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Jul 20 2018
Jul 20

Change can be hard and terrifying, especially at its inception. Yet, a change is what allows you to grow, evolve and progress.

I know it can get painful to take a decision as big as a migration of your Drupal 7 or 6 content management system – the one that you knew and have loved, but once done, you will know you have made the most brilliant decision, ever! Don’t just take my word for it, get hold of Drupal 8’ers (yeah, it can be a term!) and ask them. As you read on, you will know how Drupal 8 migration can play a key role in the success of your business.

It has been a while, about three years now, since Drupal 8 has made its entry into the field. The best of the Drupal community toiled for 4 years to produce this masterpiece of a CMS and finally announced its arrival in November 2015. Since then, more than 150,000 websites have migrated to Drupal 8, only to find a higher performing, robust and a more flexible solution. If you’re not ready to take the plunge yet, maybe these reasons will help you dive in.

Still on Drupal 6?

If you’re still stuck on to Drupal 6, you must know that everyone else has moved on. Today, the web has changed and so has Drupal. The Drupal community no longer supports Drupal 6 since February 2016. Which means, there will be no new modules or features to look forward to, no more bug-fixes, security updates and patches. Thus putting your website’s security at high-risk and of course depriving it of some TLC from the community. If you still want the best for your website, migrate to Drupal 8 now! Yes, you can completely skip Drupal 7. Drupal’s migrate module is now included in Drupal 8 core and makes the switch easy and fast.

High-performance Personalization

Personalized content has time and again proven to be one of the most effective content marketing strategies to improve your revenue. However, there is a fine line between personalization and being creepy. When you start using personalization the wrong way, you will look like an intruder. But when you implement it the right way, you will look like a company who cares for your consumer’s preferences and choices

Although Drupal 7 also supports personalization by providing many modules to select from, Drupal 8 makes the deal even sweeter. With personalization, there’s bound to be tons of unique content which cannot be cached. Lesser caching of a page means slower loading time, thereby driving the customer away. Drupal 8’s new BigPipe module to the rescue! It lets you segregate your page into different sections (called Pagelets) which can be rendered as they get available (Cached first). This lets you drastically improve your page’s perceived performance and speed.

Google Trends

Drupal 8 also integrates seamlessly with third-party personalization tools and our personal favourite is Acquia Lift that connects customer data with content efficiently. While Drupal 7 also provides this integration, it does not receive any new features now. The latest version of Acquia Lift in Drupal 8 features a suave in-context, drag and drop UI.

You’ve got your basics covered!

One of the most stunning features of Drupal 8 is that you have (almost) everything you need, out-of-the-box. This is why content managers are loving Drupal 8 - It’s almost like Drupal 8 has been personalized just for them.

  • Responsive websites are not a luxury anymore, they are a necessity. All of Drupal 8’s themes are responsive off-the-rack – which not only works great with all devices also makes configuration and set up of your Drupal website a lot easier.
  • A built-in, well configured WYSIWYG editor CKEditor lets you preview and edit your content in a breeze. You also have an in-place editor that lets you edit blocks, content, menus, etc. right in the same page.
  • SEO gets you noticed and out-there. With some of Drupal’s built-in powerful SEO modules , you can take your website places! Modules like SEO Checklist, PathAuto, Redirect, MetaTag, etc. are killing it!
  • The newest and most powerful version of HTML, which is HTML5 is now built-into Drupal 8. It lets you embed complex input elements like audio, video, date, email, etc with ease and better functionality across all devices.
  • Take your business global with Drupal 8’s out-of-the-box multilingual support. You can not only create pages enabled with language-based views, even the admin interface allows you to select our preferred language. The built-in content translate modules enables you to translate any content entity into different languages.

Drupal 8’s API-First Approach for better brand interaction

By the year 2020, there are going to be more than 50 billion internet connected devices. Content is now consumed via a plethora of mediums – computers, mobiles, IoTs, wearables, conversational interfaces, smart TVs… and the list keeps growing. Which means, your brand needs to interact with a lot more devices and in many more formats than just a website. Content delivery has gotten a lot more challenging.

Just so we are on the same page, an API (Application Programing Interface) is a rules or routines (functions or programs) that specifies how applications can interact with each other. For example, if you want to display the current weather on your website, you can invoke an API with websites that offer this service.

To be able to handle the content delivery challenge efficiently, content needs to be treated like well-structured data. Drupal’s API-first approach, lets you create an API before you build your website or mobile app. This futuristic approach allows you to turn content into services which can then interact with diverse devices irrespective of the formats. While Drupal 7, also supports the API-first approach with the help of additional modules, Drupal 8 comes built-in with the content-as-a-service model.

This is what our in-house expert Drupal Practice Head, Malabya Tewari has to say about Drupal 8’s API first approach – “Drupal 8 has taken this approach to another level and here’s why- REST module is now in core, where you can create own custom web-services using Views (which is also added in core in D8). It is easier to create custom REST APIs using the core REST module. Adding basic authentication is in core as well. You can get APIs, including JSON API and GraphQL, for all entities - out of the box! “

As quoted by Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert – “Drupal 8 changes everything we know about content management as we move from websites to digital experiences.” Drupal 8 comes packed with even more powerful features and functionalities like never before. If you thought Drupal 6 or 7 was amazing, wait till you experience Drupal 8. Migrate to Drupal 8.

Jun 26 2018
Jun 26
  • By: Ganesh
  • Date: 25-06-2018

When the open source Accelerated Mobile Pages project was launched 3 years ago, Google wanted to get back at Facebook's Instant Articles. With a handlful of launch partners and an aim to impact the future of content distribution on mobile devices, AMP was introduced to the world.

Fast forward to today, and Google's AMP is the hottest thing on the internet. With over 25 million website domains that have published over 4 Billion AMP pages, it did not take long for the project to be a huge success. Comprising of two main features; Speed and Support to Monetization of Objects, AMPs implications are far reaching for enterprise businesses, marketers, ecommerce and every other big and small organizations.

With great features and the fact that its origin as a Google Initiative, it is no surprise that the AMP pages get featured in Google SERP more prominently.

Why AMP??

Impacting the technical architecture of digital assets, Google's open source initiative aims to provide streamlined web pages to mobile browsers and other apps.

It is Fast, like Really Fast

AMP loads about twice as fast as a normal comparable mobile page and the latency is as less as one-tenth. Intended to provide the fastest experience for mobile users, customers will be able to access content faster, and they are more likely to stay on the page to make a purchase or enquire about your service, because they know it won't take long.

An Organic Boost

Eligibility for the AMP carousal that rests above the other search results on Google SERP, resulting in a substantial increase in organic result and traffic is a major boost for the visibilty of an organization. Though not responsible for increasing the page authority and domain authority, AMP plays a key role in sending far more traffic your way.

ROI

The fact that AMP leverages and not disrupts the existing web infrastructure of a website, makes the cost of adopting AMP quite lesses than the competing technologies. In return, AMP enables better user experience which translates to better conversion rates on mobile devices.

Drupal & AMP

With better user engagement, higher dwell time and its easy to navigate between content benefits, businesses are bound to drive more traffic with AMP-friendly pages and increase their revenue.

Before you begin with the integration of AMP module with Drupal, you need to have 3 things:

AMP Module : The AMP module mainly handles the conversion of regular Drupal HTML pages to AMP-complaint pages.

Two main components of AMP module:

AMP Theme : I'm sure you have come across the AMP HTML and its standards. The one that are responsible for your content to look effective and perform well on mobile. The AMP theme produces the mark up required by these standards for websites looking to perform well in the mobile world. Also, AMP theme allows creation of custom-made AMP pages.

AMP PHP Library : Consisting of the AMP base theme and the ExAMPle sub-theme, the AMP PHP Library handles the final corrections. Users can also create their own AMP sub-theme from scratch, or modify the default ExAMPle sub-theme for their specific requirements.

How to setup AMP with Drupal?

Before you integrate AMP with Drupal, you need to understand that AMP does not replace your entire website. Instead, at its essence, the AMP module provides a view mode for content types, which is displayed when the browser asks for an AMP version.

Download AMP Module

With your local prepped up, type the following terminal command:

drush dl amp, amptheme, composer_manager

This command will download the AMP module, the AMP theme and the Composer Manager module (suppose if you do not have the Composer Manager already).

If you have been a user of Drupal 8, you are probably familiar with Composer and its function as a packaging tool for PHP that installs dependencies for a project. The composer is used to install a PHP library that converts raw HTML into AMP HTML. Also, the composer will help to get that library working with Drupal.

However, as the AMP module does not explicitly require Composer Manager for a dependency, alternate workflows can make use of module Composer files without using Composer Manager.

Next, enable the items that are required to get started:

drush en composer_manager, amptheme, ampsubtheme_example

Before enabling the AMP module itself, an AMP sub-theme needs to be enabled. The default configuration for the AMP module sets the AMP Theme to ‘ExAMPle subtheme.’

How to Enable AMP Module?

The AMP module for Drupal can be enabled using Drush. Once the module is enabled, the Composer Manager will take care of the downloading of the other AMP libraries and its dependencies.
 

drush en amp

Configuration

Once everything is installed and enabled, AMP needs to be configured using a web interface before the AMP pages can be displayed. First up, you need to decide which content types should have an AMP version. You might not need it for all of them. Enable particular content type by clicking on the “Enable AMP in Custom Display Settings” link. On the next page, open the “Custom Display Settings” fieldset. Check the AMP box, then press Save.

Drupal Module

Setting an AMP Theme

Once the AMP module and content type is configured, it is time to select a theme for AMP pages and configure it. The view modules and the field formatters of the AMP module take care of the main content of the page. The AMP theme on the other hand changes the markup outside the main content area of the page.

Also, the AMP themes enables you to create custom styles for your AMP pages. On the main AMP config page, make sure that the setting for the AMP theme is set to the ExAMPle Subtheme or the custom AMP subtheme that you created.

Drupal theme

One thing is for sure. Google favors websites that provide the best experience possible for mobile users. With tough competition from Facebook Instant Articles and Apple News, Google AMP aims to decrease page loading time to influence the user experience. With Drupal, the Drupal AMP module and AMP PHP library, supports the usage of AMP on your website. Beyond the success of publishers and ecommerce websites on Drupal, a number of other websites are utilizing AMP along with the inclusion of progressive web apps. With a bright future ahead, Google AMP will be one of the strongest tools for traffic generation and conversions.

Jun 12 2018
Jun 12
  • By: Ganesh
  • Date: 12-06-2018

The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect. - Tim Berners Lee, Inventor of World Wide Web.

The internet as we know it today is 10680 days old! Originally conceived to meet the demand for automatic information sharing between scientists in universities and institutes around the world, the internet today is an integral part of more than 3 Billion people in the world. For various reasons ranging from social networking to collecting information for projects, internet today is arguably the most powerful resource known to mankind.

Over the years, the boom in chatbot and machine learning applications has led to businesses crafting their online presence in the form of websites and using artificial intelligence for a better customer experience. This is not surprising, given the fact that in recent years, chat or messaging has taken over social media to be the "go-to" option for users who want to contact a business.

But have you ever stopped to think, can everyone access the web?

It is 2018 and I wonder, why is web accessibility still less, well, accessible?? As a business, the competitive market pushes you to reach as many people as you can to promote your brand. More the barriers, lower the chances of reaching potential customers. This basically is the concept behind web accessibility: to eliminate the barriers that the audience face!

What is Web Accessibility?

Generally, people refer web accessibility with screen readers or visual disabilities. However, the range of topics that it covers is vast and includes more than just the disabilities. For example, having an appropriate screen contrast for a person to see the screen on a sunny day is a use case for someone with a normal vision rather than for someone with a disability.

The World Wide Web Consortium has introduced some guidelines to achieve certain levels of accessibility to ensure that a website is as useful as possible. Published in 1999 as version 1.0 and later in 2008 as version 2.0, the WCAG 2.0 is generally accepted as the standard to measure when talking about web accessibility and the information you present to a user.

How is Web Accessibility Important??

With the internet's growing importance in people's life, if what you want to convey (your content basically) is not easily accessible to everyone, you’re turning away your audience before they ever get to the door. For example, something as simple as a broken hand or a temporary blindness can make it difficult to navigate the web.

While the fact that web accessibility is not only for those with disabilities is quite resonant, businesses need to know that the flexible and responsive design of a fully accessible website is a benefit to everyone.

What does Drupal do?

Drupal CMS, a web based SaaS provides the ability to organize a manage an organization's web content in a systematic manner. The guidelines of the World Wide Web Consortium is divided into two - ATAG 2.0 that addresses the authoring tools and the WCAG 2.0 which addresses the web content and is widely used by developers and accessibility evaluation tools. Drupal CMS, as a platform, has been built to adhere to both the guidelines. While the accessibility initiative started with Drupal 7, the content management system's latest version addresses some of the best accessibility features.

Drupal 8 Accessibility Features?

The most advanced version of Drupal CMS allows your website to be far more likely to be accessible, to assistive technologies and the users who depend on them, than ever before.

Better Contrast

Poor contrast level is often cited as the most commonly overlooked feature by the developers. However, in Drupal 8, the core themes have higher contrasts, thanks to the Drupal's accessibility maintainers. With improved contrasts, users suffering from colour-blindness can easily websites. Also, this feature is an added advantage when visiting a website under bright sunlight in a portable device like a mobile phone or a tab.

Forms

Errors while filling forms is one of the most common factors that affect the user interface. With the new standards, identifying these errors becomes much easier. By using a better form validation error verbiage, Drupal 8 provides an option to turn on this feature that improves accessibility related to the display of form errors. For example, a visually impaired person can now easily identify what errors he might have made when filling in a web form.

Alt text usuallt refers to the words that are used to describe a particular image. Though not visible or rendered on the page, these alt texts are used by tools like screen readers and is a great asset to web accessibility. This feature which is set to required by default in Drupal 8 helps visually impaired audience to know what the image is all about with the help of the text.

Buttons instead of links

A common practice among many website owners is to use anchor texts as "call to action" instead of buttons. From a semantic standpoint, it is more logical to use a button rather than anchor texts as these user interface elements are action oriented. Thus, Drupal 8 has called for this measure to use buttons rather than links. This new standard set by Drupal 8 can be handled without becoming heavily dependent on WAI-ARIA that can be useful in identifying the purpose of some elements.

The Future of Web Accessibility in Drupal

Over the years, Drupal has taken some great steps forward to achieve web accessibility through several of its major releases and is one of the leading implementations of the web accessibility standards. With web accessibility being one of the major factors contributing to the user interface and the ability of a business to reach the maximum audience, several strategic initiatives for Drupal core is sure to shape the future of how people interact with a website. Some of the noteworthy ones include:

  • Application-like interfaces and various UI interactions that are presented without full-page refreshes: sliding panels, autofocus, live result filters, drag-and-drop, pop-up success messages, live previews,wizard-like progress steps, and role impersonation.
  • Automated accessibility testing using headless browser drivers.
  • Supporting more interaction modes, such as MS Windows' high-contrast mode, and speech-driven control.
  • End-user testing for accessibility
  • The theme component library initiative which involves much refactoring of how Drupal produces output.

With its latest version, Drupal CMS now adopts more WAI-ARIA practices which makes content architecture easier to understand. Drupal 8 is now much closer to the ideal, which is to render the web accessible to all. Drupal developers and core maintainers have done a great job to accomplish enhancements regarding accessibility with some of the best features that will play a major role in being beneficial for better usability. However, whatever features Drupal CMS brings out, it is always up to organizations to decide, plan and build websites or web applications by keeping web accessibility in mind.

Apr 11 2018
Apr 11
  • By : Prince
  • Date :10-04-2018

As all know, Drupal 8 is API driven first and keeps on adding in new API's which can be altered, extended for different decoupled Applications. When we talk about decoupled Drupal, developers are allowed to use any technology frontend to bring in better User experiences. The actual UI experience is met when we present contents which fulfill the needs and requirements of the user.

Drupal 8 Views

Drupal 8 views are now in the core and are among the greatest features available with Drupal to handle any type of dynamic UI designs to bring in better user experiences. Using RESTful views, we can embed views content to external applications.

In this guide, you will learn how to get the view content in JSON or XML format via Rest API.

  • Step1. Go to admin/modules and enable the required modules available in the core (REST and Serialization).
  • Step2. Next, For testing purposes, you can create dummy content using the existing content types. (Articles or Basic page)
  • Step3. Now, create a view using the available content. We don't need to select a page or block while creating views.
  • Step4. After you have created a view with the required fields, we need to select REST export display from the Add options right of Master display in the views.

Drupal 8 Views

  • Step5. Specify a path for REST export which will be used to return formatted contents of the created view display.
  • Step6. You will also find an option to select the required format (say JSON, XML etc.) that will be allowed in the responses.

That's it, you have the Request URL to return either entities or fields from views. When you try accessing the URL directly on the browser, you will have view exported with the format you have selected or JSON by default. Also, you can test the formatted data using POSTMAN services available with Google Chrome.

Hope, the above steps will help you built REST API using Drupal views. Get in touch with our Drupal developers if you face any queries working with API's. We will be glad to help.

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Dec 04 2017
Dec 04
  • By :Shriganesh
  • Date :04-11-2017

With content marketing, the objective is quite simple. "Drive profitable Customer Action." While it is about influencing and changing the consumer behaviour by distributing valuable, relevant and attractive content to a defined audience, content marketing still stands far away from the other major streams of marketing.

Marketers who have been successful with content marketing are aware of one thing very well. The Customer's Behaviour Cycle. Now you are probably wondering: "How do I get to know about my costumer's behaviour cycle? To understand that, we need to explore four important steps of a typical buying cycle:

  • Realization: Your customer may not realize that he has a need and there is a solution available.
  • Search: Once your potential customer realizes that there is a solution, further search will help them know better about the available options.
  • Compare and Discuss: By this time, your customer is already comparing different options and discussing it with others about the quality, price and other important aspects.
  • Buy: This is the phase where the customer finally makes a confirmed decision and moves ahead with the transaction.

Doing it the right way with Drupal

The entire marketing process is driven by three important goals:

  • Awareness
  • Driving demands and
  • Customer retention

While a single piece of content cannot achieve all these goals, an organization's entire content can be planned and strategized to meet the demands and advance towards the goals. This is where a Content management System (CMS) comes into the picture. And we all know that finding the perfect CMS for a business is not an easy task. While some are constricted with respect to flexibility and options, others are limited in their work-flow and the type of content that can be created. In order to create a seamless experience and connect better with the customers, balancing the needs with the CMS's control can empower the team to execute near-perfect content marketing strategies online.

Drupal with its modules and themes is the best CMS that strikes this balance perfectly. With an ability to be customized based on various requirements, this open-source CMS is a content marketer's dream companion.

Let us discuss about some of the latest Drupal modules that can enhance the content marketing efforts for a business.

5 Marketing Tips

Drupal Modules for Content Marketing

Consumers these days do not want to be troubled by the constant ads or other marketing related pop-ups on the internet. They are increasingly avoiding these by opting to see ad-free content with the help of browser-based ad blockers or by simply ignoring it. To top it all, Google wants to help users find the right content more efficiently. While the smart marketers have realized that content marketing is a better way to influence the target audience, many businesses are still far behind in the race. Drupal ensures that your content marketing strategy need not pitch a hard-sell and instead deliver the right content to the right audience effortlessly.

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Nov 10 2017
Nov 10
  • By :Shefali Shetty
  • Date :10-11-2017

You can do all you want to secure your website and yet cannot be absolutely sure about it. Securing your website is not a one-time goal but an on-going process that needs a lot of your attention. You cannot just single out one best solution to protect your website and must do whatever it takes to win this battle against them web-stalkers. After all, it is always better to avoid a calamity than face it and be sorry. With a Drupal website, you can be assured about having some of the top security risks being taken care of.

Drupal has powered millions of websites, many of which handle extremely critical data like government websites, banking and financial institutions, e-Commerce stores, etc. It goes without saying that the Drupal community take security issues very seriously and keep releasing security updates as and when they come across a threat. Nonetheless, you will still need to enforce some measures to secure your Drupal website and give the hackers a tough time.

Keep Calm and Stay Updated

Making sure your Drupal version and modules are up-to-date is really the least you can do to ensure safety of your website. Drupal contributors are staying on top of things and are always looking for any security threats that could spell disaster. An update doesn’t just come with new features but also security patches and bug fixes. Drupal’s security announcements are posted to users’ emails and site admins have to keep Drupal updated to safeguard the website.

Choose your modules wisely

Before you install a module, make sure you look at how active it is. Are the module developers active enough? Do they release updates often? Has it been downloaded before or are you the first scape- goat? You will find all the mentioned details at the bottom of the modules’ download page. Also ensure your modules are updated and uninstall the ones that you no longer use.

Security Modules to the rescue

Just like layered clothing works better than one thick pullover to keep warm during winter, your website is best protected in a layered approach. Drupal’s security modules can give your website an extra layer of security around it. Some of the top few security modules that you must install for your website –

  • Login Security – This module enables the site administrator to restrict the number of invalid login attempts before blocking accounts. Access can be denied for IP addresses either temporarily or permanently.
  • Two-factor Authentication – With this module, you can add an extra layer of authentication once your user logs in with a user-id and password. Like entering a code that’s been sent to their mobile phone.
  • Username Enumeration Prevention – By default, Drupal lets you know if the username entered does not exist or exists (if other credentials are wrong). This can be great for a hacker if he’s trying to enter random usernames only to find out one that’s actually valid. This module can prevent such an attack by changing the standard error message.
  • Content Access – As the name suggests, this module lets you give more detailed access control to your content. Each content type can be specified with a custom view, edit or delete permissions. You can manage permissions for content types by role and author.
  • Coder – Loopholes in your code can also make way for an attacker. The Coder module (a command line tool with IDE support) goes through your Drupal code and lets you know where you haven’t followed best coding practices.

Check on your Permissions

Drupal allows you to have multiple roles and users like administrators, authenticated users, anonymous users, editors, etc. In order to fine-tune your website security, each of these roles should be permitted to perform only a certain type of work. For example, an anonymous user should be given least permissions like viewing content only. Once you install Drupal and/or add more modules, do not forget to manually assign and grant access permissions to each role.

Get HTTPS

I bet you already knew that any traffic that’s transmitted over just an HTTP can be snooped and recorded by almost anyone. Information like your login id, password and other session information can be grabbed and exploited by an attacker. If you have an e-Commerce website, this gets even more critical as it deals with payment and personal details. Installing an SSL certificate on your server will secure the connection in between the user and the server by encrypting data that’s transferred. An HTTPS website can also increase your SEO ranking – which makes it totally worth the investment.

Watch your inputs

If your website allows users to input text or upload files, you need to be extra cautious as that’s the easiest way a hacker can get into your system. Drupal lets you to allow only a certain type of file extensions to be uploaded, like only PDFs or Docs. When you have to allow HTML tags as input, you will have to make sure the text is properly filtered. Drupal’s extension modules like WYSIWYG Filter and Better Formats help in some basic filtering of HTML tags. There are so tags that need to be blocked which can be done in code level. A module like HtmlLawed also helps in blocking some tags and suggesting other usable tags.

As the old saying goes - Expect the best but plan for the worst. When it comes to website security, one can never call themselves absolutely secure. By default, Drupal is a very secure content management framework but you will still need to implement better security strategies – for a good night’s sleep. Choose a Drupal development partner who can provide you effective security strategies and implementation services.

Sep 04 2017
Sep 04
  • By :Shri Ganesh
  • Date :14-01-2018

We all know that Drupal is where flexibility meets simplicity. A CMS designed to be the perfect solution for non-technical users, Drupal is a unified system that strives to have the strengths of a content management system and a content management framework. So irrespective of what a site builder is looking to create (from a news site or an online store to a social network or highly complex govt website) it is just a matter of combining the right modules for a perfect Drupal development.

Drupal has been constantly updating itself, and its newest version is a proof of how this open source CMS has quickly evolved into one of the most sought after framework (almost 1 million websites use Drupal 7 according to a report by Drupal.org) The newer version of Drupal-Drupal 8 has had its users at the edge of their seats with some of the most exciting features.

Some of these features of Drupal 8 are:  

  • Out of the box web service: Gone are the days when websites were only for desktop and web services were only used for websites using a service from other systems. With a variety of devices in the picture, web services in the present world are more important than ever. While web services are supported by a 3rd party module in Drupal 7, it has been included in Drupal 8 core.
  • Security Improvements: Security has always been a concern, and with the addition of new features, Drupal 8 has made ways to make systems more secure.
  • Easier & Faster: With Drupal 8, the Drupal API is completely RESTful, making it easier for the developer to use Angular.js ,Ember.js & many other display tools without much hassle.
  • Mobile Improvements: Like we talked earlier, mobile devices are the driving force in today's world. Drupal 8 provides full support for mobile site templates accompanied by easy back-end administration from a mobile device.

As most of these features support some of the biggest & complex sites which drive a lot of traffic and are vulnerable to performance issues, it becomes important too handle these problems as soon as possible as the driving force in traffic growth is not just confined from clients to servers but also between the back-end servers.

So let us discuss a few tips that can help us solve some of the common performance issues that Drupal-based websites face.

Site Architecture

DA wide range of Drupal websites initially use Apache HTTP server as their web server and the fact that instructions for configuring it are widely available, makes it the first choice among many website owners. But as the website grows and starts driving in more traffic, that is when people shift to the NGINX server. At this stage, with difficulties in supporting more than 10,000 connections at a time to the entire server freezing out or crashing, Drupal and Apache share problems which are hard to overcome.

With the site's vulnerability at stake, NGINX is the preferred choice by the people to stabilize the site's architecture. Instead of changing servers and causing issues, several steps can be taken to address such performance related problems as the site grows.

  • NGINX as the first choice for the web server of your Drupal Site improves performance & sharply reduces the memory utilization.
  • NGINX is one of the most popular reverse proxy servers for a number of Drupal Sites as it can handle the internet traffic and reduce the burden on your application server.

Web Server

A quick fix that can take care of the performance, security & flexibility of your Drupal website is a move from Apache to NGINX as the web server for your site. A common problem that haunts most of the web servers is the C10K problem - the difficulty that the web servers have in supporting simultaneous connections (usually not more than 10,000 connections at once). NGINX was designed to solve this particular problem. With an ability to run an ongoing event loop that handles requests as they occur, without allocating resources to the requestors, NGINX eliminates the overhead that the process of forking a new process for each new connection incurs.

Reverse Proxy Server

A reverse proxy server is not like your usual servers. This server receives the requests from the browsers and instead of immediately processing them, examines each request and decides what action to take on it: either to carry out the request by itself or to send it out to another server for the fulfillment.

Deploying such a server is the first step in creating a site architecture that allows flexibility, redundancy, improved security and a basket full of other good things. One of the main reasons a reverse proxy server is likely to help the performance of a website is because the communication between the web servers is faster than the communication over the internet. And this communication with other web servers in the reverse proxy serving is essentially free.

Thus by adding a reverse proxy server, your Drupal site is free from handling the entire Internet traffic directly. This server immediately takes care of a site that is crumbling under the pressure of huge traffic, security problems & performance issues. With the introduction of new flexibilities in the site architecture, a reverse proxy server allows new capabilities & functions that can run efficiently without impacting the application server.

Multiple Application Servers & Load Balancing

It is highly impossible to get better performance with a single application server. But bigger & faster servers are potentially expensive and because a single device always has an inherent performance, you need to upgrade or replace the current device (a highly disruptive operation) for more performance. This is where a reverse proxy server comes into the picture. This server allows the usage of multiple application servers which ensures better Drupal performance by just adding additional servers into the system. This process of adding and removing the servers can be made easy with the right software tools such as NGINX Plus which reduce the amount of downtime to a great extent.

The presence of multiple application servers means that there has to be a technique to decide which server gets the next request. The techniques range from a simple approach to a complex one in which each server is examined by the system to find out which one is least busy before sending a request. This is known as Load Balancing. The NGINX server & the NGINX Plus support five load-balancing techniques that help in improving the Drupal performance.

The Drupal world is the same anymore & is getting more complex with a lot of developments that are going on to improve the Drupal performance. From the cloud architecture, Drupal design, web server world & information architecture, there is a lot you can look into! And some of these best performance benefits come from using NGINX as a reverse proxy server for an architectural flexibility.As Drupal websites attract widespread usage, NGINX & NGINX plus offer numerous effective ways to handle performance related problems that may arise. We know that making a Drupal site a high-performance website is not an easy job. There is a lot to learn & it is time we start going the extra mile.

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