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.

Feb 20 2019
Feb 20

With growth comes changes and today we're introducing changes to our legal terms and pricing. The basic susbcription remains the same at $78 USD per year and the Professional subscription was bumped from $249 to $360 USD per year. The Enterprise subscription now starts at $3000 with a $1000 USD set-up fee which is needed for the one-time job of collecting brand logos and brand names and setting up our scripts to produce the white-labeled/re-branded products automatically. The Enterprise subscription will now be charged per month rather than per year.

New terms of service: https://www.sooperthemes.com/legal/terms
Services catalog:  https://www.sooperthemes.com/legal/services-catalog

Drupal is becoming more valuable but more expensive

3 years after Drupal 8's release the results are in: Drupal is still relevant but Drupal 8 is more expensive to implement and Drupal's adoption curve has tapered off. I don't think this is necessarily bad. Drupal's leadership made a decision to make Drupal the best Enterprise-grade CMS, not the best everyman's CMS. The result is that Drupal's steep learning curve became steeper yet, and costs of training and hiring Drupal developers increased accordingly. Our price bump is not merely a reaction to a decrease in the volume of Drupal websites in need of our solutions, it is also part of our learning process. 

Sooperthemes is growing but it is not growing enough

Since our Drupal 8 launch last year business at Sooperthemes is better than ever. But with our growing popularity comes a big increase in workload from the customer support forum, customer success tasks, and managing simple tasks like account administration, taxes, sales questions. It adds up to a lot of work. Currently our prices are too low for the increase in customers to pay for new staff to take on the additional workload. We have been investing a lot of effort in training interns but the time has come to move to a more sustainable solution.

Without changes Sooperthemes is not ready for the future. This price increase in the Professional subscription is one part of our strategy for sustainable growth.

Another change is getting better at charging big clients more than small clients. We want to keep our products accessible to the entire Drupal community. While we love our enterprise clients. we don't want to develop an amazing product just for the Drupal elite who can afford hundreds or thousands of dollars per month per site. Therefore we're introducing new licensing terms to charge users based on the scale of their usage of our flagship product Glazed Builder.

We updated our terms for us to be able to charge websites fairly not just by the number of domain (site) licenses, but also by the number of users who are using our Glazed Builder product. Some examples to illustrate why I think this is fair.

  1. Freelance Music teacher's website with 1 domain license: $78 USD per year including updates and support.
  2. An Drupal agency with currently 10 clients on our products: $360 USD per year.
  3. A fast-moving consumer goods enterprise with 40 enterprise domain licenses: ~3000 USD per month.
  4. If Tesla.com would use our products for their marketing content, job portal, community forum, online stores, online tools, in 37 languages: $78 USD per year, or 6 dollars and 50 cents per month.

I think the last example illustrates why it makes sense to introduce this new lever to help Sooperthemes grow sustainably.  To learn how exactly our new licensing term works make sure to read our services catalog.  

Provide More Value To Enterprise Clients

In order for Sooperthemes to be successful in the future we will need to work on signing on more Enterprise clients. We're going to work on adding more features that are important to enterprise clients. Starting today we offer better support options and dedicated support developers to cases in the Enterprise tier. If you want to share ideas on what you think should differentiate the Enterprise subscription tier from the other tiers don't hesitate to send me an email here: https://www.sooperthemes.com/contact

I would be especially interested in hearing what it would take for your business to purchase an enterprise subscription.

Feb 14 2019
Feb 14

Our Glazed framework theme allows users to have control over every aspect of a Drupal site: from typography to colors, grid design and navigation. Combine this with our Drag and Drop builder and everything you need on a professional website can be designed and developed directly in the browser. This empowers your marketing and design staff to work efficiently without incurring heavy IT costs. 

When you take look at Drupal competitors such as WordPress and cloud based solutions like Squarespace, one of the main reasons they successfully skyrocketed in the web development industry is because of the simple front-end editing experience and the value this experience brings to the users. Glazed Builder brings this modern site-building experience to the Drupal world by combining the power and unique aspects of Drupal with the simplicity and intuitiveness of Drag and Drop technology. 

Glazed Builder is different from Wix, Squarespace, or any other Drag and Drop builders: it's made for Drupal and deeply integrated with Drupal APIs. It acts as a Drupal field formatter and you can have multiple instances per page, for your footer, main content, blocks, and even custom entity types. It automatically understands Drupal's revision system, language systems, workflow states, and permissions. This makes it one of the most advanced visual page builders in the world from a website architecture perspective.

How Sooperthemes products create a better Drupal experience 

Drag and Drop tools have evolved to be more powerful, produce better code, and leverage frontend frameworks to create a fluent authoring experience that runs in the browser. In Glazed Builder this experience is integrated with Views and the block systems: you can create highly dynamic pages and even dashboards with Drag and Drop, without losing reusability of the components you build. It is available for both Drupal 8 and Drupal 7, and provides the tools to easily perform difficult customization tasks. It lets the user focus on creating value for the customers and leave the technical aspects behind. It's intuitive and easy to use out of the box. 

Adding Glazed Builder on top of your existing Drupal 8 stack

Dec 18 2018
Dec 18

The pricing page is one of the key pages in a website, therefore it is important to have a clear and professional design that communicates the product benefits and pricing tiers your business offers. In today’s article we are going to learn how to recreate the new Sooperthemes pricing page. The Sooperthemes pricing page has a clean design style that mainly consists of rows, columns and text. Throughout this article we are going to work with the following elements:

  • Rows
  • Columns
  • Text
  • Buttons
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


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.

Sep 18 2018
Sep 18

We're excited to mark the first minor update for our Drupal 8 products since the initial D8 release! There are no new features in this update but we're incrementing the middle digit in our version numbers for Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder because of a change we made in how Bootstrap Panels are handled. This change may require manually re-saving of pages that use the panels Glazed Builder element. More info about that in the Changelog

Thanks to changes in how panels are handled we now support an option to select all the Bootstrap-native panel styles in our Glazed Builder panel element. Besides the panels update both the Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder releases contain various small fixes.

Managing Sooperthemes' Growth 

Besides crushing bugs we've been working on other areas of our products and services during the hot summer that we've had in the Netherlands. Since the release of our Drupal 8 products we've seen a growth in subscription sign-ups and also in sales questions and support tickets. To handle the extra workload we're now onboarding a full-time customer success manager as well as a full time content/marketing manager. Check out our brand new Sooperthemes instagram account for the behind-the-scenes. 

Sneak Peek: Glazed Builder User Profiles

This feature has been requested for so long I'm really excited that it's finally happening. We're working on adding an interface similar to the WYSIWYG Drupal module. This interface let's you create profiles that limit the elements, buttons, and settings a user sees in the Glazed Builder interface. Check out the sneak preview here:

Apr 26 2018
Apr 26

The Idea That Will Revolutionize Your Drupal 8 & 7 Experience

Today I'm proud to announce the release of all our products on Drupal 8! We reinvented the Drupal authoring and site building experience again for Drupal 8 with a Glazed Builder module that was built from the ground up to fit Drupal 8's archictecture and design principles. It has taken us a full year to upgrade all our products, including our page builder, Glazed framework theme, portfolio module, GridStack module, 15 demo themes and 15 installation profiles, and our Glazed Drupal distribution which will soon also have a D8 release on drupal.org.

Built From The Ground Up For Drupal 8

Glazed Builder is different from Wix, Squarespace, or any other drag and drop builder: it's made for Drupal and deeply integrated with Drupal APIs. Glazed Builder acts as a Drupal field formatter and you can have multiple instances per page, for your footer, main content, and blocks. It automatically understands Drupal's revisioning system, language systems, and permissions. This makes it the most advanced visual page builder in the world from a website architecture perspective.

Our framework theme Glazed was also rebuilt using twig templates and the new Drupal 8 theme system.

Build, Write, And Edit Visually 

The experience of writing in Glazed Builder is easy like nothing else. You just click anywhere in a piece of content and start typing. Without any menus or network latency, our frontend application is the fast and distraction-free solution that Drupal content editors and marketers deserve! And thanks to the tight integration with Drupal's media systems you can upload and re-use media in Glazed Builder. It even provides easy settings to resize your images and add SEO fields like alt text and title text.

Sooperthemes Is Super Fast!

Need to edit an article or update the social links in your website's footer? Whatever the task it's just a single click away when using Glazed Builder. Because our page builder is a headless frontend application for Drupal it doesn't need to call the server for most tasks. Adding text, or marketing elements can happen instantly because there is no network delay. Even tasks that rely on Drupal like saving the page or loading a view happens very fast thanks to the expert programming by Drupal developers with at least 8 years of experience.

Drag, Drop, Clone, Style

Our software is easy and intuitive to use because we designed it based on established best practices in user experience design. We stand on the shoulders of decades of research in computer interaction design and translated core concepts like dragging, typing, cloning, to a tool that seamlessly integrates with your Drupal website. Since we released the first beta version of Glazed Builder 3 years ago we made hundreds of improvements and have gone through many design changes based on feedback from our customers.

Save Time With Templates

We have also made incredible progress in developing template features to improve workflow and productivity. You can save any element or collection of elements in the builder as a user template and it will instantly be accessible in every Glazed Builder instance on your website. We also creating page templates that you can use as a starting point on empty pages.

Access A Complete Selection Of Marketing Tools

For marketing staff Glazed Builder means liberation! No more need to hustle developers to code a landing page. Our builder provides anything from responsive layouts to countdown timers, sliders, and thousands of icons including the brand new Font Awesome 5 Pro set. Instead of posting a screenshot of marketing content here, I invite you to browse around sooperthemes.com and take a look at our product pages. Each page is built with Glazed Builder, even the blog post you're reading right now is build with Glazed Builder. We believe in eating our own dog food and as you might have guessed sooperthemes.com is themed with Glazed Theme as well.

Enough about us..

Apr 24 2018
Apr 24

A well designed menu is a menu that works great on all devices and gets your users where they need to go with minimal effort. We'll first get into the basics of creating and placing menu links in Drupal 8 and then cover the topic of dropdown menus. 

Managing Menu Links In Drupal 8

Menus are part of the structure of your Drupal website and you manage them by clicking Structure and then Menus. Here you find a listing of menus installed on your website. The most important item in the list is the Main Navigation. There may be other menus in your website, but there is one menu that is more important than all others because it links to your most important pages and is placed at the top of your page. 

At the far right in the Menus administration page click the "edit links" item in the Main Navigation row. This will take you to an overview of the links in your main menu. If you just installed the Drupal 8 default installation profile this menu will only contain the Home link. If you installed one of the Glazed Theme demos the main menu will contain a number of links already

Adding New Menu Links In Drupal 8

Once you are at the Main Navigation administration form (Structure > Menus > Main Navigation/edit menu) you see an overview of the links that are already in your main menu. Here you can add, edit, and delete links. You can also change the order of links by dragging the move icon at the left hand side of the table.

To add a new link click the "+ Add link" button at the top of the table. For the menu link title fill in the link text that you want to appear in your main menu. In the link field you can add an internal path, or an external URL. With the weight option in the end of the form you can tell Drupal to place new menu items to the front or the back of the menu. For example you can add a weight of 10 to you Contact link because you typically want that link to appear in the end of the menu.

The other optionsnot important now and they'll be covered in the next section when we talke about dropdown menus. 

Creating A Dropdown Menu

Dropdown menus are a popular solution when you want site visitors to be able to reach a large number of pages in a single click. One such situation is in the main demo website of our Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder products. We know people want to explore the elements and features that are offered to we organize close to a 100 menu items all in the main navigation.

There are generally 2 different paths to get a dropdown menu in your Drupal website: From your theme or from a module. If you use our Glazed Theme you have a dropdown menu system built into the theme. If you use a theme that doesn't support dropdown menus (like Drupal's default theme) and you don't want to code it yourself, you can rely on a module like SuperFish.

Dropdown Menus Included In Glazed Theme

The menu system in Glazed theme is one of the biggest selling points of the theme because it's a beautiful, user-friendly menu that works perfectly with Drupal's native menu administration. With the flick of a switch you can have a horizontal menu or a vertical menu. It supports multi-level menus by automatically creating a megamenu for large devices and collapsing into a beautiful vertical menu on small devices. The menu's design is customizable in the Glazed Theme Settings system.

To create a dropdown menu on your Glazed Theme website, or when using any theme that has support for dropdown menus built in we're only have to edit our Main Navigation menu links to have parent and child links. By parent links we mean the menu links that are in show navigation bar and the child links are the links that are contained in a dropdown box that appears only when we hover a parent link. One little quirck in Drupal is that you have to remember to enable the Expanded checkbox on every parent link for your dropdowns to work. Check out the video above to see how we build the menu structure.

Dropdown Menus With The SuperFish Drupal 8 Module

If your theme doesn't support dropdown menus natively you can add the SuperFish module to your Drupal website. You might also use this module if it has some features or design elements that you prefer over the system built into your theme. 

The SuperFish module also relies on the menus created in Drupal's native menu administration pages, and you'll also be creating a menu structure with parent and child links. Check out the video above to see how the structure is made.

Once you have the menu structure set up you can download the SuperFish module and follow the instructions on their project page to install it. Next you will go to the blocks administration page to remove the Main Navigation block to then replace it with the SuperFish Main Navigation block. This is a new block the is generated by the SuperFish module. Once you place this block you can view your homepage and the dropdown menu should be working. As was the case in our demo that we did in our video above you may have to do some theming to style the menu.

Apr 22 2018
Apr 22

Conclusion: Drupal 8 Is A Heavier System With More Extensive Caching That Can Make It Faster Than Drupal 7 In Real-Life Situations

At the start of its life Drupal 8.0 got a lot of criticism for being slow. Now in 2018, Drupal 8.5 has seen a significant number of performance improvements and while it's still slower than Drupal 7 at the core, it's faster in complex situations that are more relevant to real-life Drupal websites.

Drupal 8 is faster where it matters, and more scalable! It's also important to add that both test installations did not have any special settings enabling caching of content, views, blocks, etc. Drupal 8 has a much more advanced and more granular caching system that lets you finetune and optimize your experience for logged in users on a grander scale than was every possible with Drupal 7. Notably there is the BigPipe module that gives you lightning fast loadtimes for your primary content and it can then separately lazy-load less important content, like the footer, menus, and sidebar blocks.

For sure this test brings good news to SooperThemes customers, who will enjoy a faster experience our of the box with our Glazed demo installation profiles. As a side note: importing demo content is also twice as fast in our Drupal 8 installation profiles versus Drupal 7.

Apr 20 2018
Apr 20

This tutorial is for people who are new to Drupal 8. We'll be showing how to add content to Drupal 8 and how to change or add new content types. Content types are very flexible in Drupal 8 and that's what makes Drupal more powerful than WordPress and other systems for many use cases. 

Drupal 8's Content Overview Page

Just like all Drupal's previous versions this administration page is the central hub where all your content appears in one place. You get there by clicking the Content link in the toolbar. This takes you to an overview of all the pages in your Drupal website. From here you can edit and delete pages using the action links to the far right side of the table. Additionally you can operate on multiple pages at a time using the controls below the Action label.

The content administration page is not just for pages, using the primary tabs you can navigate to administration pages for files and comments. This can be extended by additional moduels that provide custom content entitities using Drupal 8's Entity API. For example on sooperthemes.com we also manage domain licenses and digital downloads on separate tabs, because these are custom entity types.

Adding Content In Drupal 8

Once you're at the content administration page it's easy to see how to add content. You start by clicking the blue button that reads "+ Add content". You'll now see a listing of content types that are available at your Drupal installation and you have to tell Drupal which type of content you would like to create. After choosing a content type you'll be taken to the content form where you get to fill in all the form fields that make up your content type. You'll learn more about these fields in the next section where we discuss adding fields to content types and adding new content types.

Adding Content Types In Drupal 8

The ability to create new content types and choose from a large selection of different field types is what makes Drupal the system of choice for many organisations that manage a lot of content. Companies of all sizes including Tesla, Disney, United Nations, and Qualcomm use Drupal because it's the best solution for managing a large amount of content on the internet.

To manage content types in Drupal 8 click Structure in the toolbar and then click Content Types.  Now you're looking at a listing of content types installed on your website. If you just installed a new Drupal 8 website with the default profile you will see the Article and Basic Page items.  If you installed one of our theme demo profiles or the free Glazed CMS installation profile you'll have a bunch more options. Check out our YouTube video above for a quick tour. 

Once you're at content types overview click the "+Add content type" button to create a new page type. The minimum you can do here is give your content type a name, for example "Special Page, or Forum Topic". There's a number of other options for your consideration when creating a content type:

Creating A Jobs Content Type

Let's create an example content type for the new Careers section of our website. We'll need to post job vacancies, so let's call our new content type Jobs. To create a new content type go to Structure > Content Types and click the "+ Add content type".

Here we fill in the name of our content type and disable the options for author information and menu structure. After all we don't want all our job postings to clutter our menu system, you would use the views module to create an overview of available jobs.

Next click the "Save and manage fields" button. Now we're in the content type configuration page and this is where we add the fields that we need on our job vacancies. To see exactly how this works check out the video above!

Adding Visual Drag And Drop To Your Content Type

Finally we'll show you how to get even more control over the design of your content with Glazed Builder our visual drag and drop builder for Drupal 8 and 7. You can use Glazed Builder on any long-text field in Drupal on any type of entity. To enable Glazed Builder on your content type go to Structure > Content Type > Your Content Type > Manage Display. Here you can select one or more of your text fields (For example the body field) and switch the Format option from Default to Glazed Builder. Take a peak at the end of our youtube video to see the end result!

Apr 19 2018
Apr 19

I got word of concerns about the recent CKEditor 4 vulnerability that is responsible for a moderately critical vulnerability in Drupal 8. Rest assured that most Drupal 7 sites are not in danger. While both the Glazed Builder module and the Glazed installation profiles include their own copy of CKEditor 4, this vulnerability exists in an optional image plugin for CKEditor 4 "image2" that is not included in the default package of CKEditor 4 that our products carry. 

The only Drupal 7 websites that are affected by this vulnerability are sites that use a custom build of CKEditor that explicitly includes the image2 plugin.

Drupal 8 does include this additional plugin, which is why Drupal 8 users should update to 8.5.2 immediately. For Drupal 7 users the commotion has actually sparked some positive deveopment: the Drupal 7 WYSIWYG module has pushed a release that supports the latest CKEditor 4.9.2. This means I can update all SooperThemes products to CKEditor 4.9.2 and this brings us a number of bug fixes and improvements to inline editing. This update will be available tuesday.

The latest CKEditor reportedly also dropped it's reliance on the eval() function which means we can start using better Content Security Policy headers that include the unsafe-eval directive on Drupal 7 sites.

edit: I also noticed that the CKEDitor update fixes an annoying problem with cell selection. It's unfortunate that Drupal 8 core patched an older version of CKE rather than update to 4.9.2 because now the D8 core editor is still unable to select multiple cells in the same table column.

SooperThemes Drupal 8.x-1.0 Release Planned Tuesday

After 13 months of intensive development, testing, and preparation of our product infrastructure we're finally launching our Drupal 8 page builder module and themes tuesday! In the past few weeks I've been learning a ton by talking to customers about what they like and dislike about Sooperthemes and especially the drag and drop builder. If you have any feedback or ideas for future development of SooperThemes.com and our products just leave a comment here or use the contact form!

Update The Wording Of How Our Pricing Works: Pay Once To Use For Life. Optionally Renew Yearly For Support & Updates.

I've also updated the pricing information to reflect the fact that you can pay once to download all our products and use them forever. This is how SooperThemes subscriptions have always worked. This was apparently not clear from the information and marketing communication on the website. You pay once and only renew if you wish to receive continued support and product updates. This subscription based payment concept is really what has made SooperThemes a success over the past 3 years and the increased stability in revenue is what gave me the confidence to continue investing all my energy and money in developing the Glazed Builder module and our next generation themes for both Drupal 7 and 8. I also think it's fair to users of the product that they pay a small yearly contribution to continue getting support and product updates because the products are continuously in flux. Subscribers may stop the subscription at any time and continue using the products without support services.

Apr 18 2018
Apr 18

This tutorial is aimed at people who just need a contact form or some other kind of user input form. We'll cover deciding between the core contact module and the popular webform module. We won't cover using the Drupal API to program complex forms that integrate with external applications.

Drupal 8 Core Contact Module

Whereas the Drupal 7 core contact module was not very useful due to a total lack of flexibility, the Drupal 8 version is much nicer. It's nicer because you can add fields to it. You're no longer limited to just the name, email, subject and message fields that were baked into the Drupal 7 version. 

Not only does the new contact form allow for custom text fields, it even supports file uploads, entity references, date fields, and other Field API fields.This simple yet powerful form builder module is not limited to just contact forms; you can use it to create questionnaires, gather user feedback, etc.  

Better Together: Contact Module + Contact Storage Module

One major inconvenience of the Contact module is that is doesn't store any messages that are sent. Your only option is to send the message via email and afterwards there is no copy of the message in your Drupal site. The contact storage module will store your messages as entities. It lets you administer the messages and provides integration with the views module. Since the messages are stored as Drupal entities you also gain interoperability with other modules in the Drupal ecosystem. This will allow you to do even more, for example exporting messages as CSV, searching messages, and pushing messages to your CRM.

Webform Module

Drupal's popular webform module is a massive framework that offers a ton of extra options that the contact module doesn't have. You should choose the webform module if these extra features are useful to you and you're prepared to learn the ropes around a more complex user interface. The webform module can be intimidating at first because there are so many elements and settings... but once you're familiar with the interface you can configure and design very powerful forms fairly easily. 

To see what the webform module offers it's really better for me to show than tell. Check out the youtube video above where I show you the interface of the webform module.

Contact Module vs Webform Module

Personally I choose the webform module for anything that is more complicated than just the standard contact form with a subject and message field. The contact module is powerful and extendable, but the webform module gives you everything you need in one place. It's a purpose-built single-purpose application within Drupal and once you get familiar with it it's really very powerful. 

It also lets met build multi-column form layouts, a feature that I use often.

A feature-base comparison of Contact and Module based on features that I think are important:

Placing Drupal 8 Forms With Our Visual Page Builder

We believe interoperability with the Drupal ecosystem is important for Glazed Builder. This is why we don't include a proprietary form builder in Glazed Builder and instead encourage you to create forms with Drupal's webform module. Currently Glazed Builder let's you place blocks created with the webform module anywhere in your drag and drop page. The contact module doesn't provide blocks that we can drag and drop natively, but you can install the contact_block module to fix that.

Apr 17 2018
Apr 17

Block Administration And Placement In Drupal 8

Same as in Drupal 7, Drupal 8 blocks are placed in regions from the blocks administration page, which is located at Structure > Block layout. A notable improvement in Drupal 8 is that you can now place the same block in different regions. For example: previously it was impossible to put a block in the sidebar on the blog section of your website and at the top of the masthead in another section of your website.

When placing a block in Drupal 8 you're offered block visibility settings that are familiar to people who have experience with Drupal 7. You limit visibility based on content type, paths, and user roles. Third party modules can extend this in Drupal 8, in the video below you see that the Webform module lets you place blocks whenever specific webfoms are showing. 

Custom Content Blocks In Drupal 8

To those familiar with Drupal 7: Drupal 8 lets you make new blocks and enter custom text or HTML. Except it's better. In the old system custom blocks were neutered content, without support for revisions, permissions, or custom block types.

In Drupal 8 blocks are proper first class citizens and support revisioning and custom block types. Basically Drupal 8 does with blocks what we did with the BEAN module in our Drupal 7 theme installation profiles. That's one less contrib module you'll need in Drupal 8! In our Drupal themes' demo installation profiles we offer "Basic Blocks" and "Drag and drop blocks" The latter option will let you design blocks with our front-end visual page builder.

Placing Blocks With Our Visual Page Builder Glazed Builder 

Glazed Builder lets you place any Drupal block with our visual drag and drop module. The only blocks that will be missing from the blocks tab are views blocks. This is because we treat all views displays equally and put them under the Views tab. Here you will find every single views display, including Master displays. Moreover we allow you to override some useful views parameters, like pager settings, pager offset, exposed filters, and contextual filters. This is very powerful and you can use Glazed Builder to make news portal layouts, magazine layouts, and even personalized user dashboards.

Creating A Footer Block In Drupal 8

I made a little video showing the complete process of creating a footer block in Drupal 8, you probably already found it at the top of this page. We start by adding a simple Copyright notice block using Drupal's native CKEditor. Then we show how you can build a 3 column footer easily with our frontend visual page builder. With Glazed Builder you can add any Drupal blocks and views in the footer, as well as all the standard drag and drop elements, and the extendable suite of HTML snippets in the Glazed Builder sidebar. If you add a drag and drop block to any region in your theme, you can view, edit, and save the block on any page where the blocks shows. It's very convenient and easy to get used to. Glazed Builder handles multiple blocks per page, automatically saves new revisions, and is also language aware.
Apr 16 2018
Apr 16

Media management is one of the areas where Drupal was lagging compared to competing systems, like WordPress. In Drupal 8 Media management has improved greatly! With the Entity Browser you can create highly customized user experiences to manage your creative assets. In the early times of Drupal 8 it was difficult to set up the Entity Browser but in the meanwhile turn-key solutions have become available that do the tedious configuration work for you. 

Entity Browser Meet File Entity Browser

If you're using SooperThemes Drupal themes you have the option to use our demo content installation profiles. This is a real time-saver because the demo profiles do not only contain demo content; they come with a complete configuration of all the Drupal features you need. We chose to include the File Entity Browser in Glazed CMS for it's beautiful masonry grid and extended features. This module configures and extends the Entity Browser modules with media library views, mass upload with drag and drop support, and a useful image-preview feature that lets you check the quality your assets while browsing the library.

view on sooperthemes.com if you can't see the video

The preview tool even has an option to preview images in all your image styles, allowing you to decide the right compression/quality trade-off for your creatives!

Media Management In Glazed Builder 8.x

In Drupal 7 our Glazed Builder Drupal page builder module integrates with the Media module. The Media module integrates seamlessly with Glazed Builder, offering all creative assets in Glazed Builder that you have uploaded elsewhere in your Drupal site. Of course any images you upload in the Glazed Builder interface are also available in the media library elsewhere in your Drupal site. 

We achieved the same feat in Drupal 8. Getting there was not easy: the Media module in Drupal 7 offered an API to integrate media library in your frontend application but there is no such API in Entity Browser

Of course we don't let that stop us from building exactly what we want, and we achieved the same seamless integration with Entity Browser that we have with the Media module. 

SooperThemes Open Source Contributions For Entity Browser

In order to get the media management experience up to our standards we made some improvements to the experience and functionality. We contributed several patches to Entity Browser and File Entity Browser.

Supporting field cardinality in File Entity Browser and visual cues for media selection limits

Out of the box Entity Browser does not limit the number of files you can select based on field cardinality. On a single-image field you can select more than one image. Our patch doesn't just limit the number of files you can select based on the field settings but also adds a layer of visual cues that let the user know when he cannot select more images. The patch is unfortunately not committed at the time of writing this blog because there is uncertainty about whether this functionlity beling in Entity Browser core or in the File Entity Browser add-on module.

Check out this video to see how the patched version of File Entity Browser handles fields with unlimited, multi-value, and single-value cardinality:

Apr 02 2018
Apr 02

Our latest update for Drupal 8 and 7 fixes a bug with Chrome browser's latest release and the 3rd level "dropdown" menus in mobile navigation and side-header navigation. If your websites does not use 3rd level dropdown menus these updates are probably not important for you. We also use the opportunity to get our Drupal 8 products up to date with Drupal 8.5 and we made sure everything is tested to work with the recent highly critical security updates.

Drupal 8 RC3

Fixing an issue with Font Awesome 5 Pro icons and some other minor issues, our RC3 release is ready to quickly transition into a stable release. We're now focused on updating our product pages, documentation, and other sooperthemes.com infrastructure to make sure downloading, using, and updating our Drupal 8 projects will be a smooth experience. We expect to be ready for the official Drupal 8 launch of all our products in about 2 weeks, but this release candidate is a perfectly fine starting point if you're already looking to start a Drupal 8 project with Glazed Theme, Glazed Builder, or our SooperThemes Portfolio module.

Glazed 7.x-2.6.9 and Glazed Builder 7.x-1.1.8

We release patch updates for Drupal 7 Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder, making minor improvements to both products and of course we've done extensive testing to make sure everything works after the recent Drupal core security updates that touched some very "core" parts of Drupal. See the Glazed CHANGELOG and Glazed Builder CHANGELOG for an overview of changes. No changes related to the security update were made.

SooperThemes Updates Coming Soon

The Drupal 8 stable release has been a long time coming, and now the product is ready. We're just holding off the official launch until our website and documentation are also brought up to date to support Drupal 8. If you're interested in our progress just keep an eye on the website. Sooperthemes.com will be undergoing changes in both content and design. For a sneak preview check out our "work in progress" Glazed Builder product page, which now features tons more information than before. You'll also find that I'm experimenting with a video format that I'd like to use for both documentation and marketing communications.

When we are finally completely stable with all our Drupal 8 products we will develop new product features and Glazed Theme demo designs. All product updates will be available to both Drupal 7 and 8 product versions. The specifics of development we'll be focussing on will be determined in the near future by asking you guys what you want and need.

Open Source Contributions Scheduled After Stable Drupal 8 Release

I regret that while working so hard on our Drupal 8 product updates for premium products, our open source projects have been neglected. This was an inevitable result of our Drupal 8 work overrunning budget and timelines by huge margins. I'm looking forward to start investing again in the free version of Glazed Theme we host on drupal.org, and of course publish a stable Drupal 8 version of the free theme and Glazed CMS distribution on drupal.org. We'll make sure Drupal 8 gets the free theme it deserves, with more flexibility and customizability than any other free Drupal theme. 

Feb 21 2018
Feb 21

Drupal 8 SooperThemes: After nearly a year of work we're almost there!

It has taken us twice as long as we originally estimated. Drupal 8 itself has had its delays so maybe there is no surprise that updating our complex Drupal 7 theming and drag & drop platform with 15 unique theme designs and 1000+ demo content items is delayed. We now have a feature-complete stable version or Release Candidate for all our products ready for you to test! Besides that, we just moved to a new server that has all the infrastructure upgrades in place for our Drupal 8 launch.

Migrating 15 Demos With 1000+ Content Items

The past 6 weeks have been spent mostly on migrating all demo content and designs to the Drupal 8 framework. This work mostly consisted of copying, manually testing, and re-exporting pages, images, menu links, configuration etc. The glorious result of this painstaking work can be seen here: https://demo.sooperthemes.com/

Can I start using this on production?

Not just yet, we recommend to hold off for the stable release before taking this puppy to production! However, the RC1 will be easy to upgrade to the upcoming stable release so I suggest you can start building your Drupal 8 project using our theme or builder, report any issues on our support forum, and launch it when we launch our stable release.

Having spent the last year just coding away at the Drupal 8 product line I now have to quickly put on my documentation and marketing hat and start churning out content and documentation updates for the website. We will spend the coming 2-3 weeks to update our website and then immediately put out a stable release for all products.

What's Next?

Of course we won't get bored after completing this monumental update. To SooperThemes the D8 release is a major milestone that brings us to the next chapter in the life cycle of our business. After the Drupal 8 release we will start paying a lot more attention to documentation, customer support, and marketing. We're excited to now have a product that exceeds everyone's expectations both in capability and now compatibility. We're going to keep developing our products, and also work on making ourselves more known inside and outside the Drupal community. 

Get Testing!

If you're already on board with Sooperthemes.com you now have access to all Drupal 8 downloads in the Downloads page. If you want to help testing, or if you just want to get started with your Drupal 8 project head on over!

Open Source Contributions

Now that we have our core business covered with our Drupal 8 products, we're going to continue making live easier for the Drupal community at large with our awesome free theme and module contributions. We want to make the free version of our theme the best Drupal 8 and 7 theme on Drupal.org. Of course our premium theme will retain some features that will remain exclusive to our patrons but even if we slice the feature count in half we probably still have the most loaded, flexible theme on drupal.org. Since our free Glazed theme is also the default theme for our Glazed CMS Drupal distribution, we also intend on having the best looking distribution our on Drupal.org. Stay tuned for updates! 

Dec 16 2017
Dec 16

Drupal 8 Products Now Feature-Complete with New Media Library

A few months ago we released our first Alpha release on Drupal 8. Now we have full support for image re-usability thanks to the Entity Browser module and are ready to release our first beta! The beta hits feature-parity with the Drupal 7 products so you can start upgrading your websites if you're willing to be an early adopter. Download the beta here to test our Drupal themes and Drupal Drag and Drop builder:

The result of our work with Entity Browser is a slick interface to search and select images. It's really a step up from Drupal 7's Media Browser. Entity Browser is becoming the standard for media management in Drupal 8 and we've made some contributions and customizations to get the interface up to our design standards. Here's a little demo video:

Shooting For Early January Release Of All Drupal 8 Themes And Modules

It's going to be a hell of  a lot of work to get all 15 demos running on our Drupal 8 framework. The demos use different (probably some untested) features and additional contrib modules on top of what the main demo uses. This means there's not just the work of migrating and testing hundreds of content items but also different interactions between Glazed Builder and several modules. We're aiming for an early January release but can't make a hard guarantee. However, since the beta releases will be backwards compatible you can already start building our Drupal 8 projects if you're with being a beta tester and you don't need the demos that are yet to be ported. 

Refinements and Minor Bug Fixes: Patch Release On D7 Products

We've been cleaning out out some minor bugs for Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder, trying to get the bug counter to zero before we release on Drupal 8. You can check the release notes for a full report but here's the management summary:

Glazed theme:

  • Added support for Navbar module (backport from D8 navbar)
  • Fixed issue with page titles hidden between page title background image
  • Fixed issue with secondary header region expanding when sticky footer option is enabled
  • Fixed issue of body scrolling while swiping mobile menu backdrop
  • Updated all colors to reflect 2018 Glazed branding

Glazed Builder

  • Fixed layout bug for websites using non-bootstrap theme with Glazed Builder
  • Updated design of image selection widget
  • Fixed issue with color picker
  • Added category selection to icons widget
  • Made icon search much faster (dropped jQuery ui from widget)
  • Fixed bug with Carousel element prev/next pager in Bottom-Left position
  • Updated all colors to reflect 2018 Glazed branding

Something else was released this month that we're very excited about.. after many years of using Font Awesome 4 we now finally have Font Awesome 5 Pro! Because SooperThemes is a backer of this million dollar Kickstarter project we can now provide you with the Pro version of this enormous icon kit. Font Awesome 4 is not going anywhere, and will continue to exist along with Font Awesome 5 solid, light, and regular stroke icons.

On top of that we also added the 900-icon Google Material Design icon kit! We thought it would be a nice contrasting option compared to the more round lines of Font Awesome. Material Icons are more tightly drawn and perhaps more suited if you're going for a stark, hard-edged look.

We're super excited for everyone who's been waiting and emailing us about our Drupal 8 products, we're now confident you can start your Glazed project if your project's release is scheduled for january/february! If you're just curious you can spin up our Drupal 7 admin demo here: http://trysooperthemes.com/. To try our Drupal 8 beta release you'll have to sign up. Subscriptions start at just $78 USD and are guaranteed by our 20 day refund period.

Happy holidays! If you've got sales questions about our Drupal 8 products feel free to email us or drop a comment here. For feedback from testing the beta please use the feedback thread in our support forum.

Nov 22 2017
Nov 22

Our very first official Drupal 8 product release is our SooperThemes Drupal Portfolio Module! While working on a full release of all our themes and modules we saw an oppurtunity to re-invent our portfolio solution and wrote a new module from scratch, ensuring compatibility and ease of maintenance across Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 ecosystems. We're telling you that our new portfolio module is better, faster, sexier, and easier to use than any portfolio module you're used before, on Drupal or elsewhere.

Creating Professional Portfolio Views Has Never Been Easier

You only have mere seconds to impress people with your website. SooperThemes Portfolio offers 65 design settings and unlimited control over animation, color, and content to help you get it right the first time.

Leverage query building, ordering, and contextualization that made Views and Drupal big. Whether you're displaying nodes, files, or custom entities SooperThemes Portfolio will handle it.

65 Settings, 14 Caption Designs, Advanced Motion Design... And Still Easy To Use

As you've come to expect of SooperThemes' products customisability is something we pay attention to. Without being overbearing we provide settings that allow you to match your portfolio, showcase, or e-commerce grid to you site's branding and content. We implemented color pickers that support transparency, example caption designs, and individual motion design options for loading the image grid, filtering, and hovering items. 

Get the details on our portfolio module landing page:
Portfolio Drupal Module


Upgrading Your Drupal 7 Site From Glazed Portfolio/MD Portfolio

First of all, if Glazed Portfolio is working fine for you, you don't have to upgrade. While the new module provides more features and easier customisability this doesn't mean it's worth your time to configure new views with SooperThemes Portfolio  if you're going to end up with the same design that was already working fine for you.

However, if your portfolio views are up for a make-over, or if some of the little bugs and limitations in the old module are bothering you this is the time to upgrade! Since both modules are based on the same grid system the views settings will be familiar. 

Upgrading is very simple:

1. Install new module

2. Create new view or edit example view. Customize to your liking

3. Reference the new view in your menu links and drag and drop pages

4. Uninstall glazed portfolio/MD Portfolio

Where are Drupal 8 Glazed Builder and Glazed Theme at?

Releasing SooperThemes Portfolio is just one of the stepping stones on the way to a full Drupal 8 release for our flagship products. The only 2 remaining stepping stones are finalization of our Entity Browser/Media integration in Glazed Builder and the migration of our theme demos to the Drupal 8 ecosystem. The release itself will take some work in terms of updating our provisioning software and content/documentation on sooperthemes.com. Expect new updates in December!

Nov 16 2017
Nov 16

We're super excited for you to have 4 smoking hot new designs as well as some awesome improvements to our Drupal 7 products! Our updates are available for download immediately!

4 Hot New Theme Designs

With our Drupal 8 development nearing completion we're making sure all our designs are looking their best and are ready for prime-time. SooperThemes is all about empowering users with top notch design and we produced 4 smoking hot new demos for Photography, (Drupal) Agency, App, and Marketing Agency websites.

Gradient Design Tool For Stunning Section Backgrounds

Design stunning, layered backgrounds for your sections without photoshop! All the beautiful multi-colored sections in our new App demo were made with Glazed Builder. Our gradient tool supports color transparency which means you can create stunning gradients and then blend them with patterns or photography to create mesmerizing designs. If it's your job to create engaging landing pages your job is now easier with Glazed Builder. 

We Listened: New Button To Add Sections Anywhere In Your Page

When landing pages get very long dragging new sections from the top of the page can become tedious. You complained and we listened! A popular request was to make the main Glazed Builder controls float and follow along with you when scrolling down the page. However, this solution can cause conflicts with other controls, and can become confusing when using nested Glazed Container. Instead we designed a new solution that is both clear and effective:  

Save Precious Time With Single Click Inline Editing

Glazed Builder is all about getting things done fast and with ease. Previously inline editing required 1 click to initialize the editor and a second click to place the cursor where you want to start typing. From now on the first click is not needed any more and you can click and type directly, saving you precious milliseconds and providing a more intuitive editing experience! 

Using External Images in Glazed Builder

Thanks to the fully featured media library integration managing images in Glazed Builder was already a great experience. However, we have now exposed the image url on all image widgets in Glazed Builder so that you can directly reference external images, without needing to import them to your media library. 

Vertical Centering Option On Sections

Sections already had a full width option and a full height option. We added a vertical centering option. Vertical centering was already possible using padding but since full height sections with centered text are now a popular design pattern we decided to add this option that makes a good companion to the already existing settings for full width and 100% height.

CMS Portfolio Module Revamped And New Module To Be Announced Tomorrow

For the production of our Photography demo we launched many new capabilities in our portfolio modules. The Glazed CMS Portfolio module previous offered just 2 displaying images: stacked images and thumbnails that link to a lightbox. We needed this component to be more flexible so that we can customize image display for different use cases. The result is a fusion between field formatters, views, and our portfolio images field. You can now use views to format the image field in portfolio pages. Furthermore, you can select any field formatter and view on a per-node basis as well. Our photography demo has a complete dropdown menu showcasing different variations (It's the Gallery Pages dropdown).

On top of that, we have dropped the MD Portfolio module from our products and wrote a new module from scratch for both Drupal 7 and 8. This new module is called SooperThemes Portfolio and will be the topic of another blog post tomorrow! If you're looking to update your website and it uses our portfolio modules it's recommended to wait for tomorrow's blog post.

As always, see our changelogs in the documentation section for a more complete list of changes and feel welcome to give us feedback in the comments! For bug reports please use our support forum.

Aug 12 2017
Aug 12

Today we announce updates to our Drupal 7 Glazed Theme and Builder, an update alpha2 release for Drupal 8 (Testing only) and announce the Unsplash Media module.

Media Unsplash: Free Photos Without Leaving Your Website

This week we're adding a new module to our Glazed CMS Distribution that will be especially exciting to all designers, publishers, marketers, and lovers of photography. Rather than searching Google for free photos, you can browse the Unsplash collection of over 200.00 free photos right in your Drupal 7 Media popup. To the uninitiated: Unsplash is a carefully curated collection of professional photography that has been shaking up the stock photography market in the past few years. All photos are provided totally free with a do whatever you want license. This module provides a simple search interface right in your Media popup, see how simple it works in the video:

This module was built by Vallic based on our initiative/idea, collaboration and co-sponsoring. It was an especially smooth collaboration because Vallic has previously ported the media_pixabay module and allthough the Unsplash API was slightly more complicated, the scaffolding of that module could be re-used.

Integration with the Drupal 7 Media module means that the Unsplash library is also available when configuring theme settings, building pages with our Drupal Drag and Drop Builder, and in any other form that leverages the Media browser.

Drupal 8 Alpha2 Test Release

Just 10 days after our first test release for Drupal 8 we are bringing you alpha2! If you are a customer and curious (or excited) about Drupal 8 please join us in the alpha2 testing and feedback thread! The more testing we can do now, the faster we can release the beta and stable version when Drupal 8.4 comes out. Join in and test our latest and greatest today!

Changes in alpha2:

  • Demo Content Import now works if you select and import any language in the installer! The content will be naturalized to match your selected language. This means you can edit demo content and translate it as if it was initially created in your webite's primary language.
  • Fixed missing titles on views and blocks in Glazed Builder
  • Updated branding & Design
  • Minor performance improvements

Link (subscribers only): Drupal 8 Alpha2 Download & Feedback

Glazed Theme 7.x-2.6.5 Release

Today's updates for Glazed theme include a number of minor bug fixes as well as improvements to the admin interface for themers. Several performance improvements were also realized. We added minification to more of the custom Glazed javascript files, we updated some 3rd party libraries (animate.css), and dropped the modernizr dependency for our animated mobile menu. See Changelog for more details.

The branding and design of some elements are slightly changed to reflect the changes we are making for the Drupal 8 release. There's even a single SVG icon that made it into this release, it's from Font Awesome 5 (beta). Expect more where that came from!

Glazed Builder 7.x-1.1.4 Release

This minor release for Glazed Builder includes small bug fixes, some editor-experience enhancements. Modernizations in code and design that reflect the work we are doing for the Drupal 8 release are also included. See Changelog for details.

Important NoteS If You're Updating A Complete Installation Profile

We open sourced our GridStack Drupal module! Now our profiles includes sooperthemes_gridstack. This is a rebrand of the glazed_gridstack module that you might have in your website. If you're updating your installation profile you should check if you use any GridStack view on your site. If you do, you can choose to either disable the sooperthemes_gridstack module, or rebuild (or export/import) them using the SooperThemes GridStack module and then disable and uninstall the glazed_gridstack module. This goes both for customers using our premium theme and for people on the free Glazed CMS Distribution.

Join SooperThemes Or Upgrade To Unlimited today!

We're super excited about our Drupal products and we think you will be too! If you're on the fence about getting a subscription, or waiting for the Drupal 8 products, wait no longer! Join now and get 10% discount if you join our newsletter. Once you've tried Glazed Theme and our Glazed Drag And Drop Builder you''ll never build Drupal sites the old way again. Joining is risk free, no questions asked refund policy if you change your mind within 20 days after purchase.

Aug 02 2017
Aug 02

Have you been waiting for this update? Yes it's that time, I can finally show you the Drupal 8 products we've been working on! In the last 4 months we were 100% focused on upgrading all products to Drupal 8. I tagged today's updates as alpha releasea but the products have come a long way and are practically on par with their matured Drupal 7 counterparts.

Considering the size and scope of this enormous update, we are excited to get people involved in testing the products and to begin testing as soon as possible. To facilitate this I put a link and feedback thread in the support forum, it's only visible to registered users: Glazed Drupal 8 Alpha1 Download & Feedback thread.

For people who are not yet subscribers of our Drupal themes shop, now is the time to get in and get early access to our awesome Drupal 8 product line. Join here to start downloading Drupal 8 themes!

Sneak Preview

Drupal 8 Related Questions

Will Drupal 8 products cost existing subscribers more money? (No)

At SooperThemes all our subscriptions, including the entry level subscription give you access to all themes and modules. No exception. Drupal 8 products are immediately available to all subscribers regardless of subscription level or sign-up date.

When can we expect a stable release of all products?

We will integrate drupal 8.4 Media fields across all our products so that we don't miss out on critical media-reusability features. This means we are bound by the Drupal 8.4 release schedule with our Drupal 8 products and installation profile. Drupal 8.4 is supposed to have a beta release on September 14th, a release candidate on September 20th and a stable release on October 4th. We will try to provide backwards-compatible beta releases as soon as Drupal 8.4 has a beta release. Before then we recommend you only use our Drupal 8 products for testing, unless you are prepared to migrate or manually fix file fields on your content.

What can we test today?

The alpha release contains the full Main Demo with all features and demo content. It includes upgraded versions of Glazed Builder, Glazed Theme, SooperThemes GridStack and contrib modules. The Glazed Portfolio module built on top of the MD Portfolio module has been phased out. We built an all-new SooperThemes Portfolio module from the ground up. This module has surpassed feature parity with the Glazed Portfolio module and now provides even more features and design options.

Jun 13 2017
Jun 13

Drupal 8 adoption has been very slow, and many people have been putting it off. Some even gave up on Drupal because of D8's (perceived) complexity, focussing their career or hobby on easier CMS software. The past 3 months I've been fully engaged in embracing Drupal 8 and moving my premium Drupal themes along with the supporting ecosystem of modules, installation profiles, and infrastructure to Drupal 8! Going forward we will develop and maintain our products on both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. 

It's been an interesting but also difficult journey and I'm writing to tell other Drupal professionals (and hobbyists) about my experience. I divided this long read into several chapters so you can skip to whichever topics you care about most. If this topic is important to you, please do comment and share your thoughts and experience!

Theming: Easier and Better But Completely New

Drupal 8 uses a new templating system for theming called Twig. While skeptical at first about having to learn a new language, I've grown to like Twig a lot... but to be very frank I would have been totally OK with keeping PHPTemplate in Drupal 8. It's what I've been using for 10 years and it's what I know. My Drupal 7 theme is full of preprocessing, custom features, and integrations with certain modules, and it's all coded in PHP. The transition to Twig means there is a huge amount of work for me to not just convert templates but also re-architect all the logic and features in the theme. I'll say that Twig works great and has a bright future but I'll also say that I can empathize with all the Drupal themers who are unhappy about having to learn a whole new way of working.

Theme Settings

If you develop base themes or premium themes like I do I have some good news as well: Theme Settings are largely implemented the same way. For me this means that many hundreds of lines of FAPI code for the 200+ theme settings in my flagship Glazed Theme can be copied and pasted into the Drupal 8 codebase and 80% of the form generating code just works. Of course the code that reads the theme settings still has to be ported from PHPTemplate, preprocessing and custom PHP to use Twig and Drupal 8's APIs. 

Logic Inside Twig Templates

The most confusing thing when starting out with Twig was that all logic for printing classes happens right inside the Twig template. For years I've been telling people to use preprocess functions for any logic, whether it be if/else or some code to retrieve a field value. In Twig any logic related to printing template code (that includes classes and other attributes) goes right into the twig template. I'm not yet entirely happy about have a lot of logic in my template files. Then again I can also imagine that to the unitiated the Drupal 7 architecture with classes being added in preprocess, or process functions that can be in multiple locations could be even more confusing.

To show you what I mean here is an excerpt of my html.html.twig template:

{%
  set html_classes = [
    theme.settings.sticky_footer and not theme.settings.boxed_layout ? 'html--glazed-sticky-footer',
  ]
%}
{%
  set body_classes = [
    'html',
    logged_in ? 'user-logged-in',
    not root_path ? 'path-frontpage' : 'path-' ~ root_path|clean_class,
    node_type ? 'page-node-type-' ~ node_type|clean_class,
    db_offline ? 'db-offline',
    theme.settings.navbar_position ? 'navbar-is-' ~ theme.settings.navbar_position,
    theme.has_glyphicons ? 'has-glyphicons',
    theme.settings.header_position ? 'body--glazed-header-side' : 'body--glazed-header-top',
    not theme.settings.header_position and not theme.settings.header_style == 'overlay' ? 'body--glazed-header-not-overlay',
    not theme.settings.header_position and not theme.settings.header_style == 'overlay' ? 'body--glazed-header-' ~ theme.settings.header_style,
    not theme.settings.header_position and not theme.settings.header_top_sticky and theme.settings.header_top_fixed ? 'body--glazed-header-fixed',
  ]
%}
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html {{ html_attributes.addClass(html_classes) }}>
  <head>
    <head-placeholder token="{{ placeholder_token|raw }}">
    <title>{{ head_title|safe_join(' | ') }}</title>
    <css-placeholder token="{{ placeholder_token|raw }}">
    <js-placeholder token="{{ placeholder_token|raw }}">
  </head>
  <body{{ attributes.addClass(body_classes) }}>{{>

Some templates, like my menu--main.html.twig template that is responsible for rendering dropdown menus contain more advanced logic, including a powerful Twig tool called a  macro. The ratio of markup to logic is so low in this template that it kind of seems to defeat the purpose of having a templating system. Then again, if I look at the equivalent of PHP code I've had to write in its D7 counterpart it's equally cumbersome.  

Despite my reservations about twig, looking back at the work I've done so far in porting my theme to Drupal 8 (it's about 75% done) I'm creating a more maintainable, better product. And that's what Drupal 8 is all about. There's some pain in migrating all your work but in return you get what I believe is a more solid and maintainable theme.

Site Building: Pretty much the same

For a CMS that was basically built differently from the ground up, the authoring and site building experience is surprisingly similar to Drupal 7. You're still going through the same steps and forms to create content types, taxonomies, views, nodes etc. This is because the idea of Drupal as a flexible and powerful CMS has remained the same. For Drupal 7 users who didn't do much coding before, not much will change when upgrading to Drupal 8. Without investing at all in learning new things you can hit the ground running and install a nice Drupal 8 theme or distribution and it's business as usual.

Module Development: Definitely harder

Building Drupal 8 modules is not rocket science. It's just that there is a lot to learn before you're fluent at it. New APIs, more complicated object oriented architecture, services and plugins. The learning curve is steeper and higher than ever. However, if you start small, read the docs, and copy code from the examples module it's doable. The learning process very much reminds me of my first experience building my very first Drupal (5.x) module.

This is why I decided that building our most complex Drupal 8 modules should be handled by experienced Drupal 8 experts and not me. While I started upgrading some tiny modules as well as our theme I contracted Ivan (Chi on d.o.) and Jay Friendly (Jaypan on d.o.) to build the SooperThemes Portfolio and Glazed Drag and Drop Builder modules... completely written from the ground up for Drupal 8's architecture. Without their help there's no way I would have upgraded these modules myself without first spending at least 2 months learning Object Oriented Programming and the inner workings of Drupal 8. If anyone is looking to consult about Drupal 8 upgrade work I can highly recommend both Ivan and Jay. Jay is currently writing a book on Drupal 8 development that is targeted at Drupal 7 veterans as well as completely new users.

Development has been in full swing for the past 2-3 months and it has been the most intense and sometimes stressful time in my years building SooperThemes products. All of our products are now almost finished but still being tested and refined. It has been a great learning experience but also a great lesson in technical debt and the reality of Drupal 8's complex architecture. For me personally with my background in theming, design, and marketing I feel intimidated by the complexity introduced by Drupal 8. Conversely I feel that my customers will have more easy to use, solid, reliable and performant website thanks to Drupal 8. Luckily for many of my customers the whole point of my products is that you can build and customize everything without coding, using our Drag and Drop tools and extensive theme settings. 

Plugins, Services, Controllers, and Schema Metadata

That is a list of some of the software architecture concepts I've had to get acquinted with in the short time of 2 months. I can't say that I've learned these concepts just yet. In Drupal 7 understanding the hook system and Forms API could really get you a long way building even very large Drupal websites. In Drupal 8 not so much.

Before I started feeling like I'm on a learning curve, I ran into a wall. Drupal 8 really demands you delve deeper into software architecture than before. It's hard but the beauty of the new system is that as you're learning Drupal you're also learning Symphony and proper Object Oriented Programming design patterns. Those who can make the neccesary investment of time and energy will come out of it with skills that are valuable beyond the Drupal ecosystem.

Installation Profiles: Similar But Better

Installation profiles are a critically important part of our business at SooperThemes. We don't just sell themes, we develop, support, and maintain all the Drupal code that brings our designs to life. For our customers this means they can download a turn-key installation profile that contains their selection of designs, features, and demo content.

For us this means we maintain a ton of configuration, demo content, and modules, and wrap it all into installation profiles. We even provide an interface to generate customized installation profiles and install them on your hosting fully automatically. My experience so far with Drupal 8 installation profiles has been great. 

Demo Content

A notable improvement is the great support for demo content in Drupal 8 with help of the Default Content module. In Drupal 7 the go-to module was UUID Features. Over the past years I've spent many hours fixing bugs, implementing file support, and patching up poor support for referenced entities and menu links in Drupal 7's UUID Features code. 

The Drupal 8 Default Content module is still in alpha and if you're doing a lot of default content work you still might need to hit the issue queue and download (or contribute) a little patch but this module already feels more stable than the UUID Features suite. D8 and Default Content also import content faster, allowing even the lowest of low-end hosting to install our bulkier demo installation profiles.

Configuration 

I've read that Features is still a thing in Drupal 8 but I've not yet found the need to try it out. Whereas previously we used Features to package all our CMS components into modules this is now done with Drupal core's configuration system. It's working well so far. Automatic exporting of configuration and dependencies into modules is done using drush, and we can now split optional and required configuration which is also great for components that include lots of views that add value but are not indispensable. I did experience some quirks with optional configuration not being installed during the profile's installation process even while dependencies were certainly met.  

Media: Work In Progress

It took many years for the Media module to have a stable (2.x) release in Drupal 7. Drupal 7 Media works great and  it handles drop-in file uploads, multi-file uploads and various media gallery browsing features excellently. In Drupal 8 great work is being done to bring Media features into core. I'm a big fan of the initiative but I'm also concerned about how to provide provide future proof media featurs in my installation profile right now. 

Drupal 8 Entity Browser

At the moment of writing this, the successor of the Media module is Entity Browser. The module File Entity Browser (it builds on top of Entity Browser module) will give you a media library popup browser similar to the D7 media module's browser. Installing this module requires 5 modules (dropzonejs, embed, entity_browser, entity_embed, and file_browser) and 3 external libraries: dropzone, imagesloaded, and masonry. Part of the Drupal 8 media initiative is to include features similar to what the File Browser module provides in core, but in a cleaner architecture with fewer dependencies.

A module similar to File Entity Browser is Media Entity Browser and the major difference is that it uses the more flexible Media entity as opposed to the file entity. What exactly this means and how all this will be upgraded to the new Drupal 8.4 core features, I'm not sure. Therefore I decided to launch my distribution and products without image re-usability on Drupal 8.3. To protect my customers against potentially needing complex upgrade processes I'll hold off on advanced Media management until Drupal 8.4 comes out. It's planned to come out late this summer and I'm looking forward to it. 

Improvements In Documentation

This is not really a Drupal 8 improvement as much as it is a Drupal.org improvement. The quality of documentation available to day is so much better than on the day Drupal 7 came out. The new documentation page design immediately gives more credibility to the content and the content is carefully curated and better written. Even though this is not really a feature of Drupal 8 it certainly is a great benefit to those starting to learn Drupal 8 today. 

I also want to give a shout out to Drupalize.me, who are giving away free subscriptions for their premium training videos to people who have contributed on Drupal.org. Terms and details.

My Prediction: Drupal 8.4 Will Bring Up The Numbers

I see Media features as the #1 core advantage of WordPress over Drupal. Other major weaknesses of Drupal are a leaner offering of themes and niche-specific tools like portfolio plugins, drag and drop building options, and other fancy add-ons. But those can be fixed by contrib projects and through premium themes. Media is a challenge that took too long to get right in Drupal 7. It was only several months ago the Drupal 7 Media module had it's first truly stable Drupal 7 release. Thanks to this development, we can now expect to see more niche-specific add-ons for the Media module as there is a stable API to build on top on. Next week I will blog about the release of such an add-on module that SooperThemes has co-sponsored and co-developed. 

If the Drupal 8 Media Initiative is executed according to plan Drupal 8.4 will bring features to that will appeal strongly to the masses of Drupal site builders who are unable or unwilling to create custom configurations for Entity Browser. Drupal 8's more rapid emergence of a stable Media API can awaken growth of Media contrib modules that make the lives of content creators and site builder easier.

SooperThemes Drupal 8: Upgrade Status

To those who are waiting: Please be patient as we're finishing up and fine-tuning. I meant to release a public beta of some products this week but I decided it's better to focus on finishing the components that are currently <90% done. I'll re-evaluate the possibility of public beta testing  next week, and the week thereafter.

SooperThemes Products Drupal  8 Upgrade Progress  %_of_total** Glazed Theme 75% Complete 25% Glazed Drag and Drop Builder 95% Complete 25% Sooperthemes Portfolio (replacement of D7 glazed_portfolio) 90% Complete (only missing hover effect designs) 15% SooperThemes GridStack 95% Complete  5% Glazed Helper 75% Complete (only missing Page Design tools) 7.5% Glazed Drupal CMS Distribution (drupal.org/project/cms) 95% Complete (finetuning, future-proofing) 10% Demo Content and Installation Profiles 0/15 Completed (pending completion of above) 5% Product infrastructure* 50% Complete 7.5%

* demo sites, trysooperthemes.com, automatic installation profile testing and provisioning, support forum, etc. The kind of stuff you don't think about before starting a big Drupal 8 upgrade project.

** Estimated proportion to the total amount of work of all items in the table

Mar 27 2017
Mar 27

Today I'm excited to announce a new Glazed Builder and Theme release... Imagine having a meeting with your client tomorrow. You've promised your client the ability to update landing pages without needing any help. The client imagines he'll just be changing images and simple text blocks. Then you show him the Glazed Builder Sidebar and it's filled with your custom designed icon boxes, testimonial block, and even custom branded sliders. All accessible and editable without needing even basic HTML skills.

Custom HTML Drag and Drop Elements in the Glazed Builder Sidebar! 

Adding elements to the sidebar is now extremely easy, you don't need to have a custom module or even any PHP code. You just drop a folder with your custom elements in your theme or subtheme folder and your custom elements will magically appear as editable drag and drop elements. You just to add a class or two to indicate editable portions of your HTML elements and that's it. Of course, you can find all the details and an example zip file in the sidebar elements documentation

Various Fixes

We made various improvements to the Glazed Builder and Theme user experience, details of which you can read in the Glazed Builder Changelog and Glazed Theme changelog. We're ironing out as many little issues as possible while working on the Drupal 8 theme releases!

Need any help with sidebar elements? Just create a ticket in the support forum and we'll try to help you out and simultaneously improve our product to match any expectations you have that we did not think of.

Mar 22 2017
Mar 22

Between the rush of product updates we're putting out lately, a moment of reflection...

Like many other Drupal shops and theme/product developers I've been taking it easy with major investment in D8. But times are changing. Now we are seeing a time where Google searches including Drupal 8 are more numerous than searches containing Drupal 7. This is by no means a guarantee that D8 is a clear winner but to me it is a sign of progress and it inspires enough confidence to push ahead with our Drupal 8 product upgrades. SooperThemes is on schedule to release our Drupal themes and modules on Drupal 8 soon and I'm sure it will be great for us and our customers.

2017 will be an interesting year for Drupal, a year in which Drupal 8 will really show whether it can be as popular as it's younger brother. The lines in the chart might be crossing but Drupal 8 has some way to go before it is as popular as 7. Understanding that Drupal 8 is more geared towards developers one might say it never will, but I think that it's important for the open web that Drupal will stay competitive in the low end market. Start-ups like Tesla and SpaceX have demonstrated how Drupal can grow along with your business all the way towards IPO and beyond.

Is your business ready for Drupal 8?

Personally I think I will need a month or 2 before I can say I'm totally comfortable with shifting focus of development to Drupal 8. Most of my existing customers are on Drupal 7 and my Drupal 7 expertise and products will not be irrelevant any time soon. One thing that is holding me back is uncertainty about media library features in Drupal 8, I hope the D8media team will be successful with their awesome work that puts this critical feature set in core.

If you are a Drupal developer, themer, or business owner, how do you feel about Drupal 8? Are you getting more business for Drupal 8 than Drupal 7? How is your experience with training yourself or your staff to work with Drupal 8 and it's more object oriented code? 

Let me know in the comments if you have anything to share about what Drupal 8 means to you!

Mar 01 2017
Mar 01

It's the details that make the difference between a good product and a great product. The past 6 weeks were spent on refining the design patterns that constitute the Glazed branding and products. The result is a product that feels tight and inspires confidence. Just 2 years young, Glazed Builder is the new kid on the block but the progress since 1.0 has never slowed down. With the seeminlgy everlasting lack of quality Drupal themes for Drupal 7 and especially 8 I think that with Glazed Theme and Glazed Builder we have the platform that is needed to really fuse Drupal's powerful backend with beautiful designs in a maintainable, responsible way. In the future we'll be working hard on realizing this ambition, and publishing new designs for different niches.

Glazed Builder is different from consumer tools like Wix and Squarespace because it doesn't put limitations on where you place elements. Our grid system is based on bootstrap and our tools allow you to use Bootstrap elements like you would if you were custom coding. You're coding without having to write or see the code. The consequence was that sometimes nested rows, tabs, accordeons etc. had so many controls that they could overlap. 

This problem is was not easily solved, that is probably why you find very few drag and drop builders without some restrictions to where you place your elements. With this week's release the problem is no longer a problem. We're introducing a new algorithm for controls positioning. Thanks to advancements in browser APIs it's now feasible to do hit detection efficiently. This means we create space for icons when necessary, but we leave the layout intact where we can. This doesn't just solve the overlapping controls problem but also creates a much closer WYSIWYG experience.  

Performance Improvements for Theme and Builder

With Mobile performance more important than ever it's our responsibility to be vigilant about performance and take action when we see opportunity for improvement. One such improvement is our menu system. Our unique mobile menu provides an unparalleled navigation experience, and uses a bit of JavaScript to manage this. This caused a menu flickering on long page because the menu initiation happened close to the bottom of the page. This code was moved to the beginning of the page to speed up the menu render.

Other improvements have been made by replacing jQuery with browser native APIs, partly using the new knowledge that was gained from creating our unique controls positioning algorithm. 

Material Design box shadows are now available in the style tab using a simple slider. The slider represents the "surface level" metaphor used in Material Design's documentation and it renders elegant and simple shadows that are taken directly from Google's recommendations about drop shadows in Material Design.. 

Ready for Drupal 8

We're currently developing the Drupal 8 version of the Glazed installation profile and we are starting to upgrade our theme and modules.​ We previsouly aimed to release our Drupal 8 beta alongside the Drupal 8.3 release, but now that the D8media initiative has postponed their work to be released in Drupal 8.4 we are relaxing this deadline.

We're taking our time to make the right decisions about our installation profile, our theme, our drag and drop builder, and all the thousands of lines of code that make up our themes and demo websites. Expect to see Drupal 8 beta products somewhere after the 8.3 release of Drupal core and before the 8.4 release.

For more details about this week's updates:

Jan 16 2017
Jan 16

2017 is going to be an incredible year for SooperThemes and for you! We kick off with the first official major version update for our drag and drop builder! Today we introduce you to Glazed Builder 1.1.0. We have rebranded Glazed Builder to Glazed Builder and developed some major new features, including entity revisions, full support for filtered contextual views and RGBA color sliders!

This is a monumental update. Glazed Builder is currently not only the greatest and fastest drag and drop builder for Drupal but also a very competitive product in the wider site building landscape. Going forward we'll not only develop more features and designs but we'll also start developing even more complete and complex turn-key Glazed demos. In addition this release marks the start of our Drupal 8 upgrade sprint. Yes, you heard that right, with the D8Media initiative aiming to add much needed Media improvements in Drupal 8.3 we feel like now is the right time. 

The Admin demo is free, no card required!

Redesigned for 2017

Glazed Builder has a fresh look that is designed for fast intuitive site-building. The speed of an interface isn't just about fast code, it's very much about fast design too. The new controls are all-white and while animation is used on the drop shadows the actual controls appear and respond immediately.

The colors and branding are matched to the Glazed brand, to emphasize the uniform experience you get when you combine our Glazed Theme with the builder. That said, Glazed Builder is still an independent module that can work with any Drupal theme! 

Views with Contextual Filters

Perfect if you're making a magazine website or more serious blog or commerce website! Now you can design taxonomy term or e-commerce pages with dynamic views displays. It is now fully supported to load views in drag and drop pages, override their filters and pagers in Glazed Builder, and let these views take default arguments based on url parts.

This feature is not just awesome for magazine websites but also for government websites, intranets, communities... Basically anyone who builds websites with large amounts of structured content will love this update.

Better Equal Heights Rows And Vertical Centering, RGBA Color

Having an alpha slider on every color setting in Glazed Builder allows more creative freedom for designers and makes it easier for site builders to implement designs that use translucent elements. We also improved equal heights rows by replacing the old jQuery trick with faster, reliable Flexbox CSS. In addition we enriched the column element with a Vertical Centering option. This let's you add vertical centering to columns independently of sibling columns. 

Saving Revisions

Some updates are invisible: Glazed Builder now automatically detects entity types that support revisions and will create new revisions when saving to fields on these entities. It doesn't matter if your field is on a node, bean block or custom entity. It doesn't even matter if you have have 10 Glazed Builder instances in one page, saving to multiple entities in the backend. It all just works and with revisions you'll easily undo those regrettable changes that seemed right in the spur of the moment.

Goole AMP

Google AMP is seeing more and more adoption and we integrated Glazed Builder with the Drupal AMP module. AMP is very restrictive so it won't allow fancy elements like circle charts and image comparison widgets but it should work fine with non-interactive markup generated by Glazed Builder. We welcome feedback from AMP experts on how to further extend AMP support!

Glazed Theme 2.6.0

While this releases focuses on the Glazed Builder update, Glazed Theme also received new features and consequently a major version bump to 2.6.0. Less spectaculary but still very useful: A Import/Export interface was added to the Glazed Theme Settings interface. All those settings that collectively make up your sites' unique design can now easily be copy-pasted between environments, or into a new subtheme .info file.

Drupal 8 Themes and Builder

As a subscription Drupal theme shop, we really focus on building long-term relationships with our customers and that's why we carefully chose important moments that affect the products we make and maintain. Choosing the right moment to make the D8 move was hard, because Drupal 7 is just so good that it was hard for Drupal 8 to take the crown. 

From my perspective, this moment is the release of Drupal 8.3 with contrib in great shape, improved media handling, and hopefully a media browser in core! The moment that it no longer makes sense for anyone to start a Drupal 7 website is approaching and we're going to make sure all our products are running smoothly on Drupal 8 by that time.

For more details about this update:

Nov 11 2016
Nov 11

First of all, sorry for the late blog. This blog refers to the drupal themes updates on November 1st. I'm currently travelling China and while I rushed to get the release out before my departure, the blog had to wait a little longer.

TL;DR

Glazed Logistics Design And Reaching Product-Market Fit

With the release of the Logistics design we addded a unique and beautiful theme to our collection while at the same time the core products only needed minor adjustments. This is an indication that the products have achieved a state of stability and product-market fit. SooperThemes now pivots to focus more on creating new designs and features based on the current core products. Of course this doesn't mean we don't add new features at all, there will always be a need for change in a turbulent environment like Drupal frontend development. 

Creating Great Design For The Drupal Community

In the past year we have laid the neccessary ground work that is needed to provide the Drupal community with much desired high quality designs. The site building workflow with Glazed theme and Glazed Builder is incredibly fast, efficient and produces precisely designed responsive Drupal websites. This doesn't just improve productivity of our customers and our customers' content creators but also our own productivity. At this point we completely design our Glazed demos using just the theme and drag and drop builder, no photoshop or coding. This big gain in productivity really allows us to focus more on art direction, photography and design. For our logistics demo we created a set of unique 3D isometric line icons, and we curated a collection of beautiful stock photography to really create the right atmosphere for our niche design. We can afford to produce such detailed niche designs thanks to the productivity gains we made with Glazed theme and Glazed Builder. Our goal of closing the gap with the top tier multi-purpose WordPress themes is now appearing on the horizon.  

Glazed Magazine Component and Drupal 8

This stability also means we will start planning our Drupal 8 upgrade and migration paths. The next couple of months we will focus on ramping up the design release cycle and on adding a new magazine component to our Glazed CMS distribution. We want to avoid spending months on Drupal 8 migration while the Drupal 7 product offering is only at an 80% market fit. We are aiming to offer more than just great theme settings and drag and drop functionality: expect a multitude of niche designs with fully features demo content in a turn-key installation profile. We strive to become Drupal's first "Mega Theme".

Value As A Service

As a subscription Drupal shop, we really focus on building long-term relationships with our customers and with the Drupal community at large. We make decisions based on what we think provides the most value to the most people. An important part of making those decisions in listening to the community. If you can spare a minute, please write a comment on the blog and describe what you would value the most in a Drupal theme. One feature I'm think about adding to the distribution is ready-made translation configuration as an optional component in the Glazed CMS distribution, let me know in the comments if that is something you would value.

Pages

About Drupal Sun

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

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

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web