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May 13 2020
May 13

Security above all. The Drudesk team would love to help all businesses make their websites secure.

Hence our very popular service of Drupal website security audit that we offer at affordable prices. During the audit, we perform in-depth checks and find security vulnerabilities of different nature. After a good clean-up, we always recommend using helpful tools that will help them regularly keep an eye on website security.

One of these tools is the Security Review module that can quickly check a website for security vulnerabilities. In this post, the Drudesk help team will show how it performs a quick Drupal website security check on a number of important points.

Why is security important for a website?

Hackers use plenty of techniques (SQL Injection, cross-site scripting, remote code execution, and so on) to intrude into websites and manipulate their data for malicious purposes.

Hence the importance of web security checks — they help you discover your site’s weak points. Providing for your website safety allows you to:

  • ensure your crystal clear reputation to build a long-term customer relationship
  • protect your important business information from disclosure
  • keep your customers’ data (names, credit card numbers, etc.) intact
  • avoid being blacklisted by Google or other services due to security vulnerabilities
  • insure yourself from legal proceedings based on sensitive data manipulation
  • safeguard your business against direct money losses related to compromised data
  • keep your overall website performance smooth and never lose your conversions

The best Drupal security practices

If you are using Drupal, your situation with website safety is favorable because Drupal is rated highly for security. However, to ensure Drupal website security, there are good practices websites need to observe:

  • keeping your website up-to-date with the security releases published by the Drupal Security Team
  • using the HTTPS protocol for encrypted data transfer
  • setting the right roles and permissions to relevant users
  • taking precautions with the super admin user
  • using strong logins and passwords for admin accounts
  • doing regular backups
  • blocking access to important files
  • removing outdated modules
  • using helpful Drupal security modules

When it comes to the last point, in the collection of modules for checking and improving your Drupal website security, there is the Security Review module to perform quick website security checks. Next, we describe its work.

Website security check with the Security Review module

The Security Review Drupal module can quickly check a website for security vulnerabilities. It performs an automated website security check on-demand — with a click on the admin dashboard.

This will give you a quick answer to the question “How secure is my website?” based on a number of factors. The module uses a very nice website security testing checklist:

  • Safe extensions only are used for uploaded files and images.
  • Dangerous tags in submitted content are not found.
  • Untrusted roles do not have access to important permissions.
  • Error reporting is set to log only.
  • PHP files in Drupal files directory are not executable.
  • Files and directories are not writable on the server.
  • The private files directory is not in the server root.
  • Sensitive temporary files are not found.
  • Untrusted users are not allowed to add dangerous HTML tags.
  • Base_url and trusted_host_patterns are not set.
  • Views are access controlled.

With the module installed and enabled, go to Reports — Security Review and click “Run and review” to start the website security check. After a few seconds of the check, you get a list of things to improve. Each of them can be opened for more details or skipped.

Security Review Drupal module

If you click on the “Settings,” you can select the website security check steps that should be skipped, set the “untrusted roles,” and choose to log the check results and skips.

Security Review Drupal module settings

The module does not do any improvements by itself — it is one of website security scanning tools. Its website security check is meant to inform you of what needs to be improved.

Let us check your website for security vulnerabilities!

Dealing with safety is difficult, even if the website security test runs from just one click on your dashboard. You will also need to know how to properly fix the discovered vulnerabilities in the check. But you can always call Drudesk!

Our Drupal support and maintenance team is here to check your website for security vulnerabilities and increase its safety. We respect your budget and offer very reasonable pricing for all stack of support services, including security tests. After years of experience with various site vulnerabilities, Drudesk devs can quickly find the cause of the problem.

So drop us a line if you would like to:

  • install and configure the security modules that check and/or improve your site
  • interpret their website security check results properly and take measures
  • check the website security comprehensively — with an audit by our experts

Never hesitate to contact us! What can be more affordable than our services? A totally free consultation! Drudesk: here is where your Drupal website security starts.

Apr 01 2020
Apr 01

Real estate & property management businesses can reap huge profits from having a well-built website — and many of them actually do!

However, sites in this area are not built in one click. They require reliable and smooth third-party integration, excellent property categorization, advanced search, and more. This makes the choice of the CMS a responsible task. In this post, we take a tour of the features and opportunities that prove it’s a great idea to build a real estate website on Drupal.

Benefits of creating a real estate website

Having your own real estate website, built in accordance with the best practices and the right tools, can give you:

  • a wider client base
  • a more powerful business brand
  • availability with no geographical boundaries
  • endless opportunities for digital marketing
  • increased transactions

and more!

Drupal for the real-estate websites

As a Drupal development & support team, we know how well Drupal performs in the real estate and property management industry. This is also proved by numerous Drupal real estate website examples.

Drupal real estate website examples

All this inspired us to dedicate a blog post to the key Drupal benefits for real estate websites, among which are:

  • advanced integration opportunities with third-party systems thanks to Drupal 8’s API-first approach
  • the possibility to share the site’s data to a mobile app in order to provide better experiences for your users and expand your audience
  • multi-level categories for real-estate objects thanks to Drupal’s taxonomy system
  • convenient real estate filtering and sorting options by various criteria
  • smart search opportunities (including faceted search, location-based search, autocomplete, and much more)
  • image optimization options that allow you to keep the quality of real estate images while scaling and cropping them for different listings
  • enhanced multilingual capabilities that will allow you include overseas customers
  • flexible roles and permissions, as well as content moderation opportunities, that provide good control to your property management
  • a mobile-first approach in Drupal 8 that makes it easy to provide smooth viewing experiences for your mobile audience
  • plenty of helpful modules that enrich real estate & property management website functionality
Drupal real estate website examples

What functionality you’ll need for your real estate website

Among the key features to make a real estate website, there are:

  • property listings
  • appealing visuals
  • registration
  • CTAs
  • contact forms
  • search
  • filtering
  • testimonials

and many more.

In the wealth of opportunities for real estate & property management websites in Drupal, we have gathered a few of the most requested real estate website features that many of our customers have been asking for recently:

Real estate APIs and third-party integration

APIs are vital for today’s data exchange, especially on the rapidly growing real estate market. Real estate websites rely on APIs to get relevant property data for their real estate listings. Real estate APIs provide functionalities like MLS (multi-listing service) feeds, mortgage data, rental estimates, and many more.

A real estate website can also share its data with third-party websites and applications. The API-first principle of Drupal 8 makes it especially smooth and easy thanks to a built-in REST API and data serialization and preparation to be shared in the JSON or XML formats.

When talking about third-party integration, any other third-party software can be brought to work with your real estate website. This can be software for accounting, real estate transaction management, lease management, real estate CRM, and much more.

  • Example: integration with Quickbooks

An example is this kind of integration with the Quickbooks accounting software. It can help you track income and expenses per property, calculate the management fee collected from the customer, and much more. To speed up the integration, there are some useful Drupal modules such as the Quickbooks Online API, the Drupal QuickBooks Integration, and more.

Payment processing

Some customers need payment processing functionality on a real estate website. It is vital to provide customers with convenient payment methods and a good choice of preferred payment gateways. Drupal Commerce 2 provides secure and smooth payment functionality integration by supporting 70+ payment gateways, for which there are contributed modules. Whatever other gateways you wish to integrate your real estate website with, can be added via customizations. Flexible payment options for on-site, off-site, “manual” gateway payments, and many more are possible.

User management features

It’s vital for a real estate website's security and efficient workflows that only the right people have access to the right tasks. Real estate owners, buyers, renters, developers, renovators, brokers, and many other participants of the process need different permissions. Those who decide to create a real estate website with Drupal, appreciate its system of roles and permissions that can be very granular. In addition, there are contributed Drupal 8 modules for user access and many more to provide smooth user management.

  • Special case: real estate data aggregator

Among the real estate & property management websites created by our team, there is a special project that is an example of how complex, advanced, and interesting it can be. Gridics is a platform that aggregates real estate data from various sources in the right format. Among the cool features are a zoning code management tool, an interactive 3D Map that helps customers better evaluate the real property objects, a Gridics API to filter data by various criteria, and much more.

Gridics real estate aggregator

Build a real estate Drupal website with us!

The choice of features for your real estate website is unlimited. Drupal is an enterprise-class CMS that allows developers to implement ideas of any complexity. If you are inspired to create a real estate website with Drupal, contact our Drupal experts and let’s discuss what your future site could do for you.

Mar 25 2020
Mar 25

The joy of e-commerce is that there are myriads of different products so every customer can find what suits them perfectly.

As an online store owner, you will just need to help them a little — which will be a win-win! In this post, you will learn how to do this by setting up product attributes in your Drupal online store. Flexible product management is one of the reasons to choose Drupal Commerce — an e-commerce platform for Drupal websites. Let’s take a closer look at its product attribute system.

A glimpse at how to increase online sales

In the ocean of recommendations to boost onlines sales on your e-commerce website, you will find everything from providing a smooth and simple checkout process to using cross-selling techniques or offering a choice of payment options. However, every recommendation is focused on usability and engagement.

That’s why one of the useful ways to increase sales is to provide your customers with a convenient choice between your product variations. Read on to find out how it works on Drupal Commerce websites.

What are product attributes?

Products in online store often come in more than one option. They may differ in size, color, fabric, shape, volume, or whatever other characteristics that customers might need to select when shopping.

Products that differ by color attribute

These characteristics are called product attributes. Their unique combination makes a product variation in Drupal (e.g. “I love Drudesk” T-shirt of size M and white color). The product is basically the same, but it differs in attributes.

The benefits of using product attributes

Here is what makes the use of product attributes so convenient — especially in the updated and improved system of Drupal Commerce 2.

  • You can easily add different product variations within the same product page by specifying their attribute values. No need to create separate products.
  • You can easily track items in stock and otherwise manage your products thanks to the fact that every combination of attributes (product variation) is assigned a separate SKU — a machine-readable ID.
  • Your online store customers can easily pick the right product variation according to their desired attributes and add it to the cart, with no need to go to another page with a different product.

Setting up product attributes in Drupal

If your e-commerce websits sells products that differ in some characteristics (or you plan to offer this), read on. Here is how the process of setting up the Drupal product attributes looks.

Adding a new product attribute

Find the Product Attributes link on your Drupal Commerce store dashboard. Then you click “Add product attribute,” and give it a name (e.g. “Dress color”).

Adding product attributes in Drupal Commerce

Adding attribute values

Your online store customers will need to choose between some color options (“White,” “Blue,” “Green,” etc.). As soon as you save the form, you will be able to add these as your attribute values. Add them one by one, clicking “Add value” every time. You can reorder them by dragging. If your store is a multilingual Drupal website, don’t forget to check “Enable attribute value translation.”

Adding attribute values in Drupal Commerce

Configuring how the attributes will look

On the same form, configure how it will look on the add-to-cart form (“Select list,” “Radio buttons,” or “Rendered attribute”). For the standard setup, the “Select list” or “Radio buttons” will be ok. Be sure to save the whole thing.

If you want to give your e-commerce website admins and customers a fuller view — for example, with the actual color swatch instead of color names — you should choose the “Rendered attribute” instead and install an additional contrib module such as the Color Field. It will allow you to set the color name and its HEX value when editing the attribute.

Drupal Color Field module

You can add fields to your attribute on the Product Attributes page by clicking “Manage fields” on the attribute editing menu. In this case, it will be the “Color” field.

Managing product attribute fields in Drupal Commerce

When the field is added, you can configure how it should look to your online store admins and your customers on the “Manage form display” and the “Manage display” tabs respectively. You can set the display as “Color swatch” and brush up the shape and size of the colors that will appear on your website.

Attaching the attribute to the product variation type

Attributes need to be added to a particular product variation type that requires them. Product variation types are another important Drupal Commerce concept. You can create or edit them on the Product Variation Type page and add your attributes to them. Or you can use the “Default” variation type. After that, you will be able to add product variations by specifying their color.

Adding product attributes to product variation types in Drupal Commerce

Let our team help you with the Drupal Commerce setup

The above is just the basic setup. We know from our experience that Drupal Commerce is a powerful platform with plenty of capabilities and plenty of possible settings for your online store. They are able to facilitate the e-commerce website management and boost online sales.

You can make your product selection work exactly as you need. For example, the image and price can update dynamically without a page reload every time a user clicks on a new attribute — using the decoupled Drupal Commerce approach or a decoupled shopping cart and benefiting from the capabilities of JavaScript frameworks to boost online sales.

Let our Drupal support and maintenance team guide you through the options and help you create the smooth setup depending on your requirements. What cannot be configured by built-in features, we will cover by the use of contributed modules or write custom ones specifically for you. Of course, we can also build an online store from scratch.

Use the best CMS features to boost online sales!

Mar 18 2020
Mar 18

Automatic website updates are incredibly convenient, whatever CMS your site is built on.

Unfortunately, the automation of Drupal website updates used to be impossible. But now we have great news for all Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 website owners — automatic website updates are already here! Read on to discover more details.

The most desired Drupal feature: benefits of auto updates

When asked what they would like to see in Drupal, website owners and users have always mentioned automatic updates. In the long-term competition between Drupal and WordPress, the latter had this trump card in its sleeve — even considering certain risks with unattended processes.

Every Drupal website owner or admin often sees a frustrating warning on the dashboard that a new release is available. However, they do not touch it because they know the procedure can be cumbersome. What if this all could be done automatically? This would give website owners unquestionable benefits such as:

  • being able to easily keep up with the Drupal release cycles on their own
  • never having to worry about security updates
  • never having to deal with Composer, which is a bit cumbersome for users

The automation was really needed in order to make Drupal more user-friendly, safer thanks to timely security updates, and more competitive on the market. They have become one of the strategic initiatives highlighted by Drupal’s creator Dries Buytaert in the “State of Drupal” presentation. The Automatic Updates initiative now celebrates great success that we can now describe!

Drupal automatic updates as one of strategic priorities

How Drupal automatic updates work

There is a new contributed module that is headed for inclusion into the Drupal core — Automatic Updates. It is meant to auto-update Drupal as simply and as cleanly as possible. When you see the update steps, you will notice they really have plenty of measures for cleanliness and safety. Let’s now take a closer look at how it performs both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 automatic updates.

The key automatic Drupal update steps:

  • Displaying the security release announcements

The new module will let you know several days in advance about the security announcements (PSAs) for the core and contributed modules. The respective notices will be posted on the admin dashboard. This will be implemented as a PSA.json feed from drupal.org.

  • Making sure your website is ready for the update

Next, the module checks whether your website is ready for a smooth update and there is nothing to mess with it. These checks are made through the Drupal Cron runs. Upon the check, it displays errors explaining what necessarily needs to be fixed or just shares warnings. Here are some examples of issues that can be listed:

  1. the site uses a read-only filesystem
  2. ongoing database updates
  3. insufficient disk space
  • Performing the in-place Drupal update

Here comes the key step in the automatic update process — the actual update. The module downloads a ZIP archive from drupal.org. For security reasons, it is hashed and signed. With the help of the Libsodium library, its signature is verified to make sure this is the official drupal.org archive. Next, all files meant for the update are backed up. Finally, they are overwritten with the new ones using the PHP copy function.

  • Do automatic website updates need your interference?

The release announcements and website readiness checks are all automatic. The actual update part depends on your choice:

  1. you can manually start the update on the module configuration page
  2. or you can check the box on the same page that allows automatic updates run with the help of Cron
  • The current state of automatic Drupal updates

Right now, automatic updates are in active development and their amazing team keeps adding more features. The module is currently focused on automatic Drupal core updates according to security releases. Adding other types of updates, support for contributed modules, and working better with Composer are in its roadmap for the future.

In order to be added to the Drupal core, the module needs to get a feature called the A/B front-end controller. It will be able to swap between the two codebases and go back to the backed-up one in case something goes wrong during the automatic update, which will add even more safety and reliability to the process.

Apply for any help with automatic website updates

If you are impressed with this and are ready to try the automatic website update feature, we encourage you to contact our Drupal support and maintenance team.

  • We will help you install and configure the Automatic Updates module and resolve all the update-hampering issues it may discover on your website.
  • As an option, we can inform you when the module gets into the Drupal core and update your website so it is there already.

Enjoy smooth, easy, and safe automatic Drupal updates!

Feb 14 2019
Feb 14

The trend of using JavaScript frameworks with Drupal keeps gaining popularity. It is used for creating rich, fast, and interactive web interfaces. One of the hot use areas is decoupled (headless Drupal 8) architecture, with the front-end part completely entrusted to a JS framework. There are many JS frameworks and libraries that pair well with Drupal 8 — React, Angular, Gatsby, Ember, Elm etc. Today, we will review one of them, Vue.js. Let’s take a closer look at Drupal 8 and Vue.js combination.

Vue.js: candidate for Drupal core

Adopting JavaScript framework in Drupal core would improve the admin UX, according to Drupal creator Dries Buytaert, who spoke at DrupalCon Vienna in 2017. Core committers and developers with the relevant experience agreed they needed to think and choose the optimal JavaScript framework.

The main proposal was to choose React. However, another strong contender soon emerged as a candidate for Drupal core — Vue.js. Let’s take a closer look at this rising star.

Why Vue.js? The framework and its benefits

Vue.js is a progressive open-source JavaScript framework for building interfaces and single-page applications. It is often called a library, but the official version on the Vue.js website is a “framework”.

Vue.js was created by Google employee Evan You when he was working with Angular. Evan says he wanted to take the things he liked about Angular and create “something really lightweight.”

Since its creation in 2014, Vue.js has reached a 127,500+ star rating on GitHub and recently overpassed its counterpart React (122,000+ stars). The top 3 trending JS tools is completed with Angular (59,300+ stars). As we see, Vue demonstrates the most rapid growth.

 vue react and angular star rating

The number of NPM downloads for Vue is 796,700+ each week. The growing popularity of Vue.js is explained by its benefits:

  • lightweight and easy to learn for new developers
  • clear and detailed documentation
  • adoption within the PHP community (for example, Laravel framework has an out-of-box Vue support)
  • active and helpful Vue.js community
  • used by giants (Xiaomi, Netflix, Alibaba, Adobe, GitLab, parts of Facebook, WizzAir, EuroNews, Grammarly, Laracasts, Behance, Codeship, Reuters etc.)
  • high performance due to two-way data binding and virtual DOM (like in Angular and React)
  • even large aps are built with self-contained and often reusable Vue components

Drupal 8 and Vue.js combination

With the Drupal 8 and Vue.js combination, developers can enrich Drupal interfaces with reactive features with no jQuery, use ready Vue components, or build single-page applications that consume Drupal 8 data.

On the Drupal part, we need to prepare the content for REST export. For example, we can create a View, click “provide a REST export” in the View settings, and add a path. It works when the web services set of modules is enabled in Drupal core.

To set up a Vue.js application, we need to make sure we have Node and NPM installed, and then use the Vue CLI 3 tool. It does a lot of work for developers and that speeds up the processes. It automatically plugs in the selected libraries, configures the Webpack to optimize all files, provides app updates live every time you save changes, and so on. Finally, it offers a graphic user interface — Vue Project Manager.

The commands for starting a Vue.js application are:

  • npm install -g @vue/cli
  • vue init webpack projectname
  • cd projectname
  • npm install
  • npm run dev
vuejs application

Then Vue router and Vue resource need to be added to the project. The main.js file is then configured to use Vue routers and Vue resources, the app.js is modified to work with the router, and app components and routers are set up.

Drupal 8 modules for working with Vue.js

There is an ecosystem of contributed Drupal modules for the Drupal 8 and Vue.js combination:

  • Vue.js builds helps connect Drupal and Vue.js. It can be used in a Twig template, attach programmatically, or add as a dependency to a YAML file.
  • Vue Views adds a new format to Drupal views so the results are displayed in Vue.js, which makes it possible to use Vue features like asynchronous loading etc.
  • Webpack Vuejs provides Vue configuration for the Webpack bundler Drupal module, which helps developers bundle Drupal libraries by Webpack
  • Decoupled blocks: Vue.js is the Vue.js version of the Decoupled Blocks module, which adds Vue.js blocks to websites via modules or themes.

Let’s combine Drupal 8 and Vue.js for you

We have taken a glimpse at the possibilities of a Drupal 8 and Vue.js combination. Our Drupal team is always on top of the latest JavaScript technologies. Contact us and we will help you choose the optimal one for you, and bring all your ideas to life.

Jan 17 2019
Jan 17

Beauty saves the world, and Drupal helps it in this mission. There are awesome beauty product websites built with Drupal that are not only beautiful but feature-rich and powerful. This is more proof of Drupal’s versatility for websites in any sphere — e-commerce, real estate, law firms, or any other. Our Drupal development team knows this firsthand because they build cool websites for our customers. So let’s now plunge into the world of beauty and enjoy examples of beauty product website designs on Drupal.

Great examples of beauty product websites on Drupal

  • Lush website built with Drupal

Drupal powers the website of the world-famous British handmade cosmetics manufacturer — Lush. The front page engages visitors with full-length video slideshows and offers them a place to watch the “Lush Player” stories.

If users choose to continue into the website, they are invited to their country’s specific version, since lush.com is a multisite with multiple languages that provides tailored experiences to users. The country is autodetected, but users can select another as well.

Lush.com is an e-commerce website with an extensive catalog of products that features user reviews, star ratings, product videos, related content, and more. Users can also shop by price or by popular scents. There also are a product guide, charity pot, wishlist, shopping cart, and integration with famous payment gateways.

The site also promotes offline sales, so it offers the ability to search for brick-and-mortar shops and shows their detailed contacts, including a map.

Lush website built with Drupal
  • Benefit Cosmetics website built with Drupal

The next in our examples of great beauty website designs on Drupal is the site of  Benefit Cosmetics LLC  — a manufacturer of cosmetics from San-Francisco. They sell their beauty products in more than 30 countries. Their multisite Drupal website, using multiple languages, is an awesome assistant to that. By the way, these features are among the famous strengths of Drupal.

The content is presented in a very user-friendly, cheery, and encouraging way — for example, the search bar asks “What are you looking for, gorgeous?”

The Benefit Cosmetics website showcases beauty products and services in many ways — in handy menu categories, special offers, as well as interesting content types like “Dilemma solvers” that offer solutions to customers’ “beauty dilemmas.”

When users get interested in a product, they are shown the available offline shops. They can also make an online reservation for beauty services in their area.

Benefit Cosmetics website built with Drupal
  • Miss Sporty website built with Drupal

Among great examples of beauty product websites built with Drupal, we should also mention the Miss Sporty. It is presented in three languages: English, Czech, and Polish.

The site features a handy catalog of beauty products with reviews and star ratings. When cosmetics are presented in a variety of colors, users can instantly “try” these colors out on the main product image. The search feature helps products be quickly found.

The Miss Sporty website has strong community features. In addition to the handy social sharing options, it features a whole big section called “Community,” which displays photos shared by users via Instagram.

Miss Sporty website built with Drupal
  • Natura website built with Drupal

You could also enjoy the design of the Natura website — a Peruvian beauty product resource. It immediately attracts users with a colorful front-page slider, and invites them to view the beauty content.

Users can browse the products from the catalog and, if they are interested, contact a beauty consultant. The consultant search feature is very precise. Consultants can be found by province, by area, and even by street, or you can use the map. Users also have the option to become consultants themselves, and are directed to the website’s chat for the discussion.

The website features the digital beauty magazine, as well as beauty product videos. It has a newsletter subscription and a search feature.

Natura website built with Drupal
  • Clinique website built with Drupal

Another pearl among the examples of beauty product websites built with Drupal is the site for Clinique Laboratories, LLC. It offers advanced e-commerce features and lets users shop by product category, by price, by most wanted items, by ready holiday looks, and more.

When users have added products to cart, they can check out via Paypal or via a regular checkout. It is possible to sign in via Facebook for shopping.

In addition to online shopping, users can send e-gift cards to anyone they wish to right from the website. They specify the recipient, the sum, the date of delivery, and other details.

There is also a promotional feature that gives points to users, which mean various awards and benefits. Points are calculated for shopping, reviews, social sharing, and so on.

Clinique website built with Drupal
  • MAC Cosmetics website built with Drupal

MAC Cosmetics is another famous beauty product manufacturer that trusts Drupal. Their website lets users view products in various categories and by them online.

Each product description is accompanied with reviews, star ratings, as well as related products that go with the current one. Various colors are applied instantly to the product image.

For those who want to shop offline, there is a search feature for stores. Users also can check the in-store availability of a particular product in the catalog by entering their zip code and distance within which they want to shop.

It is also possible to send gift cards online by specifying the recipient, the gift value, the delivery date, and more.

MAC Cosmetics website built with Drupal
  • “Be Beautiful” website built with Drupal

A whole world of beauty advice can be found on the Be Beautiful website, which is also powered by Drupal. This multilingual website has as many as 10 languages.

Users are presented with useful articles, news, and videos from beauty experts. All the beauty topics are conveniently categorized. The search bar offers additional help in finding the right content. The site also features an Instagram feed for more interactivity.

The website’s content includes links to beauty products with the directions to find them on Amazon or other online retailers.

Be Beautiful website built with Drupal

Love these examples of beauty website designs? Get one for you!

Our collection of examples of beauty product websites built with Drupal is not complete. First of all, it is missing your future website — but we can fix this! ;)

Contact us, and let’s add some beauty to this world together. Your beauty products and our developers’ talent could unite in an amazing Drupal site!

Dec 26 2018
Dec 26

There is often a need to import and export content to and from your Drupal 8 website. The ability to do that lets you use the power of content in Drupal 8 more fully. One of the most popular content sources is a CSV file. Drupal 8 has a number of useful contributed modules for getting data from it, and many cases also need customization. Our Drupal team provides smooth CSV import for even for the most complex cases. Today we would like to share a simple way to import data from a CSV file to Drupal 8 with you.

For a start, what is CSV?

CSV, which stands for comma-separated values, is a popular format for data storage. A CSV file stores data as a table where values are separated by commas. CSV is compatible with any spreadsheet programs such as Google Spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel, and so on. Each value uses a cell in the table.

CSV files are incredibly lightweight, easy to organize, and awesome for manipulating large amounts of data. Huge tables with data can be quickly edited by website administrators and sent to Drupal when ready.

Some ways to import data from a CSV file to Drupal 8

Among the popular solutions for CSV import to Drupal 8 websites, there are contributed modules like Migrate Source CSV, Migrate Plus, and Migrate Tools. The CSV import process with these modules includes the creation of the migration configuration and the use of the “migrate-import” Drush command.

And there also is one very simple solution called the Content Import contributed module, which we would like to show in action.

An example of CSV import via the Content Import module

The Content Import module lets website administrators import data from a CSV file to a specific Drupal 8 content type. A content type has fields, and a table has columns, and this is where they should match. Remember, we can always save a CSV file as a table.

Each CSV file column should list the values of a particular field of the content type. The first cell of each column should match the field’s machine name.

Some special supported Drupal fields include:

  • Entity Reference for Taxonomy, Users, and Content
  • Geolocation, Timestamp, Boolean, and Date

There also are two columns announced as mandatory.

  • The first column should be called “title.”
  • There is also a “langcode” column that does not match a specific field of the content type. The default is “en” for English, and you can use other language codes.

In our example below, we are not using the langcode column, and still everything works. So it looks like using only one of these two is mandatory.

If your data has images, there will be a little more hassle — you will need an additional IMCE module for uploading images into the “public” folder.

Of course, our example will include images! ;) So let’s create a sample Drupal 8 content type and import CSV data into it. We have a tasty content type on our Drupal 8 website — “Menu item.” It has the following fields.

Drupal content type fields

In the settings of the image field, we specify the directory to which we will upload images like this: [content_type_name/images].

 Specifying the image upload directory in the field settings

The “Available for delivery” field is of “Boolean” type, and we put the options as “Yes” or “No.”

The Boolean type field in Drupal

Then we download the IMCE module that will help us put images in this directory. We go to site_name/imce, open the “public” directory, create the folder with our content type name, and within it, create the folder “images” so that the path is public/content_type_name/images. Then we upload our images there. A bulk upload works well for this.

 Uploding images with IMCE

Then let’s prepare our CSV file. We can create it as a Spreadsheet first, so it’s more handy to work with the cells. We put the machine names of the fields into the first row. Then we fill in the values for each field. The values for the images are their file names.

Data as a spreadsheet

When the spreadsheet is ready, we download the file as CSV.

Data as CSV

It’s time to import the CSV data to the Drupal 8 website. With the Content Import module installed and enabled, we go to Configuration — Content Authoring — Content Import and select the content type to import the CSV data to.

When we do so, we also see sample CSV file available for download. We are not interested in the sample right now, so let’s choose our CSV file from the computer and click “Import.”

Content import from CSV to Drupal 8

In a few seconds, we see the content is imported. All items are listed in Content, and each of them has all the field values imported from our CSV.

 Drupal content listedDrupal content item with fields

Our menu deserves to be created as a view on our Drupal 8 website, so it represents all our items in an attractive way.

Drupal content in a view

Your perfect CSV import

We have shown you how to import data from a CSV file to Drupal 8. Please keep in mind that this simple example will not fit on just any website. Especially if you have plenty of customizations, or need complex mapping between the CSV columns and Drupal fields, you will need custom migration solutions.

Contact our Drupal experts — and we will advise you the optimal CSV import scenario. And, of course, they will implement everything for you. Get the best from the efficient data formats and smart data exchange!

Dec 07 2018
Dec 07

Online stores opens unlimited opportunities with no geographical boundaries. Behind their lines of code are successful purchases, great profits, and happy customers. So online stores should be reliable, efficient, and attractive in everything — from product catalog to e-commerce checkout. An awesome choice for building an online store is Drupal 8, particularly with one of its greatest treasures — Drupal Commerce 2.x. Let’s explore Drupal Commerce 2.x features for your Drupal 8 online store in more detail.

Why choose Drupal 8 for e-commerce websites?

Before we move on to describing the features of Drupal Commerce 2.x, we will start with mentioning at least a couple of Drupal 8 characteristics that form a great support for your Drupal 8 e-commerce website.

  • Content + e-commerce = more conversions. Drupal is a powerful content management system, which means you are getting more than just an online store. You will have a website full of diverse content types to support your store with good content. The approach of content-driven commerce is a sure way to get engaged customers, better SEO, and increased conversions.
  • Mobile responsiveness. Since mobile sales are headed to overtake desktop sales soon, it is awesome that Drupal 8 is mobile responsive out-of-box. Drupal 8 has everything you need to make any theme responsive, so its elements magically adjust to mobile device screens. Let your mobile users shop with pleasure!
  • ​​​​​​Better performance. Loading speed is especially important for online stores. Users want to browse your website, compare various products, and place orders without delay. Drupal 8 has powerful caching techniques for faster loading. One of them is the innovative BigPipe, which lets you serve static website elements to users instantly and load dynamic ones next.
  • ​​​​​​Third-party integration. An e-commerce website usually relies on third-party services for payments, marketing analytics, online customer support, CRMs, and so on. Drupal 8 has built-in web services that make integrations incredibly smooth.
  • Multi-language. Customers are more willing to buy when they see information in their native language. Drupal 8 has awesome multi-language support. It is very easy to add languages to websites and translate exactly what you need. Interface translations are ready for a hundred languages.

Drupal Commerce 2.x for your Drupal 8 online store

Drupal Commerce is a solution for creating e-commerce sites from scratch or adding e-commerce features of any complexity to existing sites. It is free and open-source, like any other contributed Drupal module. However, it works like a full-fledged e-commerce framework that covers all the needs of an online store: product catalog, cart, checkout, shipping, orders, and so on.

Drupal Commerce 2 is the version for Drupal 8, and it has recently issued a new update — Drupal Commerce 2.10, which shows great advancements in product administration, third-party integration, and more.

There is also an ocean of add-on free contributed modules the extend Drupal Commerce 2.x features endlessly. However, Drupal Commerce 2.x out-of-box comes with an impressive pack of submodules that show its comprehensive capabilities:

Drupal Commerce 2-x - submodules

So let’s see what your online store can enjoy!

Why use Drupal Commerce 2.x for your online store

  • Single or multi-stores available

One of the awesome Drupal Commerce 2.x features is that, instead of having one store, you can use multiple stores in Drupal 8. Each of them can have its own product types, currencies, taxes, contact information, cart, checkout, and everything else.

  • Smart support for multiple currencies 

Drupal 8 lets you add multiple currencies out of the list, as well as custom ones by providing the currency code.

Here, the true multilingual soul of Drupal 8 shows perfectly! Drupal Commerce 2.x takes into account the names of each currency in each language, their formatting, and other important details.

This extensive information is provided by the commerceguys/intl library. It works in accordance with the internationally recognized CLDR standard.

Drupal Commerce - adding custom currency
  • Awesome product handling 

Your Drupal 8 online store can have whatever products you wish — from simple ones to products with attributes. Each unique combination of attributes is a product variation in Drupal Commerce 2.x, and it has its own SKU, or machine-readable ID. This is very convenient for managing your orders and stocks.

Thanks to the Fancy Attributes module now included out-of-box, creative selectors like color swatch are available for product attributes. Multilingual products are also easy to set up.

  • 70+ payment gateways & flexible payments features

Customers are more likely to buy when they have their preferred payment gateways. One of the great Drupal Commerce 2.x features is the support for 70+ payment gateways! Authorize.Net, Braintree, PayPal, Square, Stripe, Vantiv are just the beginning of the list. There are add-on contributed modules for any provider you wish. Custom modules can be created for all others.

Drupal Commerce 2-x - adding payment gateway

The flexibility in payment types is also awesome:

  1. On-site payment gateways let customers enter credit card details directly on your site, and tokenization can be applied for data protection.
  2. Off-site (redirect) gateways redirect customers to the third-party payment service and back to your site upon successfully completing the operation.
  3. Off-site (iframe) gateways do not redirect customers to the third-party service and handle the checkout process in an embedded frame.
  4. There is also a built-in “Manual” gateway option for such payment methods as Cash on Delivery, Card on Delivery, Cheque, Bank Transfer, and so on. They are marked as pending payments and are moved to complete by your store admin.
  5. It is also possible to set up an IPN (Instant Payment Notification) service and be instantly notified about events related to PayPal transactions.

Your Drupal 8 online store will have handy interfaces that let you authorize, void, or refund the payments.

  • Flexible promotions and discounts

Engage your customers with promotions! Your Drupal 8 online store will offer you a number of built-in offer types for fixed or percentage amounts. This can work in accordance with conditions that you set.

Drupal Commerce 2-x - adding promition
  • Smart handling for taxes

There is no need to bother about specifying the product price with taxes. Drupal 8 can automatically calculate the taxes for you. It has predefined taxes for countries, as well as letting every merchant choose special taxes. The system knows taxing specifics, for example, the difference in VAT calculation for physical and digital products in the EU.

  • Multiple order types

Your Drupal 8 onlines store can have not one but multiple orders types with special workflows for each. This allows for creating fine-tuned experiences for various product types. For example, selling tickets will need a different workflow than selling T-shirts. Order receipt emails are also very customizable.

  • Flexible checkout options

Checkouts are incredibly handy. They offer progress indication bars, the ability for users to checkout as a returning customer and reuse the previously entered information, the option for you to allow or not guest checkout, and so on.

Moreover, there can be different checkout flows for different product types. They may vary in the number of steps to take, which customer information to require, and so on.

Drupal Commerce 2-x - checkout flows
  • Great shipping options

With Drupal Commerce 2.x. you can configure the shipping methods, define which products are shippable, and manage the shipments.

The basic features are handled by an add-on module called Commerce Shipping. It lets you set up such shipping methods as flat rate-per-order and flat rate-per-item.

For more specific and advanced shipping integrations, there is a plugin-based system. There are existing plugins for famous shippers, and developers can create any other for you — whatever your favorite shipper is. It is also possible to provide shipping rates based on conditions.

Create an online store with Commerce 2.x on Drupal 8

This has been just a brief overview of Drupal Commerce 2.x features. This box of treasures can offer much more in good hands. In addition, customization miracles can fine-tune your e-commerce website in every detail to your liking.

Entrust your Drupal 8 e-commerce website to our Drupal development team. Our guys have a lot of experience with e-commerce and know how to use the benefits of Drupal Commerce 2.x in the best ways for you.

Oct 26 2018
Oct 26

Drupal has a great way to provide your website with the latest features and make it more protected against new cyber threats. To achieve this, it constantly evolves to keep up with the pulse of the times. All you need is to regularly update to newly released Drupal versions, and your Drupal support provider could help you with that. However, there is an idea floating in the air about how great it would be to have automatic Drupal core updates. We will explore this issue, with its benefits and challenges, in our blog post.

The need for automatic Drupal core updates

The Drupal community fully understands the wishes of website owners. At DrupalCon Vienna in September 2017, Drupal founder Dries Buytaert gave a presentation about the state of Drupal. He emphasized that complicated updates are one of the things that pushes people away from Drupal, and that users are asking for auto-updates. The need to automate Drupal core updates became clear — and grew into the special initiative.

Automatic Updates Initiative for Drupal core & its benefits

Automatic Updates Initiative for Drupal core & its benefits

So the Automatic Updates Initiative was created with the main aim to build a secure system that would install core updates automatically. The Initiative is meant to:

  • reduce website maintenance costs and time
  • immediately respond to critical security issues and apply patches
  • free users from possible hassle and the complexities all website owners who do updates without a development expert face
  • and, finally, give the answer to all customers who keep asking why, despite all Drupal’s awesome strengths, it still has no automatic updates.

The challenges of automatic Drupal core updates

So the idea of automatic updates sounds very lucrative indeed. However, despite the unquestionable benefits, the community also understands that implementing automatic updates for Drupal core meets a number of challenges:

  • automatic updates without human supervision may involve great risks — up to and including websites crashing
  • there is no testing pipeline
  • automatic updates may open opportunities to hackers for mass dependency injections
  • there is no GIT version control, so it’s impossible to roll back if something goes wrong
  • automatic updates will mostly benefit simple websites with no custom modules, otherwise they will require much more developer attention anyway
  • this idea requires a comprehensive restructuring of Drupal codebase, which means it’s not a near-future innovation
The challenges of automatic Drupal core updates

Considering that Drupal is a very powerful CMS able to handle extremely feature-rich and complex websites, such thing as automatic updates should be approached with caution.

When it comes to core updates, nothing can replace a developer’s hands at the moment. However, the future may change this, because great work is being done in this realm.

Quick core updates already a reality in Drupal 8!

Luckily, automation is not the only way to facilitate core updates. When it comes to Drupal 8, they are already a snap.

A lot of work has been put into making Drupal updates and even Drupal upgrades easy forever (upgrades are transfers, for example, from Drupal 8 to 9 in the future). This article by Dries Buytaert explains that this is achieved, in particular, thanks to backwards compatibility between the versions and semantic versioning.

Let’s say updating an average website from Drupal 8.5.x to 8.6.x will only take half an hour for our Drupal maintenance team. Smaller updates (like Drupal 8.6.0 to 8.6.1) can be done with the snap of a finger. Overall, it will depends on the amount of custom modules.

By the way, this is yet another reason for Drupal 7 website owners to upgrade to Drupal 8 — for which you can rely on our Drupal website support. Easy upgrades are listed among numerous Drupal 8’s benefits for your business

So your wish for easy Drupal core updates can come true right now!

Do you regard automatic updates as the way to forget about everything and have a good night’s sleep? This wish can come true right now! But you don’t have to wait until the Drupal automatic update feature is finally here and well-tested.

Rather, this dream will come true if you apply to our Drupal support firm. All our maintenance packages include watching out for security updates and running them. We can agree the on following not only security, but any other kinds of updates.

Let our experts run all Drupal core updates for you — manually, safely, and reliably!

Oct 19 2018
Oct 19

The magnetic power of beautifully arranged content is really huge. Using it is one of the surest ways to keep your visitors on your website, spike their interest, bring your message across, and create the best impression of your business. There are plenty of attractive ways to display content on your Drupal 8 website. Let’s consider a few of them right now, as well as nice Drupal modules that are helpful.

Interesting ways to display content on your Drupal 8 website

Content presented in views

First of all, when it comes to content presentation in Drupal 8, we cannot help but mention Views — the powerful tool that is now built-in and that lets you display your data in absolutely any way you wish. A grid, a table, a list, and other formats are ready to hold your articles, news, photos, and so on. The results can be filtered and sorted by various criteria, and these filters can be exposed to website users.

There are plenty of additional modules that enhance content presentation in Views. For example, creating a simple photo gallery with Drupal 8 Views is a very nice option, but you could use a special responsive grid provided by the Views Photo Grid module. It arranges the photos so that each row height remains the same, while photos fill in the available width.

Photos presented by Views Photo Grid module in Drupal

Content in a stylish overlay

One of the popular and creative ways to display content on your Drupal 8 website is to make it open in a stylish overlay above the current page. This can be done with modules like the Colorbox, which is great for images, as well as iframed or inline content. Colorbox works like the image field formatter in Drupal 8.

Photos in a stylish overlay by Colorbox modules

Slideshows and carousels of your content

Various slideshows and carousels are incredibly engaging for users. They show content items one at a time — not only images, but also texts, videos, social media posts, or a combination of elements, including nested sliders. Various options for animation, touch-enabled or keyboard navigation, transition effects, and many more features are available to you.

All this is possible with Drupal 8 modules like Views Slideshow, Owl Carousel, Slick Paragraphs, Slick Media, Slick Carousel, Imagefield Slideshow, jCarousel, Flex Slider, BxSlider, Juicebox HTML5 Responsive Image Galleries, Views FractionSlider, Jssor Slider, and many more.

carousels of your contentin Drupal 8carousels of your contentin DrupalSlideshows of your content in Drupal 8Slideshows of your content in Drupal

Data presented as charts

Charts are great for data visualization. They look informative, professional, and convincing. Drupal 8 offers some nice modules for creating charts like the Charts, the Easychart, and others. They support charting libraries like the Google Charts and the Highcharts, and so on. You can present your data as a pie, column, or bar chart, and more.

Data presented as charts in Drupal

Special effects for your website’s images

Please your users’ eyes with interesting image effects. They can be added with special Drupal 8 modules, for example, the Image Effects module. It enriches Drupal image styles with great choices of of additional effects — Watermark, Text overlay, Set transparent color, Gaussian blur, Interlace, Mirror, Aspect switcher, ImageMagick arguments, Color shift, and so on.

Special effects for your website%E2%80%99s images in Drupal 8

Videos or other media embedded into content

A great idea to make your content will look much richer and more attractive is to embed media into it. As of Drupal 8.6.0, media opportunities let you embed videos, audios, images, files, as well as remote videos from YouTube and Vimeo with just a URL.

There are no extra modules to install — the built-in Drupal 8.6’s Media and the Media Library modules just need to be enabled. Then add the Media field to your content type (e.g. blog) and you will be able to fetch the media, previously saved to your media library.

Videos or other media embedded into content in Drupal

Content put into an accordion

Accordions are one of the handiest structures to display your content in Drupal 8. Your users can click on the menu items and extend them to reveal the content inside. A great way to implement it is the Views Accordion module, which presents the results of the views as a JQuery accordion.

Content put into a views accordion in Drupal 8

To recap

We have shown you a few nice examples of ways to present content on your Drupal 8 website. Drupal’s capabilities in this sphere are like an endless sea — even a million articles will not be enough to describe them.

And we have just touched on what contributed modules can do. However, in the hands of expert Drupal developers, absolutely any amazing results are possible with custom coding.

So the attractive, convenient, and engaging ways to display content on your Drupal 8 website are unlimited. For implementing any of them on your website, contact our Drupal help desk!

Oct 18 2018
Oct 18

We love to say your Drupal website capabilities are unlimited, but even more than that we love to provide examples. One of them is the Drupal Rules module. It can be compared to a whole team of smart and tireless robot assistants that do necessary things at right moment on your website. They welcome your guests in, deliver important messages, remind you of events, and much more — from the simple to the most complicated scenarios. So let’s take a closer look at how the Drupal Rules module works to make Drupal’s strengths even greater.

The fundamentals of the Drupal Rules module

The Rules contributed module lets you set up automated workflows on your website based on so-called reactive rules, aka ECA rules. ECA stands for “event-condition-action.” So, you can create your reaction rules, each of which consists of:

  • an event
  • a condition
  • an action

The principle is: when some event takes place, and a certain condition is met, then a particular action is automatically triggered. For example:

  • Event: content is viewed by a user
  • Condition: the user role is Anonymous
  • Action: a message is shown on the site asking the user to log in to post comments

First, an event is created, and then the conditions and actions are added. In many cases, just an action is enough and the condition can be skipped — for example, users have logged in, irrespective of conditions, they can be shown a “welcome” message.

drupal rules module
 
drupal rules module
 
drupal rules module

The Rules module provides impressive lists of default events, conditions, and actions to select from. The lists depend on other modules that you also have installed. In addition, custom ones can be created by coding and added to your Drupal website.

Rules components are reusable, which means they can be added to other rules and even used by other modules.

To categorize your rules, you can use tags, which is very helpful when you have plenty of them on your website.

A few use cases of the Drupal Rules module

With the Drupal Rules, you can, for example:

  • remind a user to fill in the required fields before saving a node
  • thank a user for posting content
  • tell a user that the content is pending the moderator’s approval
  • notify the moderator about the newly posted content or comments
  • notify a user when someone comments on their content
  • notify a user when someone adds their content to bookmarks
  • remind a user about calendar events a certain time in advance
  • notify the administrators about emergency log entries
  • block a user for spamming or other bad behaviour
  • notify a user that a desired product is in stock
  • apply a discount on a product when it is applicable

and much more — as stated above, the sky is the limit to the possible workflows!

Cooperation with other Drupal modules

The Rules work closely with Drupal Commerce, Ubercart, Content Access, Flag, Organic Groups, Features, Token, Rules Link, Rules list conditions, Views Rules, Rules Forms, Conditional Rules, and many other modules, so the most interesting scenarios are provided.

The Rules module in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

In Drupal 7, the Rules module requires the Entity API contributed module, while in Drupal 8, it needs the Typed Data to work with.

Its UI has also changed considerably. One of the main changes is that in Drupal 8 you do not see the traditional Drupal 7’s “Replacement patterns” link when specifying the Condition and Action values. You can put the values in either by data selection mode (which shows hints upon clicks on the field) or by direct input mode.

The Rules module in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

The Rules in Drupal 8 is still in its alpha state, so it is not 100% ready for production sites. This is a complex module, so porting it to Drupal 8 is a cumbersome task.

To recap

The Rules module requires careful use and experience, especially when it comes to complex cases. That’s why it is better to entrust the Rules creation to a solid Drupal team.

They can also advise you what kinds of workflows can be created for your particular business goals. Whatever you need that might be missing in the default Rules features can be added by custom code.

For all this, you are welcome to contact our expert Drupal support firm!

Oct 18 2018
Oct 18

Various media, like videos, audios, or images, make your website really engaging. They fill it with colors, music, vivid impressions, and exciting experiences. And Drupal 8 offers new great options for media handling, which make it a leading CMS in 2018. The latest version, Drupal 8.6.0, brings especially interesting media features. We will start exploring the new media opportunities in Drupal 8 right now.

New Drupal 8.6.0 media handling features

Thanks to the Drupal Media Initiative, Drupal 8 now has new modules in core — the Media and the Media Library, which have inherited the best capabilities from a number of contributed modules. They introduce new and awesome concepts like media types, media fields, reusable media, and more.

So what can you do with them? First of all, you can:

  • add media of various types to your site
  • save and reuse media in your Media Library
  • place media inside your content
  • embed remote YouTube and Vimeo videos via an URL

and much more. Let’s consider these options in more detail.

Adding media of various media types to your site

To add media to your website, you can use the ready media types provided by Drupal. In Drupal 8.5.x, there were four media types — Image, File, Video, and Audio.

But Drupal 8.6.0 has prepared a new one — Remote Video, which lets you add third-party videos from YouTube and Vimeo. We will discuss it in more detail later in this post.

remote video media type

In addition to the default media types, you can create custom ones, and specify their media source.

Thanks to the media types, adding media is as easy as adding content, and can be done in Content — Add Media.

add media

Saving and reusing media in the Media Library

As of Drupal 8.6.0, all media can be conveniently stored in your Media Library for further reuse. You can easily access, publish, unpublish, save or delete all the media items in Content — Media.

For your convenience, media can be filtered by media type, publishing status, and name, as well as sorted by newest or oldest and descending or ascending alphabetical order.

One of the greatest things is that you can fetch media from the Media Library while creating your content — for example, to place video inside your blog post. We are moving on to this topic right now.

media library

Placing media inside your content via media fields

Media can be embedded into your content in the most natural way for Drupal — via fields. There is now a special new field type called Media that you can add to your content type (article, blog post, news etc.). When adding this field, you need to specify whether it will be Audio, Video, Remote Video, File, or Image.

the media field

the media field type

After that, on the content creation form, you will see the media embed option. The “Browse” button brings your Media Library to choose your media from.

adding media to content

Embedding remote YouTube and Vimeo videos with oEmbed

Here is one of the most exciting new options for media management in Drupal 8.6.0. It lets you embed remote videos from YouTube or Vimeo with just a URL.

Just add the Media field to your content type, specify it as “Remote Video,” arrange the fields to your liking — and remote videos will be ready to jump inside your content! Just as we described in the previous example, the videos can be fetched from the Media Library during content creation.

add remote video

add remote video to article

remote video embedded into article

Final thoughts

This is just a glimpse at media handling opportunities in Drupal 8 — particularly, Drupal 8.6.0. There are more additional settings for formatting your media, creating custom fields to pull more special data from the source, and many more.

The sky is the limit on your options, and the Media features are hot off the press and constantly developing.

To enjoy all these new features, you need to update your website to the innovative Drupal 8.6.0. For this, as well as for creating the perfect media setup, feel free to contact our Drupal support firm!

Oct 18 2018
Oct 18

Having a map integrated into a website is a huge advantage for business owners, especially for those with brick-and-mortar locations. This helps your customers to find you easily. Google Maps is probably the most popular mapping service and having it embedded into your website will definitely be an advantage for your business.

Drupal has amazing possibilities to help you solve this issue. Whether you do this by using Drupal 8 modules or find other alternative technique, the process is going to be simple and easy. We’ve prepared a guide for you on how to implement Google Maps Data into your Drupal 8 website in different ways.

Methods to integrate Google maps into your Drupal 8 site

Embed Maps

The first way to include Google Maps on your website is to embed them. It is maybe the easiest and the least time consuming way to have Google Map Data shown on your website.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

The first step is to choose a location you want to show on your website. To do this, you should visit Google maps and find a place you’d like to provide.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

After a searched location appears, press the Share button. In the opened window choose “Embed Map” and copy the whole <iframe> code.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

Then you should create a basic page and give it a title.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

The next thing to do is to insert a copied code into a created page. Note that it will work properly only if you choose Full HTML in the drop down Text format. After that, don’t forget to save changes.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

The Map will be shown on your website as soon as the page is published.

How to embed Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website

Simple Google Maps Module

Simple Google Maps module is really easy to manage. The main advantage is that you only need to give the address of a place and a map will appear on your website. The module may be installed in different ways. Let’s look at how to downlaod and install it.

How to integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

Log in into your Drupal website as an admin. Go to Modules and click on Install new module.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

Find Simple Google Maps module on Drupal.org and copy the link for download tar.gz for Drupal 8.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

Go to Install new module page and enter the copied link to Install from URL field and press the Install button.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

After module installation, find this one, enable it and save changes.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

The module is enabled and the next step is to create a new field to show a map. Go to Structure → Content type. After that, add a new content type, and give it a name.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

As soon as a content type is created, go to Manage fields and add a new field with type Text (plain). Then save changes.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

After the settings are saved, go to Manage fields, click Manage display and check whether it is displayed on your page. Select Google Map on the one-line format from a drop-down.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

To manage the sizes of the map and addresses shown on your page by default, go to the config area (press the button on the right).

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

The next step is to add a node. Click on Content → Add content and choose the content type you’ve added. Insert the title for your page. After that, in the newly created field enter an address you’d like to show on your map and save changes.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

After the page is created, Google Maps will be displayed on it.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Google Maps Module

Geolocation Field module

Geolocation Field module is probably the most frequently used module when we talk about Google Maps integration. In short, it brings special field types for storing information about geolocation. Moreover, it has extended possibilities and enables mapping, connecting it with the desired content types.

How to integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Geolocation Field module

The first step is to install a module. You can use the method described above.

After installing it, all you need to do is to add the Geolocation field to the content type. For this, go to Manage fields while creating a new content type and choose the Geolocation field type.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Geolocation Field module

The next thing to manage is how the map will be viewed. Go to Manage from display page and choose the Geolocation Google Geocoder from the drop-down menu.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Geolocation Field module

After that, go to Manage display and choose Geolocation Google Maps API - Map from a drop-down in address field. Then a map will be displayed on your page.

integrate Google Maps to your Drupal 8 website with Geolocation Field module

After a node is created, the map will be shown.

We’ve described 3 ways to integrate Google Maps Data into your Drupal 8 website. Thanks to the simplicity and flexibility of Drupal CMF, it is quite easy to perform. In case you don’t want to do it on your own or have troubles with Google Map Data integration into your Drupal 8 website, let us know and our Drupal maintenance company will assist you.

Oct 18 2018
Oct 18

As a CMS, Drupal has always been basking in compliments. It is the most powerful, the most secure, the most flexible — the list of Drupal strengths could go on. However, all this is not enough to stay current. After all, time moves fast. So what makes a truly cool CMS in 2018, loved by customers, site admins, and developers? Does Drupal fulfil this, and how? It’s time for a little investigation!

What lets Drupal remain a major CMS in 2018?

“The reason Drupal has been successful is because we always made big, forward-looking changes.” This quote is from Drupal founder Dries Buytaert.

The future-oriented changes in Drupal’s latest version, Drupal 8, really left everyone speechless ‑ so much that, when discussing them, you simply do not know where to start.

The particular quote by Dries was part of his article about Drupal’s new architecture, so let’s start with that.

Brand-new architecture and modern concepts

A successful CMS in 2018 must be in line with the most modern programming concepts, have a highly consistent, clean, and reusable code.

To achieve all this and more, Drupal adopts OOP (object-oriented programming), Symphony components, and Twig template engine, as well as polished its APIs, rebuilt its core, and more. Developers applaud, and customers enjoy more efficient processes!

Mobile perfection

According to Statista, the share of mobile phone website traffic jumped from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.2% in 2018. The mobile audience is key already! Modern CMSs cannot ignore that.

Dries Buytaert said that if he built Drupal from scratch again, he would build it for mobile experiences first. “Mobile-first” — that’s the philosophy of Drupal 8.

Responsive core themes, responsive admin interfaces, awesome built-in modules for responsive development are just some points of Drupal 8’s mobile perfection. Your users will enjoy their mobile experiences on any device.

The era of dynamic features and JavaScript

In 2018 and beyond, websites with rich, dynamic, and real-time features are ahead of others. And anywhere you find all these features together, you will also find some representatives of the JavaScript “family.”

React, Vue, Angular, Node, Ember, and other tools are more and more often mentioned in connection with Drupal. It cooperates perfectly with them, and it even planning to adopt of them in the near future. We are likely to see ReactJS as part of the Drupal family!

Beyond the shape of a website

In 2018 and beyond, you can have more than just a website. You can output your content to any imaginable applications, so your users stay with you in their natural environments.

Drupal 8 has an awesome ecosystem of third-party integration modules that provides the data exchange of your Drupal website with any other system. They also magically convert the data to the right format.

High speed with modern caching

For making websites fast enough to fly towards the future, Drupal 8 has excellent caching tools. Users will enjoy the flight!

The novel tool BigPipe uses an especially interesting approach to quick content delivery. The static elements come first, the dynamic ones come second, and the perceived loading speed is awesome.

Usability for editors

Drupal’s reputation as a developer-oriented CMS used to scare customer away a little. It was the other side of the “most powerful CMS” medal.

But now it’s time for editors to enjoy it as well!  Drupal 8’s new level of editor usability impressed even the most sceptical critics.

It is now very easy to apply quick edits right on the page, change block layout, enjoy handy content previews, drag and drop images, shape your toolbar to your liking, embed multimedia from various sources, and so much more.

Truly international

2018 is high time to overcome geographical boundaries! Millions of customers in different countries will be closer to you if your website speaks their language.

Drupal 8 offers a hundred languages, and a very smooth procedure for adding them to websites. Their interface translations are ready for you. And you can also translate every inch of your website — absolutely anything from configuration to content.

High level security

In 2018, cybercriminals have become more ingenious, so CMSs have to be stronger. Drupal is considered the most secure CMS.

This is achieved by continuous security updates that quickly catch any vulnerabilities, the “collective intelligence” of a watchful community, an especially vigilant Security Team, strict standards for submitting contributed code, refined user roles and permissions, great possibilities for data encryption, strong security modules, and more.

Accessibility for everyone

In 2018, it’s a must to provide a smooth experiences for users with visual or other impairments. There are important WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines, and Drupal 8 adheres to them. In particular, the website structure and content are more understandable to screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Semantic HTML5 with WAL-ARIA properties, useful alerts, more convenient forms, compulsory ALT tags that describe images, high contrasts, and other techniques enhance web accessibility.

To recap

That said, 2018 has a CMS that follows all the trends. And, knowing Drupal, we understand it’s just the beginning. Many groundbreaking changes are very close.

Would you like to enjoy all awesome novelties with Drupal? Contact our web development team!

Jul 04 2018
Jul 04

Who is allowed to view, edit, or delete particular information on your website? Details like this are vital for the site’s security and usability. Many website also need special access scenarios. Luckily, we have Drupal — fine-grained user access is a breeze with it! First, one of Drupal’s benefits is that it has built-in user roles and lets you create custom ones, as well as give them granular permissions. Second, there are many useful add-on contributed modules in this area as well. So today, we are reviewing user access modules in the latest Drupal version — Drupal 8.

User access modules in Drupal 8

Permissions by Term

With the help of the Permissions by Term module, you can restrict or allow access to specific website content on the basis of taxonomy terms. These permissions can apply to user roles or to individual users. They work for nodes, views, search, menus etc. The Permissions by Term module had a fresh release in May 2018. It is a lightweight alternative to the Organic Groups and Group modules, which are just getting ready for Drupal 8. We have already dedicated a blog post to the Permissions by Term module that you can check out.

Protected Pages

Here is a fresh module right from the development “oven.” Drupal 8’s version of the Protected Pages module has come out in June 2018. It allows you to protect certain website pages with a password. In Drupal 8 version, you can also protect private files. Interesting features include global password setting, session expiry time, protection bypass permission to free certain users from this procedure, and more.

Node View Permissions

This simple module adds two types of permissions to every content type. Namely, these are “View own content” and “View any content.” The permissions can be found on the website’s Permissions tab. The Node View Permissions module easily combines with any other user access modules.

Vocabulary Permissions Per Role

Thanks to the Vocabulary Permissions Per Role module, you can allow content editors to work with a particular taxonomy vocabulary. They will be able to add new taxonomy terms, edit or reorder them, and more. This is possible without granting them the “administer taxonomy” permission, which would give them too much responsibility.

Menu Admin per Menu

Sometimes, it is necessary to allow certain users to add, edit, or delete particular menus. At the same time, they do not have permissions for other menus. With all its flexibility, Drupal will let you arrange this with the help of the Menu Admin per Menu module. Keep in mind that users without full admin permissions may not, by default, see the menus, so you need to place them within their visibility.

Override Node Options

Here is another user access module with a fresh Drupal 8 release in spring of 2018. The Override Node Options module lets you set permissions for each field on the node form. These permissions refer to “Authoring information” and “Publishing options.” The module also lets you make certain field sets collapsible.

Block Content Permissions

Fine-grained access to block management is offered by the Block Content Permissions module in Drupal 8. It adds the permissions to administer custom block types, view restricted block content, as well as create, edit, and delete the content of specific block types. The permissions are assigned to user roles.

Block Region Permissions

Another great example of flexibility it the Block Region Permissions module. It lets you control access to block management within each region of your website’s theme. For this, the special “administer” permission can be granted to specific user roles. Users with this permission will be able to see the region on the block layout page, update or delete its blocks, and more.

Workflow

In addition to new and exciting workflow management features in Drupal 8 core, there are contributed modules like Workflow. Its Drupal 8 version is also a novelty of 2018. The module lets you create workflow states for various node types and allow certain user roles to change these states (or example, from “Draft” to “Published”). To the change of state, you can attach particular actions — nodes get published, emails are sent, and so on.

Taxonomy Access Control Lite

Here is another module that works via taxonomy. The Taxonomy Access Control Lite module manages access to nodes on the basis of taxonomy terms that are applied to them. It grants permissions based on user roles and can also assign them to particular users in addition to what their roles allow. The module supports the permissions to view, update, and delete the nodes.

Nodeaccess (beta)

With the Nodeaccess module, it will be possible to give certain users the “grant node permissions” permission. These users will have a “grant” tab on their node pages. Form there, they will grant the permissions to view, edit, or delete the node to particular user roles or to individual users. Administrators can decide which roles are available to grant these permissions to, as well as make default access settings for content types.

Custom Permissions (beta)

The Custom Permissions module (formerly known as Site Configuration Permissions) allows for creating and managing additional permissions on the administration page. A permission gets a name and a route (which used to be a path in Drupal 7). The permissions can then be assigned to user roles. In Drupal 8, custom permissions are configuration entities that can easily be exported and imported.

Final thoughts

This is just a brief overview of Drupal 8 user access modules. There are many other very good modules, some of which are in the beta or alpha stage, getting ready for Drupal 8. In any case, the choice is great!

Our Drupal team is always ready to choose the most relevant modules for your website and configure them in optimal ways. If necessary, we will create custom modules for you.

Everything can be done to provide your Drupal 8 site with user access scenarios that you need — just contact Drudesk!

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