Nov 27 2018
Nov 27

The internet is continuously evolving and new web technologies emerge on a regular basis. Users expect more personalized experiences, greater connectivity among devices and interactive elements to guide their navigation on the web. In order to keep up-to-date, big organizations started looking into alternatives for the common practice of running websites on proprietary software which can prove to be costly to maintain in an ever-evolving market. Open source software has come a long way during the past years, and became more and more popular among big companies, governmental websites and NGOs thanks to the versatility and quality they are able to provide. Currently open source serves as the main substitute for proprietary licensed sites. Before we dive into talking about why Drupal is the CMS of choice for organizational websites, let's take a look at some of the technical terms used throughout the article:

Technical Terms

  • Open Source Software - a program or software in which the source code is available to the general public for use and/or modification from its original design.
  • Content Management System (CMS) - a software that facilitates creating, editing, organizing, and publishing content for a website.
  • Content Management Framework (CMF) - a system that facilitates the use of reusable components or customized software for managing web content
  • Proprietary Software - software that is the intellectual property of the developer(s), the source code for which is closed and usually owned by the organization

Why Drupal?

Drupal can be described as both a content management system and content management framework as it strives to have the strengths of both. It is a free to use software and is distributed under the GNU general public license which guarantees end-users the freedom to run, study and modify the software to meet their needs. Over 2.3% of the all sites choose Drupal as the trusted CMS to run their website on. Drupal’s popularity rises among the top sites that generate high traffic and work with sensitive data. According to BuiltWith CMS Usage Distribution ranking, 6.57% of the top 100k websites and 9.69% of the top 10k websites currently use Drupal.

While there are multiple open source software organizations can opt for, each of them with their own strengths and benefits, top organizations, enterprises and businesses often prefer Drupal and there is a good reasoning for that.

Flexibility and Scalability

One of the main things that has to be taken into consideration when building a professional website is the flexibility and scalability of the software the website runs on. Drupal is one of the most flexible and scalable CMS for building essentially any kind of website. It flourishes in how flexible it is due to its modular approach in site building. Whether you are considering building a news, government, higher education, enterprise or NGO website, it’s all a matter of creatively combining the right modules and custom code to build a truly unique experience for the visitors. On the Drupal website there are tens of thousands of modules which continuously receive support from the community developers in order to meet the latest digital trends. It is also possible to integrate Drupal with external services and other applications in a business’ infrastructure. Highly customized websites that require scalability and work with large amount of information are going to find Drupal perfectly capable of handling the workflow. It was built specifically for creating complex pages and handling high user traffic. Famous for its power, Drupal is able to contain thousands of users and web pages without sacrificing site performance or loading time of the pages.

IT Cost Reduction

Websites who run a proprietary licensed website are locked in with the vendor and depend on developers to implement new features, manage website content, maintain it and take care of security issues that might arise. Also, if at some point the company decides to migrate the site to a different platform, it will require a lot of time and big financial investments in the IT department. Depending on how big a website is, its longevity usually lasts between 2 and 5 years until it needs to be completely rebuilt in order to stay up-to-date with latest trends in web development. By using Drupal, companies can dramatically reduce licensing costs and general spending on the total cost of ownership for their website. Furthermore, by using a Drupal visual page editor such as Glazed Builder, it is easy to train the staff members to manage and edit website content on a daily basis, eliminating the need to go through developers every time new content needs to be published or edited.

Excellent security

Drupal’s ability to prevent security vulnerabilities is one of the crucial advantages of the CMS, and one of the prime reasons websites who work with sensitive data opt for Drupal instead of other available CMS. Drupal meets Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) security standards and addresses the critical security risks, including the Top 10 identified by OWASP. Drupal also has a dedicated security team who provides advice to project maintainers, educate the Drupal community on security topics, identify vulnerabilities and make improvements related to security in core and contributed projects. Furthermore, the community and developers also treat security at the highest level, establishing a good issue tracking system and a large install base - therefore security vulnerabilities are detected and fixed quickly.

Easy Content Authoring and Management

Drupal provides intuitive tools for creating content, managing workflow and easy publishing for everyone engaged in supporting online content: site administrators, business decision makers, marketers, content managers, technical architects and IT professionals. Site administrators are able to give permission to other staff members to perform administrative tasks. For example, on a newspaper website you can give editors, writers and publishers access to the tools that each of them specifically requires. Website maintainers have access to monitor all changes and revisions made, which works perfectly for organizations that have multiple editors and need to keep track of previously made changes to the site content. Right out of the box, Glazed Builder also provides a role editor where you can provide just the right authoring and marketing tools to just the right people. 

One of the Biggest Dedicated Communities

Drupal community is its biggest and most valuable asset. There is a common saying among Drupal enthusiasts which goes “Come for the Code, Stay for the Community!” - and it resembles the culture that lays behind Drupal. Being one of the biggest open source online communities, more than 1 million passionate developers, designers, trainers, strategists, coordinators, editors and sponsors work together towards achieving one goal: making the web a better place for everyone. That includes improving the software and keeping it up-to-date to meet the latest demands of online technologies and maintain the high-end service that Drupal provides, provide support, write documentation, and last but not least help organize and participate in amazing Drupal events that shape the future of the CMS!

Nov 16 2018
Nov 16

Take content authoring one step further with the new User Profiles feature. Site administrators can now limit what users with specific Drupal roles get to see in the Glazed Builder Interface. Profiles give you total control over who has access to specific Glazed Builder elements, Drupal blocks, views display and CKEditor buttons. We made profiles into configuration entities, therefore they are also exportable in both Drupal 8 and Drupal 7 - this could be achieved by using the feature module. 
To set up a new Glazed Builder Profile go to Configuration>Content Authoring on your Drupal administration panel and select Glazed Builder.  By clicking "+Add Glazed Builder Profile" button  we are now able to configure a new User Profile based on: Roles, Glazed elements, Drupal blocks, Views, CKEditor buttons (inline & modal editing).

Help Center: New Documentation

Nov 08 2018
Nov 08

The real cost of creating and maintaining a new website can be hard to estimate even for the best among Drupal professionals. By using the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) methodology, organizations can ensure that both direct and indirect expenses of operating a website are considered and calculated rather than just emphasize on the initial spending. In this article we are going to take a look at what are the Drupal costs of owning a website versus using a proprietary software.

There are some key considerations to decide on before diving into building a website:

  1. Open Source vs. Proprietary License
  2. Creating and Managing Web Content
  3. Re-designing and Updating Content
  4. Future Upgrades and Longevity
  5. Long Term Savings

Custom Code - a necessity of the past?

Owning the custom code for your website has its own pros and cons, and in some cases it can still prove to be the most feasible choice depending on your website's needs. If you asked web developers a few years ago whether you should opt for a custom framework or open source CMS when building your website, they would tell you that open source CMS limit website's capabilities and features while with custom coding it's possible to adapt to any needs and necessary requirements. This has been changing at a fast pace since open source software started rapidly evolving and covering more and more ground in the industry. For example Drupal's exponential growth and limitless space for scalability has become rather impressive and hard to ignore for big organizations. Currently, Drupal serves as a direct competitor to the concept of custom code: people being able to integrate, twist and change the CMS to get the precise results they expect for their website. With the introduction of Drupal 8, new APIs have been integrated in the CMS which allow for supporting a decoupled Drupal site through Restful Web Services API, enhance user experience by faster page rendering and better caching protocols, as well as Drupal translation API which adjusts the language on your website depending on where the viewers lives - things that would have only been possible through custom code in the past. Not to say that building a custom code is unpractical, but in most cases the benefits that Drupal brings out-scales the custom framework, eventually saving organizations time, money and help them prevent future complications that might arise due to the custom.

1. Open Source vs. Proprietary License

Choosing a content management system (CMS) for a website is one of the fundamental decisions that has to be made before moving on to making other decisions. When talking about CMS, there are 2 directions a company can take: using an open source CMS such as Drupal or proprietary licensed software. If an organization opts for a Proprietary License, they have to regularly invest in the IT department that will take care to implement new website features, updates and support. Open Source CMS are continuously evolving and the bugs are discovered and fixed quicker due to a dedicated community of developers working to improve the CMS. Companies have the freedom to run it on numerous websites resulting in significantly reduced costs and can adapt the software to meet their business requirements. Besides, to further increase the functionality and convenience of the CMS, organizations can opt for using custom modules that enable Drag and Drop content management. For example our Glazed Builder module is currently one of the most powerful Drupal editors and is seamlessly integrated with both Drupal 8 and 7. Compared to the costs of proprietary license, Drupal costs are practically minimal, the CMS is more versatile (you're not stuck to a single software & its attributes) and it gives the organizations the power and freedom to build any kind of website.

2. Creating and Managing Web Content

Creating and managing content on your website on a regular basis is part of the daily routine for many stakeholders in large websites. Every open source CMS provides the necessary tools and flexibility to create new pages or edit already existing ones. In most cases this will still require assistance from a developer who will be responsible for handling it, but it doesn't necessarily have to. Thanks to the development of content editors and page builders such as Glazed Builder, managing and creating content is something anyone can do without relying on IT. They eliminate the need to go through the IT Department every time a change needs to be made on the website. This also drastically reduces IT costs and saves precious time, both could be re-invested in other company assets to deliver more value to consumers. On the other hand, managing content on proprietary website can prove to be quite a challenge, therefore there will always be a need for dedicated developers who are familiar with the software to systematically add and edit pages. 

3. Re-designing and Updating Content

The web environment is continuously evolving and changing at a fast pace. Along with it grows the customer expectations towards customers' online experiences and the value a website can deliver for them. In order to keep up and stay ahead of the competition, businesses need to periodically refresh their website's overall look and stay ahead by implementing new features that storm the web on a regular basis. It is also important to systematically update content in order to keep the information relevant, up-to-date and interesting for the visitor. When building a website, it is necessary to compare the long-term costs and available tools needed for re-designing the website and updating content. Open source software shines when it comes to empowering organizations in this aspect, Drupal having the reputation of the most flexible CMS makes it easy and convenient for organizations to create a new look for the website. Moreover, organizations can implement already made themes that suit their business model or create custom, unique themes by using page builders. Sooperthemes Glazed Builder gives you the control over every visual element on the website and makes it easy to modify them anytime in order to update and maintain content on main pages, product pages, landing pages, etc. 

4. Future Upgrades and Longevity

A website can last between 2-5 years before it needs a fresh re-design or to be completely rebuilt. The incentives that motivate businesses to upgrade their digital assets can include: security reasons, dated website, meeting Google SEO requirements or the necessity to keep up-to-date with the new technologies that emerge every year. Building organizational websites on a platform that grants the ability to be expanded and twisted to meet the latest trends in web technologies will prove to be a lifesaver when the time comes to upgrade the website. It will also eliminate the possibility to have to start building the website from scratch just because the proprietary foundation it was built on from the beginning does not allow for scalability. Drupal is known to be at the top of the industry when it comes to upgrades and space for future scalability. Drupal handles high-traffic websites with ease, maintaining minimum load times even at the highest peaks.

5. Drupal Costs & Long Term Savings

Analyzing the total cost of ownership of your website before starting to build it will save your organization a lot of money and time in the long run. These retained resources could be re-invested in other company facets that will add value for both the business and the end consumer. The costs of maintaining the website on a daily basis could be significantly reduced by using an open source software like Drupal. A good example is the Georgia Technology (GTA) case. When GTA decided to migrate 65 websites to Drupal, it resulted in 65% decrease on platform operational costs and costs associated with support decreased by 75% respectively. In the long term, the costs of operating a website on a Porprietary Licensed Software exceeds the Drupal costs by far. Unless there are very specific requirements for operating your website that could only be achieved with a Proprietary Software, Drupal will play a big part in minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership for an organizational website.

Oct 22 2018
Oct 22

Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers united by one goal: unite people and take action to create a lasting, meaningful change. It is a non-political and non-sectarian organization open to anyone, regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, gender, or political reference. Rotary consists of 34,000+ member clubs worldwide, as well as 1.2 million individuals, known as Rotarians, who all work towards solving important global problems, such as: fighting disease, growing local economies, promoting peace, providing clean water, saving mothers & children and support education. 
The object of Rotary is to encourage and foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:

  • The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service.
  • High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian's occupation as an opportunity to serve society.
  • The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian's personal, business, and community life.
  • The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service.

Rotary chose Drupal as the primary CMS for their website due to its flexibility and extensibility. The wide variety of modules and distributions assist Rotary with the best web technology solutions for providing, managing and distributing content.

7. Global Impact | Charity.org

Oct 10 2018
Oct 10

The Main Menu on your website is the first thing that catches visitor’s attention. Besides, it’s one of the most important elements that will assist the user in an effortless and intuitive navigation. In this article we are going to talk about how to design a Drupal Drop-down Menu with Glazed Theme.

Before diving into customizing our Main Menu, learn How to Create Drop-down menus with Drupal 8 and Glazed Theme.

To start customizing our menu design we need to go to the Glazed Theme Settings page. Amongst a dozen of options that are directly responsible for every element of your website design and how the end-user sees it, we are going to find the Header & Main Menu - the place that will change how our menu looks like.

Header & Main Menu

When navigating to the Header & Main Menu, first thing that will come to our attention is the “Top Header Options”.
Clicking it will open an entire new world of possibilities. Here We can choose 1 of the 7 layouts that come pre-installed with Glazed Builder. A layout for every taste! Depending on what you want to choose for your website, you can pick between having your logo on the left and menu on the right, which is the default layout that you are already familiar with (spoiler: the one on this website), having everything beautifully aligned in the center, place the menu on the left, or several others.

Header style is probably one of the most important settings here and will determine the overall look and feel for your website (will it be more minimalistic or will it have a more “heavy” look to it?). We are able to choose between 3 general types of header styles: Normal, Overlay or Pull-down Navbar.

You can see examples of each header style and header layouts on the Glazed Theme Live Demo Page.

Each one of these options look great when implemented, but they are going to need some further refinements to look exactly how you imagined. This brings us to our next element: Height. Choosing the height value will determine how tall or short our main menu will be. Once we got our perfect Height settings we will move on to deciding whether or not we would like our Menu to have a fixed position. A fixed header stays at the top of the browser window when a user scrolls.

Behavior of the Drupal Drop-Down Menu

If we decide that we want our menu to stick to the top of the browser when people scroll, then another option will pop-out asking us if we would also like a sticky header – which basically means that the menu will appear only after the user scrolls past a certain point on your page, only then will it stick to the top of his or her window. This will be determined by the scroll offset, height & background opacity values that you decide on.
Congrats! You’re past all the technical aspects of your gorgeous Menu bar. (Well not really but for now we are moving on to the fun part - choosing the colors)

Customize Navigation Colors

Here is the place where it all comes together. You can choose colors from your website’s color scheme (Custom one you made or Glazed Default) or add individual values to each settings’ custom color. In this menu we can choose the colors for every aspect of the navigation menu: text color, drop-down background, menu hover text, etc.

After we are happy with the result we can move on to adding the final touches to our menu design.

Side Header & Mobile Menu Options

In this area you can choose the layout look on mobile devices and your side header (if you choose to opt for one in the beginning). You can determine elements such as content alignment (left/center/right) and menu bar width.

The Main Menu Link is for determining the font style and hover style of our Main Menu (both website & mobile versions).
Last but not least, by going to Mobile Header menu we will determine the mobile breakpoint and the height of our menu in order to make it even more mobile-friendly.

We have designed a brand new Main Menu for our website which will be enjoyed by the visitors and help them easily navigate to the information they are looking for!

We also created some Main Menu designs along with you so you don’t get bored doing it all by yourself. We’ll leave each settings value below. If you like any of them feel free to recreate or use them as an inspiration for your future eye-catching Main Menu.

DESIGN 1

Oct 03 2018
Oct 03

Sooperthemes Glazed Builder is a Drupal drag & drop page builder made to revolutionize the way professionals build websites with Drupal. Glazed Builder is fully integrated with both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 and gives the marketing staff, content teams and site builders the tools to do a faster, more efficient job! And guess what? You can build a fully functional website with Glazed  Builder without ever having to touch a line of code!
The builder provides 36 fully customizable elements to help you make and share beautiful and appealing content on your website without breaking a sweat. In today's blog article we are going to cover five Glazed Builder Elements and show you how to use and personalize them:

1. Countdown Timer

The first Glazed Builder Element we are going to talk about is the Countdown Timer. Using this module is a great way to create a sense of urgency about your campaign and persuade the customer to act soon if they don't want to miss a limited time offer or that amazing upcoming event your team worked so hard to put together. 

Currently there are six countdown timer styles to choose from, with the options to count to a specific day, hour, minute and second. It is also possible to set Date and Time limitations for a specific Date only, Date and Time, Time only (repeat every day) and Resetting Counter (with an interval up to 24 hours).

How to Use the Countdown Timer element

In order to create a new Countdown Timer, we are going to choose "Add Elements" by clicking the "+" icon. 

Sep 26 2018
Sep 26

If you are at least a little bit familiar with Drupal, then you most likely heard about Drupalize.

Drupalize is one of the most active players when it comes to updating their tutorials in order to keep the content up-to-date with the new features that come to Drupal 8. The material provided by them starts all the way from the Basics and Site Building, and moves on to covering more advanced topics such as Management and Strategy.

With the largest collection of Drupal premium learning videos, Drupalize has thousands of tutorials you can choose from. If you are interested in: Learning to Build Drupal Websites, Working with Drupal Themes, Becoming a Drupal Developer, Learning Drupal 8 or in an Introduction to the Drupal CMS - then Drupalized is the right choice for you!

Not sure whether or not it’s worth the investment? Check out their YouTube Playlists made in association with Lullabot, which cover topics such as: Drupal 8 User Guide, Configuration System, or How to Install Drupal for Local Development and see if the content provided by them meets your expectations.
In order to recognize contributors' hard work, Drupalize.me offers a Free Membership to the drupal.org Project Maintainers and those listed in the Drupal 8 MAINTAINERS.txt file.

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