Sep 09 2019
Sep 09

With Drupal 9 stated to be released in June 2020, the Drupal community has around 11 months to go. So, before it maps out a transition plan, now is the time to discuss what to expect from Drupal 9.

Switch to Drupal 9

You must be wondering:

Is Drupal 9 a reasonable plan for you?

Is it easy to migrate from recent Drupal versions to the new one?

This blog post has all your questions answered.

Let’s see the major changes in Drupal 9

The latest version of Drupal is said to be built on Drupal 8 and the migration will be far easy this time.

  • Updated dependencies version so that they can be supported
  • Removal of deprecated code before release

The foremost update to be made in Drupal 9 is Symfony 4 or 5 and the team is working hard for its implementation.

Planning to Move to Drupal 9?

With the release of Drupal 8.7 in 2019, it has optionally supported Twig 2 that has helped developers start testing their code against the version of Twig. Drupal 8.8 will virtually support the recent version of Symfony. Ideally, the Drupal community would like to release Drupal 9 with support for Symfony 5, that is to be released at the end of 2019.

Drupal 9

If you are already using Drupal 8, the best advice is to keep your site up to date. Drupal 9 is an updated version of Drupal 8 with the updates for third-party dependencies and depreciated code removed.

Ensure that you are not using any deprecated APIs and modules and wherever possible use the recent versions of dependencies. If you do that, your upgrade experience will not encounter any problems.

Since Drupal 9 is being built within version 8, developers will have the choice to test their code and make updates before the release of Drupal 9. This is an outstanding update and was not possible with the previous versions of Drupal!

So, where are you in the Drupal journey?

Here are some scenarios to support your migration process:

Are you on Drupal 6?

You are way behind! . We strongly suggest you move to Drupal 8 as soon as you can. Migration from 8 to 9 will be straight forward. Drupal 8 includes migration facilitations for Drupal 6 which probably won’t be included in Drupal 9. While there is a possibility that there might be some contribution modules available, but it is better to be safe.

Are you on Drupal 7?

Both Drupal 7 and 8 support will end by 2021. Since the release of Drupal 9 is set for June 2020, you should plan your upgrade and go live. If not migrated by the required time, your website may be vulnerable to security threats. Since Drupal 7 to 9 are similar to new development, you just need to consider the timeline involved.

Are you on Drupal 8?

Great work if you are already on Drupal 8! For you, it would be easier to move to the next major version with zero effort.

The big difference between the last version of Drupal 8 and the first order of Drupal 9 is that of deprecated code being removed. You just need to check that your themes, modules, and profiles don’t include any such code. So, there’s no need to worry about migrating your content at all!

Want to know more about Drupal and its migration process?

Jul 17 2019
Jul 17

by on Jul 17, 2019 in Drupal, Web Development

Packed with multiple powerful features, including greater flexibility, higher page load speed, and scalability, Drupal 8 was launched more than two years ago. If you haven’t upgraded to Drupal 8, you should consider doing it now!

In our blog post, we talk about how Drupal 8 is beneficial for your business. Let’s dive in.

”Benefits

Mobile Friendly

Drupal 8 is built keeping mobile in mind. It keeps up with the times by being fully responsive and mobile-friendly. Drupal puts mobile users at its core and uses the mobile-first approach. It handles content loading quickly which means your audience would not waste their time.

In other words, upgrading to Drupal 8 gives you a mobile-friendly website that is easy to administer from all the devices.

Content Authoring

Drupal is not just mobile-friendly for end-users but it also allows content editors to administer their website from mobile devices. The new interface allows content creation, publishing, and editing of the content on the front-end. This means your users will always have the best possible experience on your website.

Multilingual Capabilities

Translation has never been this easy. The Drupal 8 translation system is newly written and is fully integrated into the CMS that makes installation in different languages easier. Businesses with a target global audience can take advantage of Drupal’s multilingual capabilities.

The recent version is configured with a powerful translation module with content translation, configuration translation, and interface translation. It enables you to translate any component of the software, image styles, comments. You can also get software translation updates from the community hence saving a lot of time and money.

Higher Security Level

Drupal has a strong and robust security system in place. It has an organized process for verifying, investigating, and publishing possible security problems.

Drupal’s security team regularly works with the community to address security issues as they arise.

For businesses using Drupal 8, it is important that they subscribe to the security mailing list and stay updated with the recent security advisors of all types.

Flexible integration with Marketing Tools

Drupal 8, is an important part of your marketing ecosystem – with commerce-first and community-first marketing solutions to achieve the most ambitious business goals.

When it comes to third-party integrations, Drupal 8 is the most flexible CMS. Along with the APIs, Drupal will permit any business to quickly integrate the recent technologies, delivering exclusive customer experience.

SEO Friendly

Known as SEO-friendly CMS, Drupal 8 has become even more advanced by improving search engine optimization results. Drupal 8 uses industry-leading caching technology to permit access to the updated content. It helps preserve the content that has not changed. So, after your visitors come to your website, they would not have to wait for all the content to load each time.

RESTful Web Services

When you use Drupal 8, web services work out-of-the-box here. There is no need to download any additional modules as all the important tools are already included in the core with the required modules.

Drupal 8 makes the integration with marketing automation platforms easier and fetch data faster as compared to other APIs. This is the reason why REST web services have evolved quickly.

Key Takeaway

The latest Drupal version is open-source, which is easy to access and operate. It has added a number of enhancements, themes, and free plugins that make the system even more flexible, scalable, and user-friendly.

Want more information about Drupal Services?

At Grazitti Interactive, we offer best-in-class website development services using latest CMS’s like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and more with advanced technologies such as PHP, ASP.net, AJAX, JavaScript, jQuery’, AngularJS, etc., To know more, send us an email at [email protected]

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May 23 2019
May 23

How Grazitti’s Drupal Marketo Connector module is helpful for form prefill?

by on May 23, 2019 in Connectors, Drupal, Marketo Integrations

How does a brand leave a lasting impression on its customers?

While your products and prices definitely help you get an edge over your competitors, the experience that your users have while dealing with you is as critical for sustained growth. In fact, 73% of users surveyed by PWC cited the experience they had with a company to be one of the three prime factors that make them come back to an online business. That is a true testimony of the power that customer experience holds.

Experts are always talking about the myriad of options available with marketers through which they can better the experience that users have on their websites.

One of them is using pre-populated form data.

Drupal Marketo Connector

How can a Prefill feature help you with improving CX?

It’s easy to imagine how being asked to fill out a form repeatedly can irk someone. In this age when consumers are being given more power over brands, this is a major step back.

Instead, consider this: the form that consumers have to fill already contains their contact info, based on data they had provided previously.

This can save a lot of time for returning visitors that have filled out forms on your website before and will help them stay more focused on their searches and purchases. You can also use this opportunity to ask for additional information to establish a better rapport with them.

If your form has too many fields, even the most motivated prospect may not make it all the way to the end. So prepopulating the forms on your website with the data that you have acquired from your previous interaction with them, is the best way to go.

Grazitti’s Drupal Marketo Connector can help you achieve just this.

What are the features of this connector?

Let’s take a look at the various features that this connector offers.

Embedded Marketo Form

When an anonymous user visits your website, they will be asked to fill out their details in a form. As soon as the details are filled, Marketo’s Munchkin API passes the user identity i.e, full name, email address, company, and country and syncs it to Marketo. The marketing automation platform saves this user data in the form of cookies.

Drupal Marketo Connector

Prefilled Marketo Form

When a known user visits your website the second time, Marketo form fields are prefilled with their information. This functionality will work for all forms on the website. Also, we have created the prefill configuration functionality in the back-end. So, the enable and disable functionality will be active in the administrator section whenever you install the module form prefill. Form prefill will remain enabled by default, however, if you want it disabled, you can simply do it by choosing the Disable Form option from the admin back-end.

Drupal Marketo Connector

Restrict Prefilled Marketo Form

Another feature that we have implemented is the Restrict Prefilled functionality on the field level. Through this functionality, we can hide the prefill for some custom field value or some form field value. The customer will have to fill the information for these fields every time he visits the website. We have provided the functionality in the back-end.

Drupal Marketo Connector

DoS Attack Configuration:

Through this functionality, the form can be protected from DoS attacks. If a malicious user hits the form repeatedly, the prefilling functionality will be turned off and the user will be barred from using it till the penalty time is over.

***

You should leave no stone unturned to make the customer experience smooth and efficient. The form prefill feature can definitely prove useful in this regard. Make optimum use of the data that you already have and direct it towards making your users’ journey better.

Want to Know More About Our Drupal Services? Contact Us.

Grazitti has been offering full-fledged Drupal web development services to companies across the globe for the last 10 years. We also help in automating processes using our custom plugin that integrates your website with Marketo to boost conversions and sales. Learn more about our web development services here or write to us at [email protected].

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Jan 25 2019
Jan 25

by on Jan 25, 2019 in CMS, Drupal, Web Development

As an open source project, Drupal depends on thousands of people who contribute in many forms, including documentation, code, translation, promotion, mentoring, and donations. Contributing to Drupal is a great way to learn, make connections, and showcase your expertise. If you are new to the world of open source software, this blog post will share three reasons to contribute and two ways to get started.

blog-image

3 Reasons to Contribute

When we thought about contribution, our first question was: Why do we need to give back? It turns out, the reasons are several.

1. Develop Your Programming Skills

By contributing, your developers can gain programming experience and learn to write more stable code which adheres to standards. Drupal 8 follows the PSR-4 standard. A developer must have a fair acquaintance of it before he or she can be a regular contributor.

A novice programmer can also be a part of the community. Each submission has to be approved by the module or association owner before it gets accepted.

2. Boost Your Company’s Brand

Encouraging the developers on your payroll to contribute to an open source project is a surefire way to show off your skills as an organization. It builds your profile and can potentially get you more work. Here is Grazitti’s Drupal contributor profile:

https://www.drupal.org/grazitti-interactive.

Our contributions include:

  • Module building
  • Theme design
  • Patch and issue fixes

3. Encourage Open Source Culture

Knowledge should spread freely and its growth should come from developing, altering or enriching already existing works on the basis of sharing and collaboration. Contributing to Drupal promotes this culture of openness.

2 Ways to Contribute

You can write documentation, maintain old versions, fix patches, and create new modules and themes. Patches and modules are two quick ways to get your feet wet.

1. Patch

A patch is a file that contains code differences between two sets of files.
By using patches, the development cycle becomes easy. Instead of replacing an entire file that may contain many lines of code, a patch will only change those lines in the file which have been updated.

How to create a patch?

Before you can create a patch, you must have a:

  • Valid/activated Drupal account
  • Basic knowledge of Git

For other details, follow the instructions on this link

2. Module or Theme

Create your project using Drupal Console and add your functionalities within the project folder.

After you complete working on a project, there are two ways in which you can contribute to Drupal.org.

  • Full Projects: Users can download and use these programs.
  • Sandbox Projects: Experimental pieces of codes which have not been vetted.

Conclusion

Companies using Drupal as free open source project should certainly give back to showcase their expertise and contribute to the culture of openness. It also makes business sense because contributions can potentially open the doors to new business.

Power your digital presence with Drupal

Drupal powers the digital presence of a number of businesses. It’s time you leveraged its features and future initiatives of Drupal to make it more engaging and effective down the road. Get in touch with our experts who have helped many of our clients, including Fortune 500 companies, fulfill their web development needs.

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Dec 14 2018
Dec 14

Drupal is one of the leading open source and secure content management systems used by businesses across the world. Drupal helps developers build open web; marketers with its templating approach; and agencies with achieving customer goals faster.

Marketo, on the other hand, is a leading marketing automation platform that helps digital marketers engage customers and prospects, and automate email marketing and other tasks. And its recent acquisition by Adobe due to its popularity is worth the mention.

blog-image

Integration between these two was not available before we created our own Drupal Marketo Integration Connector. The connector utilizes the known leads’ information by tracking cookies on your website to personalize the content on your website.

It comes with numerous features like real-time personalization, form pre-fill, and automated email notifications.

How Personalization on Drupal Pages Works Using Shortcodes?

We have implemented shortcodes in Drupal (which are not Drupal standard), which help you target leads known to your website and show them personalized and localized content on your website. Therefore, increasing the user engagement on your website.

Listed below are a few examples of how you can personalize content using these shortcodes.

Suppose, the following lead values are stored in your Marketo database:

blog-image

1. Showing a Lead Value on Your Drupal Web Page

To personalize content by utilizing the known lead value (like FirstName, LastName, Email, Company or Industry) from Marketo on your Drupal basic pages, enter the below shortcode in the WYSIWYG editor.

blog-image

Using the shortcode, you will get the FirstName field value Tom and LastName field value Taylor, that is stored in your Marketo database. The result will appear on the front-end when the user visits your website.

blog-image

2. Personalizing Content Based on the Matching Condition of Shortcodes

We can create targeted content using a matching condition shortcode. The shortcode helps check whether the Marketo field name has the value which you have defined in the conditional block. Based on whether the condition is true or false, we can personalize the content.

For example, if the company field name in Marketo is Industry and field value is Automobile, you can personalize the content for users from this industry. Enter the below matching condition shortcode in WYSIWYG editor in the Drupal back-end.

blog-image3

If the condition is true, the slider will show automobile-related images.

automobile-data

Similarly, if the field value is Healthcare, you can personalize the website content for users from this industry. Enter the below matching condition shortcode in WYSIWYG editor in the Drupal back-end.

img4

If the condition is true, then the slider will display healthcare related images and so on.

healthcare-data

3. Personalizing Content Based on Matching Condition Shortcodes with the AND and OR Operators.

You can also personalize content based on the matching condition shortcode using the ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ operator. This means you can compare multiple fields and their values for personalization (*You cannot compare more than three fields in a single conditional block). Based on whether the condition is true or false, you can personalize the content.

For example, if the FirstName field name in Marketo matches the field value Tom and the Industry field name equals field value Automobile, then you can personalize the content based on this true condition. In case the condition is false, you can personalize the content through the editor or leave it blank. To personalize content, enter the below matching condition shortcode in WYSIWYG editor in the Drupal backend.

img5

Want to Know More About Our Drupal Services? Contact Us.

Grazitti has over 10 years of experience in offering full-fledged Drupal web development services to companies across the globe. We also help automate processes using our custom plugin that integrates your website with Marketo to boost conversions and sales. Learn more about our web development services here or write to us at [email protected].
Oct 24 2018
Oct 24

Before beginning with the What and Why of Composer, let’s understand the difference between “Upgrade” and “Update”.

Drupal8MAin Image

Upgrading a Drupal website means migrating it to a new major version. For instance, moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, or from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. However, updating a website means moving it from one minor version to another. For instance, switching from Drupal 8.5.3 to Drupal 8.5.6.

Why Composer?

Are you familiar with Composer?

Composer is used as a dependency manager in PHP. It helps declare and manage libraries on which your project depends or the modules that your website is made of. You can easily manage core dependencies such as Symfony components and certain packages.

The first thing you need to do is ask yourself a question — Why do I require Composer when I can update the Drupal core and modules simply by downloading these from the Drupal website?

This is because updating your Drupal-powered website by downloading the modules from Drupal’s official website is not simple. The reasons:

  • A number of modules and themes cannot run the application without a third-party library. Managing the third-party library individually after installing the modules is a tedious task.
  • Some modules and packages need to be compatible with a certain PHP or Drupal version. This may lead to some version-related issues while upgrading the Drupal core and modules, which you need to find manually.
  • Some packages and modules may collide with each other when you run the composer update on the CLI. To fix the issue, you may need to review the composer.json file.

Update Drupal core and modules using Composer

Before beginning with updating your Drupal core and modules, you must learn about Composer. You can either refer to the documentation on Drupal’s official website or go for online tutorials.

The first step is to install Composer on your development machine to easily execute any Composer commands. It enables you to execute the installer directly from the command line.

The next step is to set up the website project template with Composer.

Take a backup of the database and files before the update

  • Take a backup of the database dump using drush sql-dump.
  • For backup of code and files, you can use drush archive-dump. It helps you take a backup in a single directory in Drush 8. However, if you upgrade the system or server using Drush 9, the command would not work, in which case you can use the tar command.

Check what Drupal core and packages are available to update

  • Before you begin with updating your Drupal core and packages, verify which versions are available for update. Run the command Composer outdated in the command line interface, which provides a full package list, including the Symfony components, necessary for Drupal 8.

screen1DRupal

  • If you simply want to verify which Drupal core version is available for update, run the command Composer outdated drupal/*. It provides a list of all core versions that need an update.

Screen3Drupal

Update Drupal 8 core

  • Begin with reading the core release notes to learn which issues are fixed in the release. It will help you understand which versions and packages need an update.
  • Use the command drush sset system.maintenance_mode 1 to activate the maintenance code. Clear the caches using drush cr.
  • Update the Drupal core and its dependencies, by running the Composer commands—Composer update Drupal/core –with-dependencies

Screen2

  • To update any pending database, run the command drush updb and clear the cache using the drush cr command.
  • On the reports->available updates page, you can verify if the Drupal website is updated or not.
  • For error reporting and website testing, review the reports->status page.
  • Using drush sset system.maintenance_mode 0, deactivate the maintenance mode. Then, run the command drush cr to clear the cache.

Update modules

  • The best way to update modules on your Drupal 8 website is by using Composer. This is because Composer downloads the modules along with related dependencies needed to run the application.
  • The Composer command require “drupal/<modulename>:<version> is recommended to install a single module, where you can specify the module name and version. For instance, the command Composer require “drupal/social_auth_google:^2.0” helps download the Social auth login module’s latest 8.x.-2.0 release.
  • Social Auth Google module can be run using the third-party library League Google Provider for OAuth 2.0. Composer downloads the correct version of SDK, which is compatible with your module.
  • Finally, you can verify the League folder in the vendor directory.

This is how Composer makes it substantially easy to update Drupal 8 core and modules if you understand the basics of the technology.

Want to know more about our Drupal services? Contact us.

Aug 23 2018
Aug 23

Is your website still on Drupal 7? Then it’s time to switch to Drupal 8.

Are you already on Drupal 8 but not using Drush?

Read more to find out!

How Drush makes your life easier in Drupal 8

Why Drush?

Drush is a tool in Drupal 8, which helps perform various tasks like website installation, configuration, and update from the command line.

A website may require an update due to several reasons, such as security issues. Choosing to update the modules via conventional methods proves to be time-consuming task.

But Drush makes it convenient and saves time by allowing you to update your website using just one command.

How Drush eases the process when Drupal already has a friendly UI?

Drush helps speed up the updating process and scripting. You can simply run the commands from within a script.

Drupal can help you:

  • Use rsync to update remote instances or install profiles
  • View project info such as project status, site activity, installation location, or module info
  • Add security patches and update core module, update database or migrate it from an older version to newer version
  • Run cron, clear the cache, and build the search index
  • Retrieve and set the core module variables quickly
  • Create custom Drush features

How to install Drush in Drupal 8?

Using Composer is the simplest way to install Drush on Drupal 8. To install the Drush scripting interface, you need to use the command line. Any command that you use can be issued from there.

Which commands can you play with?

In Drush, you can play with the following commands. However, you must take a backup of the site and your database beforehand.

  • drush archive-dump

Using this command, you can backup both files and database in a single directory.

This command helps update Drupal core, contributes modules and applies for any pending database updates.

  • drush up –security-only

drush up –security-only helps in security updates for third-party modules on your site.

  • drush up –no-core

This command helps update the contributed modules without Drupal core.

  • drush pm-updatestatus/drush ups

If you want to show the security update status for all modules on your site, enter this command.

  • drush up <module1_name> <module2_name> …

You can easily update individual Drupal modules by hitting this command.

  • drush updb

Using this command, you can update the database, if required.  

  • drush sset system.maintenance_mode 1

This command helps activate the maintenance mode.  

Using this command, you can clear the cache.

Conclusion

Ensuring an updated website—Drupal core and third-party modules—at all times becomes extremely simple with effective Drupal security policies in place. Drush is considered inevitable for Drupal 8, since it eases the process of updating your website to the latest stable versions.

If you are still using Drupal 7, then it’s time to switch to Drupal 8.

Jul 31 2018
Jul 31

Packed with multiple powerful features, including greater flexibility, higher page load speed, and scalability, Drupal 8 was launched more than two years ago. If you haven’t upgraded to Drupal 8, you should consider doing it now!

But why?

Let’s take a look at some of the advantages that Drupal 8 offers:

  • Change the core elements of your website
  • Update obsolete modules
  • Update the theme, if necessary
  • Build utilities to integrate D8 with an enterprise software
  • Update the database content

Drupal 8 has turned out to be a preferred framework for its scalability and agility. An increased number of businesses are considering migrating to it, with some renowned names having already moved to Drupal 8, including Pinterest, The Economist, Al Jazeera, and Tesla.

Should you migrate to Drupal 8 immediately?

Well, Yes!

Because Drupal 8 has become the stable version of Drupal. Most of the functionalities (major modules that you are aware of) have been ported to it and are now available on Drupal community.

Drupal 8 is a secure way to go for web development, whether you want to migrate from an older version or start from scratch. It uses a new rendering engine i.e. TWIG. This is a more powerful way to render pages with minimal time of execution process.

Things to deal with before you move to Drupal 8

You have several reasons to move to Drupal 8. But before that, you must keep certain things in mind, such as:

1. Type of Website

If you are using Drupal 7 for your blog or business website, you can move to Drupal 8 in a smooth and hassle-free manner. Since, most of the contributed modules are available in the Drupal community, which is time-saving.

2. Core Modules

Every default Drupal installation comes with some core modules. Companies may or may not use all of these modules, based on their requirements. However, the Symfony framework in Drupal 8 ensures more flexibility, simplifying the process of reusing a piece of code when developing custom modules.

3. Contributed Modules

Drupal 8 brings most of the community-contributed modules as its core modules. If your site has a community module that has not come out as a core module (just in case), you may need to update that module for the Symfony framework when migrating to Drupal 8.

Begin with creating an inventory of all the modules in your site to identify the ones that haven’t become core modules.

If a contributed module is unavailable in Drupal 8, you can either:

  • Drop the idea of using the particular module and archive its data,
  • Find a new community module with the same functionality,
  • Hire a developer to update the module for you, or
  • Get a custom module built with the required functionality

4. Custom Modules

Your website probably also has some custom modules. You need to port these modules to Drupal 8 as coding in Drupal 8 is way different than that in Drupal 7.

You might find the functionalities in your existing website to be complex and worth taking help. In this case, consider hiring an expert developer, who will not only evaluate your website but also help you with planning the migration.

5. Website Theme

Drupal 8 uses TWIG, which is highly flexible and secure for rendering pages. The new rendering engine won’t allow your existing Drupal 7 theme to port directly to the updated version. Also, no single module will help you directly move the theme to Drupal 8.

Updating a PHP template is another solution. But you may find it complex without a developer.

Thus, the simplest way out is to use a theme supported by Drupal 8, which has similar layout and features.

Jul 23 2018
Jul 23

WordPress vs Drupal – Which CMS To Choose?

by on Jul 23, 2018 in CMS, Drupal, Web Development, WordPress

Drupal was launched long before WordPress (WP). Yet, WP powers 28% of websites, while Drupal’s share is 2.3%.

Now, this doesn’t simply make WordPress better than Drupal.

Or does it?

WordPress Vs Drupal - Which CMS to Choose

Here lies the dilemma. Drupal or WordPress? Which one should you go for?

Both WordPress and Drupal come with their own set of benefits and their loyal followers. But you’re not sure which platform will work better for your business.

Why? Because:

  • Both platforms are open source solutions i.e. you can use and develop these further for free.
  • Both have strong community support. In case of any issue, you can easily access a community, where users and developers can help you with your questions.
  • Both are user-friendly and easy-to-use.
  • Both platforms are free to use and own a complete library of plugins and modules.

Apart from the similarities, WordPress and Drupal are quite different too. So which CMS you go for should entirely depend upon the kind of website you own.

Let’s take a look at the major differences between WordPress and Drupal:

Pricing

You can initially set up WordPress at zero cost. However, any premium themes or plugins may cost you more. On the other hand, Drupal’s initial set up is also free, but it may cost you extra, as you need to hire an expert. It entirely depends on what your needs are.

Technical Expertise

A technical expert or even an amateur can easily use WordPress to build a simple website. However, you may want to hire a developer if it is a complex website. But to build a website in Drupal, you must be a technical expert. Especially, if you have plans to introduce changes in it to help it evolve. Development with Drupal can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Extensibility & Customizability

WordPress allows for easy customization with its built-in options. Using these, you can make both design and functionality changes. Change anything from color schemes and widgets to header and background images. There are 55,000 plugins available along with thousands of themes if you want to extend your website.

Drupal is already about building custom websites, which is why it also has numerous built-in options for customization. Tailor any design or functionality as per your specific requirements with 40,000+ modules and 26,000+ themes.

Size

WordPress initially emerged as a blogging platform. So handling large volumes of data is a bit challenging for WordPress. It might give you a slower experience. Contrary to that, Drupal has the potential to support small, static websites to large, dynamic websites—whether e-commerce websites or online communities.

Security

As compared to WordPress, Drupal is more secure. Why? WordPress plugins are susceptible to hacking, if not updated. Moreover, due to its popularity, hackers target WordPress first. You can ensure more security by installing third-party plugins.

On the other hand, Drupal comes with enterprise-level security. Also, you get detailed security reports.

Comparison Table (At a Glance)

WordPress Drupal Installation Takes around 5 minutes Takes around 10 minutes with special packages Extensions Has tens of thousands of plugins and themes Has thousands of extensions, but challenging to install Support Runs an online community at a monthly pay Runs online community for free, and has Marketplace Size Supports small websites, but has scalability issues for large websites Supports websites, portals of any size Cost Out-of-the-box solutions at affordable prices Expensive Security Vulnerable to hacks Ensures enterprise-level security Multilingual Options Pay for premium plugins Has built-in modules

Standard Features – Comparison

WordPress Drupal Simplicity New Theme Engine Publish with Ease HTML5 User Management Configuration Management Media Management Easy Authoring Full Standards Compliance Quick Edits Easy Theme System Support for Industry Extend with Plugins Web Service Built-in Built-in Comments Field Galore Search Engine Optimized Guided Tour Multilingual Loading Speed Easy Installation and Upgrades Industry Standards Importers JavaScript Automate Testing Community Community Developer Features Plugin System Theme System Application Framework Custom Content Types

Third-Party System and App Integration

WordPress Drupal ActiveCampaign Bitium Bitium Zendesk Campaign Monitor Zapbook Constant Contact Zapier LiveAgent MailChimp LiveChat Facebook MailChimp LinkedIn Post-Affiliate Pro HubSpot Tapfiliate Google Analytics Zapier Magento Zendesk Salesforce Zoho SalesIQ iPaper Marketo Twitter ShoutEm Marketo

Best Used for

WordPress Drupal Personal Blog Or Website News publishing Business Websites Intranet/Corporate Web Sites Social Networking Websites Like Facebook E-Commerce Web Sites Online Discussion Forums Resource Directories E-Commerce Website International Sites News Websites Education Classified Ad Websites Art, Music, Multimedia Membership Websites Social networking sites Consumer Reviews Websites Conference and “camp” websites Photo Gallery Online Communities

Final Words

If you need a simple and small website that doesn’t require much technical know-how, choose WordPress, which is easier to install. Customizing it would also not be an issue, with the availability of thousands of plugins and themes. Even if you want to hire a professional for building new WordPress features, you can easily find one.

However, if your site is large and complex, opt for Drupal. Make sure you have proper technical knowledge, if you are going to use Drupal.

Both technologies come with their own set of pros and cons. It solely depends on your business requirements which one you go for.

Still not sure which one will best fit your needs? Contact Us!

Our digital experts will work closely with you to ensure that you select the right CMS that aligns with your business needs and helps you deliver the right customer experience. Write to us at [email protected].

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Apr 10 2018
Apr 10

by on Apr 10, 2018 in CMS, Drupal, Drupal 8, Landing Page Development, Web Development

November 2015 introduced to us Drupal 8, the biggest update to Drupal to date. Anyone who supports online content should make allowance for Drupal 8, one among the world’s most well developed open source content management and digital experience platforms.

Drupal 8 is fast and secure, and fosters the process of website development. Every organization, whether small or large – including NGOs, global enterprises, colleges, or brands – uses Drupal to deliver relevant content in real time and improve user engagement.

Drupal 8

With the latest version of Drupal come high security features that help overcome any security risks and ensure business security in the long run. Owing to its advanced features, it proves to be an ideal platform for new projects. Explained below is every good reason why you can trust Drupal 8 security.

Twig for Template Engine

Drupal 8 comes with Twig, a template engine that helps override all templates which are used to produce HTML markup. Twig allows you to completely customize the template of your choice to see a markup of your choice.

Twig is an advanced form of PHP template that was developed in-house by developers. It has templates for every single element on a page.

Twig for Template Engine

Twig was created by SensioLabs. Supported by Symfony2, it becomes a preferred choice to use for Drupal themes.

Below is the comparison of two snippets from Bartik theme in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. Both the snippets function identically.

This is a snippet in Drupal 7 and the node.tpl.php document:

<?php print render($title_prefix); ?>
<?php if (!$page): ?>
<h2<?php print $title_attributes; ?>>
<a href=”<?php print $node_url; ?>”><?php print $title; ?></a>
</h2>
<?php endif; ?>
<?php print render($title_suffix); ?>

This is a snippet in Drupal 8 and the new node.html.twig document:

{{ title_prefix }}
{% if not page %}
<h2{{ title_attributes }}>
<a href=”/{{ node_url }}”>{{ label }}</a>
</h2>
{% endif %}
{{ title_suffix }}

Javascript API incompatible with Content Security Policy

With drupalSettings having conventionally been loaded through inline Javascript, Drupal 8 needed removal of all inline Javascript to support a Content Security Policy (CSP). So the Drupal render API had support for inline Javascript removed from the #attached property. Drupal Javascript settings variables are no longer put as inline Javascript. Rather, these are added as JSON data to the page, which ensures compatibility with CSP, implying mitigation of cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities and respect for per-site restrictions.

Improved user session and session ID handling

Drupal 8 features improved user session and session cookie handling in different ways:

  • Session IDs have been made more secure against exposure using database backups or SQL injection. Earlier, session ID was tracked directly against incoming session cookie from the browser, which risked population of cookie from database value and assumption of any user’s session and identity in case they had a valid session in the database. Additionally, the ID is hashed before storage in Drupal 8. This helps prevent user’s session assumption using database value.
  • Mixed-mode SSL session support has been removed from core. Basically, it was introduced to support sites which had contributed modules to serve the login page over SSL and to keep other pages unencrypted.

Portable configuration

YAML is used as the export and import format by Configuration Management Initiative (CMI). These YAML files are manageable together with your code and can be and tracked into a revision control system (git, for instance). This enhances Drupal 8 security as PHP code is not used as an import format and acquiring history of configuration changes becomes much easier with configuration tracking in code. Drupal becomes compatible for enterprises which require stringent controls on configuration changes.

In the latest version of Drupal, you can check configuration in development and replicate it to production as well. This helps prevent any errors during manual configuration. The result? You absolutely do not need to make any configuration changes in production for forced deployment of changes in the form of code.

Route definitions protected against CSRF token

Ideally, it is essential to safeguard links or GET requests that result in some disastrous change against CSRF. To ensure this, a user-specific token is required in the query string, which is evaluated before proceeding with the action. Automation of the process leads to improved developer experience and increased security. Code centralization makes the audit easier while also providing test coverage.

With Drupal 8, the process becomes much easier. It doesn’t require the developer to specify a CSRF token for a route.

Take a look at this YAML route definition for a protected link in Drupal 8 entity.

entity.shortcut.link_delete_inline:
 path: ‘/admin/config/user-interface/shortcut/link/{shortcut}/delete-inline’
 defaults:
_controller: ‘Drupal\shortcut\Controller\ShortcutController::deleteShortcutLinkInline’
 requirements:
_entity_access: ‘shortcut.delete’
_csrf_token: ‘TRUE’

Trusted host mechanism support for requests

A number of Drupal websites use a random host header communicated to the correct IP address to respond to a page request. This raises risks for cache poisoning, forged password recovery links, sham site emails, and other security-related issues.

All the previous versions of Drupal made it challenging to properly configure the web server for a website that prevents such DNS spoofing attacks by using sites as its site directory. However, Drupal 8 allows to configure predicted host mechanisms in settings.php. It even sends you a warning in site status report in case you forget to configure it.

Power your digital presence with Drupal

Drupal powers the digital presence of a number of businesses. It’s time you leveraged its features and future initiatives of Drupalcamp to make it more engaging and effective down the road. Get in touch with our experts who have helped many of our clients, including Fortune 500 companies, fulfil their web development needs.

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May 05 2017
May 05

The speed of Drupal websites can be a major issue if they are complex or built on an under-powered server. This has become a key issue among website developers ever since Google has started giving greater importance to the speed of a website, particularly on mobile devices. Here are five tips to help you speed up Drupal 8 sites so that they work as fast as you do!

Drupal 8

Tip One: Use Cache Properly

The most effective way to speed up a Drupal website is by properly using cache. Drupal provides some powerful caching even if no extra modules are enabled. Drupal users would know that the cache system stores a copy of the visited pages in an accessible location. After a page is viewed, it is cached and the same page loads more quickly for all the subsequent visitors.

Tip Two: Extra Caching Modules

There are two core internal caching modules enabled by default. They are:

The Internal Page Cache Module:  This module caches pages for unknown users in the database. The pages visited by anonymous users are saved for the first time and then reused for subsequent visitors.

The Internal Dynamic Page Cache Module:  The Internal Dynamic Page cache module is a new feature added to Drupal 8 and aims at speeding up the site for both unknown and logged-in users. Extra caching layers like Varnish or Redis is also added by several seasoned Drupal site builders to increase the speed of their websites.

Recently, Drupal 8 developers have added the BigPipe demo module, which has borrowed and implemented ideas from Facebook. BigPipe allows websites to show personalized content easier and faster.

Tip Three: Bandwidth Optimization

Drupal 8 has done away with “compress cached pages”. On the other hand, it has introduced a default setting that optimizes external resources. The optimization reduces both the size and the number of requests made to your website. Drupal 8 makes it simple to aggregate CSS and JavaScript files so that they load together. On the Live environment, enable Aggregate and compress CSS files/ JavaScript files. This reduces the number of HTTP requests and the amount of data transferred.

Tip Four: Image Size

The image size you choose can have a tremendous impact on your website’s speed and performance. Luckily, Drupal 8 core offers tools to control and optimize image sizes. Use the Image Styles feature to have different image sizes for different devices like tablets and mobiles.

Tip Five: Remove Unused Modules

The last thing that you can do to speed up your Drupal 8 website is to uninstall unused modules. Drupal has changed the process of removing modules, so read about it before you start uninstalling modules.

Conclusion

There may be many reasons that can affect the performance of your Drupal site, but you should ensure your site is properly cached, images are the correct size, and unused modules are removed. These three things paired with appropriate bandwidth usage will put your Drupal website in the driver’s seat!

Leverage The Power Of Drupal

At Grazitti Interactive, we offer best-in-class website development services using the latest CMS’ like Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, and more with advanced technologies such as PHP, ASP.net, AJAX, JavaScript, jQuery, AngularJS, etc. Several Fortune 500 companies trust us with their web development needs. For more information about our design and development services, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected]
Jan 13 2016
Jan 13

With so much happening around the communities, it is that time of the year when everyone is fresh and came out of a long year-end vacation. Nonetheless, it is always a good thing to start the year planning with your New Year resolutions other than ‘I will stick to the diet plan this year’ resolution.

Just like choosing the correct diet plan to keep your body fit and healthy, it is important that you make use of the correct community tools, workspace, and knowledge base to run your community effectively.

According to a research done by Gartner, it has been determined that at least 70% of all online communities fail. The reasons for this failure include:

  • Lack of strategic planning
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Extensive target audience
  • Uninspired discussions
  • Low engagement
  • Unrelated organizational motives

However, you can avoid this failure by considering a few prerequisites that will definitely help you improve your community’s viability.

Here are some tips which can really drive and keep your communities on top all around the year:

1. Focus on user quality instead of quantity

There are some important entities that drive a successful community and users are one of them. It is not just the number of users that matter but how many of these are actually contributing to your community. While there is no mantra for getting the user to your community, there is definitely a lot, which you can do to make them stay and engage.

2. Reward your users

This brings us to the second point, i.e. how to keep your users happy and make them stay and engaged. The best thing you can do is, ”Reward them”. Everybody loves being rewarded and your users are no different. Reward them for every bit they do, even if it is for being idle for some days (a badge called OOO), or coming online every day. Reward them for being a year old user, and give them their birthday rewards where the birthday could be their community joining date. The hack being – implementing Gamification.

3. Make use of the Most Valued Professional (MVP) program

This is no secret, MVPs are the backbone of your community. They are the community leaders who generate quality content, provide solutions and guide other users. They can drive communities without the moderators even having to log in for days. Also, it is important to make sure that you have enough MVPs according to the size of your community. While MVPs are the users who over the time have gained expertise in your community, you can totally rely on them as they possess vast knowledge of your community. But remember, had you not rewarded them, most of them would have left halfway and this would have left you stranded of your MVPs.

4. Highlight your MVPs

Just like you reward your users for becoming the MVPs, make sure you don’t forget to add them to your hall of fame. This would really boost your MVPs to go to the next level. Give them a stamp of authority so that the other users would consider their replies.

5. Manage the discussion areas of your community

Many business owners face immense hassles these days while managing the discussion areas of their community. It has become one of the most engrossing topics of discussion amongst the community owners that has left them stunned thus far. Our developers here at Grazitti had the privilege of working with some of the biggest online communities, which had so many categories and scattered discussion areas. We made use of the labels to remove about half the categories that were not required or relevant.

So, if you are facing troubles in managing the discussion areas of your community, using labels alone can positively help you get rid of the maximum unused discussion spaces in your community.

6. Organize information into easy-to-navigate categories

“Content is of no use if it cannot be found” – Allow users to seamlessly navigate between your website and online community. It is important that you provide an easy navigation to/from all the discussion areas of your community so that the valuable content can efficaciously reach your users. Also, you can add widgets like ‘Ask a question’ in your community, which will not only reduce the number of the repetitive posts but will also help your users find & select the post of their choice.

7. Get feedback on your community

Ask for suggestions from your users/ MVPs. They are the ones who understand your community the best. They know which current features are working and which aren’t. Seek feedback from them and make good use of the constructive feedback.

8. Detoxify properly

This is trivial to the new communities but as the time goes by, every community will face this issue. Detoxification is relatively important to the product based communities where you have to keep the product info up-to-date with every new release.

Online communities are tightly intertwined with content, sophisticated analytics, exposed patterns and opportunities that organizations can leverage to further build their communities and strengthen their brand or offering. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into building an online community and keeping it healthy all the way through, 2016 is certainly the time to start.

Want a healthy, high-performance Online Community?

At Grazitti Interactive, our team of expert community developers help companies set up award-winning online communities across diverse technologies like Lithium, Salesforce, Jive, SharePoint, WordPress and more. We plan, create, manage and support socially tuned, responsive and scalable communities to maximizing user engagement and community ROI. To know more, drop us a mail at [email protected]
Jul 08 2015
Jul 08

A research showed that about 60% of new online community users began using and visiting the community regularly, only on the basis of their first experience.

People come for help/support content, and stay for engaging experiences in the community. Your community needs to offer something of high value, which exceeds your customers’ expectations and outshines your competitors. The site refresh cycles should provide unique feature to members. One way to maintain the engagement is capitalizing on the latest marketing tactics, other ones are-retargeted calls-to-action that remind community members of different community features they may not have explored yet.

There are a plenty of features your Online Community might be missing. To get your Community ready for the times to come, have a look at the latest community trends listed below:

Private Social Networking

Why? Not all communication that takes place in online communities is public. Enable customers to build and strengthen personal relationships. Offer secure spaces for customer intimacy programs, product innovation summits, and peer-peer idea exchanges.

How? Customers can build their personal brands and view how other members are participating. Generate ideas and information that fuel business innovation and customer satisfaction. Members can connect with each other, participate in forums, create blogs, private message, share photos and video, join groups, and more.

Crowd-sourced Ideas and Wikis

Why? To flesh out new feature ideas, increase engagement and brand loyalty and drive product innovation.

How? Wikis provide workgroups with access to project information and documents. Co-design new product and services requirements with your user group, advisory groups, and specific customer segments. Use of moderation tools can limit the number of votes permitted per member, set a cap on the number of ideas, or limit the timeframe for submitting.

Built-in Search Engine

Why? Keep your members engaged by offering a wide variety and quantity of information resources they seek.

How? Full text search can help search your knowledgebase more easily. Although the information ever shared in the online community is easily accessible.

Responsive User Interface

Why? Customers are not always at their desk. They will communicate the time they find most convenient through the device they are comfortable with.

How? Go mobile! Build community apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry. Integrate all major communication methods like managing event registration, conference-related communication, and session submissions in a single system. Also, you can help your members bypass the login screen by integrating “Single Sign-On”.

Rich Member Profiles

Why? Online communities are all about sharing. Give each customer the opportunity to showcase what they find interesting from social media sites like LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and others.

How? Your site should include links to your social profiles on sites such a Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. Post links back into the community, from blogs, content sites, and other networks.

Badges

Why? 70% of online communities fail due to lack of contribution. Fostering greater engagement can be supported by encouraging visitors to participate.

How? Motivate them by rewarding their progress by awarding points or other units of social currency. Take advantage of native gaming mechanics to provide short-term rewards to first time social community user.

Groups & Chats

Why? To discuss topics that are more specific to their own interest and also for deeper, more focused and personalized conversations.

How? Branch off members and create their own individual discussion groups and email lists. Groups can be marked as public, private, or hidden. They act as a Resource directory. Groups can be used for qualitative data collection. You can directly put questions to the panelists or you can initiate a brainstorm on a product idea. Also, integrating group chat allows your customers to shape the conversations and choose how they would like the conversations to flow.

Want to implement the latest features in your Community now?

At Grazitti InteractiveTM, we offer expertise in designing, conceptualizing, building and maintaining online communities. With our experience across platforms like Salesforce, Jive, WordPress and Lithium, we have created award winning communities for companies like Marketo, Alteryx, Optimizely, Ping Identity and many more. To know further, drop us a line at [email protected]

You allow your customers
to shape the conversations and choose how
they would like the conversations to flow.

Apr 23 2014
Apr 23

Imagine if Bart Simpson was your community member! Ahem, maybe not with this expression. But, surely you would love to have many such members for a thriving community?

So how do you achieve it?

You help your members form a habit of checking your community. Habit is what takes a person beyond motivation. Using Maslow’s Motivation Theory can help you pique interest but habits get results.

Consider your inboxes. You open them every day out of habit, even though around 40% of the emails that you get are junk and consume your time. You check it, religiously.

Whenever you are stuck on an issue you have certain goto experts. Traditionally, you emailed the expert, he replied on his own time because there was nothing that the expert was immediately gaining by answering your question. And, also his peers did not know that he was approached as an expert for that topic and he could answer that question. So, the transparency that social world provided was missing in the early days. Social media and online communities have changed all this.

With communities, people have a reason to respond. When they participate they gain reputation, unlock higher levels, better features, access better content and so on. Their visibility sees a boost and over time the person is established as an expert in the community.

So far so good.

But, to seek those answers, how do you get your audience onto the community?

Your community needs to offer something of extremely high value that helps them polish their craft and makes them look good. They will be motivated to come back and overtime this becomes a habit.

Leverage every visit to strengthen your relationships with the members. Get your visitors hooked. Help them, goad them and guide them to choose to come to your website.

Consider this.

You visit social media sites and your email daily because of two reasons:

  • You know you will gain value from this visit
  • It is a habit

In the first phase, the visits are sporadic. But, in the second scenario visits happen regularly. Jeremy Dean, psychologist and author of PsyBlog, believes we spend 30% of our lives on habitual autopilot.

For forming a habit an average human takes 18 to 254 days. The average is around 66 days. For a timeline for your community, you should target this time frame.

Once your members have been active for two months, you are more likely to see long time engagement.

Typically, the habit formation follows this iteration:

Trigger > action > reward > investment > > > trigger > action > reward > investment…

  1. Creating Triggers

    Triggers can be external or internal. Enticing your visitors to your community starts with external triggers. Your prospects hear about your community on social media, discuss with friends, get direct invitations by e-mail, act on CTAs and more. All of these act as triggers to get your prospects to participate and become long term members.
    Overtime these triggers are internalized. Your members will by default check their accounts and regularly access the community. Each trigger needs to be direct, to-the-point and send the communication out consistently. Align your messages to appeal to the prospects’ “what’s in it for me urge”.
    Think back to your Facebook notifications and Twitter updates. You check periodically to keep yourself in the loop. The mechanism and psychology are the same.

  2. Attract Your Users and Simplify What You Want Them to Do

    If habits are difficult to form and follow, you are less likely to go through with it. You will get addicted to chocolate faster than you get addicted to broccoli. Similarly, if your prospects find the thought of coming to your community unappetizing, they will not come. And, for eating delectable chocolate you just need to peel the wrapper and even after cooking broccoli, it will not be same.
    Reduce physical and mental effort your prospect needs to make to access and participate in your community. Once you have created the triggers, don’t make your prospects think too hard to take the action. Don’t overwhelm them with information. Take it up gradually and give them examples of high ranking members to show them how to perform in the community.
    The amount of effort involved to do something is inversely proportional to the likelihood of that event.

  3. Reward Invariably

    The best illustration for this would be slot machines. They reward, but mostly you lose. But, you still keep going back to the machines, in hope of something that you might just win. And, when you do win, the feeling is incomparable. Taking a cue from them, randomly highlight members after their first few contributions. Pepper the system with just enough victories to keep your visitors hooked.
    Design reward system in a way that combines variable and invariable elements. Invariable elements give your members a place to aim for and invariable keeps the members addicted.

  4. Increasing Investment

    The more we participate, the more we invest in the activity. We don’t want to feel we have invested all the effort for nothing. Hence, the more people participate in your community, the more likely they are to continue participating in your community. The more friends we have, the bigger reputation we have, the more power we have. These are all powerful motivators to visit and participate in the community again.
    Investments are done for returns; make your community the highest performing asset when your members are searching for answers.

Action Points for a Thriving Community

  • Give reasons to come back
  • Make your community a resource that solves problems every time your users throw something at it
  • Penalize and heavily control negative behaviors
  • Constantly reinforce positive behaviors
  • Show commitment from your end
  • Be empathetic to what your user wants
  • Reward people and make their contributions visible
  • Ingrain in members that the only way to win is by doing things as a team

About Grazitti™ Community Services

At Grazitti Interactive™, we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From strategy to platform selection, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands like Marketo, Cloudwords, and Lancope meet their community objectives with measurable results. To know more or schedule a meeting for your community needs, just drop a mail at [email protected]
Mar 28 2014
Mar 28

Your customers love a community and you have planned to build one for your organization. Most likely, by now you have:

  • Chosen the target audience
  • Decided the community type
  • Shortlisted the platform
  • Identified the resources to build the community
  • Decided the business goals

Almost everything is ready for kickoff.

However, have you zeroed down on the coolest features? There are so many communities in the virtual world clamoring for your audience’s attention. Features like discussion forums, articles, and basic Q/A capability are included in all the community plans. You need to go beyond the basics!

Features

Rich User Profiles with Social Integration

With communities, people want incredible value, comfort while interacting with other members, and high level of customization. They want profiles that will display them as industry experts and build personal brands. A great way to achieve these is a rich user profiles integrated with social media. An improvement over the rich user profiles is something known as a SSO or single sign on. With just a single instance for logging in you save user’s time, effort and by tracking the community habits offer better user experience.

A sample rich user profile should include these details:

Your users come back repeatedly when they see the value your content is providing. Traditionally content is thought of as only articles, how to videos and some Q/A. For a truly engaging community, you should look at content in the form of:

Security concept: Lock on digital screen

Security should start right from the sign on capabilities to the content the users can access, people they can connect with, events they can attend, modules they can access, edit or even manage. Within security, you should have robust and well-defined privacy options, safety guidelines that are prominent and easy to understand, options to block notifications and more.

Finally

Communities are the buzzword right now. People want communities that provide value, gives them a forum to connect with likeminded individuals. Features make this happen. Think about it like this, you love the new smartphone because it lets you do so many things with its cool features. There is little change in the hardware or the software, but you still love it. Doesn’t a community function in the same way?

About Grazitti’s Community Services

At Grazitti™, we have expertise in multiple community platforms, community planning, building, executing and managing to set up robust communities from scratch. We have built communities for Marketo, Lancope, Alteryx, M2M and more. To know more about building your business community, Contact Us Now!
Jan 20 2014
Jan 20

As per M2 Research,
Gamification + Communities = 150% Increased Engagement.
In this highly social world, communities and gamification are the best ways to increase engagement. As a marketer

  • Gamification makes your customers Feel Good and Gain Approval from other participants.
  • Communities give your customers a sense of Belonging.

Gamification in Online Communities

Motivation and Gamification

Maslow’s theory of needs says, physiological, safety, belonging, esteem, and self-realization needs motivate people to do what they do.
If you think about it, Feeling Good and Gaining Approval are needs that act as motivators for your customers. Similarly, other needs that drive your customers are:

  • Recognition
  • Status
  • Competition
  • Positive feedback
  • Self-expression and a platform for it
  • The ability to influence people

Now, if I tie up the two needs of Feeling Good and Gaining Approval in context of gamification with Maslow, you will find that these are just “Esteem in disguise”. Esteem is a self-image need and when people feel valued for their contributions, they feel better about the experience. Further, the contribution needs recognition. Badges and points provide recognition for all the activity people are doing. Such validation for the effort makes people feel valued by giving a public “pat on the back”. This in turn raises their self-worth.

Many brands like Deloitte, Autodesk, VEVO and more have this figured out and are leveraging it to integrate gamification into their setup to increase customer and employee engagement.

Some companies are using gamification creatively. Notable examples are Achievemint is leveraging game mechanics to motivate healthy habits in employees, startups like Poshly.com are using gamification as user acquisition strategy. Others like UPS have training programs that are designed to help drivers acclimate to walking on ice, this helps UPS cut costs in workers compensation. Marketo rewards community activity and so on.

Why Organizations are Increasingly Embracing Gamification

money spent on gamification

Although, Nick Pelling coined the term “gamification” back in 2002, it is working NOW because Gen Y (majority by 2015 will join the workforce) grew up in a digital age and is very comfortable with gaming. As consumers and as employees they prefer gamified elements in normal course of work and life.
Since 2010, $100 million has been spent on gamification. Also, as per Gartner organizations will allocate 2.8 billion USD in direct spending to gamification by 2015.

Three reason behind this huge amount:

1. Interactive experiences leads to more advocates

Typically, marketing messages say what services or products the brands offer and the benefits consumers could have. Gamification cuts across the campaigns and the marketing to engage the consumer directly with the brand and in process is successful in turning consumers into advocates.

2. Gamification results in phenomenal increase in productivity

Organizations with gamification for employees have registered 205% improvement in performance related outcomes. I wonder if gamification of the office is the new reality.

3. Organizations gain more insights and accelerate adoption

  • Organizations can gather actionable and comprehensive data on consumer’s engagement and perceptions
  • Crowd sourcing ideas is easier to solve complex business challenges that can save time and cut costs
  • Accelerate adoption of new products
  • Brands are recalled faster by the consumer

Motivation and Communities

Tying communities to Maslow’s theory, you can see that communities are a place where the users feel like they belong. This sense of belonging is fundamental to bringing the community members closer. A sense of togetherness makes the members come back repeatedly, which drives activity on the community.

Kris Duggan on Gamification

Maybe Marketo heard Kris Duggan

Marketo leveraged game mechanics to engage customers within their support community.
With more than 3000 customers spread over 35 countries, Marketo’s community is a huge cost and time saver for its customer support team. Marketo wanted to incorporate gaming in its support community to drive customer adoption and accelerate customers to maturity. It decided on The Behaviour Platform by Badgeville. This integration helped Marketo to

  • Increase consumer engagement
  • Improve quality of user contributions
  • Accelerate on-boarding

Marketo’s gamified community looks like this –

Gamification on Marketo Community

Quantitative results of this integration are –

Quantitative results of Gamification integration

Lessons from Marketo’s success

  • Keep an aim for gamification
  • Be clear with your target audience
  • Tie up gamification with those elements which your users value the most
  • Measure the impact of gamification
  • Make users have fun with your gamification

Closing Note

Gamification and communities are about using the power of psychology to delight customers, boost productivity for employees and engage partners. Creatively using game mechanics to help solve complex challenges makes business sense for a highly social and integrated world where status and recognition are playing a major role in driving consumer and employee decisions.

About Grazitti™ Community Services

At Grazitti™, we offer expertise in online community development and gamification services. We can design, conceptualize, build and maintain robust communities. Companies like Lancope, Alteryx and Marketo trust us. We build robust online communities on Salesforce, Jive, WordPress platforms and integrate them with gamification platforms like Badgeville.
To know more about gamification and communities, just drop us a line at [email protected].

References:

  1. http://www.learndash.com/gamification-101-the-basics/

  2. http://www.bizedmagazine.com/features/articles/game-on.asp

  3. http://badgeville.com/sites/default/files/library/pdf/Case_Study_Marketo.pdf

Jan 06 2014
Jan 06

Grazitti Interactive is a global digital services provider leveraging cloud, mobile and social media technologies to reinvent the way you do business. Since 2008, Grazitti has been helping companies power their business with its marketing automation and cloud innovation services.

As a global consultancy, we have strategic partnerships with technology pioneers like Marketo, Salesforce.com, Alteryx, Adobe, Optimizely and Jive. We combine these new platforms with our innovative approaches to provide effective solutions to our clients. Doing this has allowed us to help hundreds of companies to transform their business and save millions.

Read More
Sep 20 2013
Sep 20

According to a recent Forrester Research study of business buyers, 91% use social business communities and 69% use them for professional purposes. With the social web expanding into the workforce, marketing managers are discovering the potential of online communities for on-going engagement with their users and partners. For B2B users, an online community is not just a networking platform but a place to collaborate, gather and share knowledge of latest developments in the industry.

For example,the user community for Marketo was launched on December 2010 and within 1 year of launch, Marketo had over 10,800 users, 65 community-generated ideas and an incredible content database of discussions and documentation that helps thousands with their questions each day.

To see the latest statistics – check out their Groundswell awards submission and if you like them please vote for them!

So, if you are planning to launch a B2B community, here are simple 7 tips to follow:

Map out the community goals When you chalk out the plan for your business community, it is good to define your goals for the community and prioritize.By answering simple questions like:

  • How will this community support your company’s mission and brand promise?
  • How can this video add to your core value proposition?
  • How will this community complement and expand your customer experience?

With clearly identified goals in mind, you can easily identify people who may join your community and play an active role in it.

Invite participation- Building a community from scratch is like building a garden. To reach out to your potential audience, you have to create a narrative for your community, which clearly mentions different activities your potential members can involve in. With a simple sign up form and a well-targeted campaign, you can easily kick start your business community. Some of the key channels adopted by B2B marketers include:

  • Email Newsletters
  • Trade shows and Events
  • Social Media
  • Website
  • Communication by Support Staff

Establish Guidelines The truth about rules is that no one likes to be told how to behave, but after a while, every community member realize that it is good to have a clear set of guidelines.Keeping your guidelines conversational and brief makes it easier for community members to follow. Some common guidelines include:

  • Content posted by users should be legal, clean, relevant and respectful
  • You reserve the right to remove the post if they are likely to disrupt, provoke, attack or offend or seen to impersonate someone else
  • Community dos and don’ts
  • Defined Procedure for Reporting Abuse
  • Copyright need to be respected

Outline roles For managing communities successfully, it is necessary to structure a participant’s role. You may like to empower most active users, by allowing them to become moderators or take on an advisory role. A community generally comes with four roles that includes:

  • Anonymous user: does not have an account
  • Authenticated user: any user that has an account
  • Manager: able to manage several areas including enabling & disabling features, managing users.
  • Admin: able to do everything that the manager can, plus access administration pages and use more powerful tools to manage users and features

Have a community leader- Have a visible person as your community manager, who can interact with people, respond to their questions and encourage users to share content. Remember, people don’t have conversations with company, they have conversations with people. By incorporating a human feel on the community, you can easily build a strong bond between users and your organizations. For successful functioning of community, a community manager need to fulfill some roles and responsibilities which include:

  • Ensuring community customer service
  • Monitoring and mediating discussions
  • Driving engagement
  • Ensuring value for community members and the organization

Increase User Engagement Getting your users to interact with other community members and keep them active in a community-driven site requires time and hard work. To increase user engagement on community following features can be included:

  • Make it easy to participate
  • Welcome newbies
  • Identify and nurture power users
  • Showcase and cross promote user generated content
  • Allow profile creations
  • Reward Contributors

Enable Sharing Encourage members to share their success stories publicly and interview them in your newsletter and feature them on your site. Enable easy sharing on various social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn with just one click. Your community members should be able to share items like:

  • Discussions
  • Blog Articles
  • Surveys & polls
  • Activity Feeds
  • Media items like videos, images, documents
  • Industry Webinars
  • Case Studies & White papers

Community management is an organic process that needs constant effort and nurturing. The key to community management is identifying and understanding the audience, and giving audience a platform to share their insights about best practices in their professional field. With clear goals for your community and well established guidelines, you ensure that your users participate in it as well as stay active.

Full disclosure: We have been developing, maintaining the Marketo Community since Feb 2011!

About Grazitti™ Community Development Services

At Grazitti™ we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From community strategy to platform selection, design, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands meet their community objectives with measurable results.We build communities on all major platforms such as:

  • Salesforce
  • Jive
  • Drupal
  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Dot net
  • Liferay

To know more about building your business community, Contact Us Now!

Nov 27 2012
Nov 27

“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do, and that Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do” Tom Sawyer, in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

From the time Tom Sawyer distinguished work and play by intention, we have struggled to make work as fun and motivating as play. With Gamification technology, we now have a chance to capture in software a way to work and participate that tie into the basic human urge to play for productive use. Formally, Gamification is introducing gaming techniques in an otherwise non-gaming environment /application to get desired results. Goals, milestones, and levels of achievement, all of which are driven by rules, define gamification. Game mechanics include points, badges, levels, missions, trophies, rankings, contests. These mechanics are generally driven by more visits and revisits, and participation in preferred activities. Today, gamification is a key tactic for driving engagement and is being used across domains and verticals with visible success.

Gamification & Communities

Before we get into the psychology of gamification and things it’s able to achieve, let’s understand the gamification industry by these interesting facts and numbers.

  1. Recognition
    All humans desire to be recognized as more capable, intelligent, smart, and overall better. The users driven by need for recognition are your ‘must have’ community members. Whatever gamification tactics you implement – increase engagement through views, problem-solving, contribution they will be at it to the best of their ability. All you need to ensure is that achievements are visible to all who visit the community.
    Best suited: All types of communities
    Preferred rewards: Badges & Levels
  2. Achievement
    Many people like to find challenges and overcome them – are driven by achievement. These users will be the ones trying to solve the problems in the community. They don’t care about participation, likes, or other tactical level things. They dive straight into the problem and aim to be the first to have resolved the issue at hand.
    Best suited: Support communities, ideation forums
    Preferred rewards: Badges & Levels
  3. Personal branding
    Self-expression is the emotion that has driven blogging to stratospheric heights that it is at today. In a community, self-expression comes through the choices that a member makes – avatar pics, rewards they choose, virtual gifts they give etc.
    Best suited: Ecommerce communities, professional networks, knowledge exchange communities
    Preferred rewards: Avatar pics, community/screen name, and choice of virtual gifts
  4. Competitiveness
    Competition improves performance. In fact, all the emotions mentioned above are reflected in this one emotion. A comparison of achievements of members can be used to drive engagement. Leaderboards play a significant role in triggering this emotion.
    Best suited: Support communities, knowledge exchange communities
    Preferred rewards: Leaderboard display of achievements, rewards, virtual goods
  5. Generosity
    Gifting is essential to fostering relationships and in communities, this emotion of altruism can be used to increase member base and drive engagement. Members can get access to choice of gifts on attaining certain activity levels, which they can share with new members who join the community.
    Best suited: Knowledge exchange communities, Special interest networks
    Preferred rewards: Gifts, virtual goods

Gamification uses human psychology to get drive results, which in this case is community engagement. But Gamification is not an ‘implement it and forget it’ feature. It has to be monitored, leveraging analytics, to continuously tweak elements to get maximum engagement. It begins with a rich experience and continues to unfold and update itself with changing requirements, mindsets, and users.

At Grazitti Interactive™, we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From strategy to platform selection, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands meet their community objectives with measurable results.

Photo credit: MattHurst via photopin cc

Nov 15 2012
Nov 15

Communities survive, thrive and succeed on the capabilities of their managers.  From being a moderator in their past life (read the 2000s) to being a technologist, a curator, an initiator, analyst and a strategist all packaged into one – today’s community manager has to wear many hats. And the community manager role continues to grow.

#2. User Acquisition & Growth

From seeding interesting content and attracting initial thought leaders from the space to finding new engagement tactics like gamification and leveraging valuable content to facilitate organic growth of the community, a community manager needs to ensure the community keeps growing. They need to get closer to the members and create more ways of conversation with the members.

Community Managers also need to be technology pros – on top of platform upgrades and adding new features to provide rich engagement experience to the members.

#3. Internal Culture Setting

Community Managers have to be leaders and team players be able to decide when to engage and when to back off. They need to create policies for the community, should be able to work with members and take key decisions, ensure discipline, manage criticism, and make each member feel a part of the community.

#4. Brand Management

Community Managers need to protect both the community brand and the product/service brand for which the community has been set up. Situation management – especially negative feedback management is critical to ensuring that community comes across as being an open platform for discussion and not a company mouthpiece. Overall, all actions of the community manager should leave a positive brand impact on the users.

#5. Analysis

Community Managers need to capture brand feedback from the community and report it back to Marketing. They also need to track the growth and engagement metrics of the community and continuously aim to improve the community numbers.

With an ever-evolving role, a community manager may have to learn new technologies, disciplines, and practices on the go, but at the core, they need to take care of the community in every way possible.

At Grazitti Interactive™, we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From strategy to platform selection, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands meet their community objectives with measurable results.
Nov 07 2012
Nov 07

Setting up a community is a big decision and technology plays a key role in making the community successful.  Here are 5 tips to help you choose the right platform.

Open Source vs. Proprietary Solutions

This is probably the biggest question that comes to one’s mind when starting a community.  Open source/writing your own application is great because you can have all the features you want. Crisp – nothing less, nothing more.  But it can take up a lot of internal resources and choke your IT department, and may require outside expertise as well. Also, the effort will go to waste if the underlying objective of the community changes. For example, If an initial plan of making an open community is changed to making a partially gated community, new security measures will need to be introduced. Enterprise issues around security, integration and customizability remain top concerns in open source platforms. Proprietary solutions offer ‘a lot’ as out of the box functionality, but many a time require specialized skill sets to deploy the community. Also, if you go for proprietary solutions, opt for the one that has robust support.

Tim O’Reilly once said, “It’s all about platform openness and adoption, not base code openness.” Open source or proprietary platforms – it’s the flexibility and the ability (that you need) that matter.

To know about the must have features of a community, read my post 5 Must Have features of successful communities.

Scalability

Be it community or any other product, everybody starts small and plans to go big. Will your platform run with you as you accelerate from big to really big? Your platform choice should reflect robust scalability as a key feature. If you are using open source, then scalability should be on your mind before you take the plunge in the open sea. 

Security

Security is a key issue that needs to be addressed. With many platforms based on SaaS model, it is critical to understand the security measures the platform will take to protect information and limit access. Get written SLAs and understand what measures would be taken by the vendor to avoid a breach or downtime.

Pricing

Pricing is a sensitive issue and needs to be handled with care. First, you need to understand how much your organization is willing to spend on the platform and its ongoing use. Also, go for the vendor who has transparent price offering, which includes both parties having same definitions for words like, user, community, security, user base, accounts etc.

Generally, per user pricing models are avoided as you end up paying for inactive members as well.

Other interesting things to look for

  • Does the vendor eat its own dog-food: if they have a community, have they based it on their own platform?
  • Add-on features: look for other interesting features, which will help you achieve your community objective.
  • Vendor background: to future-proof your decision, it is important to note how strong the vendor is – do they have healthy revenue and robust growth plan? Can they stand by themselves in the next 5 years or can they be acquired? Check their financial health, in case required.

Invest the time you need to choose the best platform for your community. Remember, technology is an enabler – so it’s critical that you get it right. It’s expensive so you need to get it right the first time.

At Grazitti InteractiveTM, we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From strategy to platform selection, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands meet their community objectives with measurable results.

Photo credit: Toastforbrekkie via photopin cc

Oct 31 2012
Oct 31

Online Communities are networking hubs and in essence need to fulfill the basic needs of social networking, as it would be in the real world. Here are 5 features that are key to a community’s success. And although the list of features desired is endless but the bunch here is generally critical for almost all types of communities.

1. Profiles

Online, people get to know each other through their profiles. Therefore, it is important to allow a user to create rich profiles – where they can let the world know what they are all about. Pictures, avatars, free forms – all need to be available to the user.

2. Private Messaging

Communities are networking hubs first and everything else second. And since not all conversations can be public, it’s good to provide private messaging feature.

Community features

3. News Feed/Notification

Make it easy for members to see what happened while they were away. Provide alerts and notifications for conversations of interest to users. Notifications also allow members to engage and continue the discussion.

4. Reward Points & Recognition

Studies reveal that communities that have some kind of reward feature wrapped in have 70% greater chance of being successful. Visitor usage statistics, leaderboards etc. all serve as engagement boosters.

5. Categorization/Search

Users come to communities to meet and converse with like-minded people – you just need to ensure that they meet their type of people as soon as possible. Categorizing discussions into Groups and providing robust search functionality go a long in way in converting curious seekers to committed members.

Provide the basics and continue adding interesting features to keep your users engaged. Do remember that you don’t need the entire swanky set of features your CMS has to offer, instead pick the ones most useful to your audience and keep the conversations rolling.

At Grazitti Interactive™, we help companies set up robust communities from scratch. From strategy to platform selection, build and setup, community promotion, and community management, we help brands meet their community objectives with measurable results.

About Drupal Sun

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

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

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web