Category: Web Development

Web Development Companies in Boston | How to Hire the Best One?

According to a KPMG survey, Boston is the ninth likeliest city to become a leading global tech innovation hub outside Silicon Valley over the next few years. This means healthy market competition and more options in terms of service providers for customers. But abundant options can become overwhelming as well. In this article, we will give you some tips on how to hire web development companies in Boston.

Latest Trends in Web Development

The latest trends in any industry define the very nature of that industry’s growth and evolution. The following latest technologies and features are taking center stage in the web development field and some are expected to become public in upcoming years:

  • Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
  • Single Page Applications (SPA)
  • Serverless Architecture
  • Motion UI
  • Blockchain Technology
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • AI Chatbots
  • Optimized Voice Search
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages

So before hiring web development companies in Boston do make sure that their knowledge and expertise are up-to-date with trends.

Why is it Important for Businesses to have a Functional Website?

A website is the primary presence of a business in the virtual space. Businesses need to have a functional website to build a brand presence, share information, and attract prospects. You can easily find web development companies in Boston, Massachusetts to build your website if your business also exists in the same locality.

Once you have hired a suitable web development company in Boston, you can not only ask them to build a brand new website or upgrade an existing one but also assign them a long-term maintenance job for the same website. This will ensure that your website remains functional, error-free, and up-to-date.

Any fluctuation in the website visitors’ user experience can lead to customer attrition. Make sure the web development companies in Boston are competent enough to handle your requirements otherwise it can lead to a downturn in website traffic and business.

Considerations to Make Before Hiring a Web Development Company in Boston

Establishing a Why

There are a lot of things you need to consider before hiring web development companies in Boston. First of all, it is important to define why you want to hire a web development company in Boston. Once you have clearly defined your why, your vision for the web development project becomes clear. When you know why you need a website and how it will benefit your business, you will be able to get the best out of the web development companies in Boston you hire. These two can be the foremost reasons why you need a web development company.

·         Building a New Website

You don’t have an online presence and wish to hire web development companies in Boston to build a website for that purpose.

·         Revamping and/or Upgrading an Existing Website

You might have an existing website that needs revamp and/or upgrades to improve its functionalities and the user experience and journey.

Defining Parameters

Defining parameters for the hiring process and the project itself is vital for optimum results. Whether it is your budget, the expertise you require, or the project timeline, having clear parameters and properly communicating them to the web development company is important to establish a successful online business presence.

Proximity

Your business is located in Boston. Close proximity to the web development companies in Boston that you hire for your business can be beneficial. Face-to-face interactions can prove to be important in projects that require close collaboration such as website development.

The Web Development Company’s Capabilities

After defining your why, you should outline what you require from the web development companies in Boston before you make the final decision about hiring. Hire a company whose capabilities align with your requirements to avoid any problems. This may mean inquiring about the following:

  • Years in website development services
  • Command on specific programming languages, platforms, and applications
  • Certain developer expertise, experience, and/or certifications
  • Proven track record of previously developed websites
  • Client testimonials and reviews, etc.

Defining Project Scope

Clearly outlining the scope of your project goes to your benefit. This includes but is not limited to the features you need, the target market, integrations, platforms, and third-party applications.

Setting Project Success Metrics

Through a few discussions with the company you are hiring, you can understand their work process and communicate your expected launch date, milestones, and benchmarks.

For any project to be successful, well-defined success criteria are vital. It’s not only about optimizing the hiring and development process, the results are the bottom line. Make sure to communicate your expectations beforehand and provide the development company feedback on the results of their project.

Whether you are looking for better functionality, user experience or an increase in sales through your website make sure you have parameters to know what your investment in web development was worth.

Communicate the Desired Features

Thoroughly research the latest trends in web development and have a few discovery meetings with the web development companies in Boston to understand the features you would need for your business.

Some of the major features and characteristics of successful web development are:

  • Engaging User Experience and User Journey
  • Interactive User Interface
  • Mobile-responsive
  • Cross-browser compatibility
  • Easy navigation
  • Engaging content
  • Web-friendly and search engine optimized
  • Website aligns with the brand identity
  • Fast site load speed
  • User friendly
  • Effective call-to-actions
  • Top security features

Also, keep in mind the latest trends in web development and make sure that you hire a company that has expertise in the latest web development technologies. It is in your best interest to work with a company that can scale your web development project as needed.

Conclusion

A lot of research, goal setting, and discovery are required to hire a web development company in Boston. Clarity of reason, well-defined parameters, and in-depth knowledge of web development features will result in a successful web development project.

To make this entire process easy, Mpire Solutions offers a FREE Consultation meeting to know your website development requirements. Get in touch with us now!

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WordPress vs Drupal: Core Web Vitals

Introduction

Ancient Greece had its Trojan War, the Romans waged their Punic Wars, and WordPress and Drupal are locked in an unending development war. And as you might expect, both sides proclaim themselves to be the best.

To know if your WordPress or Drupal site is up to the challenge of handling traffic, performance issues, and scaling, the Core Web Vitals scores are the best way to assess where you stand with either platform.

After hours (and hours) of researching and benchmarking, we at MpireSolutions have come up with the answer to the following question:

Which of the two content management systems – Drupal and WordPress – win the Core Web Vitals testing score in 2022?

This blog post covers the following information:

1). WordPress vs Drupal: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

2). WordPress vs Drupal: First Input Delay (FID)

3). WordPress vs Drupal: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

4). WordPress vs Drupal: SEO Lighthouse Score

5). WordPress vs Drupal: Accessibility Lighthouse Score

6). WordPress vs Drupal: CMS Adoption Share

WordPress vs Drupal: Core Web Vitals [Test Report Summarized]

Importance of Core Web Vitals for an Ecommerce Website

 

WordPress vs Drupal: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a Google Chrome performance measurement tool. LCP measures the time it takes for the largest visible element on your page to load, and it’s one of the most important metrics to track when you’re measuring web performance.

Why?

Because if your LCP loads in 2.5 seconds or less, you’ll see 75% of users have engaged with your content, but if it takes longer than 4.0 seconds to load, only 42% will have done so.

Fig.1 An image showing the good and poor LCP loading times (source)

In other words…

If you’re running an eCommerce site, and your LCP is taking between 2.5 and 4 seconds to load, you’re losing customers left and right due to poor performance. Therefore, if the largest visual element on your page doesn’t load quickly enough, users will abandon your site before they even see what it has to offer.

LCP is important because it’s a key user experience metric. If your site has a poor LCP score, you’re likely going to see increased bounce rates and decreased average time spent on your site – resulting in a negative effect on your eCommerce website’s SEO performance.

Who Wins?

We decided to put WordPress and Drupal through their paces in an LCP test to see which CMS would score higher. We used Google’s Lighthouse tool to perform an audit of desktop and mobile performance.

The tests were performed on WordPress and Drupal sites that had some basic content on them; both sites were hosted on our servers, running PHP 7.4 with no additional packages or plugins installed.

While both WordPress and Drupal are popular choices for website development, our LCP tests revealed that Drupal performed better than WordPress.

On desktop, Drupal scored 61% on LCP, while WordPress scored only 33%. On mobile, Drupal had a score of 47%, while WordPress mobile score was 25%.

WordPress vs Drupal: First Input Delay (FID)

First Input Delay (FID) is a metric that measures the time it takes for your browser to respond to an event after a user interacts with your site. It is measured in milliseconds, and the lower it is, the better.

In simple words, is the time from when a user first interacts with your website (i.e., when they click a link, tap on a button, or use a custom, JavaScript-powered control) to the time when the browser is actually able to respond to that interaction.

Ideal FID numbers are between 0-100ms, and a good number is less than 300ms. A score of 100 would mean that your site responds instantly to user interaction, and you should never settle for scores above 300ms.

Fig.2 An image showing the good and poor First Input Delay loading times (source)

When it comes to eCommerce, FID is particularly important in ensuring an excellent user experience for site visitors, because if there are significant delays in your site responding to visitor interactions, visitors will be more likely to give up and leave your site before making a purchase.

Who Wins?

We ran the FID score test on a WordPress site with the Twenty Twenty theme, and a Drupal site with the Bartik theme. We used an eleventh-generation Intel Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM running Windows 10 Professional 64-bit version 1909, along with versions 84.0.4147.105 (Official Build) (64-bit) of Chrome and Chromium 84.0.4147.89 (Developer Build) (64-bit). We then tested both sites on mobile devices, using Google Pixel 3XL devices running Android 11 and Chrome 84.0.4147.89 (Developer Build).

The results? Both sites scored 100% on FID for their desktop version—meaning your clicks were registered immediately after you clicked them—but there was variation in the mobile scores: 88% for WordPress (which is really great) versus 76% for Drupal (which is still pretty good, but not as good as WordPress).

WordPress vs Drupal: Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a new metric that Google has introduced to its page experience ranking signals. CLS measures the movement of visible elements on the page. It is a metric that quantifies the number of unexpected layout changes that occur during the lifecycle of a page. A high CLS score is bad for your web page as it means that users have experienced unexpected layout shifts on your web page, which is not good for user experience.

Fig.2 An image showing the good and poor Cumulative Layout Shift (source)

What is a good Cumulative Layout Shift? Google recommends CLS to be below 0.1 for an acceptable score and a CLS below 0.25 for a good score.

Fig.3 An image showing the shifting of the page layout as the user tries to buy a product from an eCommerce website. The page layout shifts and the user’s finger clicks on the wrong area, instead of “Buy Now” button. (source)

CLS is often used as a measure of user experience because users find layout shifts annoying, confusing, and untrustworthy. It’s calculated like this: 

CLS = sum (impact fraction x distance fraction)

where…

impact fraction = 1 if an unexpected layout shift is observed in the viewport, otherwise 0

distance fraction = distance between the center-point before and after an unexpected layout shift divided by the viewport size

Low CLS numbers are great for eCommerce websites because they build trust with customers. Trust makes people more likely to complete purchases. If a customer clicks on “Add to Cart” and something else happens—a banner takes up half the screen, items rearrange themselves, etc.—they might decide not to buy anything. If a site has good CLS metrics, it means users will have a better experience, which in turn can lead to more sales.

The importance of Cumulative Layout Shift: According to Google, it’s very important because it’s closely related to user experience on the web. Users don’t like when elements on their screen are moving around unexpectedly, and therefore avoiding those issues with CLS can help improve your rankings in search engine results pages (SERPs).

CLS is also important because it’s one of three new metrics that will be used as part of Google’s core web vitals program. This means if you’re trying to improve your ranking in Google’s search results, then having good scores across all three metrics will help you achieve better rankings than sites without good scores.

Who Wins?

We first tested the CLS score of a simple WordPress website, which we created using the Twenty Twenty theme. We found that this site had a CLS score of 47% on desktop and 57% on mobile.

Then, we tested the CLS score of a simple Drupal website, which we also created using a standard theme (Bartik). We found that this site had a CLS score of 58% on desktop and 70% on mobile.

Our results showed that Drupal performed better than WordPress in terms of preventing layout shifts when displaying content. As such, we recommend Drupal for businesses seeking to create an efficient website that loads quickly and does not cause confusion or frustration for users via unexpected layout shifts on different devices.

WordPress vs Drupal: SEO Lighthouse Score

SEO Lighthouse is an open-source tool built by Google that provides you with insights on the health of your website and gives you suggestions for improving it. The tool gives your website a score—the closer to 100%, the better—on five different aspects: performance, progressive web app, best practices, accessibility, and SEO.

The good news is that there are no hard-and-fast rules about what makes a “good” score. Some websites might be able to maintain a high score across all categories without doing any work at all, whereas some sites might need to make significant changes to improve their scores.

If you have a high-performing website with amazing functionality and very few bugs, then the bar will probably be higher for you than other sites. To that end, it’s important to keep in mind that each website is unique, so there’s no single number or range of numbers that can tell you whether or not your site is doing well.

Who Wins?

We did a Lighthouse score test to see which CMS (content management system) is better for your SEO: WordPress or Drupal?

In this test, we wanted to see which one was more accessible to search engines and performed better in that sense. According to the results, WordPress scored 0.9 out of 1.0, while Drupal scored 0.83 out of 1.0. In other words, WordPress is slightly better for your SEO.

Why did WordPress win? It does a better job at helping search engines find your site—and it helps them determine whether you have any broken links or missing images (Google calls this “crawl ability”).

WordPress vs Drupal: Accessibility Lighthouse Score

Accessibility Lighthouse Score is an open-source tool that lets developers test the accessibility of their websites. It hooks into the Chrome Developer Tools protocol to access data from the browser and then runs a series of audits on this data to come up with a score for how accessible your website is.

Accessibility Lighthouse Score evaluates:

  • Best Practices – Ensures that your site meets all industry best practices for accessibility
  • Performance – Tests how quickly each page on your site loads, including its images and other media assets
  • Progressive Web App (PWA) – Scores how close your website comes to meeting the criteria for being classified as a PWA
  • SEO – Tests whether your website has any technical issues that could prevent it from showing up in Google’s search results
  • Accessibility – Checks whether your website complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA standard

Who Wins?

We recently conducted a study to compare the Lighthouse Score of a WordPress site versus a Drupal site. We wanted to see which CMS performed better in terms of accessibility, and the results were eye-opening.

WordPress and Drupal both earned an 84 on the Lighthouse Accessibility Scale, with Drupal scoring slightly higher in the areas of Color Contrast and Link Name/ID. However, both sites performed very similarly.

WordPress vs Drupal: CMS Adoption Share

CMS Adoption Share is a score that measures the percentage of websites that use a given CMS, relative to all websites.

If you are deciding on a CMS for your eCommerce website, you should consider the CMS Adoption Share of your chosen platform. Using this information, we can see which Content Management System platforms are gaining traction in the market and which are losing ground, as well as which ones have the most active community of users.

The CMS adoption share score for your eCommerce site is based on the number of global websites using the same CMS technology. So if your CMS adoption share score is high, it means that lots of other sites are using your CMS platform too. Needless to say, when you have a high CMS adoption share score, you know your website is good because so many others are using it.

Who Wins?

So, we ran a test to see which CMS (WordPress or Drupal) would be the best option. To do this, we looked at the sites of 100 Fortune 500 companies. We found that 31% of them were running on WordPress and 2% on Drupal.

What did we learn from this? Well, based on these results, if you want a CMS that will help your site get more Google traffic, you should consider using WordPress. It’s clear that WordPress is the go-to platform for many businesses because it’s easy to use and has lots of options for customization and growth.

WordPress vs Drupal: Core Web Vitals [Test Report Summarized]

When it comes to eCommerce, we’re all looking for the same thing: a website that’s easy to set up and manage, with a smooth customer experience. So when it comes to the two most popular content management systems (CMSs) in the world, WordPress and Drupal, which one delivers? Let’s take a look at our overall test reports.

➜ In terms of how fast the sites load, Drupal won: Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). What does this mean? It means that Drupal-built sites load faster than WordPress-built sites—and as an eCommerce site owner, you want your customers to be able to get up and running on your site quickly so they can start shopping.

➜ Meanwhile, WordPress won in two categories: SEO Lighthouse and CMS Adoption. If you’re looking for better SEO rankings with your new eCommerce site, WordPress can help you accomplish that faster than Drupal. For CMS adoption, WordPress also comes out on top because it’s so easy to use without having to go through extensive training or hiring developers.

Both platforms were equal in the Accessibility Lighthouse Score Test. This means they perform equally well in terms of making websites accessible to those with disabilities or impairments.

Importance of Core Web Vitals for an E-commerce Website

For an E-commerce website, Core Web Vitals are especially important.

These metrics give you an idea of how people are actually interacting with your site, which is exactly the kind of information that can help you improve sales and conversions.

Let’s imagine your site has a high First Input Delay (FID). When someone visits your site and wants to browse products or make a purchase, they have to wait for the page to load before they can even interact with it. That might be enough to throw them off—even if the rest of their experience on your site is great.

Or let’s say that you have a high Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) score. You’ve got big, beautiful images on your homepage—but when someone tries to click one of them, it moves as the page loads. Now your visitor thinks they’ve clicked on something else entirely. They’re not sure what just happened, so they close out of it in frustration and leave your site.

Now that Google has started to add Core Web Vitals to its rankings, it’s more important than ever to make sure that your eCommerce website is optimized for these metrics. These three metrics—first contentful paint, largest contentful paint, and cumulative layout shift—measure how quickly your page loads, how long it takes for the page to display all its content, and how much the content shifts around on the page as it loads.

We know that you want to do everything you can to maintain a high ranking in search engine results pages, so we at MpireSolutions offer Google Core Web Vitals Optimization Service to ensure your eCommerce business stays at the top of the rankings and keeps getting new customers.

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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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The EdTech Evolution in 2022 and Beyond

Introduction

EdTech is a broad, rapidly-changing field, with new developments emerging almost daily.

Reviewing the history of educational technology illustrates just how much this sector has changed and evolved over the past century.

From traditional modes of learning like lectures, to computers, interactive software, and more recent approaches such as flipped classrooms and MOOCs, each generation has been defined by the knowledge transmission methods it has used.

The technological capabilities have also advanced over time, leading to bigger and better tools that allow for more students to engage and learn online.

The sheer size and complexity of the field often make it difficult to see the big picture. But that’s what this article is going to do: we’ll look at how EdTech has developed over time, and talk about what to expect for the future of EdTech.

This blog post covers the following information:

  • Definition of EdTech
  • The EdTech Boom
  • The EdTech Evolution: How It All Started?
  • The EdTech Evolution: As of Today
  • The EdTech Evolution in 2022 & Beyond: The Future Trends

What Is EdTech?

EdTech, or education technology, is a broad term that covers any type of technology used in the education field. EdTech can be as simple as a digital textbook, as complex as an online learning platform designed to help students prepare for college entrance exams, and anywhere in between. The goal of EdTech is to take advantage of the power of technology in order to advance education.

The EdTech industry has been growing steadily over the past few years and has seen a recent surge due to the current global health crisis. Global spending on education has almost doubled since 2000, and it’s expected to grow even more in the next decade: the global industry will be worth $7 trillion by 2025. That’s an enormous increase from the $3 trillion in 2000, and it means that education will make up 7% of the world’s GDP.

Fig.1 A graph showing the market rise of global education and training.

While there are many different types of EdTech tools, most of them fall into one of these three categories:

  • Tools for assessing learning, like online quizzes and exams
  • Tools for delivering content, like online courses and ebooks
  • Tools for collaboration, like video conferencing and online communities

EdTech fits into the broader category of “learning technologies.” While EdTech specifically refers to educational technologies that are used in schools or other formal learning environments, learning technologies can be used anywhere—from online training modules required for new hires at companies, to virtual study groups for students preparing for the SATs.

The EdTech Boom

EdTech has been garnering attention for the past several decades, but it wasn’t until the global Covid-19 pandemic that it really caught on worldwide.

In fact, EdTech as a concept—using technology to help students learn or boost a teacher’s effectiveness in the classroom—can be traced all the way back to Plato’s Academy. At the time, platforms were built out of stone and mortar, not electronic ones.

In China, for instance, EdTech was already booming before Covid-19 hit. In 2003, after an outbreak of SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), Chinese schools were closed temporarily and classes moved online. In Mexico, which was also hit by H1N1 (swine flu) in 2009, schools made plans to continue classes remotely and invested heavily in creating digital curriculum for their students, including ebooks and other digital resources.

But it wasn’t until 2020 that EdTech saw its first global boom. The Covid-19 pandemic had forced people to stay at home, which meant there were no schools open, no colleges, and no universities either. This led to students taking online classes, teachers giving online lessons, and universities and colleges offering virtual lectures.

Suddenly, everyone had to adapt to this new way of learning and teaching and many even benefited from the change. Not only did EdTech prove to be beneficial during the pandemic, but even after it ended, many universities and colleges continued with their virtual lectures and classes due to the ease of accessing these technologies offered for both teachers and students alike.

New York’s former Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in May of 2020 that he is planning to rethink education in the state with the help of Bill Gates and Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt. The pandemic has underscored how difficult it is for schools to meet the unique needs of every student, particularly those with special needs, and it has sparked interest in alternative models for teaching and learning across the country.

Schmidt’s planned to make New York a testbed for educational tech. He envisioned a partnership with the state to create tools for remote teaching, and he could use New York as a proving ground for experimental technologies like facial recognition software.

Online learning has been shown to be effective and efficient in previous crises, but this time around it really went global—and fast. Now that everyone is using EdTech in some form or another, it’s likely that we will continue to see its influence on education long after Covid-19 has left us behind.

As EdTech continues to grow, so does the amount of money being invested in it. In 2020, the education sector spent $227B on digital education. This spending is forecasted to grow 12.2% to $404B by 2025.

Fig.2 A graph showing digital spending on EdTech (2020-2025) Source

Many EdTech experts have noted that the rise in the number of people using EdTech is not just a response to remote education, but a genuine interest in using digital tools for teaching and learning. This means that as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, EdTech will continue to grow and thrive in the U.S. and around the world.

As Microsoft says in its Education Reimagined paper:

“The fallout from COVID-19, continuing advances in digital technology, and intensifying pent-up demand for student-centered learning have combined to present an unprecedented opportunity to transform education across whole systems.”

The self-paced eLearning segment is expected to grow from $46.67 billion in 2016 to $243 billion by 2022, according to a recent report by Statista. That’s a compound annual growth rate of 36%!

The EdTech Evolution: How It All Started?

The EdTech industry has evolved immensely over the years in terms of technological advancements, pedagogical innovations, and financial backing. Its history is inextricably tied to the history of communication. From oral learning to written learning, to projectors with built-in software, EdTech has evolved alongside how we communicate and how we learn.

Fig.3 A pie chart showing the providers of EdTech by segment type (source)

Over the centuries, educators have strived to make learning as efficient as possible. Here we take a look at the evolution of edtech – from its earliest days in classrooms to how it is used in schools today.

Oral Communication as a Learning Tool

In the early part of human history, education was an oral tradition. Storytelling and memorization were the primary methods of passing knowledge from one generation to the next.

The advent of writing marked a major turning point in education. By the end of the 15th century, printing presses had been invented, allowing copies of books to be created more easily and cheaply.

Blackboard and chalkboard technology changed education again in the 18th century, allowing teachers to show their students how to solve math problems and other processes on a larger scale than ever before. Students could see the whole process in front of them, rather than needing to copy it down by hand or memorize it orally.

After World War II, projectors became popular among educators in America, as they allowed teachers to show students slideshows with topical information more effectively than ever before.

PowerPoint came along at the end of the 20th century and allowed teachers to include images and graphics into their classroom presentations. It also provided an easy way for students to create slides that could be used for projects or presentations with little technical skill required.

Writing as a Learning Tool

Most historians agree that the earliest form of EdTech dates all the way back to the Ten Commandments, which were invented by Moses in order to educate people about God and his will for them.

After this, the history of EdTech moved on to the invention of the printing press in Europe during the 15th century, which allowed educational materials to be printed out and distributed at a much faster rate than ever before. This helped facilitate education for all students, not just those who could afford it or had access to a private tutor. The industrial revolution created even more educational technologies such as chalkboards and calculators that were used in schools around the world until computers became widely available in homes starting around 1980.

Video & Radio Technology as a Learning Tool

Video and radio technology has been around the longest: the first educational adult series was broadcasted by the British Broadcasting Corporation in the 1920s, and it was titled, “Insects in Relation to Man.”

Not exactly a catchy name, but it marked an important step for EdTech. Educational television programs continued to grow in popularity throughout the 1960s—and in 1968, the UK government went so far as to form a program called Open University with a mission to televise educational TV series for university students.

The advent of satellite technology in the 1980s allowed programmers to broadcast their educational programs even further than they could before—and very soon, video learning became famous. However, experts note that efforts to spread video technologies to third world countries were short-lived because those countries lacked proper facilities. By the end of the 20th century, video learning became a common staple of online education in advanced countries.

Computer System Technology as a Learning Tool

In the 1930s, it was realized that the use of computing technology could be beneficial in education.

However, it was not until 1981 that the first commercial portable personal computer (PC) was developed by Adam Osborne. This changed the landscape of EdTech forever and made it possible to use technology to enhance learning in all areas.

In 1986 Toshiba launched portable PCs. A year later Apple launched the Mac Pro Powerbook, which became an important learning tool for students and educators alike, especially in the field of language learning.

By 1990, the World Wide Web had come into existence, which led to a huge boom in education technology and access to information in general. 1993 saw the beginning of another major shift in education technology: Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s). These pocket-sized computers were incredibly useful for educators and students alike: they allowed users to access their email and calendars remotely and make notes by hand or voice as well as by keyboard.

And by 1998 almost every learning institution in the United States had a computer and a stable internet connection for educational purposes.

The EdTech Evolution: As of Today

Modern-day EdTech trends are broken down into three main categories: learning management systems (LMS), digital content/curriculum, and student-centric learning. These innovations help teachers, parents, and students understand the needs of each individual better than ever before.

Fig.4 A graph showing the skills targeted by the EdTech evolution as of today (source)

Some examples of modern tools and mediums used for EdTech include: online courses, interactive games for younger children, artificial intelligence programs that can grade assignments, mobile apps that help students stay on track with their course load, and applications that offer students the ability to create their own personal learning path based on their interests.

So what are some of the trends in EdTech today?

Virtual schools

Virtual schools are becoming more popular too. With virtual schools, students learn entirely online and work at their own pace using computers and other devices. Virtual schools have been around for a while now, but recently they’ve become more popular—especially in places where school budgets are limited or there aren’t enough educators for the number of students.

The Florida Virtual School (FLVS) is an example of a virtual school. FLVS gives students the option to choose when they start, so long as they finish by a certain date, what time of day they want to work, and where they want to work. For example, some students choose to work at night while others prefer working in the morning. Some students do their work on a laptop while others work on a tablet or phone.

Students have many choices for personalizing and individualizing instructions. Just like at a real school, there are teachers available to answer questions and provide guidance. However, unlike at a real school, there are no fixed times for discussion with teachers; FLVS teachers make themselves available through email or text throughout the day, so students can contact them whenever they need help. In addition to talking with instructors one-on-one, there are also opportunities for students to interact with other students online through discussion forums and scheduled virtual class sessions.

Students also have choices about how they respond to assignments. At FLVS, students can submit video demonstrations of science experiments instead of written summaries—they can even demonstrate their projects using Legos!

Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards, which are also called smart boards and touchscreens, are like large touch screens that teachers can connect to a computer or other devices in order to enhance the learning experience for students. They can open up web pages for the class to look at, annotate over video, use apps on the board with students in real-time, draw diagrams, and more.

In 2019, data was collected by the Amasya University Turkey from a total of 877 high school students in order to investigate their perceptions of the new generation of Interactive white board (IWB). The data revealed that about half of the students believe that IWB are useful and effective, with a significant majority reporting that the IWB made learning more interesting.

Some examples of interactive whiteboard apps that can be used in the classroom:

Microsoft OneNote is an app that allows teachers to share their screen with students and annotate over what they’re showing. For example, they could open up a website and circle key information or add an arrow pointing to something important.

Google Classroom is an online platform where teachers can set up digital copies of worksheets and assign them out to students digitally instead of printing them out on paper. Students can type directly on this digital copy as if they were writing on a regular worksheet, but it’s all done online. This makes it easier for teachers to keep track of assignments, grades, and student work in general.

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is a popular practice in the EdTech industry today. It refers to the use of digital technology to tell stories, including a wide range of media tools that can be used to create and consume digital stories. These include web publishing tools, video, sound recording and editing tools, graphics and animation programs, photo editing software, and more.

One example of digital storytelling is the Netflix movie Bandersnatch. The viewer watches an interactive TV show that puts them in the seat of a character playing a video game. The viewer then makes decisions for the character, who is attempting to create a video game himself. This story has multiple endings and dozens of decision points, so it’s up to you how long the story will last, who will survive and what will happen in the end. The viewer interacts with this story through their remote control or keyboard, which allows them to make choices that impact how future scenarios play out.

Blended Learning Environment

​​Blended learning environments are becoming more common in today’s EdTech. A blended learning environment is one where you combine traditional face-to-face instruction with a digital learning environment. When it comes to a blended learning environment, technology can be used for many aspects of the classroom.

According to the E-Learning Industry, “Blended learning allows you to use multiple learning modalities and helps your students retain 60% more information.”

For example:

In the classroom, teachers can use an interactive whiteboard or projector to display information and incorporate multimedia activities. Students can play online games that teach essential skills. Research projects can include posting student work online for feedback from peers.

At home, students can access the software and assignments that they use in class on their personal computers or tablets. They can also read ebooks and watch educational videos.

Students can collaborate on group projects by sharing documents online. Teachers can post announcements and syllabi online for students to access before class and at any time. They can also send out digital forms so parents can answer questions about their child’s progress without having to fill out a paper form.

Online Learning Platforms

Online learning platforms are part of the EdTech revolution, along with learning management systems and virtual reality. These platforms are basically where you can learn about anything you want to on the Internet. There’s no real structure for what kinds of things go on these platforms, but they can be anything from lessons to whole courses.

They’re popular because they offer the freedom to learn what you want when you want in an affordable way. You don’t have to pay to audit a class at a university, and often online courses are cheaper than in-person courses. Plus, if you’re working or have a busy schedule, it’s easier to find time and space to learn online.

Khan Academy is a great example of an online learning platform: it’s made up of tons of videos teaching everything from math to history, along with interactive learning tools that let students test themselves as they go through a video lesson.

The EdTech Evolution in 2022 & Beyond: The Future Trends

EdTech has come a long way since the days of the abacus and clay tablets. In recent times, though, it seems that the rate of change in this educational technology sector has quickened, and changed with it has been the associated vocabulary. It is worth seeing what we can expect in future as this area inevitably keeps on innovating to improve our lives.

Will teachers stop teaching and become employees? Will we no longer have classes as we know them? Will we need to spend more time online and in virtual learning environments like MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)? This section here predicts how technology is radically changing the makeup of the modern classroom, and what it means for the future of education.

Fig.5 A graph showing current and expected future growth of different EdTech trends (2018-2025) Source

Animated eLearning

If you look at all the new products being released in recent months, it’s clear that one trend stands out above the rest: animated eLearning.

So what is animated eLearning? It’s exactly what it sounds like—animation that helps users learn. The beauty of animation is that it can give learners the best of both worlds: they get the flexibility and convenience of eLearning while also getting the visual stimulation and context they need to really understand information. And when you have an option like this, you don’t just have to choose between passive learning or active learning—you can have both!

The result? More engaged students, better retention of information, and more successful outcomes for everyone involved.

A study conducted by Ahi Evran University and Gazi University examined the effect of an online learning environment based on caricature animation on 46 students. The students were divided into two groups, with 23 in the experimental group and 23 in the control group. The experiment group used caricature animation as part of their lesson, while the control group used a more traditional learning environment. The results showed that those students who had access to caricature animation achieved better results than their counterparts in the control group.

Artificial Intelligence

AI has been making a big splash in education for the last few years, and it seems like that trend isn’t going to slow down anytime soon.

Why? Because AI is an awesome tool to help teachers—challenging and supporting them, allowing them to focus on the human side of their jobs and creating more time for thinking, planning, and connecting with students.

Imagine being able to create a personalized learning system that is based on each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Imagine teaching a class of hundreds of students without having to worry about grading essays or tests. Imagine having the ability to develop well-rounded lessons that focus on all learning styles—the visual learner, the auditory learner, and so on. With AI, you can do all that and more.

In addition, AI is beginning to be used in educational tools such as online learning platforms and virtual tutoring services. These tools are able to provide students with personalized guidance and instruction that helps them learn at just the right pace for them. This way, students get to tackle the exact concepts they struggle with most, but not so much that they become overwhelmed or frustrated by their learning experience.

When it comes to education, there are three main kinds of AI:

→ Predictive: Think of apps that tell you how long your commute will take, or answer questions like “What’s the weather tomorrow?” These are software programs that use data about what’s happened in the past to make predictions about what might happen in the future. They can also be used to predict how students might do on an upcoming test based on what they previously knew or struggled to learn.

→ Adaptive: Adaptive AI adjusts the experience to each individual student based on their learning needs. For example, if one student is excelling with fractions, while another student is struggling, the adaptive AI could create a curriculum or lesson plan that helps each student strengthen their understanding of fractions at their own pace without falling behind or getting bored.

→ Assistive: Assistive AI can help students learn by coaching them through problems and concepts. For example, it could tell students to try adding fractions using different methods until they figure out which one works best for them, or suggest taking time to re-read a passage and then find evidence for an argument within the text.

Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality

Virtual reality (VR) allows someone to exist in a computer-generated world that responds to their actions. Augmented reality (AR), on the other hand, takes a live view of the real world and superimposes computer-generated images on it—allowing users to interact with the data that is overlaid.

Both types of technology have been used to create immerse learning experiences for students. In math, for instance, how many times have you heard kids tell you they don’t understand geometric shapes or complex equations because they just don’t “see” them? Virtual reality can allow kids to walk around in these concepts and gain a new perspective on them.

Virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) in educational technology (EdTech) is a relatively new field that is poised to explode over the next few years.

One of the most exciting aspects of VR and AR in EdTech is the potential it has to make learning more engaging. By allowing students to interact with an immersive environment—either one they’re physically present in or one they’re experiencing through technology—we can capture their attention and keep them engaged in a way that’s not possible with traditional learning models.

On top of capturing attention, VR and AR also allow us to create scenarios that are otherwise impossible to experience. We can incorporate virtual versions of animals into science lessons, simulate historical events for social studies class, or even bring abstract concepts like numbers or algebraic equations into a 3D space so students can understand how they work.

The use of VR and AR in EdTech is, at least for now, focused on high-level technologies that aren’t yet feasible for widespread adoption because of cost. However, we can expect to see two big shifts in the near future: wider adoption of high-quality VR/AR hardware such as headsets and goggles, and the development of more accessible software to take advantage of that hardware.

Blockchain

Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of our lives, including education.

Blockchain is a system for keeping records that’s decentralized—instead of being stored in one central location, it’s distributed among hundreds or even thousands of computers around the world. This means it’s nearly impossible to exploit a blockchain system.

Because of their unique qualities, blockchains can be used to create a digital certificate system for students. One example is Holberton School, a two-year coding school that uses blockchain-based certificates to prove students have successfully completed their programs.

With this system, graduates are issued a unique certificate ID. The certificate ID links to the student’s private key, which allows them to sign documents digitally and share their proof of completion with employers.

Blockchain technology can also help make credentialing more secure by providing a way for students and employers to verify credentials without having to go through central institutions like colleges and universities.

There are many ways that Blockchain can help improve education. One of its most straightforward applications is in grading: teachers can use Blockchain to create more accurate records of grades and assignments, as well as store them securely. Blockchain’s ability to ensure anonymity will also make it easier for students who need accommodations due to disabilities or other factors—such as taking exams in a non-standard location—to access those resources without having their privacy compromised.

Another benefit of Blockchain technology for education is its ability to track student progress over time. If a school district wants to see how its students are doing on standardized tests year-over-year, they could use the technology by storing all data from those tests within one blockchain ledger entry per child.

Blockchain can also be used to create some other interesting educational technologies and platforms. Some of these include:

Smart Contracts: This is a type of contract that automatically executes when certain conditions are met without the need for human intervention. Smart contracts can help students keep track of the progress on their academic journey and provide them with the credits required for transcripts and other documents.

Cheating Prevention: Blockchain can be leveraged to combat cheating by tracking exam submissions, verifying test takers’ identities, and ensuring submissions are original work.

Transcript Management: Since Blockchain is tamper proof and records each transaction chronologically, it can be used to help manage student transcripts. This means that schools no longer need to worry about students tampering with their transcripts either through fake grades or forged signatures during their time at school.

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way we do business, and its advantages are not limited to money-making enterprises. As education technology grows in importance, cloud computing will continue to be an essential tool for educators, administrators, and students.

Cloud computing has transformed the way we learn and how instructors teach. In addition to accessing information on-demand, there are now online classrooms where instructors can connect with students across the globe. Students can collaborate with one another and share ideas through virtual whiteboards, screen sharing apps, and much more. In addition to enabling collaboration between educators, cloud computing may also facilitate connections between students who attend different schools. This could have a profound effect on the way schools approach knowledge transfer across the board—from grades K through 12 all the way up to the graduate level.

As it is now, students from different schools have little opportunity to collaborate with students from other locations. With cloud computing, this could change. Students from different schools could be able to work on assignments together with ease, and teachers could more easily collaborate with their colleagues at other institutions to pool resources and develop new teaching strategies.

CC is a major part of the EdTech landscape, allowing for educational materials to be accessed from anywhere, and for collaboration and research to be more accessible than ever before. As cloud computing continues to improve and to add new features, it will become increasingly important in education.

Here’s how cloud computing has been used by educators so far:

  • Accessing mobile apps and programs
  • Facilitating student collaboration
  • Automating administrative processes
  • Allowing teachers to access/create content that can be updated in real time or as needed
  • Reducing costs associated with IT infrastructure solutions

Cloud computing makes it possible for a school to provide access to software programs without having to install them on every single computer that’s used at the school. Instead, the programs can be accessed through the internet using a web browser. This saves time and money because the school doesn’t need to pay for a system administrator whose only role is maintaining software licenses, installing and updating programs, and troubleshooting problems with those programs. Furthermore, if the school uses cloud-based applications such as Google Docs or Office 365, students will be able to access their work from any device that has an internet connection. Cloud computing also makes it easy for teachers to collaborate on projects and share their work with students which can improve productivity and bolster enthusiasm for learning.

Conclusion

In our opinion, EdTech Evolution (i.e., student-centered learning) provides the potential to revolutionize education, while at the same time retaining the most valuable virtues of our current system (accessibility and adaptability). However, in order to realize this potential, we need to build digital tools which allow students to learn and demonstrate what they have learned in a way that is easy for both instructors and students to use and that serves as an effective bridge between informal and formal learning.

At MpireSolutions, we help you with EdTech Websites and Mobile Apps development as we understand the importance of custom development using top technologies & tools that are tailored to your specific needs and goals. Whether you need help creating a new web/app or updating an existing one, we can provide the assistance you need.

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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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Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid In Your E-Commerce Website Design

Introduction

An E-commerce website’s design is not only essential for attracting click-throughs and E-commerce leads, but it’s also one of the most important factors for keeping customers engaged and returning. Anything from functionality issues to improper wording or images can deter or drive off a potential customer. As a business owner, you want to make sure your website is running efficiently so that you gain more sales and an increase in brand awareness.

This blog post contains the following information:

Importance of E-commerce Website Design

Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid For Your E-Commerce Website Design

Bad User Navigation

Unclear Value Proposition

Low-Quality Images

Too Many Pop-Ups

Unoptimized Product Descriptions

Slow Loading Interface

Desktop-Only Design

Complicated Check Out Process

Missing Call-to-Action

Absent Trust Signals

Conclusion

Importance Of E-commerce Website Design

Let’s start with some statistics about e-commerce.

The current number of e-commerce stores worldwide is between 12 million – 24 million, and this number continues to grow every day. At the end of 2021, the size of the global e-commerce market surpassed 4.9 trillion U.S. dollars. This means that despite all the difficulties, there is still a huge potential in the market. The latest research shows that 56% of people aged 18–64 shop online, while 67% of them use mobile devices for online shopping.

When it comes to E-commerce websites, the design really is everything. It’s the difference between having a site that’s easy for customers to peruse and one that’s so hard to navigate that most people refuse to even try.

In fact, according to recent studies, 75% of people will judge a company based on the quality of its website. And if a site takes too long to load, more than half of the users will abandon it altogether—and even more, will abandon it if it doesn’t look like it was designed for mobile.

So how do you avoid these problems?

Well, the most important rule is to keep things simple; less is more when it comes to E-commerce website design. You want your site to be easy to navigate and quick to load, with all needed information on the front page so that people can get what they need without scrolling through pages of text.

It’s also important not to forget about SEO when designing your website. By using keywords in your content and making sure all links are working properly, you’ll help ensure that your site ranks high in search engine results—which means more traffic!

The design of your e-commerce website should reflect the personality of your business and what it stands for. If you have a fun product or service, then you want your website to look fun and inviting. If you are selling a product or service that is serious, then the design should reflect this as well.

While these elements are important to every website, they’re especially important for an e-commerce website. This is because not only will you have to convince people that they need your products or services, but you also have to convince them that they can trust you with their credit card information and that you’ll deliver their product in a timely manner.

Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid For Your E-Commerce Website Design

With E-commerce design, it’s easy to make mistakes. You want your website to be attractive, so you add in a bunch of graphics, but then the layout starts to break down. Or maybe you added in a cool hover effect which looks nice, but it makes the site slow to load. Let’s not forget about those social media links mixed in with your content — that never goes well. We all make these mistakes, but are there any real ones we should be avoiding? This is why you should definitely read through the entire article to learn about the most common E-commerce design mistakes to avoid.

1). Bad User Navigation

Having a difficult time navigating your website is like trying to find your way at night in the woods without a flashlight. You want to get to your destination, but every step you take has you mired in uncertainty.

User navigation should be your top priority when it comes to designing an E-commerce website. It’s one of the biggest mistakes you could make, and if you don’t fix it, it could cost you money.

We’ve found that the most common mistake with user navigation is that the categories aren’t doing their job. One way to fix this is to take another look at how you’re organizing your products—are you using the right categories? Are there some categories that are obsolete or haven’t been used in years (maybe it’s time to get rid of them)? Could you create a new category or two?

Another way to improve user navigation is by adding filters. This lets users narrow down their search and find exactly what they’re looking for faster, which means more time for them to buy other stuff.

2). Unclear Value Proposition

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when designing your E-commerce website is not clearly outlining the unique value proposition of your product, service, or business. If you aren’t sure what we mean by unique value proposition,” don’t worry. We’ll explain what it is, and why it’s so important to include it in your website design.

A “unique value proposition” is simply a statement that very clearly communicates what specific benefit you are offering to users who come to your website—and why they should choose your product, service, or business over any other available option.

For a product-based company, a good unique value proposition will address three key questions:

 What are we selling?

  • Who are we selling?
  • What problem does the product solve?

A great example of a clear value proposition comes from Dropbox: “Your stuff anywhere.” It’s simple, but it tells you exactly what Dropbox does and how it can help you. By comparison, an unclear value proposition might be something like “We help our customers share files.” This tells us that someone is using the service to share files, but it doesn’t tell us which customer the service belongs to (the sender? The receiver?), nor does it tell us how having access to this particular service will specifically benefit the user.

3). Low-Quality Images

There’s a lot of pressure to make your E-commerce website look as good as possible. And while it’s tempting to just upload any image you can get your hands on, that’s a rookie mistake. If the images aren’t high-quality or relevant to the products you sell, they can actually hurt the chances of making sales.

It doesn’t matter how beautiful those photos are if they don’t accurately represent your products. For example, if you’re selling a pair of black heels, you need to include images that show all aspects of the shoes—from the front and back views, to close-ups of the heel and sole, to showing them from different angles so customers can see how they look from all sides.

As for uploading low-quality images… well, what can we say? It isn’t doing anyone any favors. In fact, it’ll likely drive customers away faster than anything else! E-commerce is heavily visual in nature; if you want to sell anything online, you need pictures that pop and grab people’s attention right away. If your photos aren’t up-to-snuff, customers will see that immediately—and click away just as quickly.

4). Too Many Pop-Ups

You want to make a profit, but you don’t want to annoy your customers. That’s why you should avoid the temptation to add too many pop-ups to your E-commerce website.

While it’s true that pop-ups are an effective marketing tool, adding too many to your site can have a negative impact on your user experience and ultimately drive away customers.

For example, if you’re running a sale or special promotion, it’s tempting to let visitors know that fact as soon as they land on your site with a big pop-up banner or lightbox. But what if they aren’t ready to buy something yet? If they see the same pop-up every time they visit your site, they may start to feel harassed and stop coming back altogether.

If you must use pop-ups on your E-commerce website, make sure that you’re not overusing them. For example, instead of showing a pop-up every time a visitor comes to your site, only show it once per session or after 30 days of inactivity. This helps ensure that people aren’t being bombarded by messages at every turn while still giving them ample opportunity to take advantage of any promotions you’re running at the moment.

5). Unoptimized Product Descriptions

Bad product descriptions are a death knell for your E-commerce store. If you can’t tell customers about your products in a compelling way, why would they buy them?

It’s important to give people some context about the things you sell, but the most important thing is to tell them why they should buy from you. You can get by with boring product descriptions if you’re selling an item that’s not made by anyone else and is needed for a specific purpose—like a custom-made packaging box. But even then, there’s no reason not to make it sound good.

Don’t just go into details about the product itself; tell your customers what makes your box special and why they should buy from you. Maybe you have free shipping or easy returns, or maybe you donate part of your proceeds to charity. Whatever makes you different, make sure your customers know about it!

In addition, use bullet points instead of paragraphs when possible as they will catch readers’ attention more quickly than long blocks of text. You should also consider breaking up large chunks of copy into smaller sections with subheadings or numbered lists.

6). Slow Loading Interface

A slow-loading theme and images can seriously impact your conversions and sales. Users are notorious for leaving sites before they load, which means that if your site takes too long to load, you’ll lose out on sales.

Additionally, slow site speed negatively impacts your search engine rankings. Google has specifically stated that site speed is one of the components that determine where your site will rank in search results. If you want to appear higher in the search results and drive more organic traffic to your site, then improving site speed is a must!

Fortunately, fixing this issue is relatively simple. You need to optimize your images and use a fast-loading theme. Optimizing involves compressing them so that they don’t take up as much space or bandwidth when they load on someone’s computer or mobile device. If you don’t have time or resources to do this yourself, then consider using a plugin or service like TinyPNG.

7). Desktop-Only Design

In the days of dial-up, when having a website was a novelty and not a necessity, it was enough to make sure that your site loaded correctly on desktops. Now, with the rise of smartphones and other mobile devices, it’s no longer enough to just focus on desktop loading times. In fact, 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device. If your website isn’t loading correctly on these devices, you’re missing out on a lot of business.

Plus, Google looks at whether sites are mobile-friendly and awards higher search rankings to those that are (in an effort to make their search results more relevant and user-friendly). So even if you don’t think about your online shoppers as being a mobile audience, Google does.

8). Complicated Check Out Process

In E-commerce, you’ve got just a moment to make your case—to convince your customer to buy from you. You don’t have the luxury of having an employee walk them through various options or pitch in-store specials. The only thing that’s going to move your visitor from the “Just Browsing” camp to the “SOLD” camp is a simple and intuitive checkout process.

When the checkout process on your site is difficult or confusing, it can negatively impact the way customers see your brand, and it’ll also reduce their likelihood of returning to your site in the future.

Many E-commerce websites come up short when it comes to the checkout process. Often, this leads to abandoned carts, which means lost sales.

According to a report by Baymard Institute:

  • 69% of shoppers abandon their carts
  • The average cart abandonment rate is 75.6%. This means 3 out of every 4 customers who visited your store decided NOT to complete their purchase.

Say you run an online t-shirt shop and you’ve got a long-form for customers to fill out before they can buy one of your products. That alone can cause problems. Sure, you need some information from them to make sure they’re who they say they are, but do you really need more than just their name and email address?

Also, if you have multiple steps in your checkout process (which we all do), make sure each step is clearly indicated by either a number or a progress bar. That way, customers know where they are in the process and how close they are to being done.

9). Missing Call-to-Action

Did you know that one of the most common mistakes we see on E-commerce websites is a missing call-to-action?

A call-to-action is that little button that says things like “Buy it now” or “Download your free trial now.” It’s what tells your users what to do next.

If you’re missing this, your users are going to be confused. They’ll look at your product or services and think, “Well, okay… I’m interested… but how do I get this thing?”

This is a huge problem because you have only seconds to convince people to stick around on your website, and if they can’t find the button that makes them feel like they’re taking the next step toward getting what they want, they’re going to leave.

So make sure there’s a big, bright button on every page that tells your users exactly what they need to do next. They’ll thank you for it—and so will your sales metrics!

10). Absent Trust Signals

Have you ever been looking at a website and noticed that it didn’t have a physical address listed? Maybe there was no phone number, either. If these things were missing, did it make you feel like the company wasn’t trustworthy?

This is an issue for many E-commerce websites today. Studies show that consumers are more likely to trust sites that display these important trust signals:

  • Physical Address
  • Phone Number
  • BBB Accreditation
  • Product Returns Policy
  • Customer Testimonials or Reviews
  • Privacy Policy
  • Secure Shopping Cart

When visitors don’t see these things on the site, they may leave without buying anything—and they might even tell their friends not to shop there. So if your site is currently missing one or more of these trust signals, it’s time to fix the problem so you can start making more sales.

Conclusion

As the E-commerce industry continues to evolve, designers will become more involved in the business of online shopping. That means it’s important that we understand what factors shape customers’ purchasing decisions and how design can successfully help shape their experiences. By avoiding the common design mistakes outlined above, we will be better able to create winning E-commerce experiences for everyone.

So if you are looking for an efficient and functional e-commerce website, Mpire Solutions has professional and expert developers ready to assist you. Connect with us for a FREE Consultation.

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Why User Experience Design Is Important?

Introduction

Have you ever been on a website where you either don’t understand what they’re selling or can’t manage to navigate the page? You probably shut the window and try a different one. This is most likely due to the website’s lack of a good User Experience Design. Or Have you ever wondered what makes you hooked on a website for hours without you even realizing it? Then What exactly makes these websites stand out? A better User Experience Design is the answer to your question.

People today expect a simple, efficient, and quick user experience. As a result, an excellent website user interface and design are required to sustain consumer happiness.

This guide will help you explain what User Experience Design is all about and get started on the UX journey.

This blog post contains the following information:

What is User Experience Design?           

Why is User Experience Design important?   

What does a UX Designer do?   

  • User Research  
  • User personas  
  • Design 
  • Information Architecture            
  • User testing      

Factors that Influence UX            

  • Useful  
  • Usable 
  • Findable              
  • Credible              
  • Desirable            
  • Accessible          
  • Valuable             

What is a good User Experience Design?             

  • PayPal  
  • MailChimp         

What is the difference between UI and UX?      

Where to start learning User Experience Design?

 

What Is User Experience Design?

User experience design is an idea with multiple dimensions that encompasses a variety of disciplines such as interaction design, usability, visual design, and information architecture.

User Experience Design is a design approach that considers all product or service elements with the user. This involves not just the beauty and function as in usability and accessibility of a product, but also the thrill and emotion—stuff that is more difficult to create and execute. User Experience is an often-misunderstood field. To be competitive, UX experts must communicate with decision-makers in today’s business world.

User experience from the customer’s perspective is how a person feels while engaging with a system. The system might be a web application, website, desktop software, or some human-computer interaction in current circumstances.

Source: Course Report

Why Is User Experience Design Important?

UX seeks to meet the user’s requirements and creates better customer satisfaction and customer retention to provide great experiences that keep the user loyal to the product or brand. It is not always necessary for a product to be creative. It just portrays the same notion in a new way. The product stands out due to its user-centered design. Establishes a two-way link between the maker and the user by defining customer journeys on your product.

UX decreases development/bug fixing/marketing expenses while simultaneously improving return on investment (ROI). UX provides an intuitive experience, Platform Specifics, Coherence, and Continuity.

  • A better user interface may increase your website’s conversion rate by 200%, conversion rates can increase by up to 400% with a more robust UX design.
  • Every dollar invested in UX nets an ROI of 9,900%.
  • 70% of online businesses failed due to bad usability.
  • According to UX statistics, 88 percent of online customers said they would not return to a website after experiencing a negative user experience.
  • Rather than advertisements, 70% of consumers learn about a brand via the brand’s blog.
  • If a website isn’t mobile-friendly, 50 % of consumers will quit it, even if they like the company.
  • 54% of users tend to turn away due to Ad clutter.

Source: FreeCodeCamp

What Does A UX Designer Do?

Image: ramotion.com

The market sees an increase in the need for UI/UX designers. With more and more firms realizing the significance of design, various opportunities are available in established organizations and new ventures. This provides novice designers something to look forward to, knowing that they won’t be lost after learning everything they can about design.

Your job as a user experience designer is to make things and technology more useable, pleasant, and accessible to humans. UX designers operate as part of a larger product team, frequently bridging the gap between the user, the developers, and essential business stakeholders.

It is your first and foremost responsibility as a UX designer to advocate for the end-user or consumer. Whether creating a new product, developing a new feature, or adjusting to a current product or service, the UX designer must evaluate what is best and the overall user experience. Simultaneously you are in charge of ensuring that the product or service fits the company’s demands. Is it in line with the CEO’s vision? Will it assist in increasing revenue or retaining loyal customers?

Considering their wide range, it’s not surprising that UX Designers do a wide variety of tasks, depending on the firm and project. Moreover, according to one poll, there are over 200 different job titles in UX design, not to mention a vast range of responsibilities.

User Research

Most people are unaware of the amount of research into UX design. In reality, market, product, and user research are essential components of UX design since research is critical to understanding the user and their specific demands. User research frequently focuses on a customer’s behavior, motives, and needs to assist the Designer in determining what opportunities are available in a particular market for product solutions.

Data collecting, surveys, user interviews, and focus groups are some of the research methodologies often used by UX Designers to gain information and insights about target consumers.

User Personas

Another critical stage of the UX design process is the creation of user personas. UX Designers aggregate and analyze their results at this stage to create representative personas based on trends and similarities discovered in their study. Each persona provides a possible user’s demographic information, motives, potential responses, requirements, and anything else Developers should consider—a great tool that helps the company develop a better understanding of who they’re designing the product for.

Design

UX designer makes a rough draft of an idea at this phase. Typically, UX designers focus on wireframes. Wireframing is the technique of arranging logos, menus, and buttons on high-trafficked pages. In this stage, actual images are kept to a minimum. It’s more about designating a location for later phases and establishing a layout that highlights and draws more attention to the most critical information.

In contrast to wireframes, prototypes are a higher-fidelity product design that may be used for user testing and showing the product to the development team. These prototypes are created to provide a look, feel, and range of features that are very much close to the predicted final product. Clickable prototypes enable test users to interact with the product, allowing UX Designers to experiment with different scenarios and find areas for improvement.

Information Architecture

Following that, you’ll consider the type of material required and how it will be organized across the website or app. Information architecture is working out the most logical arrangement and organization of the material. A good information architecture ensures that users can locate what they’re searching for and navigate from one page to the next without thinking too hard.

User Testing

UX Designers may test goods in a variety of ways. One of the most popular is user testing, which entails letting consumers engage with a final design prototype to evaluate its usability, intuitiveness, and accessibility. There are, however, various techniques; focus groups, moderated user testing, and unmoderated user tests all give essential feedback on what is and isn’t functioning. Finally, product testing is one of the last and most essential processes in determining what modifications should occur as development progresses.

Factors That Influence UX

Image: semanticstudios.com

According to Peter Morville, a pioneer in the UX field, seven aspects influence user experience. Peter believed that this new diagram would assist in educating clients because there are many elements of this field that go beyond usability. The honeycomb assists in locating the sweet spot between the many aspects of a good user experience.

Useful

A company’s product or service must be valuable and meet a need. There is no real purpose for a product or service if it is not helpful or meets the wants or requirements of the user.

Keep in mind that usefulness is really in the eye of the beholder. It all boils down to your target market. A video game feature (such as character customization choices) may not appear beneficial to everyone. Still, it may be the determining factor in whether or not they play a game to a player.

Usable

The system via which the product or service is supplied must be basic and straightforward to use. Designs should be constructed in a friendly and easy-to-understand manner.

Everything from the server to the HTML to the aesthetic aspects of a website or app should be user-friendly. Usability testing tools such as Usabilla Webpage FX. can assist you in checking usability.

Moreover, websites and applications should be simple enough for users to become experts in using them after just one visit. This should evolve with each release, so if you add a new feature or make a considerable redesign, there’d be some tutorials to make the user familiar while starting.

Findable

The information must be easily accessible and navigable. If a user has an issue, they should discover a solution promptly. The navigation structure should also be built up logically. If you can’t locate a thing, you’re not going to buy it, and the same is true for all potential users.

Suppose you opened up a newspaper and all the stories within it were given page space at random, rather than being grouped into sections such as Sport, Entertainment, Business, and so on. In that case, you’d probably find reading it quite annoying. Many items’ usability is dependent on their ability to be found.

Credible

Credibility refers to the user’s willingness to put their trust in the product you’ve delivered. Not only does it accomplish the job that it is designed to do, but it also lasts a respectable period, and the information that comes with it is accurate.

Development teams are in charge of providing a product that lives up to its promises. Companies such as Spotify and Netflix, for example, offer a smooth streaming experience. In a highly competitive market, any persistent failures on their side will result in customers quitting the service and going to another provider.

Desirable

The product, service, or system’s visual aesthetics must be appealing and straightforward to translate. The design should be concise and to the point. This component may appear to be entirely about branding. Branding, on the other hand, does not seem out of anywhere.

Apple isn’t successful just because its goods are visually appealing; however, it is a distinct advantage. They back it up with high-quality products. Spotify and Netflix are generally equivalent to other streaming services. Still, because they were the first to market and had the resources to spend on innovation, they are regarded as the cream of the crop. 

Accessible

The product or service should be developed so that users with disabilities may enjoy the same user experience as everyone else. People of all abilities should use your product or service. There is a wealth of information available regarding accessibility. Begin with a11y and ensure that you are continually auditing for accessibility. If anything doesn’t seem right, don’t be scared to bring it up.

Even if your bosses aren’t sympathetic to the moral argument that everyone should have access to the internet, there’s a strong commercial case to be made here. Disabled persons and their families in the United Kingdom alone have projected £212 billion.

Valuable

Finally, the product must be valuable. It must provide value to both the company that generates it and the person who buys or utilizes it. Any early success of a product is likely to be damaged if it lacks value.

Your product or service must be valuable to both the business and the client. This, like other areas of UX, is determined by your users. Some user groups will place higher importance on attractiveness than accessibility, and vice versa. It is your responsibility to balance consumer and corporate needs, but we should constantly question actions prioritizing profit above a smooth experience.

What Is A Good User Experience Design?

Everyone’s user experience is different. The most significant thing to remember while developing a product is that even if you set it, you may not be a possible user who will utilize it. As a result, we cannot presume what a user wants or requires.

Let’s look at some good User Experience examples.

PayPal

Prior to the release of their redesigned website in 2014, PayPal’s website was highly complicated. Since then, PayPal has streamlined its website and mobile app experience. There are several of John Maeda’s Laws of Simplicity at work: reducing, organizing, placing, generating context, adding meaning, and saving time.

MailChimp

MailChimp provides their online application a face, but not human. Their mascot, a chimp named Frederick von Chimpenheimer IV (or Freddie for short), appears throughout their interface, providing users with humor, high fives, and an emotional connection. This humanization of technology gives dimension to what would otherwise be a sterile and, frankly, boring experience of managing your email marketing.

What Is The Difference Between UI And UX?

The distinction between User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) is that UI refers to the visual components people interact with a product. In contrast, UX is concerned with the user’s experience with a product or service. So, UI is concerned with visual interface components like fonts, colors, menu bars, and so on, but UX is concerned with the user and their experience through the product.

The UX designer considers the user’s entire path to address a specific problem; what stages do they take? What duties must they complete? How simple or complicated is the experience?

Much of their work involves determining what sorts of problems and pain points people have and how a particular product may address them. They will perform comprehensive user research to determine the target consumers and their specific product demands. They’ll then map out the user’s path across a product, considering factors such as information architecture (how the material is arranged and labeled throughout a product) and what sorts of features the customer would want. Eventually, they’ll produce wireframes, which are the bare-bones plans for the website.

With the product’s skeleton in place, the UI designer steps in to liven it up. The UI designer considers all visual parts of the user’s journey, including all individual screens and touchpoints that the user may experience, for example, hitting a button, scrolling down a page, or swiping through an image gallery.

While the UX designer creates the experience, the UI designer concentrates on making the journey feasible. That is not to suggest that UI design is just concerned with aesthetics; UI designers significantly affect whether or not a product is accessible and inclusive.

Where To Start Learning User Experience Design?

So, you’ve done your research, and you’re well-versed in UX design. You understand how UX designers operate and have experimented with some of the industry’s most popular tools. We’ll presume at this point that you’ve liked the journey so far and want to continue.

If you’re passionate about a career in UX design, the best way to get from beginner to expert is to take a structured course. Let us state unequivocally before you start running away: you do not need to attend university or spend years studying. Employers, in reality, aren’t searching for a long list of credentials; they want to see that you’ve mastered the main ideas and practical abilities.

You may concentrate on improving your “designer’s eye” in addition to learning fundamental UX design ideas and approaches. Surround yourself with sources of inspiration. You’ll need motivation throughout your UX career, not just at the outset. Checking up on industry trends, observing other designers on social media, and exploring the internet for new ideas helps keep your creative juices flowing and your design horizons constantly broadened. Employers want to see what you’re capable of; therefore, a CV isn’t enough. Create a portfolio of your work.

Conclusion

It’s easy to see why User Experience Design is so important when you look at the bigger picture. It is the cause for a company’s success or failure. It is the way your website communicates with your audience and how your audience learns about your company. It is the one area of your functioning that you should never undervalue or skimp on. UX design is a diverse discipline that encompasses everything from creativity to research. It is a discipline that is always growing and will continue to do so in the future.

So if you are looking for a responsive and adaptive user experience design for your business or project, Mpire Solutions has both professional expertise and proven deliveries. Connect with us 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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Salesforce – Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud vs Commerce Cloud

Introduction

It’s a common question: which Salesforce platform should I use for my company? It’s SO easy to get lost in the jargon and marketing material available on the internet today, but it doesn’t have to be confusing. We are going to tell you everything you need to decide which Salesforce product is right for your business.

Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM platform. It is a popular choice among businesses for managing marketing, sales, service and lately E-commerce activities. While these three clouds are often compared, what is exactly Salesforce Commerce Cloud and how does it differ from Service and Sales Clouds? What are the differences between Sales Cloud, Service Cloud and Commerce Cloud?

 Is one better than the other or what should you choose if you’re in the market for any of these types of solutions? It’s time to get rid of the confusion once and for all with the help of this guide.

This blog post covers the following details:

Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud vs Commerce Cloud

About Salesforce Sales Cloud

  • Usage
  • Benefits

About Salesforce Service Cloud

  • Usage
  • Benefits

About Salesforce Commerce Cloud

  • Usage
  • Benefits

Comparative Analysis: Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud vs Commerce Cloud

Conclusion

Salesforce: Sales Cloud vs Service Cloud vs Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software for sales teams. It helps salespeople keep track of their leads and customers using features like lead scoring, pipeline reporting, email campaign creation, and customer relationship management.

Salesforce Service Cloud is a suite of software designed to help support teams provide superior customer service by managing their interactions with customers. The service includes product knowledge management tools, customer service automation tools, and knowledge sharing tools.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud computing platform that helps businesses of all sizes build, manage, and market their products across all channels. It connects the different systems a company uses to sell and market its products into an integrated solution. Salesforce Commerce Cloud allows you to create personalized customer experiences using data from multiple systems, including your website and social media pages, so that you can offer a seamless experience whether your customer shops online or in-store.

Salesforce Sales Cloud

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a cloud-based service for sales companies that helps track leads, manage accounts, and close deals. It was created by Salesforce, a company that develops commercial cloud computing software. The Sales Cloud tracks which leads are most likely to convert into paying customers and helps salespeople share information with one another. This is accomplished by bringing together the data of multiple teams within a company. Clients can access their accounts and sales leads on their desktops or on mobile devices.

Usage

Sales Cloud is intended for use by sales representatives at corporations who work with multiple clients and need to manage information about each client in a central place. Sales reps who sell software or other products to businesses can take advantage of the many features of Sales Cloud, such as the opportunity to record details about each meeting separately and track all interactions with clients on a daily basis.

Sales Cloud is integrated with other cloud-based applications provided by Salesforce, such as Service Cloud, which enables customer service representatives to track inquiries and support requests, and Community Cloud, which lets online communities share articles and discuss relevant topics.

Benefits

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a powerful and versatile sales-performance management tool that can help close the gap between your sales goals and your actual results. A Salesforce sales cloud review will reveal the multitude of benefits associated with this extremely useful platform, including (but not limited to):

  • Automated data collection
  • Analytics, insights, and reporting capabilities
  • Updated records in real time

Its features are designed to ensure that you have access to all relevant information at every stage of the sales process, so you can make more informed decisions regarding how to proceed with each potential sale. This means it can be used for a wide variety of tasks and will be particularly attractive to those who need a comprehensive solution that captures all the information related to their sales activity.

Salesforce Service Cloud

Salesforce Service Cloud is a cloud-based offering that offers companies a flexible, scalable, and secure platform for managing their customer relationship management.

As you know, most CRM systems are available on-premises only. This means they’re limited by the size of the company’s IT department and other resources. Salesforce Service Cloud eliminates these limitations by providing a cloud-based CRM solution with powerful features that make it easy for small businesses and midsize organizations to use the same software found in larger Fortune 500 companies:

  • Unlimited users
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Real-time synchronization of all contact data across devices
  • Full access to Salesforce analytics
  • Customizable dashboards, email templates, and alerts
  • Workflows that manage interactions between members of your team and your customers

This means that you can easily manage customer relationships across multiple teams, departments, or regions as well as create marketing campaigns based on your unique business needs.

In short, Salesforce Service Cloud offers advanced tools for companies to communicate with their customers in a direct, personal way, so that the customer always feels like they’re getting first-class treatment.

Usage

The Salesforce Service Cloud is used by small- to medium-sized businesses that need help with customer support and management. It’s also great for companies that provide cloud computing solutions or software as a service (SaaS). It allows them to track and monitor issues, manage contract renewals, and reduce service costs. Businesses can also use Service Cloud to create contracts, configure services, set up support plans, and organize their customer data.

The platform offers customizable workflows and gadgets that lets companies monitor customer interactions from every angle and get more visibility into their internal processes. This helps companies organize teams more effectively, track progress on projects, and collaborate on tasks more seamlessly across departments.

Another benefit of the Salesforce Service Cloud is the reporting capabilities. These capabilities allow you to customize reports based on your business needs and track performance against goals. This will help you increase efficiency while increasing revenue stream opportunities.

Benefits

The Salesforce Service Cloud lets businesses manage their customer relationships better, including the ability to monitor conversations and create personalized interactions. This means that businesses can provide even better service to their customers, making it easier for them to reach out when they need help, while also allowing the firms to be more proactive in providing assistance.

Here’s a list of some main benefits that you can utilize with Salesforce Service Cloud:

Service cases and service requests

  • Lead management
  • Escalation management
  • Customer satisfaction tracking
  • Answer customer questions faster and more efficiently
  • Create better deliverables for clients
  • Make sure all your customer service efforts are aligned with corporate goals

With Salesforce Service Cloud, you also have a better chance at gaining insights into your customers’ behaviors, enabling you to create additional opportunities and upsell products.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud

Salesforce Commerce Cloud is a cloud-based commerce platform that makes it easy to create and manage omnichannel sales experiences. The platform enables brands to sell anywhere, on any channel, with personalized customer experiences and real-time analytics. Salesforce Commerce Cloud is built on the world’s #1 CRM – Salesforce1 – so you have a complete view of every customer that matters.

The platform helps you manage the physical products your customers are buying, including how they’re shipped, stored, and distributed. It’s important to have all of this covered because it’s a lot more complicated than just selling books or music online—you need to worry about how those things are packaged and shipped and then whether they get there on time. You need to make sure the right people are handling all of these things, too.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud takes care of all these details for you, so you can focus on creating an amazing product and your customers can focus on being happy with the one you’re selling them. And as always with Salesforce, it works across all devices.

Usage

This cloud computing solution is designed to make it easier for businesses of all sizes to provide flexible, high quality commerce experiences across multiple sales channels. It helps companies enhance their E-commerce capabilities, provide personalized shopping experiences on any device, and create targeted marketing campaigns.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud for Retail, which offers a cloud-based solution for retailers that enables them to manage multiple sales channels (e.g., web, mobile), leverage advanced analytics, and deliver personalized customer experiences across all touch points.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud for Marketing, a platform that gives marketers the tools they need to create relevant and timely customer experiences across channels. This includes solutions for digital commerce, social commerce, and loyalty marketing.

Salesforce Commerce Cloud for Developers, which provides developers with the tools and resources needed to build integrations between Salesforce and external applications in order to automate business processes and streamline operations.

Benefits

It’s called Salesforce Commerce Cloud for a reason: it’s meant to make commerce better. We know that if you’re going to be successful in this digital world, you need all your sales, marketing, and commerce processes to work together seamlessly. 

That’s why Salesforce has built this platform using the same infrastructure that supports some of the biggest names in retail: Walmart, Gap, Sears, eBay, and more. Now you can integrate your commerce and marketing functions into one platform to achieve better results.

The benefits of using Salesforce Commerce Cloud are:

  • It makes shopping easy for consumers and profitable for retailers.
  • Organizations across industries can easily manage their digital channels to better serve customers and increase revenue.
  • It connects businesses with consumers on any device at any time.
  • It’s easy to integrate into your existing infrastructure, so you can start boosting sales right away.
  • And because it’s built on top of Salesforce, it’s incredibly affordable compared with other options on the market today.

And here’s the best part: You don’t have to be a huge e-commerce site like Amazon or eBay to take advantage of this platform. In fact, many customers are small businesses with unique needs. What they all have in common is their desire to succeed in this high-stakes digital landscape.

 

Conclusion

So, to sum up, Salesforce Commerce Cloud provides a centralized place for developing and selling E-commerce capabilities, Service Cloud is designed for service-related workflows, and Salesforce’s mainline business software, Sales Cloud is the company’s platform for data, analytics, lead management and other sales functionality. The biggest differences between these three tracks are the type of customers and industry verticals, and their needs.

Looking for the best Salesforce solutions? We at MpireSolutions are dedicated to offering customized, personalized solutions that are specific to your needs, allowing us to give you exactly what you want instead of leaving you with a one-size-fits-all option. 

Our expertly-designed solutions combine business insights, advanced analytics, and data management technologies to create a next-generation platform that supports the entire process of making business decisions and improving performance.

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