Aug 30 2018
Ana
Aug 30

You have already seen what Drupal blogs were trending in previous months, and now it is time to look at all the blog posts we wrote. Here are the blog topics we covered in July. 

The first blog post was Drupal Security Tips. While going into the depth of how Drupalgeddon works is an entirely another topic on its own. The main takeaway from it is keeping your Drupal site and its modules updated which is vital to your site’s security efforts. We’ve gathered some tips about how to do that. 

The second was a blog post Developers wanted. ASAP! We took a sample of agency owner John, who needed two additional developers to work on the newly acquired business. What route did John take and where did it lead him?

We continued with a Drupal community interview - Renato Goncalves de Araújo. Agiledrop is highlighting active Drupal community members through a series of interviews. The first one we’ve talked to is Renato Goncalves de Araújo. Read about what are the two things he loves about Drupal, what he thinks the future will bring for Drupal, and what are the projects he is involved into.

writing

The fourth one was Drupal events in the 3rd quarter of the year. We’ve gathered all Drupal events you can attend in the 3rd quarter of this year. 

The fifth was Promote Drupal - to agencies! AGILEDROP contributed into "Promote Drupal" fund. This project is a great opportunity for Drupal agencies. Take a look, if you are interested, how we would like to see that money spend. 


And the last one was Rachel Lawson on the road with Drupal. In one of our series of interviews with active Drupal community members, we had a chat with Rachel Lawson. Learn how did she first came across Drupal, what change she saw when she was working on it and on what contributors she is the proudest of.

Those were our blog posts from July. Looking forward to continuing having you as a reader!
 

Jul 20 2018
Ana
Jul 20

You have already seen what Drupal blogs were trending in the previous month, and now it is time to look at all our blog post we wrote. Here are the blog topics we covered in June.

The first blog post was Drupal and the Internet of Things. Unless you’ve been living under the rock these past few years, you might have heard of the term ‘The Internet of Things’. If you’ve always wondered what the Internet of Things is and you know what Drupal is, you should read this blog post.

The second was an Introduction to Drupal Commerce. Drupal and Commerce. These are two words that aren’t usually associated with each other. But do you know that Drupal can become a great eCommerce solution thanks to a dedicated software so-called Drupal Commerce? If you didn’t, then well, you are in for a treat. In this blog post, we took a look at what Drupal Commerce is and how it can be used to create an eCommerce store using Drupal.

computer

The last blog post in June was How to Integrate Maps to Drupal 8. Thanks to advancements in the tech industry, things that were once difficult have become incredibly easy now. One of these is finding addresses. As an online business, making sure your physical address is easily visible to your users can be crucial. What other way is there to show your visitors your address other than digital maps such as Google Maps, the largest and the most widely used online map software in the world. In this post, we took a look at various ways of adding maps to your Drupal site and how they can be utilized for better convenience for your site visitors.

Those were our blog posts from June. Looking forward to continuing having you as a reader!
 

Jul 18 2018
Ana
Jul 18

We've made a list of Drupal camps and summits that you can attend in the third quarter of the year. Drupal events are bringing together Drupal developers, site builders, themers, end users and those interested in learning more about Drupal. We are attending Drupal events because of sessions and collaborative discussions.

DrupalCamp LA 2018

The United States, Irvine, CA
School of Engineering of the University of California
21-22. July 2018

DrupalCamp LA is an unconference-style Drupal training. They are planning to have 5 sessions proposed by community volunteers and BoFs. Sessions are chosen by members attending the DrupalCamp LA.

http://2018.drupalcampla.com/

 

Drupal Camp Costa Rica

Drupal Camp Costa Rica 2018

Costa Rica, Liberia
Universidad de Costa Rica
3-4. August 2018

Keynote speakers are Priscila Chaves, Social innovator and entrepreneur, and Alonso Casto, Director of CI of the UCR. Other than that, there will be plenty of sessions for you to attend. 

http://www.drupalcamp.cr/

 

Drupal Camp Colorado

DrupalCamp Colorado 2018

United States, Denver, CO
Auraria Campus
3-5. August 2018

Keynote speaker on DrupalCamp Colorado this year is Preston So, Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia. Other than that, there will be a lot of sessions for you to listen to, and on the last day, you can join sprints as well. 

https://2018.drupalcampcolorado.org/

 

Drupal North

Drupal North Regional Summit - Toronto 2018

Canada, Toronto, ON
Toronto Reference Library
10-12. August 2018

Drupal North is a 3-day conference with interesting Drupal training on the first and a lot of sessions and sprints on the last day. 

http://drupalnorth.org/

 

Decoupled Drupal Days

Decoupled Drupal Days 2018

United States, New York, NY
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
17-19. August 2018

It’s a conference for architects, developers, and businesspeople involved in implementing decoupled Drupal architectures. There will be three tracks for sessions: Drupal, JavaScript and Future.

https://2018.decoupleddays.com/

 

Drupal GovCon

Drupal GovCon 2018

The United States, Washington, DC
National Institutes of Health, Natcher Conference Center
22-24. August 2018

Drupal GovCon brings together people who use, develop, design, and support the Drupal platform with a focus in government. There will be so many session tracks, that there is no doubt you wouldn’t find something for you and learn a lot of things. 

https://www.drupalgovcon.org/

 

Midwest Drupal summit

Midwest Drupal Summit 2018

United States, Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan campus
24-26. August 2018

Midwest Drupal Summit is three days of code sprints, working on issues such as porting modules and writing, updating documentation and informal presentations.

https://groups.drupal.org/node/519274

 

Drupal Europe

Drupal Europe 2018

Germany, Darmstadt
Darmstadtium
10-14. September 2018

This is the biggest Drupal event in Europe. Eleven industry tracks are focused on real-life case studies and success stories alongside emerging new best practices.

https://www.drupaleurope.org/

 

Drupal Corn Camp

DrupalCorn Camp 2018

United States, Des Moines, IA
Center for Higher Education
27-30. September 2018

This DrupalCorn Camp is 6th in a row. The first day is full of training opportunities, second and third day are full of interesting sessions and the last day is reserved for sprinting.  

http://2018.drupalcorn.org/

Jul 18 2018
Ana
Jul 18

We've made a list of Drupal camps and summits that you can attend in the third quarter of the year. Drupal events are bringing together Drupal developers, site builders, themers, end users and those interested in learning more about Drupal. We are attending Drupal events because of sessions and collaborative discussions.

DrupalCamp LA 2018

The United States, Irvine, CA
School of Engineering of the University of California
21-22. July 2018

DrupalCamp LA is an unconference-style Drupal training. They are planning to have 5 sessions proposed by community volunteers and BoFs. Sessions are chosen by members attending the DrupalCamp LA.

http://2018.drupalcampla.com/

 

Drupal Camp Costa Rica

Drupal Camp Costa Rica 2018

Costa Rica, Liberia
Universidad de Costa Rica
3-4. August 2018

Keynote speakers are Priscila Chaves, Social innovator and entrepreneur, and Alonso Casto, Director of CI of the UCR. Other than that, there will be plenty of sessions for you to attend. 

http://www.drupalcamp.cr/

 

Drupal Camp Colorado

DrupalCamp Colorado 2018

United States, Denver, CO
Auraria Campus
3-5. August 2018

Keynote speaker on DrupalCamp Colorado this year is Preston So, Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia. Other than that, there will be a lot of sessions for you to listen to, and on the last day, you can join sprints as well. 

https://2018.drupalcampcolorado.org/

 

Drupal North

Drupal North Regional Summit - Toronto 2018

Canada, Toronto, ON
Toronto Reference Library
10-12. August 2018

Drupal North is a 3-day conference with interesting Drupal training on the first and a lot of sessions and sprints on the last day. 

http://drupalnorth.org/

 

Decoupled Drupal Days

Decoupled Drupal Days 2018

United States, New York, NY
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
17-19. August 2018

It’s a conference for architects, developers, and businesspeople involved in implementing decoupled Drupal architectures. There will be three tracks for sessions: Drupal, JavaScript and Future.

https://2018.decoupleddays.com/

 

Drupal GovCon

Drupal GovCon 2018

The United States, Washington, DC
National Institutes of Health, Natcher Conference Center
22-24. August 2018

Drupal GovCon brings together people who use, develop, design, and support the Drupal platform with a focus in government. There will be so many session tracks, that there is no doubt you wouldn’t find something for you and learn a lot of things. 

https://www.drupalgovcon.org/

 

Midwest Drupal summit

Midwest Drupal Summit 2018

United States, Ann Arbor, MI
University of Michigan campus
24-26. August 2018

Midwest Drupal Summit is three days of code sprints, working on issues such as porting modules and writing, updating documentation and informal presentations.

https://groups.drupal.org/node/519274

 

Drupal Europe

Drupal Europe 2018

Germany, Darmstadt
Darmstadtium
10-14. September 2018

This is the biggest Drupal event in Europe. Eleven industry tracks are focused on real-life case studies and success stories alongside emerging new best practices.

https://www.drupaleurope.org/

 

Drupal Corn Camp

DrupalCorn Camp 2018

United States, Des Moines, IA
Center for Higher Education
27-30. September 2018

This DrupalCorn Camp is 6th in a row. The first day is full of training opportunities, second and third day are full of interesting sessions and the last day is reserved for sprinting.  

http://2018.drupalcorn.org/

Jul 15 2018
Ana
Jul 15

Agiledrop is highlighting active Drupal community members through a series of interviews. Learn who are the people behind Drupal projects.

This week we talked with Renato Goncalves de Araújo. Read about what are the two things he loves about Drupal, what he thinks the future will bring for Drupal, and what are projects he is involved into. 


1. Please tell us a little about yourself. How do you participate in the Drupal community and what do you do professionally?

About me:
I have been a software developer for eleven years now. I studied Computer Science at the University of Campinas (Unicamp).

About Drupal Community:
The Drupal community is a group of passionate and like-minded people who aim to help one another and that’s what I love about it. I enjoy getting involved with the Drupal community and seeing how people help each other. When I get the chance, I try my best to contribute to official projects since I know how these projects greatly help in our day-to-day. 

I currently work for CI&T's Drupal Competence Office (DCO) which is involved with several Drupal projects, includes training; certifications; participation in events like a DrupalCon, DrupalCamp, Drupal Global Training Day, and others. I’m also a member of the group ADB - Associação Drupal Brasil (Drupal Association Brazil).

 

2. When did you first came across Drupal? What convinced you to stay, software or the community, and why?

I first came across Drupal when I was in University in 2008 and again when I started working at CI&T. I decided to stay with Drupal for two reasons. Firstly, because it is open source. I really like the free software philosophy. Secondly, because I noticed that the Drupal community is unmatchable when it comes to talent and projects. 

 

3. What impact Drupal made on you? Is there a particular moment you remember?

I believe that Drupal has transformed my career for the better. I started to get involved with the free software community and today I consider myself a much better professional.

I have created projects for the community like  Modal Page, Janrain, Forms to Email and Parameter Message. I have been gaining people's trust, and today I maintain more than 40 official projects, including projects like Views that is used by almost 800,000 sites.

One particular and the special moment was when I came in  3rd on Dries Buytaert’s (founder of Drupal and Acquia) list of 2017 contributors: https://dri.es/who-sponsors-drupal-development-2017

contributors

Another memorable moment was when they released our Janrain project in the Newsletter of the Drupal Association.

The last was the launch of the CI&T website made with Drupal 8:
www.drupal.org/case-study/cit-thoughtfully-fast-in-drupal-8

 

4. How do you explain what Drupal is to other, non-Drupal people?

I always say that Drupal is a powerful framework for creating systems and websites.
All you have to do is find a module that best aligns with what you’re trying to do, and if you can’t you can create it yourself. Much more, you can create a module that also potentially help others. Drupal is both intuitive and a system that has plenty of benefits that I can’t imagine creating a website with any framework other than Drupal.

 

5. How did you see Drupal evolving over the years? What do you think the future will bring?

I see Drupal evolving to something even better over the years--more performant framework with modern technologies such as Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and Symfony, to compete with other frameworks in the market.

I think the future will bring new possibilities within Drupal like an Alexa, Chatbot, Composer (Drupal Plan) and many others using Drupal Decouple. This is already happening and I'm sure that it will continue. 

 

6. What are some of the contribution to open source code or community that you are most proud of?

I would say that the three contributions I’m most proud of are:

  1. First, I'm very proud of the Modal page project, which I created from a simple idea and which today is used by almost 50 sites in production.
  2. Second, I'm proud of the project that I created together with my team called Janrain.
  3. Lastly, I'm significantly proud of the Views project, which is one of the largest in the community. 

 

7. Is there an initiative or a project in Drupal space that you would like to promote or highlight?

Yes, Modal Page and Janrain.
Modal Page is a project that came up with the idea of facilitating the creation of models for Drupal in a simple and effective way. Several sites are using it in production and all help is welcome.
Janrain is the official project for Drupal 8 with a stable release.

 

8. Is there anything else that excites you beyond Drupal? Either a new technology or a personal endeavorment. 

What excites me is the "Drupal Decouple" or “Headless” Drupal way of working. Where the backend plays the role of the web service and is responsible for processing the information and returning it in JSON format for example, and in this way it is possible to use the front end with other technologies.
 

Jul 09 2018
Ana
Jul 09

Drupal is the leading enterprise web content management framework.  With this popularity, of course, comes the increased risk to security. While Drupal in itself, out-of-the-box is widely considered to be very secure, there are additional methods that one must definitely undertake in order to ensure their Drupal site stays attack-proof as much as possible.

 

Minimum Administrative Privileges

In Drupal, users with administrative privileges have access to each and every section of the site. This, of course, means that administrative privileges in the wrong hands could prove to be the end of your Drupal site. When a new Drupal site is created, a user #1 is also created. This is the highest level of privileges a Drupal site has. It is always recommended to create an admin account and additionally secure this user #1 account before taking the site live. Also, make sure the number of admin accounts on your site is kept on minimum.

 

Install trusted and supported modules

Modules are what makes up Drupal’s true power and make it so flexible, as such there are boatloads of modules available for Drupal. However, not all modules are created equal; plus they can also be used to hack into your site since in basic terms the modules basically add or alter your site’s code. So, to keep your site safe from malicious attacks make sure you install trusted and popular modules only whenever possible. If you do need the functionality of a module that is not yet very well known then make sure to perform proper research on it before proceeding with installing it on your site.

 

Keep Drupal core and Modules updated

This point cannot be stressed enough! Yes, it is sometimes a hassle to patch or update your site but it isn’t as much of a hassle it would be trying to recover your site if it gets exposed. Keeping your Drupal site as well the modules installed on it should always be kept up-to-date since these updates often include security patches as well. There’s a reason the Drupal security team releases these updates every so often.

One of the cases for keeping your Drupal site updated could be made owing to the Drupalgeddon as well the more recent Drupalgeddon 1 & 2. This is the name given to a critical security vulnerability that was found to be affecting a huge number of sites running on Drupal. The Drupal security team immediately released security patches for fixing this vulnerability upon its discovery and strongly advised everyone running a Drupal site to patch their sites immediately. You can be rest assured that the sites which aren’t yet patched are probably already exploited by the vulnerability.

While going into the depth of how Drupalgeddon works is an entirely another topic on its own for another day, the main takeaway from this is that keeping your Drupal site and its modules updated is vital to your site’s security efforts.

 

Choose a Good Hosting Provider

One point that is often overlooked when it comes to considering the security of a site is the hosting provider you choose for hosting your site. While speed and reliability are undoubtedly important factors when choosing a hosting provider, you should also see what kind of security measures they provide. Choosing a hosting provider that has rock-solid security measures in place already lays a strong foundation for your site’s security going ahead.

 

Security Modules

Modules make a Drupal site. So is there any surprise that there are modules available for Drupal focusing mainly on making it more secure? There are many modules available which provide different methods of making your site more secure, some of them are:

 

Other Measures

Apart from the tips highlighted above, there are other practices that must be regularly performed to ensure your Drupal site remains impenetrable:

  • Regularly check Drupal’s built-in status reports to get an overview of your site’s back-end status
  • Always check logs to figure out if any suspicious activity could have been performed on your site without you knowing
  • Always make sure to use strong passwords and change them periodically
  • Use two-factor authentication
  • Remove inactive users
  • Remove modules that aren’t of any use to you
  • Make sure you only use trusted themes
  • Limit access to important Drupal core files via the .htaccess configuration file
  • Enable SSL on your site. (Use HTTPS for your site!)
  • Make regular backups of your site

 

Conclusion

Always keep these tips in mind and stay a step ahead of potential attackers.
If keeping your Drupal site secure as well as maintaining eats up your precious time, then hand these tasks over to us at AGILEDROP. We’ve been in the industry a long time and are trusted by a large number of customers with their sites. Get in touch and let’s discuss your needs!
 

Jun 21 2018
Ana
Jun 21

Thanks to advancements in the tech industry, things that were once difficult have become incredibly easy now. One of these is finding addresses. As an online business, making sure your physical address is easily visible to your users can be crucial. What other way is there to show your visitors your address other than digital maps such as Google Maps, the largest and the most widely used online map software in the world. In this post, I’ll take a look at various ways of adding maps to your Drupal site and how they can be utilized for better convenience for your site visitors.

 

Integrating Google Maps

As with everything else Drupal, there’s a module for adding Google Maps to your site as well. The module is called Simple Google Maps. As the name implies, the module makes the process of embedding Google Maps to your site simple. So let’s get down to it.
First, download the module, install and enable it on your site.

Simple Google Maps

The module makes use of fields to embed Google Maps. So let’s create a field now. I will create a field for the article content type but you can do it for any content type you want Google maps to be embedded in.
Navigate to Admin -> Structure -> Content types -> Articles -> Manage Fields.

Content types

Click Add Field.

Add fields

Here, select Text (plain) from the dropdown and label it.

Add field

Now go to the Manage Display tab in the Manage Fields section and for the Google Maps field we created, select the format as Google Map from single one line address instead of plain text.

Google Map from single one line address

You can also set the size of the map as well as various preferences from here. Just click the cog icon on the right side and the tab will expand to reveal further settings. Now, click the cog icon and you will see all the settings you can change for your map such as size etc. Let’s set the size to 500x500. Make any other changes you want and click save.

Google maps

Note that in order to use static maps you will need to obtain an API key from Google, which can be done by going to https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/maps-static/intro. In this example, just for illustration purposes, I’ll be using dynamic maps.

Now, create a new article to test the Google Maps integration. Go to Content -> Add content -> Article. Scroll down to the field we created earlier and type the address you wish the map to display.

Google maps

Now when you go to view the article you created, you should see a map already embedded in it.

Google maps

This method eliminates the need for copying and pasting iframe code for each individual node and address separately and makes it much easier in the long run.

Geofield Field Module

One of the most well-known module when it comes to mapping solutions on Drupal is the geolocation field module. Available on both Drupal 7 & Drupal 8, it boasts plenty of features such as finding addresses by name or by latitude & longitude. Let’s take a look at how it works on Drupal 8.

The geolocation field module allows you to create fields and add them to the content types you wish to associate addresses with. Let’s add a geolocation field to our article content type. Navigate to Structure -> Content types -> Article -> Manage fields -> Add fields and under the ‘re-use existing fields’ drop-down menu, select geolocation_demo_single for single location or geolocation_demo_multiple for multiple ones. I’ll select single for the simplest scenario.

In the default settings, you will note that the module takes longitudinal and latitudinal values as default which we don’t want. We want to allow the user to enter an address or pick a location from the map, which will then automatically be converted to longitudinal and latitudinal values. The good thing is, this module already has that functionality built-in. Simply go to manage form display in the content type configuration and select Geolocation Google Maps API.

Geolocation

For this, you will, of course, need to configure your Google Maps API. You also get options for changing various display settings for the map when you select this option.

Geolocation

And that’s it really for the very basic way of adding locations to maps via the geolocation field module.

 

Final Thoughts

Both of the modules we went through in this post are very popular and easily approachable when you are looking for mapping solutions to your Drupal site. But they aren’t the only ones, there are more modules being ported over to Drupal 8, such as leaflets. These allow you to delve deeper into mapping and create better solutions such as pointing out multiple locations in a single map. Or you can also your these mapping modules in conjunction with other popular Drupal modules such as views to create even more complex displays for these maps.

If you are in search for a reliable partner to develop a Drupal site for you or add any type of functionality, then look no further than Agiledrop. Our extensive experience in Drupal makes us an ideal candidate for all things Drupal. Feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to be of help!


 

Jun 14 2018
Ana
Jun 14

Drupal and Commerce. These are two words that aren’t usually associated with each other. But do you know that Drupal can become a great eCommerce solution thanks to a dedicated software for it called Drupal Commerce? If you didn’t, then well, you are in for a treat. Let’s take a look at what Drupal Commerce is and how it can be used to create an eCommerce store using Drupal.

Drupal Commerce at its core is a set of modules for Drupal that enable a host of eCommerce functionalities for Drupal which I’ll be highlighting further in the post. It was developed and is maintained by The Commerce Guys. The great thing about Drupal Commerce is the fact that it isn’t just a software that has a limited set of predefined functions it can do out-of-the-box. Staying true to the Drupal philosophy, Drupal Commerce itself is a framework, meaning it focuses on what solutions can be built by using it. Owing to this, developers have the freedom to extend Drupal Commerce’s functionality even further by developing contributed modules for it.

Basic Features

Drupal Commerce leverages Drupal’s entities concept to bring some of the very basic eCommerce functions like Product, Order, Customer Profile, Line Item and Payment Transaction to the platform. Here’s what these entities represent:

  • Product: Pretty much self-explanatory, a product is the thing you sell.
  • Orders: These are the summary of what products have been ordered, what options have been attached to these products as well as whether transactions have been successful or failed.
  • Line Items: Products with specific options attached to them. For example shoes with their size and colour options. If you order a shoe with size 10 and black colour, then this will be a line item which will be added to a cart.
  • Payment Gateways: Payment Gateways are mediums through which online payments are made. Since developing a dedicated payment gateway is no small task, 3rd party gateways are usually integrated to eCommerce sites for processing payments. There are many trustworthy 3rd party payment gateways like PayPal, Payoneer, Skrill etc.
Calculator

 

Advanced Features

Apart from the basics mentioned in the previous section, there are also many advanced features offered by Drupal commerce that can be further extended by the use of contributed modules. Let’s take a look at some of them:

  • Shipping: Drupal commerce has a contributed module called Commerce Shipping using which you can make use of customer profiles to entertain cases where a customers’ billing address and shipping address is different.
  • Inventory Management: Thanks to modules like Commerce Stock and Commerce Inventory, inventory management is made really easy on Drupal commerce.
  • Commerce Rules: Buying a product online is subject to many variable costs like taxes, shipping costs etc. In order to implement these rules easily, Drupal commerce offers integration of 3rd party shipping sites like FedEx, UPS etc to implement these rules automatically.
  • Tax: Ease of use is the name of the game when it comes to user accessibility for any website. Make it easier on your customers by displaying the total price with sales tax and VAT tax or any other tax included with your product’s price. This can again be done by using Commerce Rules.

Apart from contributed modules, Drupal commerce much like Drupal offers tons of hooks that can be implemented by developers in their own solutions to easily leverage various functionalities offered by Drupal Commerce.

 

Versions

There are currently two versions of Drupal Commerce: Drupal Commerce 1.x and Drupal Commerce 2.x. The 1.x versions are for Drupal 7 and 2.x versions are for Drupal 8. Both of these can be downloaded on the project’s official Drupal repository.

 

Commerce Kickstart

To get a feel for Drupal Commerce, it is recommended to give Drupal Commerce 2.0 Demo a try. It is the quickest way to get up and running with a prebuilt Drupal commerce site. It can be given a whirl here.

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur but aren’t sure how to go about building an eCommerce site using Drupal? Let us handle that and focus on making money yourself!
 

Jun 13 2018
Ana
Jun 13

You have already seen what Drupal blogs were trending in the previous month, and now it is time to look at all our blog post we wrote. Here are the blog topics we covered in May.

The first blog post was How to Integrate Google Analytics with Drupal 8. It’s really important to keep track of the statistics of your websites. One tool that stands out and probably beats all others in terms of popularity when it comes to website analytics is Google Analytics. In this blog posts, we looked at how you can integrate Google Analytics with Drupal, specifically with Drupal 8. 

The second was a Drupal SEO Tips. Drupal’s excellent built-in SEO functionality. While Drupal itself plays pretty well with search engines, there are a host of measures you can take to ensure you stay on top of the SEO game even more. After all, the internet is a competitive market, making a site’s SEO all the more competitive. In this post, I’ll explore some of the most common SEO measures you can take to bolster your Drupal site’s SEO efforts.

reading

We continued with blog post A Short Introduction to Headless Drupal. A title of this blog posts tells it all - we explain what headless means, what is the difference between headless and “normal” Drupal and why it’s so great. 

The fourth blog post was a Drupal for Mobile Solutions. There is no doubt that mobile internet usage is getting more and more popular, in fact, the number of mobile internet users overtook desktop users. In order to avoid losing customers, it’s necessary that web and business owners carter to mobile internet users. In this post, we took a deeper look at how Drupal is great for mobile solutions and why you should use Drupal for your mobile needs. 

Those were our blog post from May. Looking forward to continuing having you as readers!
 

Jun 05 2018
Ana
Jun 05

Unless you’ve been living under the rock these past few years, you might have heard of the term ‘The Internet of Things’. If you’ve always wondered what Internet of Things is and you know what Drupal is, then you’ve stumbled upon the right place. In this post, I’ll take a brief look and what Internet of Things is and how Drupal can be used to take advantage of it.

 

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things or IoT for short is the next big technological leap in the networking world. If you take a look at the past few years, the growth of mobile devices has enabled constant connectivity to the internet for the masses. This helps people to stay in touch with their loved ones as well as stay updated with the world. How can we take this a step further? Could we, perhaps, get connected to our household appliances like the fridge, air conditioning etc? That is what the IoT attempts to do in simple words. This isn’t something that we hear about that may come in future. There are already plenty of examples of connected things all around us that are available to consumers. If you want to see an example, take a look at Google’s Nest.

 

Why Drupal?

Now that’s all well and good, but how does Drupal settle into this equation? Well, before I attempt to answer that, let’s briefly take a look at some of the things that Drupal is well known for:

  • Excellent content management
  • Good data management platform
  • Easy management of users and granular control
  • A good statistics and analysis software

Do you start to see any use of Drupal for IoT yet? Let’s imagine a scenario, say you want to set up a security system in your home that unlocks the door automatically for certain people. Roughly speaking, in order to accomplish this, you will need a place to store known people’s faces, a camera to detect faces, a logic board/controller to match the faces to ones stored in a database and then give the signal to either unlock the door or do nothing. In this scenario, Drupal can be perfectly suited for use as a back-end and the logic. This is, of course, a very crude example and the application is a lot more complex but it helps to get the idea across.

computer

 

‘Headless’ Drupal

What we should be focusing more on, however, is Drupal’s ‘headless’ concept. See, the concept was originally intended to provide more flexibility for the front-end, but in doing so, it opens up a host of new possibilities. One of these is the ability to be able to use Drupal as a back-end for the connected things. Drupal’s API system allows a lot of interfaces to get connected to Drupal seamlessly, and since the front-end restrictions are eliminated, Drupal can easily work as a standalone back-end server, user logic, data storage system etc.

 

The Future

It is still pretty early in the days for Drupal to be fully implemented with the concept of the Internet of Things, however, people have been playing with this idea since 2015 when the idea was first brought forth in DrupalCon Barcelona. While there have been some simple examples of the idea being used with Drupal, there is still a ways to go before we can see Drupal being fully functional and useful in everyday scenarios.

We may not yet be fully able to utilize Drupal for IoT, but we sure can do everything else Drupal! So give us a call or leave a message if you’re looking for someone for building a Drupal solution! 
 

Jun 01 2018
Ana
Jun 01

Each month, we revisit out top Drupal blog posts of the month, giving you the chance to check out some of our favourites. This month was all about decoupled Drupal and JavaScript, check it out!

First one on the list is Nightwatch in Drupal Core by Sally Young from Lullabot. In this blog post, she introduces us to Nightwatch, a functional testing framework, that has been integrated into Drupal, so we can test JavaScript with JavaScript itself. She explains what are the features and how you can try it out. 

We continue our list with Working toward a JavaScript-driven Drupal administration interface by Dries Buytaert. He explains how Drupal is investing in making it API-first since end-users expectations of websites have increased. Now organizations can use modern JavaScript frameworks, and still enjoy Drupal’s content management. A decision was made - Drupal will provide alternative administrative UI using React. In this blog post, Dries takes a look at the most important next steps.

computer

The third spot is reserved for two blog posts about progressive decoupling in Drupal 8: Modern JavaScript and How to guide by Blazej Owczarczyk from Amazee Labs. In first one he gives us a definition of progressive decoupling, ways of using it and guide us through some of the most interesting features that made it into JavaScript. In the second one, he shows us how to use it in a project. 

And we conclude our list with a blog post A Simple Decoupled Site with Drupal 8 and Elm by David Hernandez from Gizra. He made an exercise how to create a decoupled site using Drupal 8 as a backend and an El app in the frontend. He shows how simple using Drupal 8 is, and how to set up a project with Elm. 
 

These are our top blogs from May … We will be collecting best Drupal blog posts in June too. Stay tuned.


 

May 28 2018
Ana
May 28

There’s little doubt that mobile internet usage has soared over the past two years. In fact, the number of mobile internet users overtook desktop users in 2016. It has, then, become imperative for website and business owners to cater to mobile internet users in order to avoid losing potential customers. Adhering to this trend, CMSs like Drupal and WordPress are being constantly updated to implement ways to keep them mobile-friendly. In this post, let’s take a deeper look at how Drupal is great for mobile solutions and why you should use Drupal for your mobile needs.

 

‘Headless’ Concept

If you’ve kept up with the news or read our last blog post, then you probably have an idea of what ‘headless’ is, or at least you might have heard the term. Making Drupal decoupled or ‘headless’ allows the front-end of Drupal to be separate and independent of the back-end. This means Drupal can be effectively used as a backend content manager and database for serving up content to a front-end medium of your choice.

The same concept can be applied when you wish to make a mobile application using Drupal. Since mobile devices come in different shapes and sizes, the front-end medium used to serve content to end-users needs to be highly flexible. Thankfully, over the past few years, various ways of making a site mobile friendly have cropped up; the most popular of which are:

  1. Responsive Design
  2. RESS: Responsive Design + Server-side Components

The good thing about Drupal is that starting from Drupal 8, it is responsive out-of-the-box. So if you only want your site to be formatted for mobile screens in the simplest possible way, you go the route of using plain old Drupal in its entirety (front-end and back-end).
But what do you do when you wish to create a native mobile app, or a different technology created purely for phones, such as:

  1. Swift or Objective C for IOS (AFNetworking or ASIHTTPRequest libraries for communication between IOS and Drupal)
  2. Java for Android (DrupalCloud and XMLRPC for communication between Android and Drupal)
  3. Ionic, PhoneGap, DrupalGap etc for hybrid apps (apps which work on all major mobile platforms with the same codebase)

That is where Drupal’s ‘headless’ concept come to play. You see, CMSs like Drupal were primarily meant to provide a simpler way for users to be able to manage large amounts of content on their sites. Drupal does that perfectly well by utilizing various elements such as nodes, taxonomies etc.
So, if you take an eagle’s eye view of the whole thing, here it how it plays out:
Drupal acts as a back-end which contains all the business-logic, content, workflows, users, modules, the functionality of the site etc. All of this is then served to the user via front-end technologies for each specific platforms of hybrid technologies. These mobile technologies utilize libraries to communicate with Drupal.

mobile

 

Why Mobile Applications

While all of that is well and good, you might be wondering why one should go through the trouble of making native mobile applications. Well, there are a multitude of reasons for that. While I won’t go into depth for this, I would like to highlight the following points from Drupal’s own official documentation for mobile application development:

  • Ability to charge for app in Google Play or App Store
  • In-app purchase and subscriptions through the App Store, Google Play, or other app stores
  • In-app advertising from native mobile app networks
  • Access to the device's camera to take images or video
  • Access to the device's file system for caching
  • Access to the device's contacts
  • Access to the device's accelerometer, gyroscope, compass, and map
  • Native map functionality

 

Conclusion

I would like to conclude this post by mentioning probably the best example I can think of right now which uses Drupal to populate the content of its mobile apps. It has also developed a workflow using Drupal which allows editors to publish news stories and articles with proper formatting and get approval status.  The app I’m talking about is The Economist Espresso. It is a news app available for both IOS and Android and it perfectly portrays the use of Drupal for mobile apps.

Going mobile is no longer just an ‘option’ or a fancy requirement! Keeping in mind the growing number of mobile users, with mobile usage already dominating the internet, you can see great revenues if you cater to these users by building a native mobile app. If you are looking for a way to build mobile solutions for your own business and aren’t sure where to start, let us help you with it.


 

May 18 2018
Ana
May 18

It is a well-known fact by now that Drupal is a very flexible and an extremely agile CMS. Even though it is arguably the most customizable CMS of all, the awesome people behind Drupal aren’t just resting on their laurels due to this. If you’ve been keeping up with any Drupal news or in fact CMS news at all, you might have heard of the term ‘headless’. While the term might sound very odd, it defines something really awesome. So let’s take a look at what headless Drupal is in this post and why it’s so great.

 

Difference Between Headless and ‘Normal’ Drupal

When you run a default Drupal installation you are greeted by a premade theme. By default, the front-end, services and the back-end are all controlled by Drupal itself. This means that the theme you see, the way the site works as well as all the content, media, images etc you store are all done through Drupal itself.

The concept of ‘headless’ aims to separate the front-end i.e the way the site is displayed from Drupal. What this essentially means is that all the services and the content management are handled by Drupal while the core user experience or the way the site is displayed in a browser is controlled via a javascript framework such as React.js or backbone.js. This is achieved via Drupal’s RESTful API service. Headless Drupal can also be known as a way of using Drupal as a service where the content management and the logic of the site are provided by Drupal and the front-end is done via a javascript framework of choice. Here is an excellent representation of Headless Drupal in a visual format from Pantheon:

Headless Drupal

How Difficult is it to Implement Headless Drupal

Going the way of Headless Drupal with Drupal 7 required installation of 3rd party modules such as Services or RestWS.

With Drupal 8 though, RESTful services have been implemented into the core.
Drupal uses JSON, one of the most widely adopted API formats, for its web services. To implement Headless Drupal, knowledge of JSON and how it works is definitely a must. One must also know how Drupal utilizes RESTful web services as well. Generally speaking though, anyone familiar with Drupal development wouldn’t find it too difficult to implement headless Drupal.

 

Why Headless Drupal

There are multiple reasons for aiming to achieve this; some of them are:

  1. Making the site future proof. If in future there is a need to redesign a site, there won’t be any need of going through the hassle of redesigning the back-end and setting up services again. Since the logic of the website and the content management is handled by Drupal, redesigning a site visually would only require tinkering with the front-end.
  2. It completely frees up the front-end team to work on the way the site looks, in-turn freeing up the back-end team to handle the site’s backend architecture.
  3. It helps to speed up the site. Javascript frameworks like React.js are known for their speed and ease of use. Using such framework to deliver content to the user eliminate a lot of the limitations of Drupal’s own front-end architecture. Also, since these frameworks only have to deliver API calls from Drupal to HTML; the entire site gets faster since they need to adhere to complex logics set by Drupal and can only focus on content delivery itself.
  4. The websites that use headless Drupal are much more responsive than ones using Drupal’s native front-end. It has become almost a necessity for a site to be responsive due to the immense rise of mobile devices. Thanks to headless Drupal, this is well addressed.

Conclusion

Headless Drupal (headless websites, for that matter) are all the rage now whenever the future of the web is discussed. Where CMSs aimed to simplify management of a website’s content, this concept takes it a step further by aiming to simplify the front-end as well. Headless Drupal enables creating sites that are much faster, responsive and capable of delivering rich user experience.


We believe in keeping up with the trends and being ready for the future, there is always great value in that and that is what we aim to provide our clients. We understand going down the ‘headless’ Drupal route might come off as a bit intimidating, so feel free to get in touch with us if you wish to future-proof your own Drupal site by of course making it - ‘Headless’!

May 11 2018
Ana
May 11

Drupal is a CMS that’s well-known for its security and flexibility. But do you know of another aspect that Drupal excels at? It’s Drupal’s excellent built-in SEO functionality. While Drupal itself plays pretty well with search engines, there are a host of measures you can take to ensure you stay on top of the SEO game even more. After all, the internet is a competitive market, making a site’s SEO all the more competitive. In this post, I’ll explore some of the most common SEO measures you can take to bolster your Drupal site’s SEO efforts.

 

The Basics

All the basic SEO measures that are applicable to all other types of sites is applicable for Drupal as well. Before proceeding with Drupal specific steps, I would like to highlight some of the common SEO practices which prevail through all the websites out there

  1. Quality Content
  2. Backlinks and Internal Linking
  3. Keywords
  4. Site speed

So, how do you go about improving your Drupal site’s SEO? Well, there are several steps you can undertake. Note that there are some excellent modules available for Drupal which help with these steps, I’ll be listing down these modules with the appropriate steps as well.

 

Keywords

First and foremost, you should come up with a keyword strategy for your site. This involves figuring out the major keywords and working on getting ranked on those keywords. The categorization of keywords for the main site as well as various sections is also important.

 

Clean URLs

Google places a lot of emphasis on the use of user-readable URLs. Clean URLs are URLs which can be read and understood by the user as to what the page contains. An example of a clean URL for an about page of a site would be: www.example.com/about-us.
An excellent module for Drupal which makes this process a lot easier by automatically converting URLs to clean URLs is the Pathauto module

 

Meta tags

Meta tags are small pieces of text that are placed in the header part of your website to inform the search engine about what a web page is about. Without meta tags search engines would have to guess what the page contains; this would seriously hamper the page’s SEO.
Luckily, you do not have to delve into the code of your Drupal site’s web pages to implement meta tags as there is an excellent module available just for this purpose. It’s called the Metatag module, allowing you to automate the process of placing meta tags and HTML title tags in the header of your webpage.

 

SEO

 

Mobile First Website

With the massive boom in the mobile internet space, Google now gives preferences to sites which play well with mobile devices. What this means is that your Drupal site should be well optimized for screens of different sizes. Also, with Google’s own AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) technology (which allows faster delivery of web pages on mobile) now being a stalwart of search engines, it would benefit Drupal site owners greatly if they implement AMP on as many web pages on their site as possible. The process of implementing AMP, while still being a little complex, can be done via the Drupal AMP module.
One good news here is that Drupal 8 is responsive out-of-the-box (one of the reasons for Drupal’s excellent SEO compatibility).

 

Keep Drupal Updated

Drupal is regularly updated to integrate new features as well as keep potential security risks at bay. A site without vulnerabilities is always in the good books of Google, hence keeping your site updated is an important factor in your Drupal SEO journey. Make sure you update your Drupal site as soon as an update is rolled out to keep ranking high on that golden first page of search engines.

 

Key Drupal SEO Modules

There are some key Drupal SEO modules out there loved by Drupal users. I’ll list some of them here:

  • Drupal SEO Checklist: An all-in-one Drupal SEO analysis module that analyzes your site and gives recommendations as well as things to fix for your Drupal site.
  • Page Title: As the name implies, this module gives you the ability to give page titles to nodes (an important factor of search engine rankings).
  • Drupal SEO Tools: An all-in-one Drupal SEO suite with the ability to control functions like: keywords, paths, titles, redirects, Google Analytics etc.

There are loads of other Drupal SEO modules as well which you can browse through on Drupal’s official site.

 

Conclusion

Search engine optimization for a Drupal site is a constantly evolving process. SEO practices should be actively performed on a Drupal site to keep its visibility high amongst the sea of websites. More exposure for a site equals more visits. Implement the tips in this post on your Drupal site and you should see a significant boost to your site’s ranking on search engines.
 

May 04 2018
Ana
May 04

Are you a Drupal website owner? Are you a content marketer? Are you a digital marketer or a Drupal developer? If your answer to any of these questions is true, then you might know how important it is to be able to keep track of the statistics of your websites. One tool that stands out and probably beats all others in terms of popularity when it comes to website analytics is Google Analytics.

The case for Google Analytics’ popularity stands even when you look at its usage amongst Drupal sites only. As is the case with most of Drupal’s extendable functionality, there’s a module for integration of Google Analytics with Drupal called simply Google Analytics, and when you check out the module’s usage statistics report, you’ll come to know that over 400,000 Drupal sites in total use Google Analytics.

While the popularity of Google Analytics in the Drupalsphere itself is a solid reason to use the tool for your website’s tracking and statistics, it isn’t the only one. Google’s tool itself is so vast and it holds so much of functionality that there are entire courses dedicated to learning Google Analytics itself on the web.

So now that we’ve established some pretty solid reasons to use Google Analytics for our Drupal sites, it might be good to know how using a module helps. The way the tool works is that it gives you a tracking code which you can put an on a web page to track it. This works well if you’ve got a site with few pages, but becomes a headache if you’ve got a complex site with a lot of pages. This is where the Google Analytics module comes to save you, as it only requires you to paste the tracking code in a single place and enables tracking of every page on your website - WIN!!

Now, let’s take a look at how you can integrate Google Analytics with Drupal, specifically Drupal 8.

 

Create or Login to Google Analytics Account

First, if you don’t already have a Google Analytics account, create one.

Google Analytics account

Enter the appropriate details. In website URL, enter the URL of the website you wish to track. After you are done, scroll down to the bottom and click the blue Get Tracking ID button. Accept the terms and services, after which you will be taken to the page in the screenshot below, containing your Tracking ID.

Tracking ID

Install and Configure Google Analytics Module

Now, navigate to your Drupal 8 site and install the Google Analytics Module. After enabling the module, navigate to admin -> configuration -> Google Analytics. Here, you will see all the settings for the module. This is also where you will paste the tracking ID you got from the last step.

install the Google Analytics Module

Paste the tracking code under the Web Property ID and you’ll be all set to start tracking your site. If you want to, you can also set further settings like tracking specific domains, blacklisting specific pages etc.

 

Conclusion

That’s it! You should have successfully integrated Google Analytics with your Drupal site if you followed this tutorial correctly. For a tool that offers so much functionality, it truly is amazing how easy it is to integrate it to Drupal thanks to the amazing community behind it.
 

Apr 19 2018
Ana
Apr 19

We've made a list of Drupal camps and summits that you can attend in the second quarter of the year. Drupal events are bringing together Drupal developers, site builder, themers, end users and those interested in learning more about Drupal. We are attending Drupal events because of sessions and collaborative discussions.

Drupaldelphia 2018

Drupaldelphia

United States, Philadelphia, PA
Hussian College of Art
27-28. April 2017

This year, Drupaldelphia is a part of Philly Tech Week 2018 presented by Comcast, and it will be hosted at Hussian College of Art. There are 39 accepted sessions.
https://drupaldelphia.org/

 

Drupal Camp Manila 2018

Philippines, Manila
iAcademy Auditorium
28-29. April 2018

On the first day of Drupal Camp there will be 8 sessions, and on the second day, there will be Drupal 8 Basic workshop.
https://2018.drupalmanila.org/

 

Drupal Camp Mumbai 2018

DC Mumbai

India, Mumbai, MH
Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai
28-29. April 2018

At one of the largest Drupal community gatherings in west India, there will be 18 sessions and 2 case studies. 
http://2018.drupalmumbai.org/

Drupal Camp Utah 2018

United States, Sandy, UT
SLCC Miller Campus
4. May 2018

This is the 8th annual Drupal Camp Utah in a row. It’s one-day event, and you can listen to 12 different sessions. 
http://2018.drupalutah.org/

Drupal Camp Transylvania 2018

DC Transylvania

Romania, Cluj-Napoca
The office
4-6. May 2018

On first two days, there will be plenty of sessions you can attend, the third day you can participate in code sprints. 
https://www.drupaltransylvania.ro/

Drupal Camp Spain 2018

Spain, Alicante, A
Las Cigarreras
26-27. May 2018

Two days Drupalcamp in wonderful seaside city Alicante will provide 25 different sessions.
https://2018.drupalcamp.es/

Texas Camp 2018

The United States, Austin, TX
Norris Conference Center
31.-3. June 2018

There will be more than 30 sessions, so don't worry, everyone can get something for themselves. 
https://2018.texascamp.org/

Twin Cities Drupal Camp 2018

DC Twin Cities

United States, Minneapolis, Mn
The University of St. Thomas
7-10. June 2018 

They are still accepting session proposals, but we believe there will be plenty of great ones. 
https://2018.tcdrupal.org/

Drupal HackCamp 2018 - Bucharest

Romania, Bucharest
Sheraton Hotel
8-10. June 2018

This will be the first edition of Drupal HackCamp in Romania. Two of the speakers will be Preston So, Director of Research and Innovation at Acquia and XJM, Code and Community Strategist in Acquia's Office.
https://drupalhackcamp.org/

Drupal Camp Poland 2018

DC Poland

Poland, Wrocław
Wrocławski Technological Park
9-10. June 2018

The first speakers are already announced, but we will have to wait a little longer for details. 
http://www.drupalcamp.pl/

Drupal Camp Chattanooga 2018

United States, Chattanooga, TN
Chattanooga State Community College
16. June 2018

No details yet. 
https://www.drupalcampchattanooga.com/

Design 4 Drupal Boston

Design 4 Drupal Boston

The United States, Cambridge, MA
27-29. June 2018
MIT Stata Center

For the 10th Anniversary of Design 4 Drupal, Boston, they are announcing Dries Buytaert as Thursday keynote.
https://design4drupal.org/
 

Apr 06 2018
Ana
Apr 06

There will be a lot of sessions at DrupalCon Nashville. That's nothing new to be fair. DrupalCons are the biggest Drupal events with the most Drupal session, so you can’t attend all of the sessions you would want to. Therefore, we have made a short list of the business sessions you don't want to miss. We sure won't. 

Thursday, April 10

Mark Shropshire, Open Source Security Lead at Mediacurrent  

On May 28, 2018, GDPR will come into force - that is a data security legislation, which allows individualists to control their personal data used by companies. The method of collecting and storing personal contacts of (potential) clients will change greatly. In this session we will get a practical interpretation of the GDPR, the lecturer will answer the question how to determine if you are at risk for compliance, what happens with security and what is the impact to data, analytics, and personalization strategies.

Wednesday, April 11

Nelson Harris, Business Development Strategist at Elevated Third
Joe Flores, Senior Developer at Elevated Third

The future of Drupal is ambitious digital experiences, as Dries said himself. But that kind of digital experience comes with great responsibility to master Drupal development services. Many people say that Drupal is “hard”. The truth is, Drupal is a complex platform needed to be performed by skilled experts. Therefore it's not for building basic marketing sites, but complex, ambitious one. In this session, Lecturers will answer the question, what kind of project Drupal is for, how Elevated third has moved from thinking of Drupal development as a commodity to a consultative service, and how to make sure Drupal is being used to its full extent.

Tuesday, Apr 10

Alanna Burke, Developer at Chromatic

Women in tech is a topical issue in a modern society. In a culture of harassment can companies do, since there are not enough women in tech? Why some companies have no issue recruiting female employees, how can we invite them in our midst, and what repels them? Alanna Burke will talk about policies and benefits that may be more inclusive, as childcare, company culture etc.

Wednesday, Apr 11

Amy Shropshire, Founder and Principal of CASK Communications

W. Edwards Deming has an award in Japan named after him as a statistician with a PhD from Yale. He was focusing on using statistics not only to provide metrics for measuring performance but to create a culture of quality in an organization. In this session, Amy Shropshire will guide us through Deming’s Red Bead Experiment - which in most cases is showing us that employees don't have control to improve upon the metrics on which they are graded. Later we will overview Deming’s key principles - 14 Points of Management, their examples in real-world action and discussion how to implement those principals into our organization.

Tuesday, Apr 10

Chris Free, Partner at Chromatic

The path to running a successful agency is everything but easy. You have many obstacles on the way before you can start actual work.  Chris Free has decade-long experiences of starting an agency with some misfires and guesswork along the way. He is willing to share with us all the WHAT and WHY he learned through the process that leads him to the successful agency owner.

 

Tuesday, Apr 10

Daniel Schiavone, Partner/Technologist at Snake Hill Web Agency

By Drupal growing steadily is good news, but it brings something else as well. The trend is showing us, that bigger companies with stronger competencies are favoured, which can bring a struggle to smaller companies. Daniel Schiavone will discuss with us, how can small agencies survive, how the release of Drupal 8 will affect them. 

Tuesday, Apr 10

Chris Teitzel, Founder/CEO at Cellar Door Media
Ben Stoffel-Rosales, Partner Manager at Pantheon

Chris Teitzel is a CEO of Cellar Door Media, who saw a need for API and encryption key management as a service - the result was Lockr, the first hosted API & encryption key management for modern CMS’s like Drupal and WordPress. We will see his experience as a case study for building product as an agency. We will get the answers to questions like how to grow an agency within a product, and how to build a strategic partnership to build one. 

As a Partner Manager at Pantheon, Ben Stoffel-Rosales has worked with many agencies who have built and sold Drupal distributions and paid plug-ins to create steady streams of revenue that add to their business goals. In this session, we will learn how Drupal creates an opportunity to build a new product. How do we attract new clients on the one hand, and maintain a good relationship with our technology partners on the other?

Ashleigh Thevenet, Chief Operating Officer at Bluespark

Ashleigh Thevenet is a fan of spreadsheets and when she listened to a session at DrupalCon LA by Sean Larkin called “Scaling your business starts with the right spreadsheets: performance metrics” she was inspired and decided to adopt and adapt them to fit her needs. In this session she will take a closer look at operations specific metrics, and will walk us through tool she uses daily - with them she answers questions like will the team be able to complete the work in time, how many people she needs to assign to a certain project etc.

Photo by Boris Baldinger
Mar 30 2018
Ana
Mar 30

We have sat down with our Client adviser Aleš and ask him a couple of questions. Enjoy the interview.

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I started working at AGILEDROP in the summer of 2017, August 1st was my first day in the office. I was actually the first one employed in the department besides our commercial director Iztok to assist him dealing with new clients. Initially, I had to get acquainted with the specifics and specialities of the job requirement. But I do have to say that with the help of the team I quickly settled in and was able to start working on assignments I was hired by the company. Prospecting, generating and nurturing leads are my number one priorities at the moment. And of course, bringing new clients in. 

What are your responsibilities as Client adviser?

As the name suggests, I have a client facing advisory role. Making the initial contact with a potential client is one of my responsibilities. Scheduling the meetings with clients, having meetings with them and all tasks connected to the client are under my umbrella. I do need some assistance when the language gets more technical, but I believe I did got quite familiar with Drupal in the past couple of months. I would really like to think of myself as knowing how to ask the right questions and help out our clients with our services. 

What are your daily tasks?

As I’m in a direct contact with potential clients my typical day consists of several different types of assignments. I come to work between 8:00 and 8:30 a.m. and begin the day with reviewing some of the blogs I follow followed by a quick discussion with Iztok what new happened during the last 12 hours or so. As we do have clients also from US and Australia, some of the communication takes place also in “strange” hours. I want to gain as much knowledge about Drupal as possible, so I reserve half an hour a day to get more familiar with it. But the rest of my day is reserved for communicating with agency owners and managers, trying to understand situations they are in and working with them to come up with a solution to their challenges in the development area. 

How does your typical work week look like?

Between Monday and Thursday, everything is virtually the same. Except for the clients, those change. And I really like talking and interacting with them for one simple reason. It is the best way to learn about what challenges they face and learn how to be a better provider of solutions for the next one in line. The Fridays I take off. By that, I don’t mean I’m not working, it’s just that I don’t work on the same tasks as I work the other four days. It is either the blog I write regularly on Fridays to be posted at the beginning of the week, or there are some tweaks that need to be done in the ways we communicate with clients. This is something that I keep myself busy on Fridays. 

Ales Kohek

 

Who do you work with?

In the office, I work mostly with Iztok, our commercial director. We are the faces our new clients see first. He is also the main contact point if I have any technical questions if I’m still not confident enough I have a good enough answer for a client. If Iztok is maybe not available for that, I do go to our development director Bostjan who is the go-to guy in our company when wanting to give our potential clients answers about our technical competency.

What is that you do that adds value to our services?

I don’t have past experiences from software development, so there is no real benefit in that area. But there are my decade-long experiences from different client facing roles with different companies and different clients those companies had. So I would have to say that my biggest value is my experiences and preparedness not just to try new things but to be as good at it as is possible. 

Who are you outside the company?

I’m a father to a little rascal, four years old boy. He really likes to hang out with me, we do all kinds of stuff, even the stuff his mom isn’t approving. When not spending time with him, there is a dog in our family. She also needs quite some attention. So I take her out for a walk, and we are joined by my son, of course. I like spending my time outdoors, especially on my bike. During the winter time and its long evenings, I enjoy watching a quality TV or movie production. However all those things, those little perks are now in the second spot, as there is no greater joy when being a witness to all different things my son is up to. 


If you have any other questions for Aleš, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them.
 

Mar 28 2018
Ana
Mar 28

Automation is a term that probably defines the need of technology most perfectly. Automation not only helps to make menial and repetitive tasks easier but also helps with keeping track of the work that is being done. Due to this fact, there have been a host of marketing automation tools and services that have cropped up in recent history (e.g.: HubSpot).

Previously, integrating such platforms in a website was somewhat of a difficult task, but luckily Drupal has realized the need for easier integration with such platforms and starting with Drupal 8, it has become a lot easier to integrate such platforms in a Drupal site. Drupal 8 comes with support for RESTFul web services out of the box. Web Services are basically entities that allow Drupal to read and/or write data from an external web platform.

This ability to seamlessly integrate with marketing automation tools and services brings about a great potential for digital agencies to leverage such tools for their benefit. The cherry on top is that Drupal 8 already has modules for many of the most popular marketing platforms. Let’s take a look at a few examples of such platforms:

 

HubSpot

HubSpot is probably one of the most popular inbound marketing platform on the internet. With the HubSpot integration module for Drupal 8, Drupal can easily integrate with it. Agencies can comfortably create content on HubSpot, displaying it in Drupal 8’s front-end. Apart from this, the users that respond to a marketing campaign on Drupal can be easily tracked via HubSpot through it’s leads API.

Modules:

 

MailChimp

MailChimp is an email marketing tools that has gained immense popularity in the digital marketing space. There’s a module available for Drupal 8 that helps the seamless integration of Drupal with Mailchimp, its called the Mailchimp Core Module. MailChimp allows you to set up mailing lists based on multiple preferences. Not only this, but these mailing lists can also be retrieved from a database. So for example, users that make an account on your Drupal 8 site will automatically be stored in your site’s database. If you wish to run a monthly newsletter on your site, you can comfortably retrieve all the users who have an account on your Drupal site and use the Mailchimp integration to send them an email with the newsletter without having to manually make a list of all such users.

Modules:

 

computer

 

Marketo

Marketo is a marketing automation tools much like HubSpot, although where it differs from HubSpot is its account-based marketing approach. Like all other tools on here, Drupal 8 has module by the name of Marketo MA that helps to integrate the platform with Drupal. Agencies can leverage this integration to capture lead data through the module’s ability to add Marketo’s tracking code to specific web-pages.

Modules:

 

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is an immensely powerful tool that allows you to keep track of almost all imaginable statistics on your website. Drupal 8 has a Google Analytics Module that makes it easy to integrate the tool with it. Agencies can use Google Analytics to find out the traffic for their websites as well as find out how many conversions or sign-ups have been achieved for a particular day, week, month or even year. Google Analytics also provides real-time data for the number of users accessing the site currently. Apart from these, Google Analytics also provides a host of other features such as domain tracking, User ID and message tracking, Adsense support etc.

Modules:

 

Crazy Egg

Crazy Egg is an incredibly useful tool for marketers. It generates a heatmap of your site wherein it shows where visitors to your site spend the most time. Apart from this, it also shows where visitors scroll and where they click the most. Understanding customers behaviours on your site is an important part of figuring out the layout of your site and capturing successful leads. The Crazy Egg module for Drupal 8 allows easy integration of the tool with your Drupal site.

Modules:

Conclusion

These were just some of the examples of marketing tools and services that can be leveraged by digital agencies using Drupal 8 with their marketing efforts. Apart from the ones listed above, Drupal also has modules for a variety of other marketing tools and services such as LoopFuse, SalesForce, SilverPop, Eloqua, Drip etc.

Please get in touch if you need any help integrating marketing automation services for your client’s websites.

Mar 22 2018
Ana
Mar 22

Why Drupal needs the benefits of marketing

Michel van Velde, CEO and Co-founder of One Shoe

[embedded content]

Drupal has no professional marketing team, unlike many competitors, do. Any brand which doesn’t promote itself has weaker sales. And that includes all of the brands, even the biggest and established ones. If the marketing stops, so does the sales. But how do you promote Drupal without its marketing team? Michael van Velde, CEO and founder of One shoe, explains why Drupal needs marketing from a business point of view on one hand and developers point of view on the other and gives examples of how to do so. 

 

The 5 benefits to get organised as a local Drupal community

Michel van Velde, CEO and Co-founder of One Shoe

[embedded content]

A huge among of success of Drupal can be attributed to the numerical community. We do have a challenge how to organise such a big community. In the Netherlands, the Dutch Drupal Community has set up a foundation, which organizes Drupal events, award shows and Training days. There was a business-oriented foundation shaped in order to promote Drupal. Eventually, both were merged into one. Germany has recently set up a business association, following the Dutch example in order to promote Drupal. What are the required steps to get organized as a community, and what do we have to be aware of. Michael van Velde as well shares his vision on why every Europe country needs an organised representation. 

 

Drupal 101

Rakesh James, Drupal Developer from CTI Digital

Rakesh James has been on several Drupal events in his career and many questions, which he is answering in this session. Questions as what Drupal is, what the community is like, what can Drupal bring to your business, can you develop a career path with Drupal etc. 

 

Why projects go wrong and what we can do about it

Steve Cowie, Director of Code Enigma

[embedded content]

Not every project goes smoothly, but we eventually like to forget the problems we were facing among the project and just embrace the fact that it is successfully finished. And even if we swear that those problems are not going to come in a new project, they will. Steve Cowie has learned a lot in ten years of delivering Drupal projects, he explains what went wrong in those past years and suggests some ideas and approaches that will help you with the projects. 

 

Case study: Thunder

Julia Pradel, Community Manager from Thunder

[embedded content]

Thunder is a Drupal distribution that gives professional publishers a massive head start in their Drupal 8 projects. Julia Pradel, a Thunder community manager, introduces us to Thunder and presents its production, which was initially founded by Hubert Burta (InStyle, Playboy) for its own benefits. Later on, German media organization decided to open-source it. 

Alexander Babing of Inviqa, a certified Thunder partner, explores how German online lifestyle publication einfachganzleben.de built its website in only weeks using Thunder. We learn how this publication launched a minimal viable product (MVP) in a matter of weeks. 

 

Warden - Helping Drupal Agencies Sleep at Night

Mike Davis, Solutions Architect from Deeson

[embedded content]

Keeping your sites up to date is very important, but it can take a lot of our time to check if all the security updated every time they are released. Mike Davis introduce us Warden - Deesons open source system which helps to manage sites security. With this system, you can save time and have a better review on which site needs to be updated. 

 

My Tech Heroes

Rachel Lawson, Drupal Association Community Liaison  

[embedded content]

Rachel Lawson, a Community Liaison of Drupal Association introduces us amazing women, Jean Bartik, Hedy Lamarr and Sophie Wilson, shares their stories, their accomplishments and what can we learn from these amazing tech woman. 

 

Growing developers with Drupal

Fran Garcia-Linares, Drupal Developer from Amayee Labs

[embedded content]

Fran Garcia-Linares talks about different experiences managing and mentoring teams of developers, from graduates/junior to senior ones and what challenges can we face. He is answering a question what is a Drupal role in this and how it can help in the growth of developers. In the end, he gives us 3 real-life examples. 

Mar 15 2018
Ana
Mar 15

You have already seen what Drupal blogs were trending in the previous month, and now it is time to look at all our blog post from February. 


The first blog post in February was What can Drupal agencies expect in 2018 by our Commercial director Iztok. He looked at the technology trends and how they are changing, how can those changes influence on Drupal agencies and what can we expect in the future. What are the conclusions from Drupal Business Survey, including responses from 200 different Drupal agencies? Iztok did a SWOT analysis based on digital agency reports from 2017 and outlooks for 2018, looked for strength, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

open

The second post was How you can try Commerce 2 for Drupal 8 by Iztok. He explained how every website is an opportunity to drive sales since customers are already on the page. For building commerce websites, we can use tools like Shopify There are times when website have more complex requirements though. Drupal 7 has a great e-commerce solution, made by CommerceGuys. But with the arrival of Drupal 8, that solution was under questioning. We were excited when Drupal Commerce 2.x was released and not only that, Acro Media made a demo website with Drupal 8 Commerce 2.x.

The third blog post is Time to move forward? Drupal 6 is long gone now, If you still haven't migrated to Drupal 8, you are in trouble. Drupal 6 is no longer (officially) supported by Drupal community, which means that bugs are no longer getting fixed. You can choose whether you will migrate to Drupal 7 or Drupal 8. You can skip the version 7 if you think that 8 is will bring improvements. With all the improved features with Drupal 8, with migrating, your site is going to get different, but better. So is the new approach to migrating. Check it out. 

computer

The last one is Top 6 Drupal websites released in 2017. We have made a list of Drupal sites build in 2017 worth highlighting. From the University of Minnesota to Hong Kong Trade Development Council, with links to the case studies.

Those were our blog post from February. Looking forward to continuing having you as readers!

Mar 12 2018
Ana
Mar 12

Each month, we revisit our top Drupal blog posts of the month, giving you the chance to check out some of our favourites. Here’s a look at the top blog posts from February.

First one on the list is Drupal 8 controller callback argument resolving explained, where Matt Glaman from Commerce guys show us how Drupal knows to pass proper arguments to your controller method. He discusses how the controller's callback arguments are resolved and put into proper order in our method.

We continue our list with Drupal 8 Development on Windows - Best Practices? by Michael Anello, co-owner of DrupalEasy. He compares three Docker-based local development environments that involve a Drupal focus: Docksal, DDEV, and Lando. What are his conclusions? Which one would he recommend for standardization DrupalEasy’s online Drupal training classes? Check it out. 

The third spot is reserved for a blog post assembled from 3 parts:  Simple website approach using a Headless CMS; part 1, part 2 and part 3 by Paulo Gomes from Appnovation. It these blog post, Paulo is evaluating different solutions of Headless CMS. In further blog posts, he adds more details around that topic with practical examples of leveraging Cockpit CMS and React. In the last blog posts, he provides us with a frontend layer, where we interact with the CMS API to retrieve or send content. 

Let’s continue with January Accessibility (A11Y) Talks by Carie Fisher from Hook 42. In this blog post, Carie summarizes takeaways from their guest speaker in January, Ashley Bischoff. She gave out some solutions of how to write documents like reports and analysis in a way that everyone could understand them and get the best out of them. 

Ranking fifth is Capturing Webhooks in Drupal 8 by Joel Steidl, director of engineering at Aten Design Group. He displays us, how webhooks are keeping applications more up to date and running projects more efficiently. 

Our sixth choice is Install a Specific Version of PHP or Drush on Acquia Dev Desktop by Jigar Mehta from Evolving web. He shows us the issues they came across when working on a project with Acquia Dev Desktop and providing us with a solution.

The seventh blog post we would like to highlight is Accommodating Drupal in your components by Eric Huffman from Mediacurrent. As the component-driven approach to building Drupal 8 themes is becoming the standard, there are still some things we need to be aware of, especially newbies to Drupal, which can cost us some trouble in later on. If you want to know, which one, check Eric’s blog post. 

The next one is Travis - the need for speed by Áron Novák from Gizra. This blog post is for developers, who have a project with Travis integration. You can check how to optimize it or look what are the different possibilities. 

Ninth one in a row is Should I Re-use Existing Drupal Fields? by Steve Burge, CEO at OSTraining. He is answering the question of re-using fields since Drupal gives you the ability to do so. What are advantages and disadvantages of it?

And we conclude our list with the blog post with To PESOS or to POSSE? from Dries Buytaert, creator of Drupal and Acquia’s CTO. Dries is sharing with us his plan how to take over control of his data and different approaches to that. 


These are our top blogs from February … We will be collecting best Drupal blog post in March too. Stay tuned. 


 

Feb 21 2018
Ana
Feb 21

There have been many sites build in Drupal in the year 2017, so we have made a list of some example worth highlighting. Check them out. 

First one on the list is a website of National Athletic Trainers' Association made by Skvare. You can read a case study here. NATA is the professional membership association for certified athletic trainers and others who support the athletic training profession.

We continue our list with a website of the University of Minnesota. The site was built by Palantir. They’ve written a case study, check it out here. The University of Minnesota has almost 70 000 students with five campuses. Besides the active educational part, has a significant role in researchers and launching medical devices, which benefits not only for the people of Minnesota but worldwide. 

computer

The third spot is reserved for an Open Y made by FFW, check out the case study. The Open Y is an open-source customer experience (CX) platform, and Drupal 8 distribution specifically built for YMCAs to fuel the Y movement.

Let’s continue with a website of Harte Research Institute made by Amazee Labs, you can read their case study here. HRI is focusing on science-driven solutions for Gulf of Mexico problems in order to advance its long-term sustainable use and conservation.

computer

Ranking fifth is the US. Department of Energy made by Phase 2, Acquia, and Contegix. You can check the case study here. The Department of Energy exists since 1977, and it’s involved in various energy-related programs that previously had been dispersed throughout various Federal agencies.

Our sixth choice is a website of Hong Kong Trade Development Council by Appnovation, you can read their case study here. The HKTDC is a statutory body, established in 1966 as the international marketing arm for Hong Kong-based manufacturers, traders and service providers. 

Those were some of the Drupal projects from 2017 we found interesting. If you need our help with a project you are working on, let us know, we are more than willing to help you.  

Feb 16 2018
Ana
Feb 16

When is the right time to let it go and move forward? Yes, we are talking about migrating to Drupal 8 version. Drupal 8 was released in November 2015, so it has been more than two years now. No matter what kind of website you have, whether you have an online shop, small brochure website or an extensive and complex website, if its build on Drupal 6, it's almost urgent you move forward and upgrade it to Drupal 8. Why? The Drupal community no longer (officially) supports Drupal 6 since three months after Drupal 8 came out. That means that bugs are no longer getting fixed. Drupal 6 is simply long gone, finito, end of story. 

 

So why go with Drupal 8?

Drupal 8 has so many benefits. But it is a little bit different than you been use to so far. For example, you need to learn PHP framework called Symfony. PHP engine is replaced with engine “Twig”. But Drupal has many improvements, like better integration with services, mobile design, better user experience for admins etc. 

computer

 

Is it upgrade or migrate?

If you are hoping that your new Drupal 8 site is going to be the same as your site on Drupal 6, that may not happen. With all the improved features, your site is going to get different, but better. For example, all contributed modules that you are using on Drupal 6 might not have an automatic upgrade path ready (yet). Hence you need to sift through the migration results. You might also settle that it will be simpler to manually copy-paste the content from your old website to your new Drupal 8 installation or going with a custom migration approach.

Drupal 6 sites can be migrated directly to Drupal 8 or if you think you will benefit from Drupal 7 vast choice of contrib modules. Drupal 7 will stay fully supported until Drupal 9 will be released. That gives you a chance to choose if you rather migrate your Drupal 6 site to Drupal 7 or 8. 

 

A new approach to upgrading

Upgrading your website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 uses very different approach than going from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. When Drupal 6 site is upgraded to Drupal 7, the same database is upgraded from Drupal 6 structure to Drupal 7 structure. Now, if you want to upgrade a Drupal 6 site to Drupal 8, you first need to install a clean Drupal 8 site. You will then need to migrate your site configuration and site content to your new Drupal 8 site. This means, your existing Drupal 6 site remains wholly unaltered and intact.


Unfortunately, upgrading from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 is not a matter of clicking a button. Depending on the complexity of the built, we can even say it's a migration rather than upgrade. Nevertheless, I encourage you to look ahead and embrace the novelties Drupal 8 brings and upgrade your website.
 

Feb 14 2018
Ana
Feb 14

You have already seen what Drupal blogs we trending in the previous month, and now it is time to look at all our blog post we wrote. Here are the blog topics we covered in January.

The first blog post in January was 2017 in review. In this blog post, our Commercial director Iztok looked back in the year 2017 and summarized what differences we made as a company, which Drupal events we have visited, how much fun we had and how do we contributed back to the community in 2017. 

The second was Who will get the control of personal data after GDPR? by Ales Kohek. He talked about new set of rules that EU is imposing in the form of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), what changes are the new rules bringing and what does that mean for Internet users. 

snowman

Let's continue with blog post An ever-expanding field of opportunities for Drupal. Ales has searched the opportunities in Industry 4.0 and how can we provide valuable digital experience. He is also answering a question what new regulations on data protection and privacy are bringing us. 

The fourth blog post an interview with our Development manager Igor, who tells us about his beginnings with AGILEDROP,  how did his career path developed and what are his responsibilities now.

winter

Fifth in a row is Drupal events in 1st quarter of the year. We checked out which Drupal events can we attend, where they take place and what are what makes this event special.

The last one is The quality of life and the effect it has on work performance. How our needs changed through time and where does the remote work come in? Ales tells us what remote working means to him personally. 

Those were our blog post from January. Looking forward to having you as readers in 2018!

Feb 07 2018
Ana
Feb 07

Each month, we revisit our top Drupal blog posts of the month, giving you the chance to check out some of our favourites. Here’s a look at the top blog posts from January.

First one on the list is New features for TMGMT by Sascha Grossenbacher from MD Systems. They were working on several new features for The Translation Management Tool, and this blog post is revealing some of the new functionality. 

We continue our list with Never "Just" a Patch by AmyJune Hineline, know as “Volkswagenchick” from Hook 42. In the years contributing back to the project, AmyJune has learned that we can't minimize the importance of thing we see as “little”, like a typo, documentation patch or grammar mistake. We can’t have an attitude as “Oh, it's just a patch”, but we have to get involved. How? Check it out. 

The third spot is reserved for a blog post What the hell is GraphQL? by Philipp Melab from Amazee Labs, in which he is answering a question would if he rather use GraphQL instead of Rest API. What are the benefits of one or other and which one is right for you? 

computer

Let’s continue with Breakthrough Technologies’ blog post D8 - custom batch processes in which Jonathan Franks walks us through batch processing and shows us how we can do it all by ourselves.  

Ranking fifth is Removing the Default Drupal Page Title the Correct Way by Jenna Shenk from Unleashed Technologies. No matter if you are building title field module by yourself or using Display suite, there can be an issue of duplicate titles on a page.

Our sixth choice is Local Drupal Development Roundup by Andrew Berry from Lullabot reviewing the options available for local development in 2018 since developers are struggling with their local's environments and we don't clearly see the best choice among the local setups.  

hand on computer

The seventh blog post we would like to highlight is Custom Block Deployment Strategies for Drupal 8 by Zach Weishar from Isovera. Zack talks about strategies of custom block deployment in Drupal 8 since it can’t be managed directly by the Configuration management. 

The next one is Drupal 8 Modules We ♥ for 2018 by Suzanne Dergacheva, co-founder of Evolving Web. This blog post is actually recommendation list of Drupal 8 modules.

And we conclude our list with the blog post with How to decouple Drupal in 2018 by Dries Buytaert, a founder of Drupal and Acquia. He provides us with some answers to question about how and when to do decoupled Drupal. What are the different ways to do that and how you make a decision based on your needs? 

These are our top blogs from January … We will be collecting best Drupal blog post in February too. Stay tuned. 

Jan 22 2018
Ana
Jan 22

We've stepped into a beginning of a new year, and there will be many events organised by the Drupal community in the first couple of months. We've made a list of Drupal camps and summits that you can attend in the first quarter of the year. Drupal events are bringing together Drupal developers, site builder, themers, end users and those interested in learning more about Drupal. We are attending Drupal events because of, sessions and collaborative discussions.

DrupalCamp NJ 2018Drupal Camp NJ

United States, Princeton, NJ
The campus of Princeton University
3. February 2018 09:00-18:00

This will be the 7th annual DrupalCamp NJ with 25 sessions, so there are no worries that you can't find something for your interest.
https://www.drupalcampnj.org/

 

Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit 2018Pacific

United States, Portland, OR
University Place Hotel & Conference Center
3-4. February 2018

A Summit will be opened with a tribute to Mike Keran. In those two days, there will be plenty of sessions for you to attend. The organizers will also take care of social event, there will be a Game/Craft/Maker event and Trivia night. 
http://pnwdrupalsummit.org/2018

 

Florida DrupalcampFlorida

United States, Orlando, FL
Florida Technical College
16-19. February 2018

On the first day there will be training, on Saturday you will be able to listen to a various session, and on the third day, there will be a mix of sessions and code sprints. Don’t forget to miss the after party. 
https://www.fldrupal.camp/

 

Drupalcamp London 2018London

United Kingdom, London
City, University of London
2-4. March 2018

The largest DrupalCamp in Europe will host three keynote speakers, and there will be over 40 sessions to attend. If we add in BoFs talks and organized Social night on Saturday, we definitely think this one is a must go.
https://drupalcamp.london/

 

MidCamp 2018 - Midwest Drupal CampMidcamp

United States, Chicago, IL
DePaul University - Lincoln Park Student Center
8-11. March 2018

There are few days left to submit a session, but we are sure there will be many good ones. Very interesting one is Erasing The Stigma: Mental Health in Tech. No more excuses. 
https://www.midcamp.org/

 

DrupalCamp Ruhr 2018Germany

Germany, Essen
Unperfekthaus
17-18. March 2018

The session submission is still open, but they already have 17 sessions listed. During both days there will be a sprint organised, in case you get itchy fingers on helping out with Drupal core.
https://www.drupalcamp.ruhr/

 

NERD Summit 2018nerd

United States, Amherst, MA
Integrated Sciences Building, UMass Amherst
17-18. March 2018

They are still accepting session proposals till the January 29.
17-18. March 2018
http://nerdsummit.org/

 

SANDcamp San Diego 2018sand

United States, San Diego, CA
Marina Village Conference Center
22-24. March 2018

The camp already has 15 submitted sessions. The event will take place on Thursday and Friday, and on Saturday there will be a full day of training. 
https://www.sandcamp.org/

Jan 19 2018
Ana
Jan 19

We have sat down with our Development manager, Igor and ask him a couple of questions. Enjoy the interview.

 

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I started working at Agiledrop in September 2015 as a junior developer. At first, I was working mainly as a frontend developer with some small site building tasks so that I got more familiar with Drupal (I didn’t work with Drupal before). After few weeks I got more and more backend tasks and soon I became Drupal backend developer. Initially, I was there to learn Drupal and try to improve my developer's skill as quickly as possible, so that I could start independently working on projects. I was working for clients worldwide, and my job was to make their projects come to life.

 

What are your responsibilities as Development manager?

Mainly I'm helping/mentoring junior developers but also more experienced developers find my help useful. We have onboarding project through which every new developer must go. One of my jobs is also to update/extend this onboarding project so that after they finish it, they get as much as possible Drupal knowledge.

Igor

 

What are your daily tasks?

Currently, my daily tasks are to check how the internal project, which I'm working on with junior developers, is going. I then write new tasks for them, test and review their previous work etc.
Through all the day I'm always available for questions from any developers who need my help.
If any of developers don't work for a client, Boštjan or I need to prepare some task for them, so that they always have something to do. That way they learn new stuff and improving their development skills.

 

How does your typical work week look like?

The same as daily, just 5x time longer :) 
Ok, one time a week we get together with all developer managers and talk about how it is going our developers on their contracts, if they have any problems, need any help etc.

Igor

 

Who do you work with?

I mainly work with junior developers and developers which are not completely independent and need my help. I also closely work with Boštjan. We are always working on/trying to improve our onboarding project, discussing and planning how to learn new employees as much Drupal as possible in shortest time etc.

 

What is that you do that adds value to our services?

With my Drupal expertise, I help everyone who has a problem with tasks they can not solve. I help them achieve all the goals clients are expecting from them.

Who are you outside the company?

I consider myself as a sportsman. I like to go to the gym, play soccer, tennis, skiing in winter etc.
 

If you have any other questions for Igor, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them.

Jan 15 2018
Ana
Jan 15

You have already seen what Drupal blogs we trending in the previous month, and now it is time to look at all our blog post we wrote. Here are the blog topics we covered in December.

The first blog post in December was Why Drupal is the most secure CMS. It explains and shows the reasons why Drupal is a secure CMS even though many people doubt that due to being open source.

The second was In the beginning, Drupal had an ambition. We talked about Dries keynote from DrupalCon Vienna and his statement that Drupal is for ambitious digital experiences. What are three critical ingredients for ambitious websites? In this blog post, we are defining all three of them.

computer

The third blog post is an interview with our Managing director Marko Bahor, who tells us about his beginnings with AGILEDROP, what are his responsibilities now and who he is outside work.

Let's continue with blog post Do not underestimate the difference between CEM & DEM from Ales, which is focusing on some of the specific elements of digital experience we can call ambitious. It’s also covering channels of communications since presence in a digital area is not enough anymore.

Fifth in a row is What makes Drupal SEO friendly. It shows us some examples and some of the factors why Drupal is at the very top of SEO friendly content management systems.

computer

The sixth blog post is What do developers joining Drupal need to know before they start? It explains what skills does a developer needs to have to enter Drupal community, which tools need to be familiar with, and skills needed before starting.

Seventh is Drive greater business value with deeper integrations. This blog post is answering the questions what possibilities of integration with Drupal we have, what is there to integrate and why. It also provides us with a case study that serves like a great what a great digital experience means.

Next one is Why you should exceed your user expectations, which are very tricky sometimes. That is why you have to exploit the possibilities it offers entirely.

And the last one from December in an interview with Boštjan, our Development director. We talked about his responsibilities in the company, what are his daily and weekly tasks and who is he outside of the company. 

Those were our blog post from December. Looking forward to having you as readers in 2018!
 

Jan 05 2018
Ana
Jan 05

The most magical month of the year has ended. It didn't just bring us gifts but great Drupal blog posts as well. Let’s see which one we liked the most.

First one on the list is GraphQL for Drupalers - The fields by Blazej Owczarczyk  from Amazee Labs. It is the third article in the series of blog posts about GraphQl. This one talks about the fields, what exactly are they, and explains how do Drupal fields become GraphQL fields. Blazej also shows us different groups of Drupal fields with examples. 

We continue our list with our second choice is Why now is the right time to move to Drupal 8 by InviqaRichard Jones, Inviqa’s CTO, shows us the benefits of upgrading to Drupal 8, talks about consideration for migrating and gives tips for a successful launch.  

The third spot is reserved for a blog post - Sevaa Explains Semantic HTML5 Tags by Nicole Smith from Sevaa group, explaining why and how to use semantic HTML5 tags, which consequently describes content, not appearance.

winter

Let’s continue with New Target’s blog post 10 Best Practices for Building Drupal 8 Custom Modules in which they asked their developers, what are the main practices build custom modules for Drupal 8. 

Ranking fifth is Accelerate Drupal 8 by funding a Core Committer by Dries Buytaert from Acquia. Dries highlighted the challenges Drupal will have in order to reach the ambitious goals we have. He points out that funding a Core Committer is one of the most high-impact ways companies can contribute to Drupal. 

Our sixth choice is Editorial Calendars: The Project Manager of Content Strategy by Sara Tetreault from Forum One showing us what do we need to include in the editorial calendar if we want our content strategy to be successful. 

winter

The seventh blog post we would like to highlight is The Drupal Digital Experience Stack from Michael Silverman, founder, and CEO of Duo Consulting. Michael compared the two different approaches to review content/marketing platforms. One is the “full-stack” approach favored by Forrester and then the second is “best-of-breed” model employed by Gartner.

The next one is Emulsify 2: Building a Full Site Header in Drupal by Evan Willhite from Four Kitchens. This blog post is actually a tutorial of building full site header with a logo, menu, and a search form, starting with a plan and all further steps. 

And we conclude our list with the blog post with Actively Encouraging Open Government Engagement by Mike Gifford, Founder, and President of OpenConcept. In his short article, he is calling for public servants to look for opportunities to give a shout-out to those civic tech proponents who help make open government possible.

These are our top blogs from December … We will be collecting best Drupal blog post this year as well. Stay tuned.
 

Dec 29 2017
Ana
Dec 29

Today we will present Boštjan, Development director of AGILEDROP. Let's see what he said in the interview.

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I’m at AGILEDROP almost from the beginning when Iztok and Marko invited me to join the newly established company.

At the beginning, there was just a couple of us, so we were all working on the projects. I was doing development, mainly back-end but some front-end work was also needed.

 

What are your responsibilities as Development director?

My responsibilities can mainly be described as being a mentor to juniors and also a go-to guy if a developer is stuck on some problem or needs a second opinion about a solution. 

Besides that, I’m daily looking on how to improve current workflows and knowledge of our staff. I’m looking for ways to gather as much information of the knowledge of our developers, to guide them in a way to improve in the future.

When our sales team does the job, I’m often also helping to decide which developer fits certain project or client.

 

What are your daily tasks?

It varies quite a lot from day to day. Usually, I have one or two juniors under my supervision, so they occupy a certain percentage of time every day.

I’m also running around desks and giving others a second eye on the issues they might come along. And I’m slacking, a lot. :) Discussing things with developers, planning things with the resource manager and sales. 

Of course, I can’t avoid meetings, and I’m also doing technical interviews with candidates for the job in our company.

If I’m done with everything else, I still love to go on drupal.org and check some issue queue or add a commit to the projects we’re maintaining.

 

How does your typical work week look like?

There are actually two scheduled weekly meetings I have every week.

On Monday morning we have weekly sync where we check current contracts, outstanding issues, and future pipeline together with sales, resource manager, and director. 

The other one is Development management sync which is on Thursdays. Here we check all the feedback we got from our developers and also from our clients. We then decide the needed actions. If developer’s feedback is that he needs more information or doesn’t get the answers he needs we warn the client about that. If we receive some concerns from the client side, we determine which developer requires particular attention and help in order to provide best results for our clients.

Besides that I usually have a couple of juniors under my supervision, so we are checking the progress of their knowledge couple of times daily. I’m also usually seen around desks in the office talking about the projects and solutions our developers are building. 

Bostjan Kovac

 

Who do you work with?

On one hand, I work with developers that I mentor and also with others who only have some temporary difficulties on the project they are working on. 

On the other hand, I’m often in touch with our resource manager with whom I have daily discussions and also our sales team if they need some information or help to decide which developer would fit the certain client.

 

What is it that you do that adds value to our services?

My primary responsibility has always been providing best results to our clients. So checking our work, improving the knowledge of the developers and follow best practices. This is something I think is a value that I’m adding to the services we provide. 

 

Who are you outside the company?

My free time is mostly filled with technology, sports, music and of course hanging out with my girlfriend and friends.

I was playing football since I was a kid and I still often like to gather with friends and playmates. Beside that, I like to cycle, hike, run. In winter I love skiing.

My passion is also good music. I prefer rock, but some other styles can also get my attention. I love to visit concerts and festivals, but when that is not the case, I like to grab my guitar and play some tunes.

Oh, and I like to cook. I always like to try out some new recipes.


If you have any other questions for Boštjan, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them.
 

Dec 19 2017
Ana
Dec 19

Did you decide that you want to become a Drupal Developer? Congratulation! That is a great decision. As a Junior Drupal developer, you are going to face some of the challengers. Do not worry; every Drupal developer needed to go true this. But what skills do you need to join Drupal community? Are there any particular tools that you need to me familiar with? Jup, there is some knowledge you need to conquer before you enter Drupal coding and let's see the list of important skills, concepts, and tools that we think you should already know as a beginner in Drupal. 

 

1. PHP language

Every Drupal developer needs to know PHP language for a simple reason: Drupal software is written in it. The reason for that is, PHP is a programming language that is flexible and easy to learn, even if you come from a different knowledge background. 

 

2. Other content management systems

There are advantages of being familiar with other content management systems. Knowing the structure and features of other CMSs can help you with Drupal. Many CMSs have similar concepts, and it can be helpful to understand how different approaches can be used for the same problems.

 

3. Package Managers

For installing and managing Drupal in important to use package managers. But you need to know how those package managers work. No matter if it is installing Sass or Bootstrap from with node or Drupal with Composer, you need to know exactly what you are doing. Package managers can help you with installing, upgrading or even removing software, so they are very useful. 

 

4. Version Control (Git)

If you want to start developing in Drupal, you need to have some experience with version control. It is an important part because it keeps the project organized. They can be easily managed and maintained with version control, that is why it's often also used in a company, so each client project is easily managed as well. The most used version control software of Drupal is Git, which keeps teams collaboration efficient. 

office

 

5. Twig templating

Developers have to have some knowledge about the principles of templating because they can learn new concepts through them. All of them have similar syntaxes, so the principles can be applied to every language you use. It is important that the Drupal developer understands the principles of Twig as it’s the main templating engine for Drupal 8.

 

6. Command line interface tools like Drush

You don’t have to master the CLI at the beginning, but you need to be familiar with is so much that you can be dangerous with it. With it, you can save time when you are dealing with repetitive tasks, which makes you more effective. Tasks that require more clicks from you are made faster. In Drupal, you will have to use Composer, Drush, and Drupal console.

 

7. CSS preprocessors like Sass

It is true that CSS is not popular with back-end developers, as it’s related to implementing a design. Anyway, it's still good for a Drupal developer to know how to use it, as it's just a matter of time before he meets with it. CSS preprocessors come with variables and functions; something developers like to work with. 

 

8. Debugging

By correct debugging, you can save a lot of time. You can't always rely on error messages, so it is important you to know how to find a bug through XDebug or Devel (Drupal module), which track down your bug, instead of going through each line of code with try and error. 

 

9. Community

One thing you need to get to know is the Drupal community, where we all help each other. Everyone contributes back to the community. In what way, you ask? If you find an issue, you try to resolve it and share the patch or report the issue to the community where other people can help you resolve it. This is why Drupal gets better and bigger.  

As a new Drupal developer, it's important to have the wide knowledge of technologies. But in the technology space, every day comes a new tool, or framework, or language. You can not be a specialist in all of them. It’s important that you become an expert in one. That is what we did in our company, everyone knows how to work with other CMSs, other languages and use other tools. But Drupal, that is what we know best. Contact us. 
 

Dec 15 2017
Ana
Dec 15

To achieve the highest ranking in the search engine, the website has to be SEO friendly. Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) has one of the most important roles growing businesses with the help of a website.

Drupal is a very powerful system that ensures search website optimization with its modules. It gives us the ability to control all the elements of the web pages with the help of already installed automation tools for SEO, which places it at the very top of SEO friendly CMSs. Let's look at some examples.

SEO-friendly URLs

Because search engines search for keywords in URLs, they are very important for your website. Friendly SEO URLs are actually the core of Drupal. You can create individual URLs for different content - the so-called URL aliases. Thus, so times, when URL was like “website.com?p=news&id=123” are over, better version of it is “website.com/news/article-title.” Search engines prefer the second version, and website users do too. With Drupal, you can manually set those URLs, but if you add the Pathauto module, your site automatically creates a URL that matches the content it creates. Thus, your SEO friendly URLs are created without additional effort.

 

Highly effective Taxonomy

With the built-in taxonomy system, categorization with Drupal is very easy. With so advanced taxonomy, you can easily organize and tag content with rich keywords. Categorization is a very important element of SEO-friendly website, and taxonomy in Drupal is flexible and easy to use.  

SEO

 

Page Titles

To improve the SEO of your site, you must not forget the page title. The page title also attracts the attention of the search engine and is displayed in search results. It is also important for the reader because it attracts him to reading or sums up the essence of the page. Drupal offers us a page title module that automatically creates page titles that are interesting for the search engine.

 

Meta tags

There was a time when the meta tag had been considered one way to help your websites rise to the top of a search engine result. Although that is not always the case anymore, it can still be useful to have meta tags available to search engines so they can use it if they choose.

 

Custom content types and field

Drupal has the ability to design custom content structure. A very simple tool can be used without writing additional code. By creating a custom field on custom types of content, we can enable website editors to insert semantically correct content. This is a unique characteristic of one of the most advanced content management systems. With this tool, you can always create new and new content templates, as Drupal can handle an unimaginable amount of content, and you can display it in different ways.

 

Edit anything on the website

Contents should be updated regularly if you want an SEO friendly website. However, the most convenient thing in Drupal is that you can return to published content whenever you want, modify it, and add new keywords, which can increase your ranking among hits since Google's content analysis algorithms classify web pages based on fresh content. You can also easily fix any errors that occurred when publishing the content. 

Through years of website development, we've got a lot of experience, what actually means SEO friendly CMS, and we assure you that Drupal is definitely it. It has many factors that contribute to SEO friendliness. If you are interested in more information, please contact us.

Dec 08 2017
Ana
Dec 08

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I am one of three founders of the company. In the beginning, I was doing Drupal theming and site building. But it wasn’t long before we needed a full-time manager, so I took on the role of managing director.

What are your responsibilities as managing director?

At AGILEDROP, we only have great people – all of them experts in their own fields. So, my job is to make sure they do what they do best and then leave them to unleash their potential. I also give them some help with self-improve, organizing mentors, courses, English lessons, and things like that. I trust them all, and I can honestly say that I’m very lucky to be working with such great people.

But there are also times when even great people need a little push or realignment of the path. They might be working together on the same idea or project, and then somehow there’s a breakdown in communications, and progress gets super slow or sometimes even stops. Everybody sits around waiting for everybody else to do something :) It’s my job to step in there as well.

“The job of a managing director is to make sure he is not needed so that the company can run by itself even if the MD is not around.” 
- Vesa Palmu

What are your daily tasks?

I meet with our managers and directors to keep them on track if everything is working properly, and to give guidance if it isn’t. I have to make sure we only work on the right ideas and get them fully implemented. Making sure we are always productive and optimized. 

I’m involved in transactions, purchasing, and budgeting. I’m also on the panel that selects the new talent that we bring into the company. 
 

Marko Bahor

What does your typical work week look like?

I don’t think I have a typical work week. I see my job more as a “janitor” in the company, making sure everything is working smoothly.

Who do you work with?

On a daily basis, I mostly work with Petra, our office manager, on all finance-related stuff and HR. I also work on production with Domen, our resource manager, and Bostjan, the company’s CTO and co-founder.  They’re all doing a great job, so I’m not needed there so much. Other than that, I have a lot of meetings with our other co-founder, Iztok. He’s currently working as commercial director, so we talk a lot about sales and marketing. 

What exactly do you do that adds value to our services?

I think I am best at seeing a bigger picture of the company. Rather than thinking about who should work on particular tasks today, I tend to think more about which department is going to be working on them when we have 100+ people. I’m also the one who’s focusing on growth, even if it means sacrificing short-term goals to get good long-term results. I think I’m also good at keeping us focused on what works and what we are best at. 
 

If you have any other questions for Marko, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them. 

Dec 06 2017
Ana
Dec 06

November said farewell from us and the autumn will follow soon as well. Winter is knocking at our door, bringing Holidays, full of gifts.  Before we start enjoying December’s atmosphere, let's look back at the best Drupal blog posts from November.

Let's begin with a blog by Tim Broeker from the Electric citizen with the title Drupal 8 DevOps: Automation for happier teams and clients. It talks about how and what benefits we can use with the solid DevOps strategy. It provides us with better projects and satisfied customers, without needing any major financial contribution.

A second spot is reserved for a blog post by Blair Wadman from BeFused: Moving from theming in Drupal 7 to Drupal 8? Overview of key changes in which he is exploring some of the key changes in Drupal 8. He is encouraging everybody to move to Drupal 8 because of its benefits, such as improved security and more elegant theming. 

Our third choice is Drupal Website Accessibility, Part 1: The problem, and why it matters… by Appnovation. In this blog post, it is explained what does web accessibility refers to and shows some great examples. 

autumn

Let’s continue with Smart Cropping of Media with Image Widget Crop Drupal Module by Jorge Montoya from OSTraining. In this blog post, you can see the tutorial of using Image Widget Crop module in conjunction with the new media features for images available in Drupal core. 

Our fifth choice is a blog post by Jan Pára from Morpht: Announcing Entity Class Formatter for Drupal 8. It is a module that gives us a lot of possibilities. Which one and how to use it, check the blog post. 

Ranking sixth is a blog post from Jigar Mehta from Evolving Web: Profiling and optimizing Drupal migrations with Blackfire. It gives us an insight of analyzing migrations with Blackfire, which saved them a lot of time. 

Seventh is Security in Code Deployment: Unknown Drupal codebase by Perttu Ehn from Exove. It is showing us what to do in case you have a scenario, where you have to review the entire codebase in a project you have to maintain. 

And we conclude our list with the blog post by Andy Mead from Elevated third: Marketing automation, meet Drupal. It is about a partnership between Drupal and Marketing Automation. He talks about how to use MA properly in Drupal to get the result we want, that is capturing latent demand and turn it into sales.


These are our top blogs from November … We will be collecting best Drupal blog post in December too. Stay tuned. 

Dec 01 2017
Ana
Dec 01

Since Drupal is an open-source system, many people wonder whether it's safe. Drupal is carefully tested by Drupal experts, and they are keeping it extremely secure. The information is constantly transmitted, passwords are encrypted, the community reviews the modules ... all these are the reasons that Drupal is one of the safest CMSs in the world. That is why it is used by a large number of organizations that have sensitive data such as the White House, UNESCO, Tesla Motors and others.

 

Open Web Application Security Project

Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) is a non-profit charitable organization that regularizes a software’s security and is focused on it’s improving. Drupal is designed to meet OWASP standards and is actively analyzed to prevent future risks.  

 

Security Team

The Drupal security team is a team of 40 security experts that come from different countries across three continents. They work to improve the security; their job is to identify the security vulnerabilities and make security patches. To prevent security-related fractures in code, they publish the documentation of the identified vulnerabilities and security advisories on its website.  

 

Password

When Drupal is installed for the first time, the password that we store is encrypted in the database. Characters are added to the password, this is said to be salt and then closed, which is a mathematical one-way function. This is a complicated procedure with the powerful SHA512 function. By doing this, the password is virtually impossible to decrypt.

lock

 

A Secure Codebase

An experienced Drupal security team is committed to the reliability and security of Drupal as an open source database. Each module contributed by the user is pre-approved by Drupal's maintainers. Then, the whole community can download the code and report any errors. Thus, each module is thoroughly reviewed by the community.

 

Access controls

You can configure your access control with full control level in each case. For all situations, you can set up several account types. Thus, users are limited to exclusively their role they perform. It does so without any errors, which in turn increases the security of the application.

 

Database encryption

By using Drupal, it is possible to encrypt a database. It can be configured to encrypt the entire site's database or only its specific parts. Such encryption types allow the Drupal configuration to pass any of the privacy standards or encryption laws.

Security reporting

CMS is the most secure if our website is properly configured and constantly updated. Drupal notifies you of updates, but at the same time reports you details of updating, so that potential security holes can be immediately corrected and there is no harm.

DrpalCon Vienna group photophoto by Dominik Kiss

 

Community

Drupal community is one of the largest open source communities around the globe. It consists of over 1 million people, from developers,  designers, and other Drupal-related people - all working together. With that many people working together, it's almost impossible that any serious vulnerability is released, because all the bugs are quickly discovered and reported to the Drupal Security Team. That is why Drupal.org is a golden cave of learning material, news and support. By reporting the errors, you bring value to the Drupal, and you as well have benefited from others. Your site is kept secure before it's even got at risk.

We believe that all those specifics prove that Drupal is very much secure CMS. In case you have more questions for us, contact us, we will be happy to help.
 

Nov 29 2017
Ana
Nov 29

In the middle of November, we organized a Drupal meetup. Meetup is a great way to connect web developers, designers, and other web enthusiasts. We were hosting two lecturers, David Ličen from Slovenia and Philipp Melab from Austria. In this blog post, you can learn, what they shared with us.

 

David Ličen, Slovenia: “Drupal point of Vue”

The Drupal point of Vue session, led by David Ličen, was a very good introduction to the decoupled Drupal, where the web application and server are separated. Session attendees were acquainted with the basics of a very simple yet powerful JavaScript library, Vue.js, which is used to create headless applications. In such applications, we often need a server with data structures accessed and manipulated through our application. In a decoupled mode, we do this with minimal communication exchange of data objects.

David also introduced us the "query language" of GraphQL, through which we can exchange data between the Drupal backend and our front-end application. We need the GraphQL Drupal module and the Apollo library as an add-on to the Vue.js application. The lecturer finally presented us with a practical example of the blog, where he used these technologies. 

For me personally, the lecture was very interesting, although I already met with Vue.js and GraphQL. I had the opportunity to refresh some basics, but at the same time to learn how to run the Drupal background altogether. The lecture was very well structured and understandable for visitors who might not have known such an approach before. - Tim

 

Philipp Melab, Austria: “Drupal, GraphQL and React”

GraphQL was presented by Philipp Melab. GraphQL is a query language for APIs and runtime for fulfilling those queries with your existing data. With GraphQL we are exchanging data between our Application and Database. Apps that are using Graph are fast and stable because they control data they get, not the server.

To simplify things you basically write "fields" into the query that you want to retrieve from the database, and this is much faster than standard "Drupal way". Philipp also told us the difference between REST and GraphQL. In REST you create your own REST query, and it cannot be changed through the interface (front-end), that's the beauty of GraphQL that you can always change in your front-end what data you need, or you need to add a new relationship. GraphQL is more friendly to front-end developers, and also they don't "annoy" backend developers to modify a query because in GraphQL they can do it in UI. For GraphQL you need to install Drupal 8 module and then configure it correctly.

We actually learned a lot on this meetup, and we got some useful knowledge. The presentation was great even though Philipp was giving it remotely and we also got pizza at the end. :) - Matjaž

This was the last meetup from us this year, we can’t wait to host next one in 2018. 
 

Nov 24 2017
Ana
Nov 24

We have sat down with our Commercial director, Iztok Smolic and ask him a couple questions. Enjoy the interview. 

 

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I am one of the co-founders of AGILEDROP, so I am with the company from its beginning. In the early days, all of us wore many hats. In my case, 60% of the time I was working on the development and the other 60% I was communicating with new clients and wrote proposals (yes, I did some overtime). As we grew I was able to focus on the thing I was best at, that was advising to clients and being creative and innovative in marketing.

What are your responsibilities as the Commercial director?

As the commercial director, I am responsible for sales and marketing. Sales at AGILEDROP means understanding what the agency is looking for and advise them on the solution. Marketing is how we make sure to stay on top of the mind with potential clients. I believe we can help any digital agency experiencing resource challenges; we just need the opportunity to prove ourselves. 

 

Iztok Smolič

What are your daily tasks?

My daily tasks depend on my projects. Sometimes I am managing a team of developers who are upgrading one of our websites, some other day I am involved with organizing an event in our office. I am communicating with agency owners and managers on a daily base. I make sure that I reach out to at least one existing or potential partner to learn what are they struggling with that day.

How does your typical work week look like?

Every Monday morning we start with a sync meeting, after that, I sit down with our MD, Marko, to talk about strategy. After that, it's a mixture of meetings, emails, and reading on new exciting topics that can help my customers. To be honest, I am not great at scheduling my time, and this is something I am continually trying to improve.

Who do you work with?

Most of the time I work with the management team to sync around schedules and development team to get an understanding how can we best help our clients. Because of that, I am in contact with everyone in the organization, which is cool. 

What is that you do that adds value to our services?

Having 11 years of Drupal experiences help me better understand challenges our clients face. I can make decisions faster with more confidence. I believe agency owners value my technical skills from the past as well as my ability to understand their business struggles.

If you have any other questions for Iztok, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them. 

Nov 24 2017
Ana
Nov 24

We have sat down with our Commercial director, Iztok Smolic and ask him a couple questions. Enjoy the interview. 

 

When did you start working at AGILEDROP and what were your initial responsibilities?

I am one of the co-founders of AGILEDROP, so I am with the company from its beginning. In the early days, all of us wore many hats. In my case, 60% of the time I was working on the development and the other 60% I was communicating with new clients and wrote proposals (yes, I did some overtime). As we grew I was able to focus on the thing I was best at, that was advising to clients and being creative and innovative in marketing.

What are your responsibilities as the Commercial director?

As the commercial director, I am responsible for sales and marketing. Sales at AGILEDROP means understanding what the agency is looking for and advise them on the solution. Marketing is how we make sure to stay on top of the mind with potential clients. I believe we can help any digital agency experiencing resource challenges; we just need the opportunity to prove ourselves. 

 

Iztok Smolič

What are your daily tasks?

My daily tasks depend on my projects. Sometimes I am managing a team of developers who are upgrading one of our websites, some other day I am involved with organizing an event in our office. I am communicating with agency owners and managers on a daily base. I make sure that I reach out to at least one existing or potential partner to learn what are they struggling with that day.

How does your typical work week look like?

Every Monday morning we start with a sync meeting, after that, I sit down with our MD, Marko, to talk about strategy. After that, it's a mixture of meetings, emails, and reading on new exciting topics that can help my customers. To be honest, I am not great at scheduling my time, and this is something I am continually trying to improve.

Who do you work with?

Most of the time I work with the management team to sync around schedules and development team to get an understanding how can we best help our clients. Because of that, I am in contact with everyone in the organization, which is cool. 

What is that you do that adds value to our services?

Having 11 years of Drupal experiences help me better understand challenges our clients face. I can make decisions faster with more confidence. I believe agency owners value my technical skills from the past as well as my ability to understand their business struggles.

If you have any other questions for Iztok, get in touch, he will be more than happy to answer them. 

Nov 23 2017
Ana
Nov 23

Drupal has become one of the most popular CMS around the world. Since it is written in PHP, very popular web programming language, it is also attractive to developers. It has nearly forty thousand modules and more than two thousand different themes, so it's no wonder that developers and designers like to work with it. It is suitable for all types of websites, from those advanced and heavier portals for communities to lighter, simpler personal web pages. Most importantly, it's great for ambitious websites (link to blog post about this).

What are other benefits we recognize?


It is open source software.

That means that anyone can download, use, work on, and share it with others. It’s built on principles like collaboration, globalism, and innovation. Since core software, modules and a large number of themes are open sourced; web development cost can be reduced significantly.

It is SEO friendly.

SEO is number one when it comes to online marketing strategies. In order to achieve great website rang with keywords people search to discover your products online, Drupal has the excellent flexibility of display content. And one more thing we see as very important, Drupal has the ability to give pages aliases, so times, when URL was like “SEO.com/notfriendly/123#4” are over, better version of it is “SEO.com/friendly/instructions”. Search engines prefer the second version, and readers do as well.  

It is mobile-ready.

Smart devices are becoming increasingly widespread, and web pages, made on Drupal's platform, can be viewed the same on smart devices as on desktop computers. This additional feature is a great advantage for businesses, because it allows them to spend less on optimizing mobile pages, and the traffic is automatically increased as the number of customers who prefer smart devices is increasing every day.

Drupal conference

The community.

Drupal has a highly active community which participates in every aspect of Drupal developing and is responsible for Drupal being the most successful software on the market.  Is one of the largest open source communities, and we all support each other, and we are doing everything to make Drupal the best.

Security.

Because Drupal is an open source system, the questions arise whether it is safe. In a closed-source system that is licensed, the code is closed to the eyes of the public, so it's impossible to figure out how many bugs are waiting for us in this system. As an open source system, Drupal is open for everyone, so bugs are found faster and defective, so security should not be the reason for not picking Drupal for your website, straight opposite.

There are much more benefits of Drupal; we chose 5 of the most significant of them. We cannot escape the truth that Drupal is getting more and more powerful every day. With all those people behind it, providing a free open source solution for everybody, we are not surprised. If u have any more questions about Drupal, reach out to us, we are more than happy to answer them.
 

Pages

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web