May 15 2019
May 15

Acquia acquires Mautic

Recently, Acquia has acquired Mautic, an open source marketing automation platform. With this acquisition, Acquia is planning on disrupting the market and its closed technology stack competitors in the automation market. Acquia is a leading provider of digital experience solutions based on open source software Drupal. Now, Acquia product offering will be complemented by the newly acquired automation and campaign management platform, further adding more value proposition to the solutions offered by Acquia. This will provide marketers with a seamless experience, from designing and managing websites, to managing and tweaking communication campaigns across different platforms and digital channels. It seems that Acquia is dead set on making the future of marketing open source.

Here at Sooperthemes we're very excited about this move, because we've been interested in Mautic's development from the beginning and are looking forward to a closer Drupal integration.

Marketing automation is an emerging term in the marketing community. It promises solutions to age-old challenges that marketers face in their daily jobs. But what exactly is marketing automation?

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation refers to software that aims to automate repetitive tasks. For example marketing involves a lot of repetitive tasks such as qualifying leads, emailing, social media posting and other editorial actions. Marketing automation helps to reduce the workload and makes it easier to bring those tasks to completion in a fast and efficient way.

Reasons for using marketing automation

Marketers can use automation paired with inbound marketing to increase the amount of qualified leads. Furthermore, it is easier to drive qualified leads through the sales funnel. Qualified leads have a lower churn rate than unqualified ones. Moreover, when it comes to nurturing these leads, it can involve loads of mundane tasks, which takes time and is inefficient. However, by using marketing automation, it frees precious time for the marketer to be able to undertake more strategic tasks.

Comparison of marketing automation software

HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot and Mautic are major players in the marketing automation market. In this article, there is going to be presented a comparison between the 4 automation platforms.

HubSpot

Hubspot Screenshot

HubSpot is a sales and marketing automation platform that is an all-rounder right out of the box. Out of the box, HubSpot is checking all the requirements for the most common tasks. Furthermore, it has unrivaled training, support and content. It also offers an easy to use interface for marketers, which is easy to use for even the most non-tech savvy of employees. A drawback of using HubSpot is that the contract is for at least 12 months, essentially locking up the customers to use the product. Furthermore, the pricing is also based on contacts, which can increase steeply. On top of that it also has some social media limitation when posting or tagging.

Marketo

Marketo Screenshot

Marketo is the marketing automation solution from Adobe. It was acquired by Adobe in October 2019. Marketo has a starting price of $895 per month. It is a great mid-range solution for companies which require a robust solution but don’t want to spend more than necessary. As its drawbacks, it has a poor landing page and form builder. On top of that, it has limited reporting and analysis functionality. Furthermore, there are steep increases in prices for just some added features.

Pardot

Pardot Screenshot

Pardot is the marketing automation and lead management solution from Salesforce. It has a starting price of $1250 for the most basic package. It allows marketing and sales teams to create and deploy online marketing campaigns in an easy and intuitive way. On top of that, Pardot brings the power to visually test the campaigns that are built, from the perspective of the client. On top of that, with the power of automation and segmentation, Pardot brings the power of smart lead management and generation to the table. Essentially giving the user the capability to nurture a lead based on different triggers that are activated during his customer journey on your website. Drawbacks of the platform include the fact that it lacks the tools for social media management. Furthermore, for A/B testing, user have to get the PRO subscription starting at 2000$ per month that is billed annually.

Mautic

Mautic Screenshot

Mautic has recently been acquired by Aqcuia. The goal here is to deliver the first ever open source marketing cloud to the market. Mautic is an open source software with that has self hosting capabilities. What this means is that companies that are using it, will not have to outsource the servers from the software providing company. This gives the users an increased sense of security, since the data will not be stored on different servers other than their own. On top of that, being open source, the code is available for everyone to see. This means that people have the flexibility to contribute and adapt the code to best suit their business or personal needs. On top of that, Mautic has a great degree of integration, making it easy to integrate with different content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, TYPO3, etc.

One drawback that Mautic encounters is the fact that the installation process can be tricky for a person that is not working in the IT department. This coupled with the fact that Mautic does not have the best available documentation to guide the user to the process, can result in a frustrating experience.

Here is a visual comparison of the features provided by each platform:

Features

HubSpot

Marketo

Pardot

Mautic

Starting price

$200/month

$895/month

$1000/month

Free

Lead scoring

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lead segmentation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SMS marketing

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Personalize web content

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Predictive analytics

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Event management

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Sales reports

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bi-directional CRM syncing

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Create invoices

Yes

No

No

No

Split testing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Social CRM

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Future-proofing Marketing

Given the fact that the forecast for the marketing automation market is going to grow and reach $32.6 billion by 2024, it’s safe to say that marketing automation is a growing trend. What this means is that more and more companies will start adopting marketing automation means in order to better and more efficiently fulfill daunting marketing task. Now, with the knowledge of the most important players in the field, you have taken the first step towards an automated future.

May 07 2019
May 07

Freelancing: a growing trend

It seems the trend nowadays is for workers to take the freelancing route. With 36% of the U.S. population currently being freelancers, it seems that this trend is slowly gaining traction. But what does this mean for businesses. It seems that hiring freelancers definitely has its benefits, however it also has its challenges. In this article I’m going to talk about the potential drawbacks that come with hiring a freelancer.

1. Hiring the wrong freelancer

Hiring the right person for the job is a complicated process even for a regular full-time employee. However, when it comes to hiring a freelancer, the interview should not be the same process as when hiring a full-time employee. Working from home requires a high degree of self-motivation, resourcefulness and self-discipline. On top of that, the freelancer should also be resilient to loneliness, since freelancing usually lacks the same social engagement that a conventional workplace can provide. If the freelancer doesn’t have these qualities, then he is going to be unhappy during the 30-40 hours he is working, which is bad for business and bad for humanity.

2. Too many options

After posting a job advertisement a client might be suddenly bombarded with a lot of replies from freelancers who are out to get the gig. But how does the client choose from so many options? Well, some freelancers will set up automatic bots that are automatically replying to the job post based on a few parameters. Most of the time, these type of freelancers will not have read the job requirements. They are not taking their time to make sure that they are a great fit for the job. Then there is another type of freelancers. The ones that report a great  amount of experience, yet they are charging suspiciously low rates. This type of freelancers either don't value their own work or the quality of the work provided is questionable and they use low rates as a cover-up. A client might feel overwhelmed by the options they have at their disposal. The best way to avoid this is to have an effective way on how to screen the freelancers.

3. Communication problems

Another big challenge that comes when hiring a freelancer is one of communication. As the name implies the freelancers are free to work whenever they want or feel inspired. What this means is that as a client you might not receive updates on the status of the work that the freelancer is doing. These can raise a lot of uncertainty for the client as he is kept in the dark with regards to the progress of his project.

4. Payment issues

Freelancers are not like regular employees. Naturally, this means that the payment process is going to be different than that of regular employees. First of all, the freelancer will not appear on the companies payroll, meaning that other alternatives for making the payment have to be found. On top of that, if the freelancer is outsourced from another country, the cost of transferring the money has to be taken into account. It's important to find a way to transfer the money that is advantageous for both the client and the freelancer, this way, confusion regarding the time until the payment is done and high fees when doing the payment through international banks are avoided. Some services that are good to use when paying outsourced employees are Paypal, Skrill and Payoneer. 

5. Being clear in requirements and feedback

In order to avoid frustration on both sides, the client has to be clear in their requirements and in the feedback provided by the freelancer. Otherwise, the client might risk to see the completion of his project in a totally different light than he was expecting. In order to be able to receive the project in the way that he envisioned it, the client has to be as thorough as possible when describing the job requirements. On top of that, regular feedback has to be provided. This way, the client will surely be able to increase the chances that the result he is going to receive is satisfactory.

6. Different language and culture

When it comes to effective communications, speaking a common language is of essence. In most cases, this language is going to be english. Finding a freelancer that is able to communicate at an advanced enough level of english to be able to discuss work related subjects might be difficult. On top of that, the culture of a country also has to be taken into account. Keeping in mind that different cultures have different communication approaches. For example, the difference between low context societies and high context societies, where one relies on explicit communication while the other on implicit communication. On top of that low context and high context are valuing non-verbal communication and cues to different degrees. Being aware of these differences can make communication easier and more pleasant for both parties.

7. Lack of commitment

Freelancers have the possibility to undertake multiple projects from different clients. What this means is that a freelancer will not be able to fully commit to your project, especially if another project is more challenging, exciting or more financially rewarding. On top of that, a freelancer will always prioritize the projects that make more sense from the point of view of the before mentioned aspects, pushing other projects to the side. This can cause a lot of frustration for the client, however, in order to avoid the frustration, the client has to make his project as appealing as possible from every aspect. For example, make sure that the project is challenging and exciting enough to keep the freelancer engaged. On top of that, clients should avoid paying below market-rates for freelancers because that can work as an open invitation for the freelancer to find new clients.

8. Missed deadlines

Another challenge that clients have to face when hiring a freelancers are missed deadlines. Freelancers are having more freedom when it comes to planning their working routine, as long as the contract does not stipulate specific working hours. This means that there is an increased risk of life events happening. Events like weddings, a relative getting sick, funerals seem to be happening at a larger frequency than for regular employees. These events can interfere with the ability of the freelancer to be able to deliver the project in time, thus resulting in a missed deadline.

9. Misunderstandings

Since freelancers don’t work in the office as every other regular employee, they are harder to supervise. What this means is that they are not there for the client to be able to get regular updates, or to provide feedback or to train them. If clear enough instructions were not provided, the freelancer can finish the project in a different manner than the one envisioned by the client. This misunderstanding will lead to frustration on both sides, since the client will demand adjustments and the freelancer will deliver these adjustments while not getting paid for them.

Conclusion

Hiring a remote employee is always a challenge. Especially in these days when the working culture has not fully adapted to the flexibility of the freelancers. However, being aware of the challenges of hiring a freelancer will make it easier to adapt and foster a productive relationship between you and your outsourced employee. So, embrace change and think about the possibility of hiring freelancers.

May 01 2019
May 01

Drupal is known to be a complex and great CMS. However, if you are planning on starting to learn Drupal 8, you will soon notice that it is more complicated than Drupal 7 and other content management systems. Drupal is known to have a steep learning curve, which makes it more challenging to pick up and get started. In this article, I’m going to show you some great books that help you learn Drupal in a systematic, beginner-friendly way. My blog post is going to include 7 Drupal 8 books that are covering the basics and are beginner friendly, books that will challenge the skills of seasoned Drupal developers and books that are teaching specific Drupal skills. Pick your poison!

Apr 25 2019
Apr 25

WordPress and Drupal

WordPress and Drupal, two of the most popular content management systems that are currently on the market. So, in case you're wondering what content management system to pick, keep in mind that both of them serve different needs. The decision that you are going to take is going to be based off your individual needs for your business or yourself. In this article, I am going to aim to make it easier for you to take a decision, by presenting information about both systems. With the help of this article, you should be able to take an informed decision when it comes to making a choice between WordPress and Drupal.

Ease of Installation

WordPress vs Drupal Installation

Left: WordPress's famed 5 minute installation. Right: Sooperthemes custom Drupal distribution with Glazed theme and Glazed Builder included.

WordPress is famed for the ease of their installation process. While they claim that the installation process takes only 5 minutes, you have to take this with a grain of salt. Sure, for somebody who is highly experienced in WordPress, an installation might take 5 minutes. However, for a total beginner this might take longer. 

Drupal on the other hand is a little bit more tricky when it comes to the installation. There are more steps and clicks involved. The experience is very similar to installing WordPress, there is just more of it. Drupal has one advantage over WordPress: Distributions. Distributions are packages of features, design, and demo content that let you install a full functional turn-key website just by running the installer. At sooperthemes.com all our demo websites can be reproduced in your own environment in just about 10 minutes with our custom Drupal distributions.

Functionality

Module and themes statistics for WordPress and Drupal

WordPress is an easy and intuitive easy to use open source CMS. One of the reasons WordPress is simpler is that is has fewer features and options compared to Drupal, so there is a trade-off going on here! Although there are a number of extensions that can make up for what WordPress is lacking, the more complex a website becomes, the harder it is for WordPress to be able to manage the website properly.

Now, when it comes to functionality, Drupal is considered to be highly functional. It was designed from the beginning to be able to meet the users needs as well as software developers' needs. Through modules, Drupal is able to fulfill the many needs a user has for developing a website. On top of that, Drupal is able to handle complex websites in a without slowing down the user experience, thanks to its advanced caching layers. Functionality is one of the areas where Drupal is shining.

Here are some of the advanced built-in features inspires some to choose Drupal over WordPress:

  • Custom content types and block types, equipped with menu different field types for your content
  • Multilingual is both built-in and more advanced than in most other CMS
  • The views module lets you create custom content listings, with support for fields, tables, portfolio grids, external data sources, and much more. It's a beast and a big part of why Drupal got popular to begin with.
  • Fine-grained permissions for your custom user roles
  • Advanced API's for batch processing, REST services, and many more advanced programming concepts 

Ease of use

WordPress is well known for its ease of use. The dashboard and layout are intuitive and easy to use. This means that even a beginner can make good looking websites. However, it gets harder as the complexity of the website increases.

Compared to this, Drupal is not so beginner friendly. Since Drupal is the more complex CMS from the two, there are more tricks to be learned and discovered when working in it. Drupal has been criticized in the past as having a steep learning curve. Indeed, it is harder to master, however, it also is capable of handling more complexity and it is able to better cater and fulfill the needs of its users.

Fortunately, there are some options you have to make Drupal more pleasing to your content, communications, and marketing staff. For exampel you can simplify their toolbars and menus by limiting their permissions. Sooperthemes also provides a visual drag and drop editor: Glazed Builder provides an entirely new user experience, letting your users design and create pages and interactive content in the frontend, away from Drupal's forms and administrative tools.

How secure are WordPress and Drupal?

Security Officers

Security is one of the most important things when running a website with important user information on it. In case of a security vulnerability of the CMS, a hacker can exploit said vulnerability and get the important user information off the website, such as usernames, passwords, emails, credit card information, etc. This is why security is so important for a content management system.

Since WordPress is the most used content management system to date, it is also bound to be the target many cyber attacks. When it comes to security, WordPress has three components, the core, plugins and themes. The core is always watched by cybersecurity experts who are continuously working identifying and patching vulnerabilities. The plugins and themes are reviewed and patched by the community members, which means that there is an increased chance to suffer a malicious attack by installing a certain plugin or theme that has an undiscovered vulnerability.

Drupal is recognized as the most secure content management system that is currently on the market. This is partly because the security team works on spotting vulnerabilities in the core of Drupal. On top of that, before a module is released to the general public, the code is usually examined for vulnerabilities. After being released to the general public for review, the contributors are then again checking the code for vulnerabilities that can be exploited by a hacker. This measures add up to an increased security compared to its competitors. This is why a lot of big names have trusted Drupal with the security of their websites. Examples are UNESCO, The US Senate, Fox News, Harvard University and many more.

WordPress vs Drupal Costs

WordPress is free to install and use. You can have the option to use WordPress.com, offers both paid plans and a free plan that shows ads on your website. Since WordPress is open source, you can download the software for free if you intend to host it yourself. Hiring a developer to build your website will also have to be taken into account when talking about costs. Generally speaking, hiring a WordPress developer is cheaper than hiring a Drupal developer, simply because a Drupal developer is harder to come by.

Drupal is also free to use and install, because it is an open source software. For a beginner, it is harder to make full use of the features that the CMS has to offer, especially when building a professional website. Depending on the needs of the customer, the website being built might have different degrees of complexity. Some of the most demanding websites are ecommerce websites.

Typical WordPress vs Drupal Pricing

Typical WordPress websites will be informational business websites, or simplistic community platforms based on popular themes and plugins, and would cost anywhere between 500,- USD, and 20,000 USD on the more complex and customized end of the spectrum. Most Drupal agencies aim to take on projects starting at 20,000 USD, and love to build the most complex online platforms, with contracts often running into the hundreds of thousands. These platforms could be so called "Site Factories" where a single platform will be responsible for spawning hundreds of websites, or it may be large content platforms for governmental bodies where hundreds of thousands of content items are managed.

That said, once you've mastered Drupal nothing stops you from making simplistic content websites with it. In fact, with the products and demo websites provided by Sooperthemes, it is very much possible to create a complete business websites within one day, and within a most humble budget.

Conclusion

In conclusion, WordPress is a great CMS for beginners and people that are not demanding complexity from their CMS. When it comes to security, although WordPress has good security practices in place, it is the most widespread CMS, making it a great target for hackers.

Drupal on the other hand, while not as easy to pick up as WordPress, it compensated with the complexity that it can handle. So, for people or organisations that require big websites, Drupal is the way to go. Furthermore, Drupal is perfect for this group of people, simply because it offers a great security.

So before choosing the right CMS for you, you have to be aware of the needs that have to be met by the CMS. Only after that can you take a decision.

Apr 16 2019
Apr 16

By the end of 20018 TYPO3 had a market share of 1.5%, making it the 8th most used CMS at this time. This means that out of all websites in the world, 1.5% of them were built using TYPO3. Drupal on the other hand, had a market share of 4.6%, making it the third most popular CMS to date. Despite the fact that Drupal is slightly younger, it still managed to capture a larger audience compared to TYPO3. But why is that?

Open Source CMS

Drupal and TYPO3 are both open source. What this means is that the code is available to the general public. This results in developers being able to add different pieces of code by themselves, constantly improving the software. Both have dedicated communities which aim to further improve the performance of the CMS’s.

Performance

When it comes to the performance, both of these platforms have a wide range of modules and extensions. The modules and extensions are basically improvements on the core of both. Thus resulting in a high performance and flexibility on both sides. When it comes to extensions, TYPO3 has 60.000+ of them available, making sure that there is something specific to fulfill any users needs. Drupal also boasts a wide variety of modules, which gives the CMS the ability to cater to the needs of every user. Unlike Drupal, TYPO3 also runs an internal language called TypoScript. Users can leverage it to build additional elements including dynamic content.

Drupal allows the creation and management of different types of content such as text, blogs, videos, podcasts, images etc.

TYPO3 is also able to handle forms, tables, images and different pieces of multimedia. It also allows a lot of control over the layout of the page.

Language support

Globe of planet EarthTYPO3 is famed for its massive availability in over 50 languages. However, Drupal is available in over 100 languages. This makes it even more impressive when it comes to the high degree at which Drupal is able to help with the needs of its users.

Scalability

Scalability is defined by the desirable property of a website to be able to handle a growing amount of work in a timely and elegant manner. Both were engineered to be able to handle large amounts of data and traffic. This makes them both desirable for large enterprise websites.

Security

Security is one of the areas that both systems are putting a lot of effort in. Given the fact that they have to protect the costly data of large universities, enterprises and businesses, both are taking this matter seriously. Drupal and TYPO3 both have security teams that are constantly searching for vulnerabilities to report to the communities, while also working on fixing the issues. These are the reasons why both Drupal and TYPO3 are both trusted by enterprises and business when it comes to security issues.

Cost Of Implementation

Compared to CMS that are not Enterprise-grade, Drupal and TYPO3 are both more difficult to be installed and be properly customized. Both systems are offering plenty of options for developers to be able to specifically customize the website to meet the user specific needs. This comes at a price however. The price to be paid for such high customizability comes in the form of a steep learning curve. This makes it hard for beginners to fully maximize the potential of both CMS’s. On top of that, learning TYPO3 seems to be more complicated than to learn Drupal. Because of the simple fact that TYPO3 uses also TypoScript. It is the internal language of the system which has to be learned in order to master the CMS.  

One advantage with Drupal is that you can install our visual page editor module and provide a state-of-the-art design and editing experience to your client or your communication department

Conclusion

In conclusion, both CMS’s are legit options when it comes to developing huge scale websites for businesses or enterprises. However, choosing one of them rests entirely on each user’s specific needs. Also, Drupal still has a larger market than TYPO3. Even though it is the younger of them both. This means that Drupal is able to better cater to the specific needs of its users, compared to its competition.

Apr 10 2019
Apr 10

Who is choosing Drupal as a CMS?

Picking the right type of CMS for any website is no easy task. However, when it comes to complex websites that have to be shown on a wide variety of displays and in 10 different languages, the choice is even harder. In this article, I am going to tell you the reason why universities such as Harvard, Oxford, MIT, Stanford etc. are choosing Drupal as their default Content Management System.

Apr 02 2019
Apr 02

Article 13: Copyright re-invented

The European Union has not updated the copyright laws since 2001. Now they are aiming to change that and bring the copyright laws in line with the “digital era”. Most of these changes are uncontroversial, however, Article 13 will have a huge impact on the way that content is shared on the internet. What it basically means is that, hosting platforms will be responsible to make sure that the content that is uploaded is going to be in line with the copyright laws.

How Article 13 shifts the balance of power for creators and publishers

The goal of article 13 is to fix the problem of value distribution amongst a certain set of industries, especially the music industry. The problems with the Article 13 is with the services towards which it is addressed, while also suffering from having a broad yet vague goal. Problem is that it will apply to all types of copyrighted works. On top of that, there is no reason for an article that is intended to strengthen the bargaining power of the music industry to impose costly responsibilities on platforms that have nothing to do with sharing music. Additionally, since the article seems so vague, there are bound to be misunderstandings and misinterpretations which will lead to the need of taking legal action for the matter to be settled.

Buckle up for the consequences of Article 13

So how are hosting platforms going to tackle this new challenge? Basically, human reviewing is going to be out of the question. The reason for this is that consistently monitoring huge amounts of data that is being uploaded in a timely manner is virtually impossible, unless you have a small army at your disposal. What this means, is that platform will have to put automated filters in place in the forms of BOTs or AI. Ok, so where is the problem?

Big corporations win, small companies lose

One of the problems is that a system like this will be extremely expensive to adopt. What this means is that smaller platforms will not be able to adopt such a system and might be forced to opt out of the game altogether. Basically, this will stifle the emergence of innovation in the EU, brought by new small competitors on the market. On top of that, already established giants in the tech industry will be able to afford such a system, meaning that they will be able to hold even more power.

Another problem with this approach, is that an AI or BOT is not going to be able to tell the difference between truly copyrighted content and content that is meant for humour.

Is this goodbye to the meme culture?

What this means is that if a funny picture is based on a scene from a movie, the filtering system will regard this as copyrighted content and remove it from the internet.

Although the EU has made it clear that the exceptions to the rule will be content that is meant to be a “quotation, criticism, review, caricature, parody or pastiche”, the problem with how these contents will be told apart from real copyright infringements by filtering systems still remains the same.

“There is a module for that”

With Drupal being a free open-source CMS there is a chance for the Drupal community to be able to shine and bring an advantage to the game. By developing a free filtering module, Drupal based websites will have a clear advantage over the competition. This will rebalance the power between the tech giants and small companies, as instead of having to pay for the software developed by Google or Facebook for example, the companies will have it for free provided by Drupal. With this, small companies will have an extra incentive to adopt or migrate to Drupal. In this case, Drupal is going to be their knight in shining armor.

Who is exempt from Article 13

In an attempt to not completely destroy the start-up ecosystem, the EU has put a couple of “mitigation measures” in place that platforms have to adopt in order to not be liable for the unauthorised content that the users are uploading.

These “mitigation measures” are as follows:

  1. All platforms must make “best efforts” to license copyrighted works uploaded by their users. A lot of this will basically fall upon how “best efforts” will be interpreted. This rather vague term is troublesome, since having to pay so many licenses will basically be impossible for smaller players in the field.

  2. In addition to this, all platforms will have to make “best efforts to take down works upon notice from rightsholders”. There is nothing new here since this was already an obligation that platform already had under the E-Commerce Directive.

  3. Additionally, all the platforms with 5 million monthly users will have to make sure that the removed copyrighted content will remain removed. What this means is that these platforms will have to bring filters to the game, in order to prevent the re-upload of the content.

  4. Lastly, all platforms that are older than 3 years and have more than 10 million yearly revenue will have to make “best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works for which the rightsholders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information.''

 

In light of these exceptions to the rule, only a small amount of platforms and companies will not be held accountable, for a short period of time,  for the unauthorised content that is uploaded to their website.

Articles' 13 little brother, Article 11

Besides Article 13, another article was approved, Article 11. This one is a little easier to digest. Article 11 aims to target news aggregators like Google or Apple, who use AI-driven algorithms to find the most important news of the day.  Basically it helps news outlets to generate more money for the content they create, by imposing a tax on the snippet of information that is shared on the search engines or on social media. Now, news outlets will be able to charge Facebook a tax for sharing the snippet of information with the audience. This may lead to a decrease in the amount of news you see shared on social media, since now, it is going to be more expensive to do so. This might affect smaller news publishers to grow a bigger audience, because it is going to be harder to gain exposure. However, only time will tell the outcome of this directive.

How will these changes affect you as a site owner?

Basically, website owners will have to think carefully about the content that is present on their website. This will mean that when you are hosting a website, you have to make sure that you already have a license for the content that you share on there. Also, when embedding a video or sharing a snippet of information from a blog on your website, you are going to have to be sure that you have the copyrights in place, while also having to mind the tax for sharing the blog information. If this is not the case, then you either have to take down the unapproved content or you might be liable to face legal action. Either way, the consequences for breaching the copyright law are yet to be defined.

How will you be affected as a regular user?

In the case that you are a designer, musician, photographer, blogger or any other profession that creates content which can be published online, you will be entitled to copyright your creations. After that, you will be able to track down however is sharing your content without your permission and either ask for some kind of compensation or ask for your content to be removed from their website. If the other party does not comply, then you will be eligible to take legal action. This is how it has always been. However, you might have trouble when trying to upload content on the internet since the filters might regard your content as copyright, even though it is not intended to be so, effectively affecting the content that can be posted and also consumed by the people from Europe.

There is still time to adapt

Keep in mind that the Article 13 and Article 11 are basically European directives. Meaning that every member state will have 2 years, after the decision was taken, at their disposal to be able to interpret and adopt the laws as they see fit. What this means is that website owners will have plenty of time to make adjustments to their websites in order to adapt to the new directive.

Mar 27 2019
Mar 27

The biggest reason why customers are leaving is usually the fact that they have received an unsatisfactory service or product from the company. Nowadays, consumers are quick to penalize a company for an unsatisfactory experience. On top of that they are well aware that their influence in the marketplace is stronger than ever, are willing to use that power to influence your companies reputation for both good or ill. The leading causes for customers leaving is that the company or brand is not taking into consideration the customer needs. On top of that, providing a poor customer support and not learning from the feedback also adds up to the customers leaving. Naturally, not every customer experience can be a positive one, at some point there are bound to be some mistakes, maybe a parcel is delivered on the wrong address or the product delivered is in poor condition. Now, when those situations arise, the customer is taking into account how the company is responding to those situations. If the client has the feeling that he is putting more effort in fixing the problem than the company, then he is way more inclined to spread the word about his bad experience to others, while also being more prone towards switching brands altogether.

Mar 21 2019
Mar 21

The value that the community brings to the development of Drupal

Drupal is known for the community that it has amassed as an open source software. But what is the value that the community brings to the development of Drupal?

First off, drupal is an open source CMS. What that means is that everybody can download and mingle with it. Because of this, Drupal has gathered a community of supportive members. Soon, the community has started to actively contribute with code and ways to further developed and improve Drupal. Drupal has more than 42,000 modules that were developed by the community. On top of that, regular security issues are discovered and fixed by the members in their own free time. Also, users are taking their time to answer questions posted on forums by new members to guide them in the Drupal world. This has led Drupal to be known as one of the most active, helpful, dedicated and loyal communities in the world.

DrupalCon Nashville 2018 Copyright Amazee Labs

Photo's DrupalCon Nashville 2018 copyright Amazee Labs

We all come together at DrupalCon

So where do the members of the community spend their time when not sitting in front a of a screen coding?

Well, the biggest event of the year is the DrupalCon. Every year it takes place in another location. With two conventions scheduled for 2019, one in sleepless Seattle and the other in incredible Amsterdam, DrupalCon is sure to gather a big crowd this year. Activities which are scheduled include keynotes with inspiring figures from inside and outside the community, trainings, summits, birds of a feather meetings and diverse social events.

DrupalCon is a great opportunity to meet and connect with new people, while acquiring more knowledge about Drupal and the direction it's heading in. On top of that, there is a chance of engaging into conversation with highly skilled people with expert knowledge in their domain, which can guide you and give you tips and tricks on what to do. So, if you’re a Drupal enthusiast, be sure to grab a ticket, pack your luggage and join the biggest Drupal social event of the year.

DrupalCon Nashville 2018 Copyright Amazee Labs

Photo's Drupal Camp Vienna 2015 copyright Amazee Labs

Cosy get-togethers in Drupal Camps

Now that we talked about the biggest social event of the year, Drupalcon, we can take a look at what the Drupal community is doing for the rest of the year. The community also organises smaller events, throughout the year, for regional groups of people. These meetings are more frequent than the DrupalCons. The activities which are undertaken in those camps are usually talks held by speakers on different subjects of interest to the community. The camps also offer training talks for beginners. The main focus of these type of events is to find out more about Drupal, share your Drupal experience and also to meet the local Drupal community.

List upcoming Drupal camps:

Name of the Camp Date Location Nerd Summit 2019 16-17.03.2019 United States, Amherst MidCamp 2019 20-23.03.2019 United States, Chicago Frone End Accesibility Summit 08.04.2019 United States, Seattle DrupalCamp Spain 6-12.05.2019 Spain, Conil de la Frontera Drupaldelphia 10.05.2019 United States, Philadelphia Secure Open Source Day - Haarlem Edition 11.05.2019 Netherlands, Haarlem Stanford DrupalCamp 17-18.05.2019 United States, Stanford Frontend United 17-18.05.2019 Netherlands, Utrecht DrupalCamp Belarus 17-18.05.2019 Belarus, Minsk DrupalCamp Kyiv 25-26.05.2019 Ukraine, Kyiv Flyover Camp 31-02.06.2019 United States, Kansas City DrupalCamp Poland 31-02.06.2019 Poland, Wrocław Drupal Developer Days 10-14.06.2019 Romania, Cluj-Napoca Save the Date - Design 4 Drupal Boston 26-28.06.2019 United States, Cambridge DrupalCamp Asheville 2019 12-14.07.2019 United States, Asheville DrupalCamp Colorado 02-04.08.2019 United States, Denver Cornell DrupalCamp 26-27.09.2019 United States, Ithaca DrupalSouth Hobart 27-29.11.2019 Australia, Hobart

How are new Drupal users integrated?

Now that we know how the Drupal community likes to spend its time, we can have a look at how the newcomers are being integrated in the community. First, the newbies can attend training sessions which are held on multiple occasions over the course of the year, with different locations. So, if you’re getting an interest in Drupal but don’t know where to start, you can search for the nearest Drupal beginner onboarding camp to find more about Drupal and the Drupal community. On top of that, you can also rely on the Drupal community forums by posting questions there and letting a more experienced user answer your question.

DrupalCon Nashville 2018 Copyright Amazee Labs

Community spotlight photo collection, indidual images' rights belong to their respectful owners. Collage created by Sooperthemes and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

Drupal community spotlight

Drupals open source means that everybody can get involved, making the community vibrant and full of inspirational stories. The community has the spotlight section where there are numerous articles about different members of the community and their journey from being a beginner to a well respected member and contributor.

Ildephonse Bikino

Another inspiring story is that of Ildephonse Bikino. He discovered Drupal through his job. He had the opportunity to attend the DrupalCon from 2016 held in New Orleans via a scholarship provided by the Drupal Association. There, he saw the opportunities that the open source software can bring. This led him to host his first Drupal Global Training Day in Rwanda, where he was expecting a number of 50 atendees. However, to his surprise, this number quickly grew and he had a list of 388 participants. Not wanting to turn his back on the Drupal enthusiasts he rose to the challenge and transformed a one day training into eight sessions spread across multiple weekends. This way, he made sure that every Drupal enthusiast received a proprer training. His dedication to the cause is what makes him a trully inspiring person and gives us a reason to tell his story.

Kevin Thull

Another great spotlight is the one about Kevin Thull. He got involved into Drupal through freelancing and started really getting involved with the community by the time the book Using Drupal 6 came out. He is known for being the mastermind behind the recording of the different Drupal events. He started recording drupal camps back in 2013. At first, everybody questioned his decision, however, he stayed true to his belief, that it is important to record those events. To date, he is personally responsible for recording over 800 sessions and giving up countless of hours of his time to achieve this feat. He was awarded with the Aaron Winborn Award in 2018 for his contribution to the Drupal community.

Rachel Olivero

For example, we have the case of Rachel Olivero which has recently passed away. She first started getting involved with the community at the DrupalCon 2017 in her hometown of Baltimore, where she participated for the first time in a code sprint and also reported her first bug. She was engaging constantly with the community on social platforms. As a blind person, she led an accesibility breakthrough at DrupalCon Nashville. She was always sharing her knowledge and expertise regarding this topic. Her aim was to make life easier for the users with disabilities. She understood the importance of diversity and so she was also engaged with the Drupal Diversity and Inclusion Team. Although she was part of the community for a short period of time, she left her mark through her actions and her contributions.

Aaron Winborn and the award named after him

The Aaron Winborn Award, also known as the “Academy Award” of the Drupal Association is an honor given to the members of the Drupal community that show personal integrity, kindness and an above-and-beyond commitment to the community. It was named in the honor of Aaron Winborn, a big community contributor which passed away after losing a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. A specific disease which causes the death of the neurons that are controlling voluntary muscles. In order to remember the contribution which Aaron Winbord has brought to the Drupal community, the award was named after him after his death in 2015. To date, the award was given to 4 people which had a big contribution to the community and namely Cathy Theys, Gábor Hojtsy, Nikki Stevens and Kevin Thull. Right now, the nominations for the next awarding are open, so be sure to nominate your favourite member of the Drupal community.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the community is of utmost importance to the development of Drupal. The community is what keeps the CMS alive, while also in a costant state of evolution. Drupal has made it possible for people of different cultural backgrounds to cooperate and stand united for the same cause.  This reflects well on the unofficial motto ,"Come for the code, stay for the community".

Mar 14 2019
Mar 14

Using Drupal as your default CMS undoubtedly has advantages, however it also comes with its negative sides. The price you have to pay for its customizability, is the complexity and steep learning curve. Here at Sooperthemes, we have thought of you and developed an easy-to-use solution for you: Glazed Builder. With this visual Drupal page builder, you and your team of content creators and marketeers will be able to create rich content and beautiful web pages for your business, without having to touch a line of code.

In this article, I present to you 8 ways through which a visual page builder like Glazed Builder can further create value for your business.

 

1. Cut in half your landing page costs and time-to-market

Having a good landing page is paramount to the success of your business. However, it takes plenty of time and money to find the right people and tools to do it. With Glazed Builder as your Drupal 8 page builder however, creating a landing page has never been easier, cheaper and faster. Content creators and marketeers will be able to to create a visually stunning landing page in a matter of minutes, without having to rely on the IT department.

2. Stress less: Reduce employee turnover in your content team with true WYSIWYG

Are your employees stressed that the webpage they are building is going to look completely different than they imagined? Well, with Glazed Builder, your content creators will experience true WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). That means that whatever they have imagined for your webpage is going to be their final result. No more senseless stress for your content creating team.

3. Get twice as much Drupal site-building work done by your most expensive staff: Developers

Developers, they are the most expensive members of your staff. However, they do not get work done as fast as you would like. The way to increase productivity is to have developers use Glazed Builder as your default Drupal page builder to build dynamic pages and dashboards that leverage drupal's block and views systems. This way, you will make their job easier while also increasing their productivity.

4. Same-day web design and publishing by using the pre-built templates

You need to launch a webpage in a matter of hours and you don’t have the inspiration necessary to design a layout? Fret not, Glazed Builder, the Drupal page builder, has you covered. With a plethora of templates available, you just have to select the right template for your business, insert your content, and post it. It has never been easier.

5. Content creators will produce better, more effective content than your competitors.

Do you want to stand-out from your competition in terms of content creation? Glazed Builder can help you and your content creators unleash their creativity. With an endless amount of customizability, Glazed Builder is sure to provide the right tools and power for your content creators to achieve their wildest dreams. When it comes to customizability, with Glazed Builder, the sky's the limit.

6. Reduce onboarding time and training costs: Reduce Drupal’s steep learning curve for content creators and marketeers

Every time there is a new tool introduced to your business, you have to pay a large amount of money for training your employees. The same is applicable for Drupal, since it is a highly complex CMS, it has a steep learning curve and requires highly skilled developers to be able to make it truly shine. However, Glazed Builder was engineered to be able to be used by even the most non-tech savvy of its users. This way, your staff will be able to quickly understand how to operate the visual builder and you will be able to reduce the time and money spent on training your personnel.

7. Save thousands on cloud hosting costs with a frontend tool that runs in your browser, not in your cloud

If you're thinking that a Drupal 8 website with the additional features of Glazed Builder requires a beefy server, you're wrong! 90% of Glazed Builder's magic is happening in the browser. Even our Drupal 8 demo sites with hundreds of demo content items run perfectly fine on affordable shared hosting solutions like our favorite Drupal hosting A2Hosting.

8. Better performance attracts a bigger number of visitors on your webpage

Even if you have top-notch content on your website, it’s irrelevant when it takes a long time to load. Most site visitors don’t have patience when it comes to loading a webpage, they would simply exit and visit the next one if it takes too much time. However, Drupal is the fastest out of the bunch when it comes to speed. It takes the least amount of time to load a page, which means that the likelihood of visitors leaving significantly drops.

 

Conclusion on Drupal Page Builder

Now that you know all of this, what are you waiting for?

Start improving your business today by using our visual page like Glazed Builder.

Mar 06 2019
Mar 06

What is inbound marketing?

So what is inbound marketing exactly? Well, some professionals are calling it “new marketing”. This type of marketing is focusing on delivering value upfront to your potential customers. This way, your potential customers will have already benefited from your marketing efforts before having to contribute with something of value to them. Inbound marketing is focused on delivering value, creating trust and developing a loyal and supportive customer base for your awesome brand.

What are the main pillars of inbound marketing?

So, what is the framework on which inbound marketing is operating? Well, inbound marketing has at its core three main concepts: 

  • Attract: The first pillar is the attraction, which inbound marketing aims to generate. Inbound marketing is not only focusing on attracting leads, but it focuses on attracting the right type of leads, the ones which are more likely to convert and buy or use your services and products and ultimately become your happy customers. Instead of preying on the attention of the potential customer, it instead lets the customer come to your business on his own accord and on his own terms. In order to create this attraction, you have to use the content marketing strategy. What this means is that you have to create relevant content for your ideal customer. The content can come in various forms such as blog posts, informational videos, articles, books, e-books etc.

  • Engage: Now that you have attracted the right kind of leads, you cannot sit back and relax with a piña colada in your hand. The next step is to further engage with your leads. To do this, you can engage in conversations with your leads through different mediums, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, E-mail, bots, live chat, etc. This is an important step because it facilitates the opportunity to foster important relationships with your audience. Next, you have to capture the information of your prospects by using conversion tools such as CTA, forms and lead flows. This will help you in creating a personalized experience for your prospects on your website. When people feel that their experience was optimized for them, it creates trust and brand loyalty.

  • Delight: The final pillar of the inbound marketing is delight. How do you delight your prospects you might wonder. It’s easy, now that you have collected relevant information about your leads, you can further engage with your audience by using marketing automation and conversations. This will ensure that your Emails are targeting the right people with the right information every time. On top of that, create content that your leads will be happy to share with their family, friends, pets etc. Bonus points, if you deliver this content in your audience's favorite content format, like video for example.

Inbound marketing vs. outbound marketing

Now that you have a clearer understanding of what inbound marketing means, let’s take a look at what outbound marketing is and how the two of them compare.

Outbound marketing refers to any kind of marketing where a company is sending out a message to the audience. In outbound marketing, companies are competing for the attention of the customers. How do they do that? Well, in order to grab their attention, companies who use outbound marketing are usually interrupting their audience right in a moment when they are focused on something else with an ad that is totally irrelevant for them. Outbound marketing uses a “spray and pray” strategy in the hopes of collecting leads. What this means, is that they try to show their message to as many people as possible and hope to get noticed. However, because of this approach, people are increasingly getting more desensitized to the outbound marketing, meaning that people have learned to ignore the traditional types of marketing. On top of that, the advent of ad blockers has made it increasingly more difficult for marketers to get their message to reach their audience. The consequences of this being that outbound marketing becomes increasingly expensive, while generating low yields.

But how does inbound and outbound marketing compare in terms of statistics? Well, according to the statistics, inbound leads cost 61% less than outbound. On top of that, businesses that rely on inbound marketing are saving more than 14$ dollars per new acquired customer. 79% percent of business that have a blog report positive ROI for inbound marketing. Around 80% of business decision makers prefer to get their information out of a series of articles rather than advertisements. Properly implemented inbound marketing strategy is 10 times more effective for lead conversion than outbound marketing. The average cost per lead is dropping by 80% after 5 months of consistent inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is 62% cheaper than outbound marketing and it triples the leads.

Now, taking into account these statistics, it’s clear that inbound marketing is more efficient than traditional marketing.

How can inbound marketing influence your Drupal Business?

But how is this relevant to my Drupal business you might ask? Well, first of all, by creating awesome content for your business you will be able to attract the right type of leads, the ones that are already interested in your business or in the field that your business operates in. These leads are more likely to convert to happy customers. On top of that, you will significantly reduce your costs for marketing, all while generating more quality leads and creating awesome value and content for your prospects.

Another cool aspect of inbound marketing for your Drupal business is that it generates leads long after the content was posted, as long as it is updated from time to time. Think of inbound marketing as a long term investment in your business. You make the investment now and you reap the benefits over a longer period of time, than for example with outbound marketing. On top of that, and inbound marketing strategy won't stop working in case you run out of budget. Blogs, articles and videos posted on your website will still continue to generate traffic long after you have run out of budget, which is another great perk of doing inbound marketing.

Another great aspect of adopting an inbound marketing strategy for your Drupal business, is that it provides a clear overview over the Return on Investment. Traditional outbound marketing is really ineffective when it comes to measuring how many people see your advert. Inbound marketing on the other hand provides a transparent examination over the results that it generates and the impact that those leads have on you business's ROI.

Conclusion

Marketing is an ever evolving profession and people have to be constantly keeping up with the latest trends and emerging technologies in order to stay ahead of the game. The same goes for inbound marketing, it is a new way of doing marketing, which is essentially the opposite of the “old school marketing”. Now, companies and people have to adapt to a new “cool kid on the block”, but for the best results, like all things in life, a balance has to be achieved between outbound and inbound marketing.

Feb 26 2019
Feb 26

Turmoil in the Drupal community?

Considering the fact that there are around 800.000 websites currently operating on Drupal 7, there will be a huge resource drain for upgrading to the latest installment. Not only will be it be an expensive feat to achieve, but also time demanding. Quite frankly speaking, there is not enough time to be able to upgrade all of the Drupal 7 websites and also not enough Drupal developers to be able to take on the workload. So, what do you think, is it feasable for so many websites to upgrade to Drupal 9 in such a short period of time?

Drupal 9 will be released in the summer of 2020

Drupal 8 has been released on November 19, 2015, this makes it 3 years old already. Its successor, Drupal 9, is making its way towards a release. Drupal 9 is scheduled to be released on 3rd June in 2020. But what does this mean for Drupal 7 and 8?

For starters, Drupal 8 and 7 will stop receiving support in 2021. This is mainly because Symfony 3, one of the biggest dependencies of Drupal 8, will stop receiving support. Drupal 7 will not be backed up by the official community and by the Drupal association on Drupal.org. What this means is that the automated testing services for Drupal 7 will be shut down. On top of that, the Drupal Security Team will stop providing security patches. If you are not able to upgrade to Drupal 9, there will still be some organisations that will provide Drupal 7 Vendor Extended Support, which will be a paid service. However, despite this, there will be a approximately year's worth of time to be able to plan for and upgrade to the latest installment of Drupal.

Overview over the consequences for Drupal 7

What this means for your Drupal 7 sites is, as of November 2021:

  • Drupal 7 will no longer be supported by the community at large. The community at large will no longer create new projects, fix bugs in existing projects, write documentation, etc. around Drupal 7.
  • There will be no more core commits to Drupal 7.
  • The Drupal Security Team will no longer provide support or Security Advisories for Drupal 7 core or contributed modules, themes, or other projects. Reports about Drupal 7 vulnerabilities might become public creating 0 day exploits.
  • All Drupal 7 releases on all project pages will be flagged as not supported. Maintainers can change that flag if they desire to.
  • On Drupal 7 sites with the update status module, Drupal Core will show up as unsupported.
  • After November 2021, using Drupal 7 may be flagged as insecure in 3rd party scans as it no longer gets support.
  • Best practice is to not use unsupported software, it would not be advisable to continue to build new Drupal 7 sites.
  • Now is the time to start planning your migration to Drupal 8.

Source: https://www.drupal.org/psa-2019-02-25

Drupal promises a smooth upgrade to Drupal 9

Good news is that, the change from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will not be as abrupt as the change from Drupal 7 to 8 was. This is because Drupal 9 will be based off of Drupal 8, in fact, the first release of Drupal 9 will be similar to the last release of Drupal 8. In short, there will be some new features added, the deprecated code will be removed and the dependenciess will be updated, however, the Drupal experience will not be reinvented. Now, in order to have really smooth upgrade, the only thing necessary is to keep your Drupal 8 updated at all times. This will ensure that your upgrade will come as fluid as possible, without many inconveniences.

What is the best course of action to follow when upgrading to Drupal 9

Well, at first, you have a couple of options at your disposal:

  1. You either wait for Drupal 9 to be launched and then make the change from 7 directly to 9.
  2. You make first the change to Drupal 8 from 7, which is going to be an abrupt change anyway, and then you prepare for the change to Drupal 9.
  3. Your final option would be to find a new CMS altogether, which would be the most resource hungry option out of all. 

So, considering the choices you have at hand, the best of the bunch would be to start preparing for upgrade to Drupal 8 and then, when the time comes, to Drupal 9. By doing this, you will have enough time to plan ahead your upgrade roadmap, without having to compromise on the quality of the upgrade by rushing it. On top of that, this is an opportunity to review how good your website is at attracting leads and converting those leads to sales. Moreso, you can check if your website is still in line with your enterprise vision and mission statement, if not, then here is an opportunity to make your site reflect the beforenamed aspects of your business.

Even though change might look scary to some of you, this is an opportunity to also evaluate and improve your online digital presence. So make use of this chance at its fullest to create and provide a better online environment for your potential and current customers.

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

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