites from scratch
  • Doing simple or complex repairs on existing sites
  • Adding new features to their clients’ sites

Work Expertise of Drupal Developers

Drupal developers build websites that are both functional and beautiful. They give you the tools to build a great website, with powerful and flexible functions, design frameworks, and a content management system that allows the easy modification of your site’s content. A good Drupal developer will help you create a website that is accessible to all types of users, regardless of disabilities, browsers, or other technical issues.

The Working Styles of Drupal Developers

Every Drupal developer has their own style of working. However, there are some common approaches to developing with Drupal.

Some developers work in an agile environment, where they first create an MVP (minimum viable product) and then release it early and often. This allows them to test their ideas quickly, and make adjustments as needed.

This method differs from Agile development, where the emphasis is on producing the best possible product, within a set period of time. In this case, all features are fully fleshed out, with refactoring done as needed after the initial launch.

Some Drupal developers like to use version control systems like Git or SVN to keep track of changes they make to code or content.

Other developers believe in ad-hoc editing and saving multiple versions of files in different folders, while others like to keep everything stored in one folder and create backups periodically. Some developers back up frequently, others wait until the end of a project before backing up their files.

The Work Areas of a Drupal Developer

Drupal developers work in different areas of the Drupal framework, including:

1). Core PHP and PHP frameworks

Drupal is written in PHP, and its core frameworks make up the basic structure for the entire application. Drupal developers who specialize in this area can edit its code to ensure that it works smoothly and properly.

A Drupal developer must have a working knowledge of PHP, PHP frameworks (such as Symfony), and Drupal’s own coding standards. A major part of this role is developing custom modules for clients’ Drupal sites, and contributing to larger projects like Drupal 8.

2). Core JavaScript

JavaScript is used to make functionalities within Drupal’s front-end user interface run smoothly. Core JavaScript consists of scripts that react to different events and processes, such as a user loading a page or clicking on a specific element.

3). Drupal Modules

Drupal modules are individual extensions that can be added to or removed from an existing project. They are commonly used by website owners and companies to create custom applications based on Drupal’s underlying framework. Each module contains specific code that allows it to interact with Drupal’s systems.

4). Drupal Themes

A theme is what makes up a website’s visual presentation, so a Drupal theme developer is responsible for creating new website designs for clients using the framework.

5). Front End Languages

A Drupal developer’s day consists of writing code in front-end languages, such as JavaScript and jQuery. While they are writing the code, they are also reviewing the current state of their project’s DOM or Document Object Model. The DOM is a tree-structure diagram of all the elements in a web page, and it is used to show how those elements relate to each other and how the whole page relates to each element. They also use Ajax functions to create more dynamic websites.

6). Drupal Website Development

If you consider any Drupal developer, ensure that you know that he has learned the skills of website development, including HTML and CSS. Not only this, but a Drupal developer also works with CSS pre-processors such as Sass and Less. These browsers can quickly transform the codes of the languages into simple web pages, understandable to non-techies.

The Drupal developer extends the CSS language that comprises new, enhanced features that help them do the frontend styling faster. As the browsers don’t understand the code written with Sass and Less, a Drupal developer get his hands on it and knows how to use JavaScript task runners – for instance, Gulp and Grunt. They also enable compiling code from the pre-processors mentioned above to a regular CSS.

7). Module Creation

The modules are also known as plugins that expand the conceivable outcomes of Drupal and incorporate it with various outsider devices, tools, and services.

The developers know how to explore, introduce and design modules generally for a specific task. Likewise, they ought to have the option to fabricate new modules as some of the time meeting client pre-requisites include making custom arrangements without any preparation. Drupal engineers need to know how to utilize center snares and module snares.

8). Theme Creation

Drupal developers are programmers specializing in building Drupal based CMS. Some of their main responsibilities are working with themes, coding modules and customizing the core code. If a client requests additional functionality not already provided by Drupal, the Drupal developer will be responsible for writing the code to perform that task in addition to testing it.

9). Exceptional Skills of Drupal Developers

Most of the Drupal developers also have a hands-on approach on taxonomies, content types, nodes, image presets, and navigation. Not just that, but they also work with Drupal APIs. Concerning the last option, we mean, for instance:

  • Structure API, utilized for making and handling structures on a site.
  • Render API, it manages the render clusters, pipeline, components, and reserving.
  • Cache API, that stores information consuming most of the day to process
  • Data set API that gives a designer a standard reflection layer for getting to data set servers.

A Drupal developer likewise knows SQL and MySQL for setting up Drupal information bases.

Hiring A Drupal Developer

With Drupal being such a high-end and popular content management system, it’s natural that many companies would want to hire a Drupal developer. However, it can be difficult to know where to look, what questions to ask, how to evaluate the answers you get, or whether the developer is worth the price. This guide will walk you through the process of finding a Drupal developer and assessing their skillset.

How To Hire A Reliable Drupal Developer? 15 Skills to Look For!

If you want to hire an exclusive, all-in-one Drupal Developer, you can search for a full-stack Drupal developer who perfectly fits all the requirements needed for the Drupal job profiles. Hiring a Drupal developer is not easy; it has its pros and cons, and you need to weigh them down as per your requirements.

How might you settle on the right Drupal designer for your Drupal projects? Are you hiring a perfect profile who is also proficient at fitting the position? Do you know how you can find the right developer for your project related to business? This guide might give you the tips that are best and most helpful; they might help you with the hiring process and finding the right Drupal developer to meet your requirements.

You can easily hire from open source platforms, but you might be accountable for arranging the interviews and travel plans (wherever they are needed) on your own. However, if you make a list of your requirements and send it to a good company that can outsource, you can rest assured of having exceptional developers for your project. The best thing? You can also seek out individual profiles, meeting Drupal Developer’s requirements on social media platforms to hire one suitable candidate.

1). Work Experience

One of the most important pre-requisite to look for when hiring a Drupal developer is prior working experience. When looking at a candidate’s résumé, check whether they have worked on any Drupal projects and how long they have been using the platform. If the candidate has been using Drupal for a long time, it will be easier for you to trust their ability to use the platform effectively and meet your needs.

A good way to check their previous experience is by asking technical questions about Drupal modules and how they work, or by assigning a small project before they start working for you. This will help you see if they are able to handle complex situations and keep up with your team’s expectations.

2). Acquia Certification

Acquia Certification is a powerful complement to any Drupal developer’s toolbox. Acquia Certified professionals have passed both the Acquia Drupal 7 Developer Exam and the Acquia Drupal 9 Site Builder Exam.

When you hire a Drupal developer for your project, it can cause a lot of stress if you’re unsure whether this person is going to be able to handle the job. A well-respected certification, like Acquia Certification, can be a great way to alleviate these concerns.

Acquia Certified professionals have proven themselves in two ways: they’ve passed an exam that measures their knowledge base against industry standards, and they are on call via the Acquia Network, a group of professionals who are available as consultants to other individuals and companies working with Drupal.

Acquia Certification is highly respected in the Drupal Development community, and having one of these developers on your team can not only set your website up for success from its conception but also help you avoid potential issues with incorrect implementation or design decisions.

3). Knowledge of Command Line Interface (CLI)

When hiring a Drupal expert, keep in mind that experience with the Command Line Interface (CLI) is a valuable skill. The CLI allows for more efficient execution of tasks. According to a Drupal expert, “The simple fact is that it’s faster and easier to administer a site through the command line than through an administrative interface.”

The expert suggested that there are multiple reasons why developers should consider using the CLI to work with Drupal instead of using a web-based interface.

When using the CLI, developers have access to all available options in the Drupal core without having to navigate through layers of pages and menus. They can run commands without having to exit out of administrative mode first. Developers also avoid having to load Drupal every time they want to make changes to their site or test code.

4). Twig Templating Engine

When hiring a Drupal developer, a skill to look for is a command on Twig Templating Engine. This engine allows developers to create templates in an interpretable format that can be compiled and rendered into HTML by Drupal.

We define interpretable as human-readable code that can be tweaked, if necessary. Compiled means that the template is converted into PHP code and cached so that it isn’t recalculated each time it’s referenced. Rendered means that the markup has been converted into HTML and inserted into the page.

Twig templates are similar to PHP in syntax, but they have additional features such as template inheritance, filter hooks, extensions, and macros. Twig templates serve as the foundation for Drupal 8’s theme layer; Drupal will use Twig for its own internal templating system.

5). Symphony Flex

When hiring a Drupal developer, you’ll want to make sure that they have the Symphony Flex skill. When developing with the Symphony CMS, this skill allows developers to create fluid layouts and drag-and-drop modules. The Symphony Flex skill helps developers easily adjust a site’s content to suit different devices, like tablets and PCs. The Flex skill also lets you change colors and background images without touching code, and it supports responsive images.

6). PHP & PHP Framework

The ability to work with PHP (a scripting language) is crucial for a Drupal developer. The platform’s functionality comes primarily from PHP, and so a developer must have both experiences working with PHP and knowledge of its framework.

7). Package Managers

As any Drupal developer will tell you, package managers are crucial to the installation process. So how can you tell if a potential Drupal developer is worth hiring? The answer lies in their use of package managers.

A good Drupal developer will be able to list off at least 5 package managers and explain how they are used in the installation process. A great Drupal developer will go even further, describing the pros and cons of each one and when they would recommend using them.

Package management involves the installation, updating, and removal of software packages. Using package managers can provide a company with a method of keeping track of all the updates and installations that are occurring within their system. This can be used to ensure that any errors or problems are tracked down quickly in order to not disrupt the workflow. It also helps make sure that security patches are applied as soon as possible so that there aren’t any threats to the system as a whole.

8). Security Knowledge

Because Drupal is open-source, it’s easier for hackers to find vulnerabilities in the code without having to discover them on their own. The biggest security risk is that if your site is hacked, you’ll have to replace the entire server rather than just remove the offending code.

A good way to evaluate skill sets is by asking potential hires about their knowledge of Drupal security measures. Here are some questions you can ask to make sure you’re getting the best possible help for your money:

– Do you use a VPN when working on clients’ sites?

– Do you know how to make sure your host’s server is running on the latest version of PHP?

– How familiar are you with common Drupal exploits, and what can you do to prevent them?

Asking these questions will help you find a freelance Drupal developer who knows what they’re doing—and that’ll help your site stay secure!

9). Center Functioning of Drupal

As Drupal has evolved over the years, so too have the skills required to manage a Drupal website. A well-rounded Drupal developer should be able to handle both front-end coding – what users see when they access a site – as well as back-end coding – the programming that is involved in creating and managing the site itself.

A great candidate for a Drupal developer will be familiar with PHP programming language and especially proficient in SQL queries, which allow developers to pull information from multiple databases at once using single commands. An understanding of XML is also important for certain tasks.

This is a skill that takes years to fully master, so don’t just hire anyone who uses Drupal – look for one who specializes in this area!

10). Theming

Theming is the process of using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to change the way that a website looks without changing its underlying code. It can be used to adjust the layout of elements on a page, or even add animations and features like parallax scrolling. Theming is an advanced skill, but if a Drupal developer can do it, they’ll be able to bring lots of unique customizations to your site.

Drupal theme development is the process of taking an existing Drupal theme and modifying it to suit your needs. This can include things like adjusting colors and fonts, adding custom layouts or features, or completely overhauling design elements. A great Drupal theme developer will be able to take your vision for your website and make it come to life in Drupal.

11). The Extra Knowledge About Drupal

Drupal is an open-source content management framework. It’s used to power millions of websites. More than 1,000,000 developers are contributing to the platform, so it’s easy for even a novice to get overwhelmed. Each year, there are more than 10 million lines of code added and sometimes this can lead to technical debt.

Any extra knowledge about Drupal can help maintain and extend the codebase in a better way. The expertise can be gained by attending Drupal Meetups or going to local Drupal events like DrupalCamp and DrupalCon. The fact that the person has contributed to the global community speaks for his/her dedication towards his/her work and he/she will be able to deliver the best result for you.

12). Innovative Methodology or Approach

When hiring a Drupal developer, it’s important to understand that they’ll be your partner in developing a website or application. This means they need to be able to work with you and your team to find the best solutions to problems together.

They should also have some flexibility in their approach. There are many different ways to build an effective website, and Drupal developers need to be able to shift gears quickly when presented with new challenges.

13). Design Process Information

The design process begins long before any coding or styling occurs. It’s important to find someone who understands how to handle the flow of the project, and who can offer suggestions on how to make your website or software function in the most satisfying way possible. Here are some questions you can ask in an interview to make sure your designer has everything under control:

  • Do you have any experience working with Drupal?
  • Do you have any experience working with freelancers?
  • How do you handle difficult clients?
  • What is your favorite Drupal theme, and what makes it your favorite?

14). Meets the Budget

When you’re hiring a Drupal developer, you’ll have to be sure you’re getting the best quality for your money. Here are some things to watch for that will ensure your project stays on a budget:

✔ Watch for hourly overtime charges. Overtime charges add up quickly and can push your project costs out of control.

✔ If a developer says they’re going to charge you by the hour, make sure they’ve set an expected number of hours per week. Make sure the number doesn’t go over what was agreed upon, or you’ll end up paying for more hours than are necessary.

✔ Pay attention to how estimates are determined. If a developer is able to give you an estimate with only seeing a few tasks but no understanding of the project as a whole, then they don’t understand what they’re doing. This may mean that they come back later and start asking for more money because they’ve gone over their original estimate.

✔ Look at whether or not there’s a cost associated with work revisions. If there isn’t a cost associated with revisions, then it’s likely that the developer is going to ask for an additional amount.

15). Work Nature

If you need a Drupal developer, one question to ask is: Does the candidate take pride in their work?

The reason for this is that developers who are proud of their work will be able to better articulate why it is that they made the decisions they made. They will also be more likely to explain the importance of said decisions and how they relate to the function of the site as a whole.

This is especially helpful when trying to determine if the developer has stepped outside of their role and tried to make creative decisions without consulting you first.

Asking a potential developer how they would handle a situation you’ve encountered before can allow you to gauge not only their understanding of how sites are built but also their general thought process and reasoning when building them.

Top 10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Drupal Developer

When hiring a Drupal developer, it’s important to know what exactly you’re getting. Where will they be located? How do they work? What are their rates? Use this guide to help you formulate a list of questions to ask potential candidates before you decide who to hire.

Question 1: What is your approach to client relations?

Question 2: What is your experience with Drupal development? How many sites have you built using it?

Question 3: How much do you charge?

Question 4: Do you have any experience with the following modules and standards for Drupal 8: Organic Groups, Migrate, Webform, and RESTful Web Services?

Question 5: Do you automate your processes to make working more efficient and increase productivity? If so, what tools and techniques do you use?

Question 6: What is your preferred method of communication (phone, email, skype, zoom, chat, etc.) and availability (days/times)?

Question 7: What is your process for estimating projects?

Question 8: How would you handle a project that goes over budget or exceeds the expected timeframe?

Question 9: Do you utilize any best practices in terms of website architecture or development practices for Drupal? If so, which ones and why?

Question 10: Tell us about a challenge you faced while working on a project and how you overcame it. Or about a time when you failed to meet a goal and then how you recovered from it.

Conclusion

There is a long list of skills to go through to hire an exceptional Drupal developer. Some of them are highly required and essential not to ignore; however, some of them are acceptable to get unnoticed. We hope that you relished reading the article, and our excellent tips are helpful for you to hire a Drupal Developer for your business project.

In case you are looking for a Drupal Developer more conveniently and without undergoing the hassle of all the above, then MpireSolutions is more than willing to offer a completely FREE Consultation. Reach out to us now to discuss your Drupal development requirements.

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Drupal Website Migration – Key Features, Differences, and Process

Introduction

Drupal is a content management system that allows you to create websites with ease. Drupal 7, Drupal 8, and Drupal 9 are the most used versions of this open-source platform. You may be wondering what makes them different from one another, so we’ve compiled features, migration processes & differences you should know to better understand all three.

Drupal lets you build and maintain your own website. There are three popular versions of Drupal: Drupal 7, Drupal 8, and Drupal 9, released in 2010, 2015, and 2018 respectively. In this blog post, we will compare the features of each release, their differences, as well as how to migrate from one version to another.

This blogpost will cover the following information:

  1. Introduction
  2. Migrating to a New Version of Drupal
  3. Background of Drupal
  4. Evolving Web and Drupal Versions
  5. Top Drupal 7 Features
  6. Top Drupal 8 Features
  7. Top Drupal 9 Features
  8. Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 vs. Drupal 9: Comparing the Differences
  9. Migration Process – How to Migrate from “Drupal 7 to Drupal 9”, or “Drupal 8 to Drupal 9”?
  10. Make a Drupal Migration Plan
  • Consider time and budget for Drupal Migration
  • Consider new features & bug fixes of the Drupal website
  • Consider the skillset of Drupal developers
  • Planning of Release Window

11. Conclusion

Migrating to a New Version of Drupal

MpireSolutions has helped many clients migrate to a new version of Drupal. There are still some organizations that have not yet made the switch and could be in a difficult position when Drupal 9 becomes more of a requirement than an option. It will become more critical if their site is old and there is less support from the community. 

Drupal 8 has already reached its end of life on November 2, 2021 meaning there won’t be any community support or updates of bug fixes post this date.

Background of Drupal

This community-driven open source project was first launched in 2001 by Dries Buytaert as a message board platform for students to discuss topics related to computer science at the University of Antwerp (Belgium). Since then, development on Drupal has continued with the help of a global community of volunteers.

Drupal is an extremely versatile platform that can be used for a wide variety of Drupal websites, from small personal blogs to large-scale enterprise applications. There is no wonder that it’s one of the most popular content management systems on the web!

Evolving Web and Drupal Versions

Drupal has evolved extensively over the years especially with how site users interact with the platform. Drupal 7 has served us well since its release in January 2011. The end-of-life for this version of Drupal was scheduled to be November 2021, but because of the effect COVID-19 had on businesses and budgets, it is now extended until November 28th, 2022.

Drupal 8 was a step between Drupal 7 and Drupal 9. Some people might think that there will be a sudden switch to Drupal 9. However, you have to work hard when changing the custom code from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 (since Drupal 8 has already reached the end of life on Nov 02, 2021). But in the end, it will be worth it because the new code is better than the old one.

Top Drupal 7 Features

Drupal 7 is a popular choice because it is easy to operate and can be used to develop all types of websites, including social networks, blogs, and microsites. Let’s see some of the top Drupal 7 features:

  1. Drupal 7 is much easier to use. A number of changes make sure Drupal websites are easier to use and serve today’s audience.
  2. Drupal 7 can use three different database types, PostgreSQL, SQLite, or MySQL. This means that you can choose which one will work best for your needs. If you want to be able to use more types of databases, then you have the option to install a contributed module that provides extended support engagement.
  3. The features of this version make it easier to put images in the content. You can choose between different versions for your thumbnails, styles, and previews. With Drupal 7, you can easily make a combination of private and public file handling.
  4. In the Drupal community, people help each other build things. This is true for Drupal 7 as well as Drupal 8. There are over 800+ contributed modules that have been made by the community, including Pathauto and WYSIWYG.
  5. Drupal 7 in comparison to previous versions is a different interface that makes it easier to find what you are looking for on the website. There are also features that were not in previous versions of Drupal.

Top Drupal 8 Features

Drupal Core has been rewritten for Drupal 8. This means that many of the problems with speed and stability from Drupal Core have been solved. Drupal 8 provides a number of significant features, let’s see a few of them;

  1. The most notable feature of its architecture is its responsiveness. You may provide an experience using tablets, phones, or the internet browser.
  2. Drupal 8’s authoring functionality is well-known. It combines attractiveness, professionalism, and high performance into a single package. You can use Drupal 8 to edit and manage content on your website with greater ease than any previous versions of Drupal. In addition to the WYSIWYG editor, it includes inline and in-context editing on the page level. This makes it easier to modify and manage existing or new site content.
  3. Drupal 8 has a strong ecosystem of new tools that allows you to embed connected digital technologies, making integration simpler. These features, when used together, become a key marketing consideration. With Drupal 8, you may effortlessly manage web content and digital interactions thanks to its easy connection with other platforms. Drupal 8 includes integration capabilities with a number of established marketing technologies. 
  4. It also allows you to take advantage of a significant amount of creative freedom when it comes to selecting technologies that may be quickly linked with email marketing or marketing automation solutions.
  5. Drupal 8’s localization or translation is much easier. This platform was made flexible to work with any language, while the user interface was modified to include as many languages as desired.
  6. Another significant feature of Drupal 8 is the flexibility it provides for content distribution. You may use Drupal as a content management platform to develop and distribute content as a service through any channel, device, or platform at any time. Furthermore, in Drupal 8, you may import material from various sources (channels, applications, and devices).

Top Drupal 9 Features

Consider Drupal 9 to be a more powerful, faster, and easier-to-use version of Drupal. There are many substantial modifications & new feature additions that would necessitate a major upgrade in the future. However, let’s see some of the top Drupal 9 features;

  1. Drupal 9 is backward compatible, which means it works with its predecessor version, Drupal 8. Unlike D7 and D8, Drupal 9 will be able to utilize modules, site configuration, and data created on Drupal 8.
  2. Drupal 9 has improved performance and response time by adding a new pillar for responsive images, which displays the optimal mobile image sizes.
  3. In Drupal 9, Symfony 3 is replaced with Symfony 4 or 5. In addition, the Drupal community launches an upgrade to Twig 2.0. These changes result only in improved performance, a better developer experience, and an enhanced Drupal security team.
  4. Drupal 9 has dropped support for obsolete code in Drupal 8. This software ensures that deprecated code is no longer supported.
  5. Drupal 9’s community support is enthusiastically taking advantage of Headless CMS to provide a better user experience through the site’s powerful front-end, which utilizes a JavaScript framework. 

Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 vs. Drupal 9: Comparing the Differences

 

 

Migration Process – How to Migrate from “Drupal 7 to Drupal 9”, or “Drupal 8 to Drupal 9”?

The below information provides some clarity on when you should consider migrating from one Drupal version to an upgraded Drupal version. The decision to migrate should not be taken lightly and should involve careful planning and execution. If you are unsure of where to start, we recommend consulting with an experienced Drupal development agency

They will be able to help assess your needs and develop a migration plan that will work best for your organization.

Drupal 8 has already reached end-of-life. Drupal 7 is old and needs to be replaced. You should start the migration process from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 as soon as possible to avoid security implications arising due to end-of-life support for Drupal 8.

Make a Drupal Website Migration Plan

It’s now a question of the scope of work when you start planning for a Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 or Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 move. Do you just want to move your old site’s content to a new, more modern, and more secure platform? Or are you willing to make your site secure & better by looking at data architecture, features, and design? This decision-making process is likely to be influenced by considering the following factors;

  1. Consider time and budget for Drupal Migration
  2. Consider new features & bug fixes of the Drupal website
  3. Consider the skillset of Drupal developers
  4. Planning of Release Window

1-  Consider Time and Budget for Drupal Website Migration

When it comes to Drupal migration, time and money are always factors. Depending on the size of your site, migrating from Drupal versions can take weeks or months. The amount of work required will also depend on how well your old site was built and how to convert outdated code.

More recent Drupal websites that were built using best practices and coding standards will be easier to migrate than older, legacy sites. If you’re not sure whether your site is ready for a migration project, consider having it assessed by an experienced Drupal development firm.

In terms of budget, the cost of migrating from Drupal versions can vary depending on how much work needs to be done. A full rebuild will likely be more expensive than simple migration tasks.

A Drupal agency will be able to recommend an approach based on your needs and finances, as well as provide you with the necessary documentation for moving forward.

2-  Consider New Features & Bug Fixes of Drupal Website

Moving from older versions to an updated version like Drupal 9 also means that new features are available which you might want to take advantage of. Features like Media Library, Responsive Images, and Layout Builder all require a Drupal upgrade to utilize them fully.

Migration from older versions can also expose issues with your current Drupal website that were not visible before. There is always a chance that new platforms will behave differently than legacy ones which could impact your users’ experience.

Migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, or Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 can involve a lot of work, as well as cost, time, and money. However, you will be able to take advantage of new features which may help grow your business or improve its online presence. Additionally, there is always the possibility that moving forward with an upgrade could expose issues on your new site not previously visible due to the limitations of older platforms. 

This means that a Drupal upgrade could make your existing site better in more ways than one, as long as it is executed correctly and with proper planning.

3-  Consider the Skillset of the Drupal Developers

Another thing to consider when planning a Drupal upgrade is your Drupal migration company or Drupal developers’ team. Not all Drupal developers are skilled in the latest Drupal versions, especially if they were not involved in building it from scratch. It’s important that you choose the best Drupal development agency with enough experience and knowledge to handle any potential issues during migration so that there aren’t any setbacks.

Reach out to some expert Drupal developers and discuss your needs with them, or hire an agency for this purpose. If possible, choose a Drupal developer who is Drupal certified in both older and newer versions of Drupal so that you’re guaranteed the best possible outcome. They should be able to provide you with a quote based on the size of your Drupal website and the time needed to perform the migration task.

4-  Planning of Release Window

If you’re thinking about upgrading your Drupal version, it’s best to start planning now so that you can be ready when the new Drupal version is released. It’s important to remember that not all Drupal upgrades are created equal – some will require more work than others. Taking the time upfront to plan your Drupal version upgrade will make for a much smoother process in the long run.

Migration of your Drupal website should be executed by an experienced agency, one that has already worked on similar projects and knows how to handle potential issues that may arise during migration. This way you can rest assured knowing that they are taking care of everything while you focus on growing or maintaining your business.

Conclusion

Upgrading your Drupal website is a big decision that should not be taken lightly. There are many basic and important factors to consider before taking the transition. With careful planning and execution, it can be a great way to improve your business’ online presence. If you’re not sure about where to start, reach out to MpireSolutions, an experienced Drupal development agency for a Free Consultation.

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Why Drupal is the Best CMS for Your Website

Introduction

When it comes to choosing the best content management system (CMS), many blog posts out in cyberspace will tell you what your options are. Of all those, you might have come across endless discussions on Drupal and WordPress. Well, it’s really no surprise since they’re two of the most popular CMSs around. However, if we were to compare them all up against each other and form an unbiased view, then probably after analyzing every last detail about how each software functions – not just its benefits but also drawbacks and potential problems- it becomes pretty clear that it is probably possible Drupal emerges as our winner. The following blog will be nothing but an explanation behind this claim.

Simply put, Drupal is a tremendously flexible Content Management System that can be used to build anything from an e-commerce company site to or social community. It features over 11,000 modules to allow developers to create virtually any type of website–and this list just gets bigger as more are created. The most impressive feature about Drupal isn’t just its variety but rather how well it scales, depending on your needs. Whether you want something simple like creating blog posts for personal use (with ease), need full-blown functionality including database integration, so users don’t enter their information incorrectly into forms by accident; it’s just that there’s no limit on what type of websites could exist using Drupal. Without any further ado, let’s dig into some technical stuff as to why Drupal is the CMS pick for you.

  1. What’s an Open Source CMS?
  2. Benefits of Drupal:
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Real-time Website Demonstration

3. Why Drupal takes the lead over other Open Source CMSs?

  • Reliability and Extensibility
  • Security
  • Eases Website Complexity
  • Multilingual
  • Flexibility
  • SEO made Easy

4. Conclusion

What’s an Open Source CMS?

Let’s agree that Wikipedia is a great way to get information about anything and everything. But how do you know if the person writing your article knows what they’re talking about? And considering Wikipedia’s multilingual page coverage, how does one get expert people knowing different languages in one place? With this in mind, it might seem like Wikipedia would never work. Too many articles need topic-specific research; there might not be enough people proficient in writing on unusual topics. However, Wikipedia allows every other person to have edit access to every article. The same is the case with Open Source systems, capable of making things more manageable than before. What this means is, an open-source system in place comes with being able to contribute to content without any payment required – you can edit, access, and take the opinion of experts within the community.

Benefits Of Drupal CMS

Below, we have jargoned some of the most vital benefits of having Drupal as your Open Source CMS.

Quality

Drupal can be used as a versatile, rapid, and agile web development tool. It houses thousands of modules (more than 13000 combined). Developers can quickly add specific features without any hassle or delay. Because of Drupal’s open-source nature, developers from all around the world with an internet connection can contribute towards its improvement in any way possible.

With Drupal, you can easily think of CRM and security as well. You could also use it for polls or login modules to make your site more secure. And don’t forget: there are constant updates from a massive active community working on making sure everything stays current no matter what happens in this ever-changing world around us. Therefore, it’s easier than ever before to leverage Drupal’s benefits without worrying about development time getting stuck somewhere between months or years. 

Cost

The best CMS should be 100% free and isn’t as difficult to install. Drupal comes with a variety of modules, third-party integrations for developers who want more options in their website’s designs. The platform adheres strictly towards what you prefer, providing clean, easy to manage code out of the box- all without cost.

Drupal is an open-source website development framework that supports customization. The versatility of Drupal lies in its ability to be used by any web developer, which gives you more control over your project than if it were only designed for one particular type or style of site-building approach – not only does this make it easier for newbies to get started with designing a nice looking page but also allows skilled professionals who have been using other CMSs (such as WordPress) switch back again without difficulty should they choose too.

Building a site with Drupal is more cost-effective than using other popular content management systems. You may spend less in the beginning, but you’ll save money down the line when adding components or making changes to how your website looks and functions for visitors on it – all while not having to hire another developer.

Real-time Website Demonstration

Drupal is like a blank canvas for anyone to create their desired website. With its support from an active community, it can be used anywhere to create websites of any preference or format – even if you have never created one before. At the moment, it fuels over 1 million sites worldwide, proving how versatile this content management system really is.

With a few clicks of the mouse, you can easily find Drupal websites that will save your project and inspire what features are available on other sites. You’ll be able to visualize these elements into reality instead of waiting around while ideas pile up in piles upon each other.

In this next part of the blog post, we will be looking at why Drupal is better than its competitors: WordPress and Joomla. There are many aspects to it, but one big reason for choosing a specific CMS enterprise system development platform over another may have something to do with whether or not you want an extension for your site – which can really expand its functionality and give life-changing benefits when implemented correctly.

Why Drupal Takes The Lead Over Other Open Source CMSs?

Reliability and Scalability

Drupal is the best way to make your website fast and reliable. Drupal 8 has been adopted by more than 100,000 websites in just six months compared to one year for Drupal 7. With this framework, you can easily handle high traffic–even on a busy web platform like Facebook or Google+. Drupal 8 offers even greater power when combined with modern technologies such as HTML5 video streaming services from YouTube, Instagram. This version has made it even faster for enterprises that need to reach their customers quickly in this constantly changing world of technology where things change every day.

Security

Drupal is great because it’s got rock-solid security measures complemented by constant updates from the community, led by its Security Advisory Team. It safeguards you against online hacking attempts; moreover, performance and security parameters can be managed effortlessly through an easy-to-use admin panel in seconds. Let’s try to install new patches while also adding essential modules like Firewall Rules or Anti-Ransomware Detection Tool (aka DrupalScan). There’ll be absolutely no way your website will get hacked. The Whitehouse has even gone so far as to use Drupal for its official site – which is just one more piece of evidence that it’s the answer. Moreover, NASA, CERN, and London’s government all rely on this technology too. 

Eases Website Complexity

Drupal’s framework is a perfect fit for site builders looking to deploy large websites with complex needs. The flexible platform offers developers plenty of customization options and features that will meet your every need, from adding taxonomy terms on the fly to customizing content types – all without ever being designed in-house. In addition, it has easy installation procedures, so you can have your site up before even digging into coding too much.

Multilingual

The 90 different languages that Drupal can be used to publish content in are huge assets for those who want their site accessible around the world. Some of these languages include Arabic, Chinese, and so-called internet-based Lolspeak – but there’s no limit on what you could write.

Flexibility

You know you can make your site look like anything with the customization options. No need to worry about custom code. With just a few clicks, this CMS will have everything customized for what suits best in each situation – from fonts and colors right down through layouts and design aesthetics.

SEO made Easy

A well-crafted website is more than just an attractive layout. It needs to generate traffic and convert visitors into customers through the effective use of SEO, social media networks like Facebook & Twitter, or even user engagement on your site’s forums. That’s where Drupal comes in handy because it offers everything you need for building successful online businesses, including features such as drag n drop page builder toolkits which make designing websites easier than ever before.

The rich ecosystem of Drupal ensures you have access to powerful SEO modules, modern web publishing tools, and clean code for developers. This offers extensive range 3rd party add-ons that can take your search engine optimization initiatives from A-Z. With content being at its core – it works flawlessly in driving more traffic on page one with ease thanks to these amazing features built right within them out of the box.

Conclusion

Drupal is a one-shade canvas that can carry the entire event. It’s possible to find tons of reasons why people think Drupal is the best CMS ever made. While there are many great examples online for how websites have been configured using Drupal software, it also has unique features that make each aspect different from other sites somehow. This will not only make you thrive as a business owner but enable success to outshine all others – making you stand apart from the competition.

Mpire Solutions is committed to helping businesses create dynamic, innovative websites that help enhance their brand image. We specialize in designing and developing Drupal sites which are secure as well as engaging for your customers. No matter what type of business you have – from restaurants or law firms; we can provide an excellent product tailored by expert ACQUIA certified developers.

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WordPress – Weighing In On The Pros and Cons

WordPress is an amazing open-source platform for your website development, but is it the right option for you? If you are stuck with selecting the best CMS for your needs, then stick to this blog post, as we will decode all the pros and cons that WordPress offers.

Ultimately which CMS is best suited for any given situation depends on personal preferences and skill set. However, one thing remains true – whatever path leads you towards choosing the most preferred content management system couldn’t have come at a better time.

Let’s familiarize first with WordPress as a CMS.

This blogpost will cover the following information:

  • What is WordPress?
  • Pros of Using WordPress
  • Cons of Using WordPress
  • Conclusion
  •  

What is WordPress? 

WordPress is a popular content management system (CMS) that simplifies the process of building your blog or website. It was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little. They wanted to create something easy for anyone with an idea to share without hassle. WordPress’ open-source nature means you can use this software freely as well – whether it’s blogs/blogs sites from small business owners looking for flexibility; those just getting started out on their own turf whose needs may change over time but need something fast & lightweight at first, so they don’t waste money on technology which doesn’t work properly.

Now that we have an understanding of WordPress let us now look into its advantages.

Pros of Using WordPress

Easy to Begin With

WordPress is a great way to get started with your blog. You can start off on the right foot by using an automated hosting service and then adding content as needed, or you could decide yourself what will be included in each post before starting out (and make sure there’s enough). Either way, it’s easy because WordPress has been designed so that even new users don’t need any technical expertise. The whole process takes under two hours from the beginning-to-end: picking site name/theme color combo, both up for grabs at this point since they’re user-definable features within WordPress itself; setting up navigation bars where necessary based upon these same options plus getting rid of excess styling tags if needed.

Numerous Themes to Pick From

One of the best things about WordPress is how customizable it can be. Not only are there thousands of free templates available, but you also have access to premium themes with all sorts of features for any occasion or need.

As a designer, one of your top priorities should be building an online shop. But if creating beautiful sites is not enough for you and everything about them is stuck in WordPress’s perpetual infancy stage; there are plenty of premium themes waiting just around the corner on ThemeForest or individual developer websites like WPExplorer & Elegant Themes who can help turn even an unskilled webmaster into making something great happen with design skills alone.

Plugin Options 

The WordPress plugin marketplace has thousands of options for adding features to your site. SEO plugins are just one example, with pricing varying according to the type you choose. You can find free or premium versions on CodeCanyon and developer sites alike. There’s no wrong way if it means getting exactly what customers want without ever leaving their page.

SEO Included

One of the best things about WordPress is how SEO-friendly it makes your website. This means that any site you build on this platform will be indexed by search engines and rank higher, which means more people can find out what’s on offer. There are also plenty of plugins available (like Yoast) to help make sure every page or blog post gets optimized for a top-ranking with ease.

Content Creation Simplified

Creating and publishing content has never been easier with page templates and blog templates on WordPress. With just a few clicks, you can create new pages, add your own text (including images), as well as adjust formatting such as tables or fonts. You’ll be done in no time at all; now, go make something amazing happen on those blogs of yours.

You can create unique designs without relying on third-party tools or coding with WordPress’s Gutenberg page builder, which is now included by default. While there was some initial discussion about this new feature being a problem when it first came out because of how different people would have their own opinions as opposed to one another’s thoughts and ideas for design styles in general, ultimately after using the product myself over time what became clear: It has become quite mature with loads upon features including WYSIWYG interface builders like Divi, Elementor, and many more.

Active Community

The WordPress community is an incredible resource for those who need help with their code. The internet has thousands of blogs and forums covering everything from basic questions to more advanced topics, such as customization options within the program itself or integrating third-party services into your website’s functionality. There are also customer support systems provided by plugins themselves should you run into any issues while using them on a day-to-day basis – not just when something goes wrong. If things go perfectly according to plan, these tools can save valuable time down the line by preventing future problems before they happen. In addition, there are always WordCamps—whether in person at conferences around the world or virtual ones hosted via live stream video conference.

Frequently Updated

WordPress is constantly being updated with new features and bug fixes. This means that your site will load faster, have better security measures in place for your visitors to enjoy a superior user experience on the platform while they browse around. Plus, if there are any updates available through WordPress’s theme/plugin ecosystem, then it’s very easy (and even automated) because most of these items get updated regularly, too – giving them an edge over other platforms that might not be getting support like this at all times or simply don’t offer enough toolsets beyond their core package anymore.

Highly Flexible

With WordPress, you have endless opportunities for creativity as you can create your own themes and plugins. As opposed to other platforms with only one design per website, existing WordPress communities provide hundreds of thousands of more designs, so users have even greater flexibility in what they want out site’s appearance.

Third Party Platform Integrations

Having countless integration with third-party platforms, WordPress is best on social media. You can configure WordPress to automatically share your latest posts to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook with just a few clicks of the mouse. And through plugins, you could foster greater connections by using productivity tools like Trello or communication ones like Slack, too. Even automation tools will trigger certain actions when specific parameters are met (IFTTT is one).

Minimal Hosting Demands

To start a WordPress website is as straightforward as it can be. And if your site traffic grows over time, you can always upgrade to the next tier plan, which provides even more storage space for all those files.

Scalable

The web world is ever-changing, and WordPress makes it easy for you to keep up with all that’s happening. You can launch your site on a small hosting plan without any necessary features – just upgrade when needed. With this framework in place, there are no limits as long as we have our imagination. And who knows what could happen next? The possibilities will always be wide open, so why not explore them at full speed.

Mobile-Friendly and Responsive

All themes offered by WordPress, at this point, have been made responsive and mobile-friendly, so you don’t have to worry about making any extra adjustments on your end when designing or updating content pieces. In addition, there’s Gutenberg Block Editor, which helps make sure everything looks good no matter what device people view them from – another mark against WordPress’ plus side.

That’s all we have for the perks of using WordPress; now, let us discuss its shortcomings.

Cons of Using WordPress

Options Can Be Overwhelming

WordPress has a lot of features that can be challenging to understand and use. Similarly, if you don’t know what your site will look like before starting development, then WordPress might not work well because it’s difficult when there are so many options available in this platform – especially considering how complex some people want their projects to get.

Security is All on You 

When it comes to security, you can’t just rely on WordPress for your site. You have to be prepared with an intimate knowledge of how the software works and what it takes to maintain its speed, optimize SEO (search engine optimization), ensure security by using plugins like antivirus programs or firewalls—or both. Keep a close eye out because this is one aspect where managed-to-host plans come into play: they offer extra protection from abuse but at an additional cost that many people cannot afford, especially given their already tight budgets.

Customizing Can be Expensive

Many themes and plugins are free, but if you want a fully custom site with more extensive changes in design than what is offered by the built-in options of your chosen theme or plugin, it will cost money. Premium sites can be expensive to develop; if not done professionally, they may lack some important features that would require coding knowledge on behalf of either yourself or someone else who might do this job instead (and charge).

No Dedicated Support

Even though WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems on earth, it also has drawbacks. One major drawback for some people could be that this CMS isn’t commercial and doesn’t come with dedicated support from their company – you’re left to figure out problems yourself through forums, blogs if possible, and perhaps hire developers who can do the job for you.

Conclusion

The best way to have a successful website is with the right professional managing it. Consulting an expert will help you avoid many of these common pitfalls and ensure your site runs smoothly, securely – every time. 

Mpire Solution’s services are here for what you need to be done today or in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for your WordPress queries, so we can get started together, making sure that anything holding back your business growth is worked upon to ensure success.

Follow the link down below and get in touch with us!

https://mpiresolutions.com/contact-us/ 

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Transitioning From Drupal 8 to Drupal 9

The era of Drupal 9 is finally here, and it’s time to make the jump. Transitioning from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is an easy progression for websites that have been maintaining minor updates. Whether you’re running your site on Drupal 7 or 8, there’s a lot that you will experience from this change, including functionality, interface, accessibility, increased security measures – packing in some pretty impressive features. This way, it becomes much easier than having a complete site change over with everything new again, including branding elements like logos and layouts that might not fit anymore after multiple development rounds. 

This blog sets out how we made these transitions seamless for our clients to benefit from all new functionality & benefits with ease during their upgrade process. Follow these 9 critical points if you are thinking of making an upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.

1. Define Clear Goals

When making the transition Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, consider what your organization’s goals and preferences are. You should be able to identify how your website will measurably support these goals before implementing any changes to it. This way, you will attain a successful transition in minimal time and money spent. Outlining these types of metrics at an early stage ensures only the most essential things are focused upon. 

2. Conduct Research For User Experience (UX)

To create a successful user experience, your questions should be designed with your users in mind. The best way to do this is by getting feedback from them. Ask what they need and how it can make their lives easier; better yet, engage directly through surveys or other means of communication like a chat on websites—the critical factor here is remaining agnostic about any solution so as not to bias internal preference towards one path over another.

3. Perform a Content Audit 

The content you currently have on your site may be outdated and does not reflect the voice or style of marketing that has changed since it was first published. Before moving forward, we recommend completing a Redundant, Outdated Trivial (ROT) analysis to better prepare for our following step-defining content types. How do we assess quickly? Remember it is all about being: Timely-Relevant-Understandable-Significant-Targeted.

  • Timely: Is the information up-to-date and current? Is there anything you can do to make it more engaging for the audience or clients?
  • Relevant: Do the audience still find your information relevant? 
  • Understandable: It’s essential to make your content as easy-to-read and engaging for the average reader. A dense text might be a challenge, primarily online, where people have shorter attention spans than they did even five years ago.
  • Significant: Page view statistics provide a detailed breakdown of your site’s traffic. Suppose there is not as much interest in certain pages. In that case, it may be due to poor content quality and language used on those specific pages, which needs some reworking before any more harm occurs from lackluster readership stats.
  • Targeted: Put content that targets your audiences’ interests.

4. Know Your Content Types

The perfect structure for your content types and fields is crucial to a successful site. It’s also vital that you have separate, reusable pieces of content on the same topic and taxonomies with terms attached so they can be imported into other pages or used as categories in line items. The relationships between these parts will dictate how quickly indexing happens when building up from an existing database.

5. Work Alongside Drupal Professionals

With a partnership from an outside Drupal development firm, you’ll be able to achieve your organization’s goals. An ideal team understands what makes yours unique. It can help execute its vision while providing the best value for money in terms of price tag and quality deliverables.

6. Consider Routine Maintenance

The best way to prepare for a transition from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is by auditing your site and completing a module audit. You will need to make sure that all of the modules are compatible with this version, as any disabled or deprecated ones won’t work anymore. We recommend giving the following options a look before diving right into updating everything.

  • Check for existing patches on your current Drupal version, then go ahead and try them out. If they work well enough (or at all), make your own patch or comment about how successful it was in the available discussion forums – who knows? Maybe someone else will find this helpful too.
  • If you’re unable to find a patch, consider creating an issue and then commenting on how helpful it was when the module gets closer to Drupal 9.
  • Sometimes, you may want or need to swap modules for newer ones with more features.

7. Speak In The Manner That Connects With Your Audience

Organizations often develop their own language that becomes disconnected from how customers talk and what they offer. It’s important to always use the same terms on a public website, rather than high-level mission statement terminology or other jargon in your values statements.

8. Sequence Your Backlog

Many organizations have a list of improvements they would like to see on their site. Still, it can be difficult for them and the people in charge if there is no clear idea of what needs changing. A good way around this problem could be collecting information from stakeholders about significant changes or updates that need implementing, so all parties are satisfied with the outcome.

9. Ready Your Drupal 8 Website For The Future

To upgrade your Drupal site for the current latest version, i.e., migrate from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, here’s a list of boilerplate stuff that you need to keep in mind: 

  • When upgrading to Drupal 9, make sure the host you choose has been updated with new requirements.
  • Upgrades are supported from Drupal 8.8 and 8.9, but the latest version available is not enough for a smooth upgrade process; you’ll need to update your theme as well (or use the Update Status module).
  • Keep projects up-to-date with gradual support on new features as well as keep old ones running smoothly.
  • Rector is the best way to remove old, deprecated APIs from your custom code. It can even make some of them disappear for you automatically.

Conclusion

Drupal 10 is due for release in the coming years, so there’s no time like the present to prepare for migrating your Drupal website. The gap between versions will only widen from here on out and with each passing day. It becomes more challenging to keep track of all the changes in addition to whatever features are being added or changed without notice by developers at various companies who work on different parts independently (and sometimes even against one another).

At Mpire Solutions, we can help make this transition possible. Get in touch with us, and let’s work together to take your website on the latest version of Drupal.

https://mpiresolutions.com/contact-us/  

To read more of our blogs, follow the link down below.

https://mpiresolutions.com/blog/

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Open Source Software and Security

Open Source Software (OSS) is the new frontier for data security. In this article, we will discuss how OSS development and security are related. We will also mention some tips and tricks that developers should know about in order to make their code as safe as possible along with some popular methods to maintain a secure environment using OSS.

It should also be noted that open source programs may prove more secure than proprietary alternatives; The Linux Kernel at one point featured 6800 patches and its OSS was not found to have any major vulnerabilities (2016 SANS Institute study).

Open source software is built by a global community of developers who are incentivized to provide maximum security. The fact that such software is freely available for examination and improvements allows the product to be more secure, stable, easier to manage, and have better performance than commercial alternatives.

 

Protect your Data

 

What is Open Source Software (OSS)?

Open Source Software (OSS) is a type of software that has its source code made available to the public for use and/or modification. This makes OSS very useful because you can modify it according to your needs without having any licenses or paying any royalties whatsoever. OSS can be used for both personal and corporate applications since it is available to everyone. Since, OSS has its source code made available, most people like to edit the code and improve it so that they can send their improvements as patches which gets sent back to the original project developers. Most open source projects have a mailing list or forum where you can ask new questions and also post your patches. OSS is largely available free of charge and even have some licenses that allow you to use the software for private commercial projects as well!

 

Open Source Code

 

The Value of Open Source Software (OSS) in IT Security

As of 2017, Open Source Software (OSS) was being used by 90% of the Fortune-500 companies. In 2021 OSS proves to remain just as popular with a new record customer base i.e. 98%. A popular myth around the use of open source code is: “Open source software has no security” which this article will debunk while also detailing why the benefits of open source code in data protection should not be discounted due to possible security vulnerabilities.

Eighty-three percent (83%) of polled OSS users believe their choice in software was critical in preventing cyber-attacks against their businesses, which displays OSS’s value in the security realm; OSS is not only secure, but valuable in preventing breaches. OSS saves businesses millions of dollars in software development costs: OSS is 21% less expensive on an average for modern software projects than proprietary alternatives (MIT Sloan Management Review). OSS has a high quality and low-cost maintenance factor; OSS is updated more frequently without advertising or marketing spend – thus leading to quicker patching of security vulnerabilities (SANS Institute).

 

Cloud Computing Giants using OSS

Cloud Computing Giants that use Open Source Software

The three major cloud computing firms, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform all make use of OSS internally. It is worth mentioning that, even though these firms have a vested interest in OSS, they do not contribute to the development process or the maintenance of it.

These corporations utilize OSS every day for their data centers, mission-critical systems, and business processes. Using open-source software is much more cost and time efficient for a company as compared to creating software from the ground up.

 

Improve security with OSS

 

Open Source Software and Security

There are several ways in which OSS lowers an organization’s security risk:

Fewer vulnerabilities

First, OSS has a low number of lines of code and therefore fewer potential vulnerabilities. Most OSS developers strive for simplicity rather than complexity in the way they write code which can often eliminate security holes that would otherwise be present had the developer attempted to include additional functionality. This is also due to there being fewer developers working on OSS projects than there are for proprietary programs. The fact that there is a smaller pool of coders also means each individual developer has more time to focus on the critical code rather than wasting time with less important or unrelated features.

Greater insight into source code

Another way in which OSS can be beneficial security-wise is by allowing insights into your own software. If you are using an open source program, chances are there’s already some existing documentation on how it works, which can be shared amongst the organization’s employees. As hackers continue to come up with more advanced breaches it is crucial that organizations stay ahead of hackers by monitoring their own software development.

More potential for peer review

There is also a greater possibility of peer reviews by other developers and users who will scrutinize your code for any potential vulnerabilities that may exist.  Even though these home-grown OSS programs don’t receive the same amount of attention as major projects, they can still be scrutinized by other developers and are an additional source of insight for growth.

Community building and support

Another aspect of open source security is that due to it being freely available for use and modification there is a large online community that shares personal experiences with bugs in a program or ways to best use it. This allows anyone to find solutions and workarounds for issues they may be having in the program or related programs. The large online community also acts as a quick but powerful code review system; people will find bugs with your OSS that you would otherwise have overlooked.

Civic Hacking Compatibility

It’s worth mentioning that due to Open Source Software being accessible for inspection by third parties, there is an increasing interest in security bug discovery through civic hacking. A prime example of such activity would be the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ” Cyber Challenge ” program which encourages citizen participation in finding flaws with the purpose of improving upon cyber defenses.

 

OSS drives innovation and collaboration

 

Crucial roles in maintaining Open Source Software Security

The Developer’s Role

The developer’s role in OSS Security is another crucial aspect. Software developers must find ways to write secure code in order to prevent the known vulnerabilities that we face from being exploited. In a paper entitled Security Development for Open Source Software: An Empirical Study the author states that “security is often seen as an afterthought and bolted on top of the actual system.” To counter this problematic trend, OSS developers must focus on the development of secure code from the beginning.

The paper mentioned above has also shown that “Developers take security seriously and give it more significance than do other organizations” which means OSS Security is taken more seriously in comparison of proprietary alternatives. There are many ways for OSS software developers to help improve the security of their OSS but it all starts with writing secure software from the beginning and making sure that they are keeping up with any new exploits.

Software developers have to be wary of who is using their program and how.  These are two important aspects to consider when it comes to security within OSS development. What this means is that you should think about how your program will be used by people on both ends of the spectrum, meaning you must be aware of both novice and expert users.  For example, if you are making a networking program that is intended to be used by people who are new to programming you must consider how they will use the program and where.

A novice user could download your software and use it for something such as sending personal information unencrypted or logging into a site without any form of authentication.  The expert users will test your program to see if there are any known vulnerabilities and where the weak points lie.  If an OSS has stable security features, it is more likely that the developers will be able to keep up with all new exploit attempts and patch them accordingly.

The User’s Role

The users’ role in Open Source Security is also crucial because even if you have a great program that does everything it says correctly on paper, if people aren’t using it correctly then the security is useless.  The paper mentioned above also reiterates this, “End users play a crucial role in spreading awareness and training”.  An example of where this would happen would be if end users were able to share knowledge about using OSS for secure communications between users from different organizations.

Hackers are always trying to find ways to break into systems or programs in order to steal information, access other computers or servers and/or bring down a website. Having the open source files available for easy viewing helps to make the process of finding vulnerabilities or possible methods of attack easier.

OSS is the key to success

 

Useful tips for creating secure code using Open Source Software

  • Do not use other people’s open source code without verifying that it has had security patches applied to it.  You should make sure to check the developer’s website, ask them about their software, etc.  If the code is licensed under a non-commercial license, then it can’t be used for commercial purposes.  Also you run the risk of your program being flagged by antivirus software or firewalls as malware, due to other people’s open source code including malicious bits of code.  This could potentially cause problems like users not being able to access your software.
  • Make sure you read the OSS license agreement, as many licenses will require that modifications or additions be open sourced under the same license.  You should also check any associated websites for updates and security patches for your software if it is licensed under a non-commercial license, however these usually only happen occasionally.  If you plan to host your program online or make it publicly available, then you should check for any licenses that may restrict that use of the OSS.
  • There are plenty of OSS programs and websites which provide free antivirus scanning on submitted code; this can be an easy way to avoid malware issues with malicious code in your programs.  For example, if you use a website such as Hacker Earth then you can submit your code and they will run it through their Antivirus scanner for free!  This site also includes links to other websites such as Virus Alert, Security Focus, Scumware Warrior and Rapid Malware Analysis Center. Some antivirus scanners will also scan OSS for malicious code, which is a good way to ensure that your program code isn’t infected with malware as well.
  • Make sure that you follow the same security guidelines when developing an OSS product that you use in traditional software development such as secure programming, validation of input, buffer overflow protection, etc. The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) provides some information on open source security guidelines.

Developing secure code is important for any software program, whether it is open source or not.  If you want to be able to release your software as free or paid OSS, then make sure that your code is as secure as possible and that users will not be at risk if they use your software.  If you are planning on using OSS in applications or websites, then make sure that the code is cleaned of any malicious files first before it is used.

 

Open Source Software Security

 

Popular methods to maintain a secure environment using Open Source Software

  • ‘Vendor Lock­-in’ – An IT manager decides to host all their servers and applications on a Linux distribution such as CentOS (avoiding vendor lock-in), Ubuntu, Debian or Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). This ensures at least 85% of attacks will be stopped before entering into a corporate network. It also creates an audit trail in case of a breach (through the use of logs and network traffic).
  • ‘Fabrication’ – An IT manager decides to fabricate their own servers from open source components. By doing this, they are able to remove pre-installed data collectors from devices and control who has access to them. Any software installed on these fabricated devices only runs when accessed by the user; again creating an audit trail in the event of a breach/malicious code execution.
  • ‘Open Source Patching’ – A Penetration Tester decides to use open source components in the exploitation of a corporate network. By using this method, they are able to hide their exploits from security software and reduce detectability on an audit trail. The IT manager is then forced to patch all systems running OSS as regular updates contain patches for software exploits that may be used to gain access.
  • ‘Diversion’ – An IT manager decides to use OSS in all major infrastructure such as firewalls, load balancers, etc. By doing this, any malicious code will automatically fail when targeting these OSS devices. The IT manager then makes the decision of whether to use security protection software to monitor the OSS, or allow the OSS to handle malicious code execution and attacks.
  • ‘Logging’ – An IT manager decides to implement OSS into all corporate devices such as servers, desktops, laptops etc. The server generates logs of all events (i.e. Software updates applied) and stores this information on the OSS. The IT Manager then has an audit trail of all activity, whether it be malicious code or not.

Most organizations who have used OSS for a long period of time will find that they receive less attacks and malicious code execution attempts than their counterparts, and thus experience an increase in open source security; although there are many other contributing factors towards this.

How organizations can help prevent OSS products from being abused on their networks or systems

  • Isolation – Use a separate network segment for non-corporate OSS traffic.  Many organizations choose to create an isolated VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network) for all devices using OSS.  This will stop the OSS from communicating with other devices, thus preventing abuse.
  • Exhaustive Patching – Ensure that all software on the network is patched and updated regularly.  Many organizations choose to patch or update OSS once a week in order to keep software up-to-date with fixes and patches for bugs or exploits. Some may choose to patch once a month, depending on how important OSS is to the security of the network.
  • Regular Monitoring – Perform regular monitoring and logging of all OSS software, whether it be intrusion detection or virus scanning.  Many organizations will use software such as nmap (network mapper) for port scanning and Nessus or OpenVAS for intrusion detection.
  • Vendor Relations – Keep in close contact with the vendor of any OSS you choose to use, this will help prevent abuse of your product/service as they can alert you to known exploits or bugs in their software.

Conclusion

Open Source Software (OSS) is a category of software that embodies the ideals of open source development and collaboration. OSS provides an effective way for organizations to reduce costs, increase security, and improve IT efficiency by using free or inexpensive products with scalable features.

Mpire Solutions has been providing high-quality services in the field since 2008 including cloud computing solutions, managed IT support, disaster recovery planning and more – all backed up by our certified developers who provide 24/7 customer support and feedback on your system’s performance. If you’re looking for help maintaining a secure environment through Open Source Software, then contact us today! We offer various packages to suit your budget whether you need just one service or want everything we have to offer.

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