How To Make The Most Out of Drupal in 2021

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By Urvashi Melwani Aug 31, 2021

Remember when a content management system (CMS) was used only to manage and update website content? Well, those days are long gone. Today, CMSes have become a vital technology tool to expedite digital experience efforts.

With the onset of a new disruptive phase, where customers continue to get familiarized with more channels and touchpoints, a CMS must be capable of providing flexibility, powerful content creation tools, and efficient workflows. With the right CMS, content can drive seamless multichannel customer journeys. 

Drupal, a leading choice among enterprises globally to build websites, continues to be an epitome of modular digital architecture that delivers unparalleled digital experiences.

This blog helps you to understand how to use Drupal in 2021, enhance the digital presence of your organization in our current contactless world, and derive business success:

 

Source- ZU

 

Streamlined Editorial Workflow


Often, editorial teams are unsure of the overall capabilities of the CMS their organizations use and specifically, whether or not it provides them with the ability to build complex pages.

To address such challenges, an editorial workflow is a must-have. It is not just about creating new content, but also the end-to-end process of how to manage content assets.

Irrespective of an organization’s size, A CMS should adhere to the process of reviewing and approving each content piece, prior to publishing it. EzContent empowers editors with content generation tools that increase their efficiency and help them to deliver engaging digital experiences.

Multiple stakeholders with different roles within the organization are part of this process. For example, content creators collect information and generate content; editors review, edit, ask for changes and publish content, once it is web-ready. Later, content revisions can happen, from small changes to a more complex process with reviews for major changes.

Drupal has tools that can significantly simplify workflow management:

  • Published/Unpublished State- You can mark your content as either published or unpublished. Depending on the state, viewing permissions are different. For example, site visitors would be able to view published content items, while only the internal team can view unpublished content.
  • Revision tracking - This state tracks content revisions. So, when content is revised, the older version will be stored for comparison purposes or even for reverting to previous changes.
  • Workflows - This module enables you to define workflow states and transitions, beyond just mentioning content as published or unpublished. Its core content moderation module facilitates you to assign permissions and roles to the workflow transitions. 
  • Block placement- WIth a custom block content entity, you can create a custom block and edit it. However, you can make it visible on the site only when it is ready.

Engaging UX Designs


Good UX design has become the lifeline of enterprises striving to gain visibility in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. It refers to how people interact with a given platform. 

Enterprises should prioritize consumer experiences, regardless of the devices and channels they use to access the content.

UX design should meet these criteria- Usability, consistency, and consumerization. 

Drupal, one of the prominent CMSs, provides flexibility and out-of-the-box capabilities that help enterprises build dynamic, responsive, and highly intuitive web apps. It allows you to present your content in a customized layout.

Here are a few modules that it provides to enhance your website or application:

  • Paragraph module 

Whether you wish to build flexible landing pages for specific marketing capabilities or uniform control to maintain the look and the feel across each type of content, the paragraph module allows you to accomplish a consistent, yet flexible layout design. It is similar to content fields and offers a broad range of options for designs, layouts, and content classification, per business requirements.

  • Layout builder

The layout builder is a part of Drupal core. You can use it to customize the layout of a single page, create a custom layout for all content of a certain type, or even build landing pages.

Instead of saving every small layout change and then searching for them, layout builder allows you to view a preview of the changes while building them for a seamless building experience.

  • Component-based approach

A component-based approach is a software building process, where you can select ready-to-use components and consolidate them according to the defined software architecture. By embracing such an approach, you eliminate the need for rebuilding your website, every time its underlying technologies become obsolete. 

You can use your component library to swap your guidelines, design patterns, and different content templates to keep your Drupal application or website up to date.

Javascript Frameworks


While Drupal can handle the backend effortlessly, it is not as flexible when it comes to front-end capabilities. However, as the demand for modern, intricate, and dynamic applications (front-end interfaces) emerged, headless Drupal or decoupled Drupal came into the picture, and with that also came JavaScript frameworks.

Such frameworks are making a huge impact due to their flexibility to create dynamic and interactive interfaces. It also eliminates the need for developers to start from scratch by using the collection of code libraries.

Besides, meeting the ever-changing customer demands and distinguishing yourself from the competition requires a modern tech stack. Monolithic CMS solutions do not provide the digital agility and marketing velocity that organizations need to deliver immaculate digital experiences. To build a more flexible and adaptable digital experience platform (DXP), you should focus on updating your tech stack.

Our award-winning Drupal distribution platform, EzContent, gives developers an upper edge through modern JavaScript technologies, which they can leverage to develop Jamstack applications much faster.

Find out the other developer features that EzContent offer

SEO


Drupal is a robust, flexible, and dependable CMS platform designed with an extensive focus on search engine optimization (SEO). It has in-built out-of-the-box capabilities, such as naming conventions, correct content tagging, accessibility, and so on. It helps site builders implement such capabilities and also allows search engines to index and crawl their websites with ease. 

There are a lot of things you can do to improve the search ranking of your web pages. You should make content more informative and engaging for users so that it appears in the list of search results. You can use Drupal modules to let search engines know what kind of content is available for your visitors:

  • Implement auto-tagging via Drupal’s metatag module. It allows the automatic adding of meta tags to your website. so that you can decide the appearance of your content accordingly.
  • Drupal’s taxonomy system. The intuitive content classification system facilitates teams to organize information on their website, based on the theme, navigation of search terms, and viewing options. You can continue adding more content and features to your site, without bursting at the seams. 
  • Enhance website load speed with caching. Drupal 9 caches all entities and does not load JavaScript, unless absolutely necessary. It ensures that the same content does have to be reloaded again.
  • Some must-have modules for your SEO - Pathauto, Simple XML Sitemap, Drupal SEO checklist module, Schema.org Metatag, Redirect, Google Analytics, and Easy Breadcrumbs. 

 

Besides, ensure that your site does not have duplicate content, uses human-friendly URLs, and has a clean sitemap.

So, with targeted content, a properly coded theme, and the installation of SEO-boosting modules, your site can easily attract new users and drive business success. 

Decoupled Drupal


While Drupal is a popular CMS choice among enterprises, they are increasingly turning to decoupled Drupal architecture to experience more freedom in creating digital user experiences across different channels and touchpoints.

Srijan’s EzContent is a full-featured coupled and headless CMS that you can use to create experiences, without losing on must-have CMS features. These features include drag and drop page building and content preview, whether it is mobile, voice, extended reality, digital signage, and so on.

Some of the appealing benefits of decoupled Drupal are:

  • Create once, publish everywhere (COPE) - Enterprises can use decoupled Drupal as a hub for storing and serving content on a multitude of sites to create unique customer experiences and applications. The versatility of Drupal to syndicate content across multiple channels can save you much-needed time and money.
  • Compelling user experience- Implement any frontend technology of your choice to customize users’ experience.
  • Satisfied Developers- Decoupled Drupal ensures that developers have the flexibility to choose the tools they prefer while creating frontend experiences.
  • Efficient development pipelines - Both frontend and backend teams can work parallelly, without affecting each other's progress.
  • Future-ready - Decoupled Drupal refreshes your designs, without re-implementing your entire CMS. It provides the flexibility and convenience to overhaul only the frontend, without impacting the backend.

No Code, Low Code


The demand to build software in the light of speed has grown exponentially. No code and low code tools have slowly made their presence felt in the marketing stack of organizations.

A no-code platform consists of a template-based design system that allows users to select pre-built elements and create a website on the go, without writing a single line of code.

On the other hand, a low-code platform facilitates users to utilize existing templates, add their code to them or create new components for others to use, and integrate the UI of your digital experience visually, without the need for a dedicated development team.

These Drupal-based platforms aid the design and marketing teams to achieve the agility that they need to craft excellent digital experiences.

These pre-built modules reduce the time to build application functionalities so that developers can focus more on building innovative features that derive the most business value.

These tools can even help developers integrate an app with an external platform, without learning all of its ins and outs.

Tools, such as Acquia Site Studio, can help organizations build enterprise-grade websites with little developer intervention and offer their content authors and marketing teams an enhanced editing experience and a more robust toolset.

Extensibility with APIs


Access to robust APIs is one of the critical requirements for a modern CMS, if it has to enhance and integrate with all the customer steps. 

Your CMS is a long-term investment. So, you have to be assured that it is scalable enough to meet growing business demands. Drupal offers more flexibility and supports an extensible range of APIs. These APIs provide multiple service integrations, such as sales and CRM tools, customer and prospect databases, email campaign tools, multilingual capabilities, and web services, to name a few.

Drupal 8 and 9 releases have improved API features:

  • The Restful Web Services API in Drupal 8 ensures support to decoupled Drupal sites by establishing communication between native mobile applications and a Drupal site, as well as integration with web services.
  • JSON API ensures serialization and communication via JSON.
  • Render API boosts user experience through faster page rendering and better caching protocols.
  • Drupal 8’s Translation API adjusts language on your website, depending on viewer location. 

Additionally, Drupal’s API, querying, GraphQL, and microservices models ensure that it is an easy mold to almost any architecture with tools and features that enhance the experience of customers, administrators, and developers alike.

Leverage Drupal to become future-ready

Organizations need to adopt a flexible and adaptable digital experience platform (DXP) if they want to meet consumers' demands and remain competitive in 2021 and the years to come. 

On the basis of its scope, organizations are considering Drupal to deliver compelling web experiences. Here are a few reasons why organizations should think of Drupal as a CMS option:

  • The decoupled movement is much sought-after in the Drupal community.
  • Drupal has already started moving towards an API-first future.
  • Drupal 8 supports JSON API and GraphQL

Drupal is one of the most popular CMSs in the marketplace. With a comprehensive view of it and its probable future, you can take a call and make the right choice for your business.

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