What Are Squeeze Pages and How Do They Work?

Posted by ImageX Media on August 26, 2016 at 10:45pm

A squeeze page is a type of opt-in email landing page designed to do one single thing: "squeeze" email addresses and other information from prospective subscribers. 

Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?

Posted by ImageX Media on August 26, 2016 at 6:07pm

Previously in our blog, we discussed the five basics of content marketing. The first of these five basics of content marketing is understanding your audience. You can create all of the killer content you can, but if you don’t know who your audience is, what problems your business can solve for them, and where and how they’re consuming your content, then you risk it missing the mark entirely and falling into the internet’s ether.

Are You Overlooking these Content Marketing Basics?

Posted by ImageX Media on August 26, 2016 at 5:43pm

So What Is Content Marketing?

Traditional marketing methods of the past have become outdated as audiences have lost interest and become more savvy in tuning them out. From browser-based ad blockers to streaming content online, ads have been relegated to the periphery at best, leading to low conversion rates, decreased traffic, and a lower return on investment.

3 Major Reasons Drupal 8 is Worth the Investment

Posted by EchoDitto Tech Blog on August 26, 2016 at 3:42pm

Saying a modern nonprofit or business needs a website is like saying the tires on your car need air. Deny it and you’re going to have a bad time. Given the significant tasks required of your website, from fundraising and ecommerce to PR and campaigning, the tools you use to power it and the interface through which your team will interact with the site should be given important consideration.

Lucky for you, one of the most widely used content management systems (CMS), just got a major update. Drupal 8 brings too many new features to discuss fully here, but you’ll be happy to know the end product is one that’s worth the investment.

Here’s why:

One – The content authoring experience is more efficient

Drupal’s admin interface has evolved over the years, and we’re happy to see it continue here. For starters, the new interface is streamlined, mobile-friendly, and by emphasizing simplicity, it makes the process of creating content and managing your site more efficient. Then comes Quick Edit, a tool which allows you to edit content directly on the page, without having to switch to the admin panel. Lastly, some under-the-hood improvements to how Drupal 8 caches portions of your site, means that logged-in users — whether they login just to access a community or special resources, or it's your staff managing the site and adding content — will likely see a significant boost to performance. These improvements just underscore how the experience for content authors and editors means your team takes less time, and less clicks, to update content on Drupal 8.

Two – The improvements for developers means easier maintenance

A number of new features in Drupal 8 are developer focused. There’s Twig, a new templating engine, some commonly used modules are now included by default in Drupal 8, and there’s better support for things like accessibility and multilingual support. Unless you’re a developer, you’re not likely to ever see these changes first hand, but you will experience them.

These improvements for developers mean maintenance tasks will largely be much easier (and occasionally faster) for developers to complete. This saves you money on regular support, and allows you to devote that time and resources into other areas, like digital strategy or building new features.

Three – Migrating is easier than it's ever been

If you’ve been through a redesign of a website, you know that one of the most daunting tasks is getting all of the content you want to keep migrated and configured properly inside your new website. In this area, Drupal 8 has seen a major leap forward.

Drupal 8 can read the database from a Drupal 6 or 7 site, and pull in configurations and other settings in addition to the actual content. Practically speaking, this removes what was previously a major task for content migrations: writing all of the code that retrieves and assembles the existing site’s content. Now, Drupal 8 assembles it for you. In some cases, this could cut the time to do a content migration in half.

We’ve been enjoying building new projects in Drupal 8, some of which we will be able to share with you soon. Until then, if you have questions about Drupal 8 that you’d like us to touch upon, or if you’re wondering if Drupal 8 can work for you, get in touch.

Tags: drupaldrupal 8

A better website’s performance with the Fast 404 Drupal 8 module

Posted by InternetDevels on August 26, 2016 at 12:24pm

It’s great to see how websites are getting faster, more reliable and easier to use with the help of new Drupal technologies, as we have described in our posts.

Read more

Drupal 8 Deep Dive with Andrew, Juampy, Mateu, and Dave

Posted by Lullabot on August 25, 2016 at 8:00pm
Matt and Mike are joined by Andrew Berry, Juampy NR, Mateu Bosch, and Dave Reid to deep dive into Drupal 8 development. We talk best practices, IDE Plugins, tips, tricks and lots more.

Incrementally Upgrading to Drupal 8

Posted by ActiveLAMP on August 25, 2016 at 3:01pm

In our last video we answered the question should I build on Drupal 7 or Drupal 8? We mentioned that we have a site currently in production on both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. To the end-user browsing the site, it is completely transparent, they have no idea they are hitting two different Drupal instances. Today, we are going to show you how to pull this off.

Read more...

Debugging TWIG templates in Drupal 8 with PhpStorm and XDebug

Posted by Acquia Developer Center Blog on August 25, 2016 at 1:57pm

Lots of people think that template engines like Twig cannot be interactively debugged. I heard this several times as an argument against template engine, and for using legacy php processing like phptemplate (standard in Drupal 7).

Well, it’s not entirely true.

Tags: acquia drupal planet

QA Building Your Department Part 2: Trust and the Manager-Employee Relationship

Posted by Mediacurrent on August 25, 2016 at 1:50pm

About Me

With 15 years of experience in the Information Technology field, and 10 of those years focused on leadership, I’ve learned first hand the value of investing in people and setting them up for success. Before joining Mediacurrent, I started a QA department from scratch and grew it to its current size. Prior to that, I built an IT team. If you're an incoming leader, here's how to start building your own QA/IT department. 

Integrating your custom module with MultiBlock in Drupal 7

Posted by Aram Boyajyan on August 25, 2016 at 11:55am
Integrating your custom module with MultiBlock in Drupal 7 Thu, 25/08/2016 - 13:55

One of the "late to the party" features of Drupal 8 is the ability to assign the same block to multiple locations in the theme. Drupal 7 still lacks this feature in the core, but it's easy to achieve it by using a contributed module such as MultiBlock.

Content Moderation and Workspace module

Posted by Tim Millwood on August 25, 2016 at 8:23am
Drupal 8.2.0 will see a bunch of new experimental modules. Once of these is Content Moderation. This...

Posting to Slack, Publishing in Drupal

Posted by Xeno Media on August 25, 2016 at 2:01am
How Zoomdata employees share insights into company life

Xeno Media is pleased to announce our latest Drupal 7 contrib module, Slack to Drupal.  This module imports pictures uploaded to Slack to Drupal 7 systems--thereby allowing a community of users to add content to a site while managing their daily business collaboration through the Slack app.

Zoomdata--who makes visual analytics software for big data--tasked us with coming up with a solution that allows their employees to submit images for the public website to share the company’s unique, engaging culture to aid in marketing and recruiting.  

Various source platforms, including Instagram, Flickr, and Twitter, were originally considered. As we surveyed Zoomdata employees, though, we realized that Slack was the ideal source. Slack is fundamental to Zoomdata’s work culture; Its 200 employees and contractors throughout North America and Europe actively collaborating on Slack on an ongoing basis. Leveraging Slack as the source platform would allow employees to submit images in real-time without breaking their typical work/collaboration workflows and methods.

With that settled, we started researching how to integrate.  Our developers researched Slack’s API and proposed two approaches: 1) Create a Slack “bot”--a virtual user that our human users could interface with. Or: 2) Integrate with a specific Slack channel.  We elected the later as we could more efficiently access the files in a specific channel and Zoomdata appreciated having a single destination channel for users to come to rather than clogging other channels with off-topic bot chatter.

With the Slack-side figured out, we worked on the Drupal development.  We are supporters of the Drupal Media initiative, and decided to integrate the the Drupal Media 7.x-2.0 File Entity as we do on many of our client sites.  The File Entity module creates an entity like a node for each file in the system.  This allows us to add fields, like Caption, Approval, Date, and Uploader.  It also allows us to use, and reuse the entities in the site on other pieces of content and create views of the entities.  We called this new entity Slack Image.

We also created an administration screen where an administrator can approve or disapprove images.  If images are disapproved, they are removed from the system and not imported again.  If approved, they are available where all the other File Entities are available.

For the Zoomdata public site, we created a view of the new Slack images that appears on their Careers page in a beautiful, modern, and responsive layout using Masonry Views, Colorbox, and GD infinite scroll plugin modules.

Our employees are always posting photos in Slack. I really wanted to share those photos with our customers, partners, prospective employees and vendors so they could get a view inside Zoomdata and know what a great team of people they’re partnering with. Jim, and the team at Xeno Media, made it possible by creating a fantastic Drupal website for us, and by developing Slack to Drupal.

Robyn Forman, Zoomdata’s VP of Digital Marketing.

Results so far have been very positive--with more than half of the company joining the channel and submissions coming from every office and department.  Through Slack to Drupal, employees from throughout the organization have shown what an engaged, fun, and cutting edge culture Zoomdata really is.

New process, new results

Posted by Roy Scholten on August 24, 2016 at 11:40pm
4 handwritten index cards

We’re probably misusing the term MVP when we try to frame what we would like to see make it into core. But the actual mode of working we use there is quite an achievement. We used to grind it out endlessly, where proposed changes could be discussed endlessly, with a high risk of not committing anything at all in the end. What we’re doing now is: agree up front that it’s a good idea to improve feature X or rework interface Y. And then focus on keeping the scope as small as possible.

Yes, I, J and K are also good ideas, but we’re trying to do X here and while these are all related ideas and together would like make for a nicer whole, we should really focus on shipping X, and X alone, before turning our attention to I, J and K. If at all, because while shiny, interface Y actually presents people with more problems, so maybe we should focus on that. Though it’s never that strongly a case of either/or, and we should definately not stop iterating after the initial commit.

This is a very new and different way of working. Deliberately lowering our standards for the goal of introducing change. This is uncomfortable at times, but even that is good, because it means we’re stretching ourselves, which means we’re doing and learning new things. I’m excited and proud to see this happen. More like this.

Doing it like this means that Drupal 8.2:

  • Has content moderation tools (draft! review! publish! etc.)
  • Provides a new way to add new elements (blocks) to the page you’re on, without having to go to some far away corner in the admin section
  • Those elements (blocks! menus! logo & site name! etc.) can then also be configured in the context of the user facing page. A side tray will show up and expose the relevant settings.

Looking forward to learn how these additions will be received and how we can improve them. In the mean time, lets add more useful and usable things to 8.3 (sample content! media handling! better dates! etc).

Tags: drupaluxdrupalplanetSub title: This is a pretty radical change

10 Do’s & Don’ts for Facebook Pages: This is what businesses should keep in mind

Posted by Cocomore on August 24, 2016 at 10:00pm

The digital point of contact, the electronic business card, the online meet up for fans: A Facebook business page serves many functions. For this reason it’s important to know how to use it correctly. Here are 10 tips on how to work it.

An Insider's Guide to Visiting Dublin

Posted by DrupalCon News on August 24, 2016 at 9:54pm

Thinking of coming to DrupalCon Dublin this year? Why not extend your trip by a few days and stay a bit longer to take in some of the fabulous things you can go do and see in Dublin?

Here's our recommended list of things to do and see while here:

1. Guinness Storehouse

Guinness barrels

Coding standards ratified changes and ongoing proposals

Posted by Drupal governance announcements on August 24, 2016 at 8:29pm

The TWG coding standards committee is announcing two coding standards changes for final discussion. These appear to have reached a point close enough to consensus for final completion. The new process for proposing and ratifying changes is documented on the coding standards project page.

Official coding standards updates now ratified:

Issues awaiting core approval:

Issues that just need a little TLC (you can help!):

These proposals will be re-evaluated during the next coding standards meeting currently scheduled for August 30th. At that point the discussion may be extended, or if clear consensus has been reached one or more policies may be dismissed or ratified and moved to the next step in the process.

Coding standards ratified changes and ongoing proposals

Posted by Drupal core announcements on August 24, 2016 at 8:29pm

The TWG coding standards committee is announcing two coding standards changes for final discussion. These appear to have reached a point close enough to consensus for final completion. The new process for proposing and ratifying changes is documented on the coding standards project page.

Official coding standards updates now ratified:

Issues awaiting core approval:

Issues that just need a little TLC (you can help!):

These proposals will be re-evaluated during the next coding standards meeting currently scheduled for August 30th. At that point the discussion may be extended, or if clear consensus has been reached one or more policies may be dismissed or ratified and moved to the next step in the process.

The ABC's of Drupal: Dev Ops, Display and Distribution

Posted by FFW Agency on August 24, 2016 at 6:43pm
The ABC's of Drupal: Dev Ops, Display and Distribution Ray Saltini Wed, 08/24/2016 - 18:43

For anyone who's ever looked up a definition of a Drupal term and been left wondering what it all means, here are some practical real world explanations you can use to navigate the Drupalverse. Watch this space and use comments to send us your feedback and requests.

The Discipline of Dev Ops

Dev Ops, or Development Operations, is the intersection between IT managed hosting support and development. While it is a specialization in many organizations, senior developers, tech leads, and architects should be conversant in the various systems and tools to be used by your IT team or provider.

One of the primary goals of Dev Ops is to create standardized operating system iterations that are consistently reliable and easily replicable. Your unique infrastructure or hosting service plays a big role in these systems, which is why they tend to be customized to each project.

Standardized Dev Ops systems are used to create local and remote development environments, as well as staging and production environments, which all function in the same way. Having good Dev Ops systems in place means that your organization can support continuous development practices like version control and automated testing.

For any site that’s even moderately complex, having Dev Ops standards is huge. You don’t have to try to become a Dev Ops genius yourself: instead, you can find an organization like FFW to provide the level of Dev Ops help and support that is appropriate for the size and scope of your project.

Defining a Display

Displays, unlike Dev Ops, are a little simpler. A Display in Drupal typically refers to how queried data is organized and shown to visitors. It is usually used in connection with a native database query referred to as a View.

One View (or database query) can have several Displays sorted in different ways. For instance, a set of queried data can be output in the following ways:

  • a sortable table
  • a grid
  • as consecutive field sets
  • in a rotating banner
  • as a calendar or list of coming events
  • as points on a map

… and these are only just a few examples of the many different kinds of Displays.

The Details Around Distributions

A Distribution is a pre-developed assembly of database data, code, and files. Distributions commonly include saved content, configuration settings, Drupal core, contributed and custom modules, libraries, and a custom theme. It’s basically a pre-built Drupal site.

Most people first become acquainted with Distributions as different iterations of Drupal that are built for specific use cases or verticals, such as e-commerce or publishing. Many distributions are robust, production-ready applications that will save you tremendous work. They let you take advantage of the distribution sponsor’s subject matter expertise.

There are other kinds of distributions, such as ones developed mainly for marketing purposes to showcase what Drupal can do and how Drupal can be used. Both of these types of distributions have value, but it is important to differentiate between the two.

Distributions can be vetted in much the same way that a Drupal module or theme can be vetted. When evaluating a Distribution, I always like to ask the following questions:

  • Who are the contributors?
  • What is their experience?
  • Is the project actively maintained and are new features or versions planned?

The other primary consideration when vetting a Distribution is how much complexity and effort is required to ‘unravel’ a distribution. Many organizations have found that the more fully realized distributions are difficult to customize around their specific workflows and therefore are more expensive to change than starting fresh with a more basic version of Drupal.

If you want to know more about Distributions, I recommend looking at Drupal’s distribution project pages and this documentation page.

Drupal word cloud Tagged with Comments

Upcoming Changes to the Front Page

Posted by Drupal.org blog on August 24, 2016 at 6:22pm

In recent weeks we've been making several small changes to Drupal.org: precursors to bigger things to come. First, we moved the user activity links to a user menu in the header. Next, we're moving the search function from the header to the top navigation. These changes aren't just to recover precious pixels so you can better enjoy those extra long issue summaries—these are the first step towards a new front page on Drupal.org.

As the Drupal 8 life-cycle has moved from development, to release, to adoption, we have adapted Drupal.org to support the needs of the project in the moment. And today, the need of the moment is to support the adoption journey.

As we make these changes you'll see echoes of the visual style we used when promoting the release of Drupal 8.

  • The Drupal wordmark region will help to define Drupal, and promote trying a demo.

  • A ribbon will promote contextual CTAs like learning more about Drupal 8.

  • The news feed will be tweaked.

  • DrupalCon will have a permanent home on the front page.

  • Community stats and featured case studies will be carried over(but may evolve).

  • The home page sponsorship format may change.

  • We'll be phasing in a new font throughout the site: Ubuntu - which you've already seen featured in the new Documentation section.

Here's a teaser

… a sneak preview of some new page elements and styles you'll see in the new home page.  

Our first deployment will introduce the new layout and styles. Additional changes will follow as we introduce content to support our turn towards the adoption journey. Drupal evaluators beginning their adoption journey want to know who uses Drupal, and what business needs Drupal can solve. We will begin promoting specific success stories: solutions built in Drupal to meet a concrete need.

What's next?

We're continuing to refine our content model and editorial workflow for the new front page. You'll see updates in the Drupal.org change notifications as we get closer to deployment.

Wondering why we're making these changes now? This turn towards the adoption journey is part of our changing priorities for the next 12 months.

Announcing Drutopia

Posted by Chocolate Lily on August 24, 2016 at 5:46pm

Drutopia is an initiative within the Drupal project that prioritizes putting the best online tools into the hands of grassroots groups. By embracing the liberatory possibilities of free software and supporting people-centred economic models, Drutopia aims to revolutionize the way we work and cooperate.

Drutopia is at once an ethos of Drupal development and a fresh take on Drupal distributions for users to build upon, all based in a governance model that gives users a large role in the direction of the project.

Core values of the Drutopia initiative include:

  • Be inclusive regarding gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, ability, age, religion, geography and class.
  • Commit to protection of personal information and privacy and freedom from surveillance.
  • Put collaboration and cooperation above competition.
  • Prioritize human needs over private profit.
  • Foster non-hierarchical structures and collective decision-making.

Drutopia focuses on shared solutions. Drupal excels at providing the tools to develop and distribute specialized website platforms that can be freely shared, reused, and adapted. Of the three most-used free software content management systems (CMSs) – WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal – only Drupal has the built-in ability to package and share highly developed distributions.

Distributions are essential in attracting and meeting the needs of groups that want to support the free software movement but don’t have the technical know-how or resources to create a site from scratch. For developers, too, distributions hold a lot of potential because they do the heavy lifting of initial setup, allowing developers and site builders to bypass many hours of unnecessary effort. Drupal distributions so far have been held back by a series of factors that Drutopia aims to address.

Drutopia is about returning to Drupal’s roots in free software and progressive social change. Since its founding years, the Drupal free software project has both reflected and contributed to the democratic potential of the internet: to empower citizens to freely collaborate and organize outside the control of governments and corporate media. Long before it powered Fortune 500 sites and whitehouse.gov, Drupal was a tool of choice for small, grassroots, change-oriented groups.

This initiative aims to reclaim Drupal for the communities and groups that have always been its core users and adopters and have contributed to much of its best innovation.

Join us at drutopia.org.

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