Generating a digital presence is an important step for brands to improve their customer engagement ratio. Consumers are currently invested in digital services like apps and websites for multiple purposes, like communication, education, retail, and travel. Statistically, most adult consumers spend 4 hours of their internet usage period on mobile-based web services more than desktops.
To handle the high number of web services brands offer, having a reliable and stable CMS platform is important. Indeed, entrepreneurs develop and manage their multiple apps and websites on one CMS platform. Statistically, the expected CMS market value will grow to $123 billion by 2026. Among the available options, one notable choice for brands for its scalability and performance quality is the Drupal CMS platform.
In this article, you would get to touch upon specific aspects of Drupal development that are important to know for optimized websites.
Overview Of Drupal
Drupal is an open-source CMS platform that is cost-effective and user-friendly. It runs on the PHP framework and brands utilize it mainly for website development. However, Drupal developers are equipped to deal with mobile app back-end development as well and have advanced skills in programming.
To note, this CMS platform is a more suitable choice for enterprise-level website-building processes due to its high-grade flexible infrastructure. Also, while there are useful modules that simplify the web development process, they are slightly complex to understand for absolute beginners. Functionality-wise, the platform has many notable benefits, like dependable performance, simple content authoring, and high-end security features.
Notably, brands find the platform very stable for website development and notice low loading errors and huge content capacity in the websites. Overall, the market share of Drupal is approximately 3.2% due to multiple brands utilizing the CMS platform.
Benefits Of Drupal Development
The following are the main benefits of developing web content such as websites with Drupal CMS.
Easy to use
Drupal developers provide support during website development with their skilled expertise and experience. They manage most of the development tasks, and some projects require minimal programming requirements.
The security features of Drupal CMS are top-notch. Also, brand owners receive regular and detailed reports on the security of their website. Moreover, programmers fix vulnerabilities and errors during testing phases during development.
Drupal offers multiple functions for website development, like blocks, content types, Taxonomies, and views.
Businesses can run complex and heavy projects on Drupal without comprising the loading speed. Also, custom website development features are available for Drupal users.
The necessary stack for development
For Drupal development, there is a necessity for the underlying stack of software components. This is responsible for improving the performance of a site and data storage. Particular requirements include:
- Database software
- Server software
- PHP interpreting software
In most cases, brands would get this technological stack already installed on the websites. Although, for local usage and development of Drupal sites, users must rely on particular options like XAMPP, MAMP, and Docker.
Steps for developing Drupal-centric websites
The following are the basic steps for developers to build a simple Drupal website.
#1. Learn about Drupal
The first step of starting Drupal development is to understand the concepts, modules, tools, and terminologies of Drupal. Also, having a better understanding of Drupal administration is useful for new developers.
Statistically, there are approximately 46,350 modules for Drupal development available with different functionalities. Indeed, some of the important modules to familiarise with includes Views, CCK, Panels, Skinr, Taxonomy, Menus, and Blocks.
#2. Strategy for website
The next step is to plan a development strategy for the website. Essentially, strategizing which features are important is necessary before starting to create a useful sequence or workflow. Also, focusing on the goal of the website and the expected audience interest points is valuable at this stage.
#3. Planning the structure of the website
Here, developers for brands focus on the structure of the website firsthand. They use Drupal modules such as Organic Groups, Taxonomy, and NodeReference altogether or choose one particular option.
- Typically, most brand owners and developers opt for the Taxonomy module. It is built into the core and is a scalable choice, and includes inbuilt features like Views pages, specifically for each Taxonomy Term.
- To note, using either Node Access Control or Taxonomy Access Control is effective to curb particular user roles. For grouping multiple content types in a website, CCK NodeReference modules are effective.
- On the other hand, Organic Groups is utilized for creating websites that provide community-related features like mailing lists. Using this, brands can get the integrated benefits of the Messages and Notifications Drupal module as well. Overall, Organic Groups is useful for creating different types of web content, like Events/Calendar, Blog, Documents, Wiki, To-do Lists, and Chat/Conference.
#4. Follow checklist
For easier management of a development project, multiple businesses depend on live checklists. Generally, these include the list of important tasks; developers update the progress of each development activity carefully. Overall, this step is necessary for future up-gradation tasks and to track the web development process.
In the next step, developers plan the theme of the website. There are available options for custom themes for brands; here, considering the website goal and brand requirements is important.
#6. Installation profile
This step is useful for businesses that are developing a Drupal website for the first time. In this case, creating an Installation or Distribution profile is effective, especially if either solution is necessary for a brand.
But, business owners with zero experience with Drupal development may have issues with handling management activities or media. In this concern, these profiles come with pre-installed features for easier integration.
#7. Developing the website
In the following step, creating the homepage and sub-web pages of the website is valuable. Moreover, use views, blocks, and panels to create complex website page layouts.
Brands can develop custom content or utilize pre-existing options like a Story or a Page. For new content development, add fields that are visible on View listings. Additionally, with the support of NodeReference modules, Drupal users can reference other Nodes or Content Types as well.
Next, brand owners or developers add and configure the WYSIWYG editor. Here, it is important to set up the HTML filters as well for optimized website performance. Then, the development team is allowed to install the necessary modules. To note, it is effective for brand owners to verify the permissions first.
#10. Menu navigation
In the next step, developers can set up the primary built-in menu. Or, there is the Taxonomy menu module available for updating or building a custom menu.
After completing the website development-related steps, developers must follow the task checklist. Also, developers can change the localhost in particular APIs to the name of the branded site. Moreover, developers remove any dummy content or switch user blocks with the Devel module for accurate performance enhancement.
Why should you take the help of Drupal developers?
Hiring Drupal developers enhances the development progress on this CMS platform in a variety of ways. Some of the benefits include:
- The PHP developers have high training in coding and server-side scripting.
- The developers know the Security features of Drupal intricately.
- They are well aware of how to utilize Drupal modules for installation or modification.
- They can perform standard web development strategies and advanced techniques as well.
Overall, Drupal is a highly efficient CMS platform for web development with multiple usable features. However, the process is complex for complete newcomers. Thus, learning about the process in detail or hiring Drupal developers is useful.
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