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Jul 28 2021
Jul 28

Drupal is among the standard Content Management Systems (CMS) used in designing more complex websites. It uses advanced features to aid the developers in designing beautiful websites. It is also known for frequent updates, and the recent update to Drupal 9 is necessary for the marketplace. However, businesses are worried about the approximate cost to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. We will discuss this aspect along with various considerations for the migration project.

Why must you Migrate to Drupal 9?

End of life is around the corner

It would be best if you upgraded the CMS at regular intervals. It helps add new features to the website and offers several core modules for better user interfaces. Performance enhancements are another reason you should go for upgrades. Moreover, any security vulnerabilities in earlier versions are also plugged through the upgrades.

It is essential to note that Drupal 8 is reaching the end of its life in November 2021 and Drupal 7 reaching end of life in November 2022, and it is necessary to migrate the website to Drupal 9. Web admins will not receive support or fixes from the Drupal community after this timeline. There are more than 565,000 websites still on Drupal 7 and more than 267,000 on Drupal 8, and they must be migrated in the near future for the sites to receive security updates.

Reasons to Migrate to Drupal 9

There are other reasons for your benefit when you migrate to Drupal 9. The new Drupal version has led to improved performance of the website. Few web admins may be awaiting a stable version of the upgrade, but there are no severe changes in the features. We will discuss some of the new features in detail.

Faster & Better Performance

With search engines preferring mobile responsive websites, Drupal 9 supports responsive images, leading to lesser data consumption. You can define several workflows, and the BitPipe enhances page viewing performance. Moreover, the upcoming versions will only provide a better user experience and faster websites.

Backward Compatible

The earlier versions of Drupal were not compatible with previous versions. However, Drupal 9 is consistent with the earlier version and preserves Backward Compatibility. It will essentially mean that most of the contributed modules in Drupal 8 will be compatible with the new version. The latest version can use the modules, data, and configuration from the earlier version. 

Cleaner Code Base

One of the best benefits of Drupal 9 is that it does not contain any of the deprecated code. Thus, the websites will have a clean codebase, and you must remove the deprecated code from the earlier versions before migrating to Drupal 9. It will help if you gradually remove the deprecated code from Drupal 8, and it will help make the Drupal 9 upgrade simpler.

Easiest Upgrade

Software experts are stating that the Drupal 9 upgrade is easy and is like a breeze. Earlier, the upgrades implied a time-consuming process that led to huge costs. In addition, there were configuration changes and involved content migration and porting modules to allow them to function as needed. One of the key targets for the Drupal 9 release was to ensure easier upgrades in future.

Understandably, future Drupal releases could be such that upgrades would not need major migration activities.

Symfony & Twig Updates

There have been upgrades in the Symfony and Twig software too. As they also see an upgrade, migrating your Drupal website to the new version is necessary. Other dependencies are getting updated too.

The Drupal Migration Cost

Website migration projects can expectedly be time-consuming. First, the migration team must find out the projected issues in the process. The timeline can usually depend on the size of data on your website.

Time Taken to Migrate

As with any other migration project, most web admins are worried about the time of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. The migration timeline will depend on the amount of data and content on the website. For example, it is estimated that a website without any customized modules and a few content types can be migrated within a few weeks. However, complex websites can take longer to migrate to Drupal 9.

The migration project involves migrating the content and the configuration to a new instance of the website. The content can cover various posts, files, blogs, and articles, etc. Therefore experts analyze and decide on the entire migration process. 

It is essential to take note that the custom modules must be written according to Drupal 9. This activity can take much time during the entire process. However, several techniques can be automated, as there are several modules to help in migration. Manual recreation may be needed too. Some projects may need field mapping while importing the website data present in different formats.

When the data is migrated, the migration team must check for errors and ensure that the correct data has been entered in the fields. Once everything is in order, you can go live with the migrated website.

Cost of the Migration

You must bear in mind that any migration activity can be tedious. It is also difficult to judge the precise estimates of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. The cost associated with the migration will depend on the content and design of the website. It will also depend on the functionalities involved and the associated custom code.

The migration strategy can be created keeping in mind the website's content, the investments involved, and the timeline. It is very important to appropriately analyze the requirements in the migration process to minimize the risk of cost escalation. Once the various features and functionalities are listed out, the developer can start the migration activity.

As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to predict the time of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. Some of our quickest migrations for medium-sized websites took around 2.5 - 3 months. On the other hand, a website of high complexity took about 5 - 6 months.

The migration to Drupal 9 is easier once you have migrated to Drupal 8 already. Drupal 9 is mostly like the last minor Drupal 8 release - Drupal 8.9. There are no huge configuration modifications or content migration and requirement to port modules. The new Drupal 9 release was mostly built on Drupal 8 by removing the deprecated unwanted APIs and updating the dependencies.

It is necessary that you update the website to the latest version of Drupal 8. Drupal 8.8 is fully compatible with Drupal 9. Hence, it is suggested to update to at least Drupal 8.8 before the migration. Our Drupal migration experts have the right experience across diverse Drupal projects. We expect that a medium complexity website can be migrated from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 within 1 month. A high complexity website could take around 2 - 2.5 months to migrate.

Considerations before the migration

Revisit the Functionalities

You must finalize the features that you want on the new site. For example, do you wish to change the newsletters, forms, etc.? Also, it would help if you considered whether you want to make changes to the existing appearance of the website. The decision on migrating whole or part of the content must be taken as well.

Developer Skill Set

Are the developers skilled enough to carry out the migration activities? If they are not, then they must undertake adequate training before setting out with the migration. In addition, they must know about the migration's dependencies and be aware of the core code in Drupal 9.

Compatible Hosting Environment

The migration needs to keep in mind that the hosting environment must be compatible with the new Drupal version. The team must ensure that the required changes are carried out in the hosting environment to ensure a hassle-free upgrade.

Time and Budget Considerations

It is suggested that you understand the time of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. The timeline must also consider the resting of the new site and checking how the SEO of the new site is working.

Conclusion

Businesses must readily migrate their Drupal website to the latest version. The new version is laden with several valuable features. It is, however, difficult to assess the actual cost of the Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. It depends on the size of the website and the content and features you wish to migrate.

We have undertaken several projects covering Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 migration within 200 hours. So if you are willing to migrate your website to Drupal 9, we are just a phone call away.

Jul 23 2021
Jul 23

Websites are increasingly becoming an essential marketing tool for businesses. It helps companies reach out to a more influential audience at a relatively lower cost and enhance conversion rates. Websites are also used as a means of providing information about the portfolio of solutions provided by businesses.

As competition increases, there is a need to enhance website ranking during a keyword search. Therefore, you must adhere to the best Google ranking factors to ensure your website ranks high during a keyword search. We will take you through some of the Google ranking factors in this article.

Technical SEO Google Ranking Factors

Ensuring that you are adopting technical SEO best practices can be daunting. Therefore, you may take the help of a professional web design and development company to ensure you adhere to the best practices.

Easy Crawling for Search Engines

One of the critical Google search engine ranking factors is the use of a sitemap. It helps a search engine to index the web pages more thoroughly and quickly. It provides better visibility of the web pages to the users. The crawlers can understand the structure of the website better and can ascertain where the pages are located. You can utilize software like Screaming Frog to check the presence of the sitemap.

You must also check the Sitemap section at the Google Search Console to inform you if the sitemap was submitted and the number of indexed URLs. It can also notify you if there are any problems encountered. You can also check the sitemap for errors by using various XML validator tools.

rendering queue

 

The robots.txt file allows the crawlers to understand the URLs they can access on the site. The instructions enable the crawlers to understand the URLs that are allowed or disallowed from being crawled. If you have any pages that you do not wish to be crawled can be mentioned in this file.

The Site Must be Responsive

As the number of mobile users increases, search engines like Google ensure that the websites provide a seamless experience for them. Therefore, website developers must ensure that the website can be viewed seamlessly on all devices by the visitors. If it does not, the SEO rank of your website is bound to fall.

Mobile responsiveness has become one of the critical google search engine ranking factors since 2015. Google has plans to move all sites to mobile-first indexing and crawling. It would mean developers must consider the mobile design, too, as Google would use this version to rank websites. In addition, you can use the Search Console to check if there are any mobile-related errors on the site.

The Page Load Speed Should be Optimal

Are you aware that most of your visitors will wait for only three seconds for a website to load? These visitors will move to your competition and may never return to your site. Moreover, the bounce rate will increase and is an important SEO ranking factor too. You can use various tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix to inform you about the page load speeds.

One of the main optimizing factors would be to identify the heavy images. You must use plug-ins to ensure the photos are of optimal size. If the images are optimized correctly, it can help to increase site speed.

Use an SSL Certificate

Google had come up with an update in 2014 that showed its preference towards secure websites. The update stated that if all other factors remained the same, Google would prefer HTTPS websites. It is mainly as the certificates that install an SSL certificate encrypt the communication exchanged with the visitor's browser. This update is in line with Google’s mission towards a safer internet browsing experience for its users.

The Use of Schema Markup

An essential factor that SEO executives must remember is the use of Schema Markup. It helps the search engine to have a better knowledge about specific sections of the text. It is ideal when you plan to do local SEO. You can also use it to inform Google where your business is located.

You can use it to present meaningful information to Google about a web page. If you use the schema markup intelligently, you can get into Google Knowledge Graph. It also helps in showing up visually enhanced search results for your website. It also supports semantic search and enhances the authoritativeness of your website.

schema markup

On-page SEO Ranking Factors

There are also specific Google ranking factors that are more page-specific.
 
Use of Relevant Keywords

All SEO experts will tell you about ensuring that your website content is written, keeping the relevant keywords in mind. The keywords essentially search terms used by users and form the basis of the content on your website. Most marketers also feel it is a high-impact driver of website traffic and is among the key Google ranking factors. When writing content for a page, always keep in mind that you can have only 4 - 5 keywords on a page. Also, keep the keyword density best practices in mind.

The Need for High-Quality Content

One of the critical Google ranking factors is the high quality of content on the website. The content must be fresh, unique, and helpful for users. While you must ensure it is optimized for SEO, always ensure that it must be valuable for the website visitors. 

You must create original content and always undertake a duplicate check before publishing on your site. It would be best if you considered the length of the content too. While there is no word limit set for the content, it must neither be too short nor should it be too long. Most SEO plug-ins require your content to be a minimum of 300 words. Apart from the content quality, it must be well-organized and structured using proper tags. 

Optimizing the Title Tags and Meta Description

The title tags and the meta description show up on the Google SERP that allows a user to understand the web page's contents. You must ensure that you optimize the content you write here to help you draw more visitors to your website. You can use the keywords here as well.

Google can pull the information to create snippets that preview the content on the page relating to the search term used. You can also use the keywords for the image alt-text, and if you optimize it, you can also move the images higher up during image search. Also, do not use jumbled-up URLs as they are not SEO-friendly. If the URL has a simple structure, is concise, and contains the optimized keyword, it will be easier to rank these pages higher in search ranking.

Off-Page Ranking Factors

The search ranking of your website is also dependent on few entities outside your website. Some of them are other high domain authority (DA) websites, social media, etc.

Use of Social Bookmarking

The foundation of the ranking algorithm requires you to ensure that your website has backlinks from high DA websites. It is an essential SEO ranking factor, and you must also keep in mind that the backlinks must be relevant and related to the content on your website. While you may have backlinks from high DA sites, you must also ensure that the backlinks are fresh. It is because the users prefer the latest news. However, it will depend on the search term used.

The Search Intent

One thing that Google does is that it does not rank the same content for all queries. The ranking also varies according to the search intent of the user. For example, if you are looking for a "how-to" guide, the web pages shown to you will differ when you search for the best gadgets. The content types are also critical for the search engine when it is ranking the web pages. The search engine also checks whether the piece of content covers what the user is expecting to see.

Conclusion

The search algorithm covers various factors that SEO managers must consider ensuring their website ranks high during a keyword search. While the number of such parameters may total over 200, we have covered the top SEO ranking factors believed to be used by Google.

If you are planning to design a new website, you must keep these factors in mind. You can also take the services of a professional web design and development company and discuss with their subject matter experts on these parameters.

Jul 19 2021
Jul 19

Are you willing to develop a mobile app for your business? This article describes various phases in mobile application development process. Read it for more information.

The increased penetration of smartphones has led to more mobile users. Businesses are also trying to cater to this new set of users by creating mobile apps and improving customer experience. As a result, there is an increased requirement for developing mobile apps, rapidly addressing this audience, and catering to their needs. However, to ensure the application's success, businesses must adhere to a robust mobile app development process. We will discuss the steps involved in the process in detail.

Stages of Mobile App Development Process

Here is now the detailed overview of each phase involved in mobile application development.

Research and Strategy

The process of mobile app development starts by deciding the strategy for why you will need the app. Many apps are an extension of the desktop application. Next, you must identify the audience and understand their likes and dislikes. Research and strategy must take up a significant amount of time in the initial stages. The demographics and behavioral patterns of the audience must be considered too. 

While doing your research, you must also check out your competition and assess how they are reaching out to their audience and the features they are offering. The information forms the background in deciding the goals and objectives that include a critical step in mobile app development. 

Planning and Evaluating the Feasibility

Once you have finalized the app's goals, you can now analyze the features you will need in the project. It is where the analysis of competitor apps is critical. You can include the features that are absent in your competition and include them in yours. Once you have identified the elements you wish to include, you must prepare a product roadmap.

The features must be prioritized based on their importance and grouped into delivery milestones. It is also essential to identify the technologies that you will require. You must also check whether the backend system will support the functionalities you wish the app to have. You can take the help of experts from a leading mobile app development company.

UI/ UX Design

The app design must follow the optimized workflows that will allow the users to use the app seamlessly. In addition, it must ensure customer loyalty and increase dwell time on the app. So, first, map the customer journey and visualize how the visitors will go through the workflows in your app. Then, create the wireframes and a storyboard to explore the mobile app and demonstrate the navigational workflows.

The wireframes will cover the app layouts along with the device-specific designs. During this process, you must also include the specific branding guidelines of your company, also called the Style Guides. It will cover the font and style to be included in the app. The design of the navigation icons and how the app will adhere to your branding guidelines will also be covered.

Based on the guides created, the mockups will be made based on the wireframes. You can discuss with the client and finalize the aesthetic and the workflows. The static mockups can be turned into prototypes with high-quality tools. It can help stimulate the workflows that the final app will use. The user experience can also be assessed.

Development

Before the actual development of the mobile app starts, you must define the architecture and finalize the technology stack to be used. It is the most critical portion of the mobile application development process. Next, the backend technology covering the database and various other server-related objects is finalized. Next, the APIs to be created are assessed too. Finally, an intuitive user interface design is prepared for the front-end using the selected technology.

The developers will set up the project, and the pieces of code are checked before being merged into the project. Then, the app could be released to a small group of external testers for further testing of the code. If you are developing a complex app, you can use the agile methodology that helps in continuous improvements and progressive development.

Testing

The testing phase forms an integral part of your mobile app development initiative that ensures that the app is secure and stable. A team of expert testers must create appropriate use cases based on the industry and the various workflows included in the app. It will help the testers to record the results involving evaluation of the software quality. It will also help them to track the fixes in the code that must be done.

Your Quality Assurance team must be an integral part of this process. The application is now tested for compatibility, usability, performance, stress, and security, etc. The mobile app must undergo several tests to ensure a high-quality mobile solution. Some of the testing processes to be followed are:

  • User Experience Testing
  • Functional Testing
  • Device and Platform Testing
  • Security Testing

Deployment and Support

When the app is ready, you must choose the time to launch the app. After that, you can wish to publish the app on the Google Play Store or the App Store, or both. Of late, the Amazon App Store is also famous. The process involved in publishing on the different mobile app stores can vary across the various platforms.

Before publishing, you must have the metadata content ready. Keep in mind that the content must be optimized for the App Store you have chosen. You can also upload various promotional materials like videos and graphics. Some other necessary information like any geographic restrictions, configurations, and pricing may require uploading.

With Google Play Store, there would be a time lag before your mobile app is formally published. It is not the end, but only the beginning of future changes. You will receive feedback from the users that can be used as feedback for future improvements. 

App Maintenance and Future Developments

Once the app has been published, the app's performance can be tracked by deploying adequate control points through KPIs. You can detect the crashes, downloads, etc. long with other metrics as set by you. However, your work on the app continues through the support activities and future developments needed. You must keep in mind that the enhancements must be uploaded onto the app store platforms in the same process as before.

Conclusion

Mobile app development is a continuous process that does not stop with the app being published on the app stores. You must take the help of a leading mobile app development company that can help you visualize the app and suggest the features and functionalities needed through adequate research.

We have been providing mobile app development services to some of the leading businesses cutting across different industries. You can reach out to us to start a discussion about how we may be of help.

Jul 13 2021
Jul 13

With Drupal 8 reaching its end-of-life on Nov 2, 2021, you must upgrade to Drupal 9 before November to keep your site secure. Let's have a look why migrating now is best option for your web platform.

Drupal is among the most robust CMS that is seeing increased use in complex websites. Like most CMSs, Drupal is upgraded regularly to add new features for a holistic visitor experience and added security features. Therefore, it is always helpful to have the CMS upgraded to the latest version. However, the impending end of support of Drupal 8 on 2nd November 2021 requires you to go for a Drupal 8 to 9 upgrade quickly.

Why must you Upgrade to Drupal 9?

Drupal 8 is Nearing the End-Of-Life

One of the prime reasons you need this upgrade is that Symfony 3 and Drupal 8 reach the end of life. It is happening even before Drupal 9.3.0 is released. It is also essential to know that the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is more straightforward than the earlier versions. Once the support is lifted, there will be no bug fixes, security updates, or creation of new features or modules. It will be challenging to protect the website from cyberattacks or stay ahead of the competition. The Drupal 9 upgrade will provide you with support from the Drupal community.

drupal 8 end of life - upgrade to drupal 9

(Source: Drupal.org - How to prepare for Drupal 9)

Few Unique Features in Drupal 9

Let us learn about some of the critical features of Drupal 9 that will provide an impetus for a quick upgrade.

  • It is Backward Compatible

    Drupal 9 is compatible with its predecessor and can use the modules and configurations used in Drupal 8. It will ensure that the performance of the system will not be affected. Your website will operate faster and with clutter-free technology.
     

  • No Deprecated Code

    One of the issues of migration projects is the need for a cleaner codebase. No deprecated code will be supported and used in the Drupal setup. When you upgrade to Drupal 9, there will be a cleaner codebase and improved site performance.
     

  • New Versions of Symfony and Twig

    The older versions of these platforms will be removed, and you must upgrade to the newer versions. It helps to enhance website security and enhances the developer experience. For example, there will be an upgrade to Symfony 4 or 5, while there could be an upgrade to Twig 2.0.
     

  • Multi-Lingual Support

    Global corporations have websites in the language of the country where they are operating. It helps them to talk in the language of the audience. Drupal 9 allows multi-lingual support, and the editors can manage language versions conveniently.

Tips for Upgrading to Drupal 9

When you upgrade to Drupal 9, you must ensure that the version is updated. Are you aware that the upgrade from Drupal 8.9.0 to Drupal 9 would involve updating Symfony and Twig? It will also include the removal of the deprecated libraries and code.

As a first step, you must ensure that the site runs on a stable version of Drupal 8. The Upgrade Status module can help check the contributed module's compatibility and assess the system requirements. The custom modules must be checked for the use of APIs or deprecated libraries.

While you are still on Drupal 8, you must upgrade the contributed modules and the themes to the Drupal 9 compatible versions. You can use the Upgrade Status module to generate a report on the readiness of the modules for the proposed upgrade to Drupal 9.

If you are using custom themes or modules, always check if they are compatible with the new version of Drupal. You can scan using the Upgrade Status module and remove any deprecated APIs that may be present. Moreover, you must also check whether the PHP, MySQL, and the web server are running on compatible versions.

How can you upgrade to Drupal 9 from Drupal 8.7 or earlier?

You must migrate the Drupal 8 site to Drupal 9 to see the end of life in November this year. When you have decided to relocate, you must first update the Drupal 8 site with the most recent version of both the contributed and core themes and modules. In addition, the site must be upgraded to at least Drupal 8.8.0 as earlier modules are unlikely to be compatible with Drupal 9.

Before you plan the upgrade to Drupal 9, you must have an inventory of the contributed modules, custom modules, and themes.

Custom modules: You can install drupal-check running as a part of CI workflow or running on the development environment. You will understand the activities to be performed to have the custom code compatible with Drupal 9. You can note down the modules which have a compatibility issue. Check whether you need them anymore.

Contributed modules: The contributed modules can be segregated into groups that will show the amount of effort needed. First, check the modules that have a Drupal 9 release. Also, check whether these would be significant updates or would they be minor ones.
The latest releases of the contributed module can often support both the versions of Drupal 8 and 9. Thus, the effort needed will be the least, and you can start from here.

You must update to the latest version of the core to allow the database to be ready for migration. The contributed modules will also be prepared for the Drupal 9 upgrade. Once all the components are compatible, you must update the core to Drupal 9 and run the update.php program.

How can you upgrade from Drupal 8.8 or later?

The themes and the contributed modules must be updated. You can use the Update Status module to check the compatibility with the Drupal 8.8 site. You can check the module’s project pages for the Drupal 9 upgrade. If the website has themes or custom code, always ensure they are not using any code that was deprecated in 8.8 and must be removed. When all the components are compatible, you can update the core to Drupal 9 and run the update.php.

Conclusion

Drupal is increasingly getting popular with heavier and more complex websites. In keeping with the trend of periodically upgrading Drupal, the advent of upgrade to Drupal 9 comes with several benefits. You must upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 as Drupal 8 will see the end of life by November this year.

Are you looking for experts for migrating your website to Drupal 9? We are happy to help and are just a phone call away or contact our experts to get started on your Drupal upgrade today!

Jul 07 2021
Jul 07

The Ecommerce industry has grown during the pandemic. As a result, there is more demand for eCommerce website development. What are the factors to consider? Lets check it out in this blog.

The Indian E-Commerce Industry has Grown Enormously

The eCommerce industry is growing by leaps and bounds. It is expected to cross the US market by 2034. As per the latest Indian E-commerce Industry Growth Analysis, the eCommerce market is expected to reach revenues of US$ 99 billion by 2024, with a CAGR of 27% since 2019. The growth will be driven mainly by groceries, consumer electronics, apparel, etc. The competition is fierce, with several local and foreign entities jostling for space.

Several businesses are selling their goods online. The online shopping industry is bound to expand further due to the government's impetus on the Digital India program. As the prospects of the industry increase, there is also the need for high-end eCommerce website development services. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has also led to customers ordering more goods online.

Growth of eCommerce during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The curbs on movement and the lockdowns have led to more customers doing online shopping. It has helped to push eCommerce sales to heights never seen before. In addition, the use of reliable broadband and smartphone penetration has ensured that customers have a seamless experience buying online.

The use of next-generation technologies has also led to an increase in this sector. It has helped customers make better choices. The changed shopping traits will continue even after the pandemic. During this time, several more businesses have taken the online route. While some of them have turned into affiliates of renowned brands, some others have their eCommerce website.

Few Points to Consider before Developing your eCommerce Website

Aligning the Business Goals

Before taking the plunge, you must have a robust plan in place for your eCommerce business. It should cover the goals and objectives you have in mind. It is necessary because you can design the website accordingly. In addition, you must understand your audience and design workflows that will ensure the visitors can view their products quickly.

You can depute eminent eCommerce website development to help you design websites that can appeal to your audience. You can assess their buying habits and formalize the best campaigns that can lead to increased revenues. Discuss and finalize the features you need on the website with the subject matter experts. If you have the budget, you can include some of the killer technologies on your website.

Finalizing the Platform

When you are planning to design a customized website, you must take time to finalize the platform. A lot of it will depend on your business goals and the features you wish to have on your website. The entire eCommerce website development process will depend on this activity. You can start by analyzing the elements you need on the site. Analyzing your competition can also be an ideal way to initiate this process.

The platform you choose must accommodate the features you need on the website. The website must run on a unified platform that can support all the modules necessary for an eCommerce website. In addition, it must allow excellent customer experiences along with on-the-fly marketing offers and on-time client servicing. You can be in touch with the best eCommerce website development services providers, who can provide expert advice on the ideal platform for your online shop.

Finalize the Website Design

You must use the help of experts to ascertain the project requirements and finalize the project plan accordingly. The features you wish to have on the website can also have an impact on the overall design. Also, keep your campaign strategy in mind and the buying behavior of your audience. The feature additions can be made in phases too.

While designing the site, you must also consider the SEO plan. If you plan to transition your earlier website, always have experts chalk out the transition plan. Your design must define the responsibilities of the different resources allocated to the project. Setting a realistic timeline can help to assess the incremental progress of the overall project.

Choosing the Template and Plugins

Once you finalize the design, you must choose the theme of the website. Then, you must take the services of a renowned eCommerce website development company that can help you select your website's theme. There are several options available, and you must consider the products offered and the overall branding of your online shop.

While selecting the template, you must keep in mind the design of the homepage and the navigational workflows that you prefer. The theme color and the use of images must gel with your branding guidelines. You must consult with an expert to finalize the UX design that would help your customers. Finally, based on the features chosen, you must select the plugins that you wish to have on the site. 

Additional Points to be Considered

The Competition

Your business plan will never be complete unless you assess your competition. So always have a comprehensive overview of your competition and constantly have a keen eye on their website workflows and campaigns. It will help you have an overview of the steps you must take to stay ahead of them.

Website Security

One of the critical sections of eCommerce website development is to ensure that it is secure. As the eCommerce website stores a vast amount of data, hackers are quick to target them. Always keep in mind that the SSL certificate is valid and renewed on time. Use the latest antivirus and firewalls to protect your data. It would be best to have security processes in place to prevent unauthorized access to your data centers. Ensure that your employees follow password best practices.

Maintenance and Support

You must have a renowned partner to maintain your website. It will need added features to stay ahead of the competition. Have regular support contracts with an adequate level of expertise. Ensure that the agreement covers technology upgrades, quality and security updates, etc.

How can PWA help in better eCommerce Website Development and Grab Mobile Audience?

As the eCommerce industry sees an unprecedented number of visitors, businesses must stay prepared to provide unique experiences to website visitors. A progressive web app (PWA) can help you provide app-level UX to visitors. By leveraging web APIs, it can offer a native mobile app experience. A study among developers shows that at least 46% of them believe progress web apps to be the way forward.

progressive ecommerce website development and application

The PWAs can cater to all users and are responsive enough to fit into any device screen. They can be accessed by a broader audience and can provide speedy page downloads too. They use modern web frameworks that lead to reduced development costs and timeframes. Due to a better user experience, they lead to improved conversions rates too. 

Websites must provide an excellent experience for mobile visitors. Search engines like Google give preference to the mobile experience. Moreover, Google has been supporting PWA since 2015. You can download a progressive web app on the mobile home screen for an improved experience. Push notifications can also be used to enhance the experience.

Conclusion

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has led to a shift in customer behavior, and more people are buying online. As a result, more companies are moving their business online and are experiencing increased revenues. It is also essential for them to engage a renowned eCommerce website development agency that can guide them in moving to a customer-friendly website and improve conversions.

We have discussed some of the points to consider before you can come up with the website. It will be helpful for you to beat the pandemic and see your revenues soar. Our experienced team of website developers can suggest various ways of developing a creative website for you. Reach out to us for more details.

Jul 05 2021
Jul 05

Drupal is an open-source CMS that helps websites have rich features that help to increase visitors. More than a million websites are on Drupal, but web admins are still worried about Drupal website security. Most websites request visitors for their personal information for various reasons. They also store their login information, while e-commerce sites also store the financial information of the visitors. Therefore, it becomes necessary to ensure the platform is secure to prevent a data breach.

  • Keeping the Modules Up to Date

    There are frequent updates in Drupal, and the upgrades plug the security gaps in the earlier versions. Like all other applications and CMS, you must always upgrade the website to the latest versions of Drupal. You can download the newest version over the Drupal repository, and they usually come with several new security features.

    You must always use only trusted modules and themes to ensure a secure Drupal website. The web admin can readily check for the available updates from the Drupal admin and download them. When you plan to update the Drupal website, always take a reliable backup of the site.
     

  • Have a Backup of the Website

    There could be an unforeseen event that may cause damage to the website. While such events cannot be foretold, web administrators must be prepared for them. The damage can be mitigated by taking frequent backup of the website. You can use the Backup and Migrate module for handling the backups, and it should be high on the Drupal security checklist.

    You can have both online and offline backups of the website. The default setting can allow you to have a download of the backup but can also make changes as per your needs. The Backup and Migrate module enables the transfer of the backup files to a pre-set address. After making the changes, you must click on “Backup now”.

    There are advanced backup options, including providing a timestamp to the file, encrypting the files, and changing the compression format. In addition, the Schedules tab can allow editing of the backup schedules as per the requirement. You can also use the CLI method for backup that can be done in two ways, viz.

  1. Using Crontab and Native Commands based on the backup
  2. Using Drush in combination with the Crontab
  • Follow a Strong Password Policy

    Strong passwords are the essence of website security. Your company must have a robust password policy that will ensure that the users use strong passwords for their access to the website. The passwords will be used by the web administrators and the users too. All of them must have strong passwords that follow global best practices.

    Always ensure that the passwords provide strength through complexity and combine characters and alphabets but not necessarily in a sequence. The Password Policy module can define the constraints that should be met before the changed password of a user can be accepted.
     

  • Login Security

    You must cap the number of login attempts at a time, and versions above Drupal 7 allow this feature. The Login Security module provides access control that can deny IP access to the entire website content. The administrator can also deny access to specific IP addresses permanently.

    Emails can also be sent to the administrator to know when password or account guessing is happening. Any unexpected login behavior can also be intimated. The Login Security module can also disable the login error messages of the Drupal core. There is an option whereby the users can see the last login along with the timestamp.

    A Flood Control module acts as an interface for the flood control variables. It allows the administrator to remove user IDs and IP addresses from the flood table. The automated logout feature allows the user to be logged out after a predetermined time of no activity. In addition, there is an ability to ensure role-based timeout or disabling timeouts based on assigned roles.
     

  • Setting up the Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)

    The two-factor authentication mechanism requires a physical device in your possession. As an additional security feature, the user must enter a code to log in. The code would be sent to the device selected by the user. It is easy to set up this additional feature using the 2 Factor Authentication module of Drupal.

    There are 15+ 2FA methods, including the Google Authenticator. The features include IP whitelisting, domain-based, role-based 2FA. Even if the registered device is lost, alternate login methods like OTP over email and security questions are supported.
     

  • Limit the Access to User Accounts

    One of the ideal Drupal security best practices is to limit access to the account. The users who have access to the back end add to the security risk of the website. The web admins must restrict the access to only the developers who need to access it, and that too for a specific time. The admins must check the user accounts and stay aware of who all have full access to the back end and whether they require the access anymore.

    Roles can be assigned to the users, and the setting can be customized. Apart from the administrator rights, you can allocate these rights to users too:

  1. Provide read-only access without the ability to change content
  2. Add content without any modification rights
  3. Modify or add content
  • Spam Protection

    To ensure a secure Drupal website, you must protect it from spam. Drupal has anti spam features that keep it safe. The Honeypot module prevents spam bots from completing forms on the site. It is effective against several different spambots and caters to all types of forms on the site.

    Antibot is another module that prevents form submission by bots. It can also prevent spam submissions and can protect the forms while continuing to cache the page. It does not require any integrations and works on mobile devices too.

    The use of captcha has long been the ideal way to block bots. The Captcha module prevents spam submission by bots and can be used by any user-facing web form. In addition, there are other spam filtering solutions like the Antispam module that can ensure Drupal website security using the Akismet antispam services.
     

  • Ensuring the Drupal Core is Secure

    The core should always be updated to the latest version. You can follow the Drupal Security team on social media channels for alerts on updates. A Security by Design framework allows designing the website such that the impact of any vulnerability is minimized. The security best practices must be followed at the architectural level.

    The Paranoia module in Drupal helps to prevent an attacker from gaining additional permissions on the Drupal site. It identifies the vulnerabilities and notifies the web admin when the hacker tries to evaluate the PHP through the web interface.
     

  • Database Security

    As a security precaution, you must block access to the critical files at the back end. You can change the table prefix to make it difficult for an intruder to guess and initiate SQL injections. The table prefix can be changed when installing Drupal.

    While setting up the database, click on the “Advanced Options”, you will come across the host, port number, and the Table name prefix fields. Insert the table prefix there. If you have named the database, change it, and make it more difficult to guess.

    The administrator must restrict access to the server while constantly monitoring the server access. The server signature must be hidden, too, and keep the port numbers hidden from public access. As a general feature, always keep the core updated to the latest version.

    Drupal also allows you to encrypt the database. You may encrypt parts of the database or the whole of it. The Drupal configuration can pass the encryption laws or privacy standards.
     

  • Install an SSL Certificate

    It is essential to install an SSL certificate to protect your website. Moving to the HTTPS protocol will ensure that the communication exchange with the visitor's browser is encrypted. No third party can have access to this information, and the source is authenticated too. It can prevent man-in-the-middle attacks and ensure that your website is safer. Moreover, it can also help in SEO and improve site performance.

Conclusion

There is a need to improve the security of your Drupal website. You can start by having stringent password policies and keeping Drupal up to date. You can also deploy security plugins and use an SSL certificate. We have discussed the ways you can keep the website secure. You may also reach out to us to initiate a discussion with our experts about how to secure your Drupal site. We will await your call!

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