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    Evolving Web: Get a Free Ebook About Drupal Accessibility!

    2 days 12 hours ago

    Did you know that according to WebAim, a whopping 98% of the top million homepages on the web today present some sort of barrier to accessibility? This has serious implications for the 1 in 5 people worldwide living with some form of disability. Building a more accessible, inclusive web is truly everyone's business.

    There's a ton of information out there on web accessibility, and it isn't always clear where to start and what you should be focusing on.

    We've put together a simple, straightforward, informative guide to help designers, developers, and anyone working with a Drupal website navigate the ins and outs of the accessible web. Head over here to download your copy. It's free!

    Ebook Chapters 1. Why web accessibility matters

    Find out why making your website accessible should be a business priority.

    2. What is web accessibility?

    Learn about the key principles of accessibility and what standards and guidelines currently exist.

    3. Assistive technologies you can start using today

    Spend some time in the shoes of a user with a disability to experience first-hand why accessibility is so important, and whether your website really works for everyone.

    4. Why Drupal is great for building accessible sites

    The Drupal CMS comes with robust accessibility features out of the box. Find out how switching to Drupal can help your accessibility journey.

    5. 18 tips for making your website WCAG compliant

    Start making simple changes with a big impact today.

    6. Tools for checking website accessibility

    You're not alone! Discover some must-have accessibility testing tools.

    7. Drupal modules for web accessibility

    Need even more features? Explore our favourite Drupal modules that extend the CMS's accessibility capability even further.

    Download Your Copy!

    Click here to get your free copy of Building a More Inclusive Drupal Website: Your Accessibility Guide.

    + more awesome articles by Evolving Web

    OpenSense Labs: Planning for accessibility: Ultimate guide

    3 days 17 hours ago
    Planning for accessibility: Ultimate guide Shalini Rawat Thu, 08/06/2020 - 16:59 “The power of the web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” – Tim Burners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web’’

    Are you planning to start a new business and probably looking to have a great web presence to go along with it? If that’s the case then you have landed at the right place. In the current age of web development, there are markets that are flooded with customers that would prefer to research and buy online. Today the word ‘web’ has become an indispensable resource that covers just about every aspect of our lives. Further, there are various modern ways to design effective and irresistible web solutions to captivate the attention of online buyers. However, the main question here is - is your website accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities?  Does everyone around you share the same level of accessibility that they should have? 

    Unfortunately, many websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities, making it difficult for them to find information online. However, web accessibility for people with disabilities is becoming a greater priority, and as a matter of fact, accessible websites are no longer optional, rather they are a must-have. It has become important for websites to implement web accessibility to make sure that all the users are able to surf the web and easily browse content at the best possible.

    A quick overview of the term 'Disability'

    According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “a disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).”

    It is important to note that while referring to the people with disabilities, it is preferable to use language that focuses on their abilities rather than their disabilities. Terms like ‘handicapped’, ‘able-bodied’, 'physically challenged’, and ‘differently abled’ discourage the disabled. Therefore, it is important to keep the language in mind when communicating with or about people with disabilities.

    Types of Disabilities

    There are numerous types of disabilities that can affect a human being. Some of these conditions are more common than others. However, disability is not black and white, which means that two people with the same type of disability may not have the same experiences. Following are the disabilities that may affect different people in different manners.

    Visual - Visual disabilities include mild or moderate vision loss in one or both eyes to complete loss of vision in both eyes. It involves a lack of sensitivity to certain colors, color blindness, and sensitivity to brightness. For example, color blindness, low vision, and blindness.

    Cognitive, learning, and neurological -  Cognitive, learning, and neurological disabilities encompass neurological, behavioral as well as mental health disorders. For example, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, mental health disabilities, memory impairments, perceptual disabilities, and seizure disorders.

    Auditory - Auditory disabilities can range from mild to moderate hearing impairment in one or both ears. Even partial loss or difficulty can contribute to auditory disabilities. For example, hard of hearing and deafness.

    Physical - Physical also known as motor disabilities are weaknesses and limitations related to muscular control. These include involuntary movements that you cannot control. For example, amputation, arthritis, paralysis, and repetitive stress injury.

    Speech - This disability includes the inability to produce speech that is recognizable by other people or software. Generally, the volume or clarity of speech makes the recognition difficult. For example, muteness, dysarthria, and stuttering.

    Common Web Accessibility Myths 

    In simple terms, web accessibility implies that the websites, tools, and technologies are designed and developed so that people with disabilities can use them. More specifically, web accessibility helps people to perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with the web. 

    However, in this contemporary era, website accessibility is just a buzzword and not everyone in the present times has a firm grasp on what that term means. There exist web developers with little or no experience in terms of accessibility and the lack of accurate information about the best ways to quickly and easily identify accessibility problems. As a result, there are still a lot of myths and misconceptions about accessible websites and the people who use them.

    Here are some of the most common myths that run around web accessibility. Let's burst them and face reality. 

    Myth #1: Accessible sites are ugly

    The first and foremost myth which prevails over all the other benefits of web accessibility is the mindset that accessible sites are ugly. There are people who still believe that accessibility places too many restrictions on the look and feel of the website. However, times have moved on and so has technology. In other words, internet space holds a collection of websites that are beautiful, media-rich, interactive, and accessible websites. 

    Myth #2: Web accessibility is a solo job

    A lot of people think that web accessibility is a solo job that needs to be performed by the Developer. However, falling all the accessibility duties into the remit of a developer is not right. Every individual who is associated with the website has to be responsible for accessibility.  Whether it is a content writer, a project manager, or even the CEO; everyone is required to be on-board to deliver accessibility effectively. 

    Myth #3: Accessibility is all about burning a hole in your pocket

    Well, the response to this myth is quite difficult to answer. There are basically two instances if you consider accessibility in your website. The first instance is if you are building a website from scratch, accessibility should not be expensive to implement. On the contrary, if you are implementing accessibility on a pre-existing site, it may take more people, and as a result, cost more in terms of ‘man-hours.’ Therefore, it is highly essential to think about accessibility at the very beginning of a project so as to reduce labor work and time in the future.

    Myth #4: Accessibility is a prolonged process

    Most of the websites dodge accessibility because they think accessibility holds nothing but a time disadvantage that they cannot afford to bear. However, considering accessibility at the very beginning of the project can help websites save their time and they don’t have to lose hours to fix their websites. Another way to help yourself with time crunch is to conduct an audit to identify key areas for improvement.

    Myth #5: Unnecessary codes may lead to bloating

    Websites are often afraid of the harm that the website may incur due to accessibility. There is a misconception that extensive code additions or unnecessary codes may harm the site and can lead to bloating. This is wrong as accessibility is all about developing a website in the right way and it can actually improve the SEO when produced correctly. 

    Myth #6: Accessibility is subjective in nature

    This is one of the biggest and unfortunate myths. No, accessibility is not subjective and by no means, any website is allowed to create discrimination against anyone with a disability. There are more than 650 million disabled people around the world and denying each of those people access to your website could be holding you back. Further, if you are a public sector organization, you are bound to follow the guidelines regulated by the new Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018. And if you’re anyone else, you need to adhere to the Equality Act 2010.

    Convincing Reasons to Implement Accessibility

    Apparently, the web has become an important part of our lives in such a short span of time. Accessing the web can help people to participate in a more active manner, thereby improving the life experience for all. Besides this, there is also the fact that the web offers one of the easiest ways to communicate and do business with people who suffer from a disability. However, the advantages of web accessibility aren’t limited to their immediate impact on people with disabilities, and some of them can even surprise you. 

    Following are the many business and technical benefits that will help the website when you adopt web accessibility.

    1. Better User Experience

    User experience is more important than anything to ensure the success of the website. The concept of web accessibility is not limited to the successful access of the website, but it also means that the website offers a good user experience to the users. Accessible web design leads to better user experience regardless of the user's physical impairments. Therefore, approaching the website with accessibility in mind ensures that you are offering a good user experience across the board and are not causing friction for a portion of your audience.

    2. Avoid discrimination and legal complaints

    Apart from making sure that the website provides a good user experience to all users, make sure that the website is accessible to ensure that the site stays within legal requirements. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990 with a view to protecting people living with disabilities from discrimination. The law is applicable to public and private spaces, building codes, transportation, telecommunication, government, and employment. Not to mention, the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded that the lack of accessibility for websites may be a violation of the ADA.

    3. Wider Audience

    Improving your website’s accessibility is the best thing to invest in. In other words, web accessibility represents an opportunity for businesses to design a website that’s accessible to everyone on the planet. As a matter of fact, the implementation of accessible web design can minimize the rate at which users abandon a site and can further increase the revenue. Moreover, web accessibility can help the organizations to reach more and more customers, increase customer satisfaction, and eventually gain a competitive edge over those organizations that don’t include accessibility features.

    4. Improves SEO

    Accessible sites and search engines go hand-in-hand. There are certain SEO best practices that can make the website even more accessible. For example, creating easy navigation, adding image alt tags, providing captions and/or transcripts for video, offers better functionality and usability that can easily be crawled by search engines, and offers a better user experience overall. In addition, web accessibility can help your site be more relevant, authoritative, and competitive in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

    5. Increases usability

    Usability is closely related to web accessibility. The objective of web accessibility is to make products, services, and environments more usable by people who suffer from a disability. Accessibility is often considered as an overlapping concept of accessibility which aims to improve a product or service’s ease of use and user experience. Subsequently, making your website navigable with a keyboard also benefits your broader user base. To be clear, fulfilling this requirement allows all users to easily locate the content they need.

    Roadmap to Web Accessibility

    After an organization makes a commitment to make it’s website accessible, it is important to follow a roadmap for the implementation of accessibility. Fortunately, web accessibility is not difficult to implement. We have put together a list of steps that will help your website to implement accessibility with ease.

    Initiate

    First things first, the organization must align accessibility with the existing organizational approaches and communicate clear and measurable objectives with a view to engage stakeholders to support the plan. Further, discover and learn the current state of accessibility in your organization to discuss with the management. Set objectives in response to the problems identified with accessibility and organizational goals. Also, develop measurable objectives to address and fill the accessibility gaps within the organization’s web content, processes, and policies. It is often observed that lack of awareness is a frequent reason for lack of accessibility adoption. In other words, there are many people that may know little or nothing about accessibility and some may not appreciate that their role has an impact on website accessibility. Therefore, a general introduction to accessibility is required to create awareness and building enthusiasm for the task. Key stakeholder and management support will help with prioritization clashes, access to resources, and communication activities. Make sure to use the business case to help secure support from these groups.

    Plan

    Planning is the beginning of the implementation of the idea that was initially put in writing. It is highly essential to carefully plan the web accessibility policy to capture the goals and targets. A policy may be a compendium of roles and responsibilities, content preparation processes, quality assurance, infrastructure, and reporting. Budgeting and planning go hand-in-hand and it is equally important to create a budget for implementing accessibility. As a matter of fact, accessible sites don’t necessarily cost more money or time than inaccessible sites. However, there does exist a difference in cost. That is to say, accessible sites require money to train the team or build alternative materials like transcripts or translations. Therefore, it is a wise move to consider all potential costs from the beginning and factor them into the production budget. In case you have a very small budget, then consider the least expensive options that will allow the widest possible audience to access your site. 

    Implement

    Create accessibility implementation throughout the process to minimize overhead and improve the overall quality of the final outcome. Organizations need to develop the accessibility skills of everyone involved in the implementation process, including designers, developers, content creators, and managers. It is highly essential to integrate the goals from your accessibility policy within other organizational procedures and policies. This not only helps to spread the responsibility but also ensures that accessibility is considered as an integral part of everyday activities. Convey the assignments to the team members and ensure that the later knows what is expected of them. Also, make sure that everyone has the resources to aid them with their respective tasks. Organizations can prioritize the accessibility objectives so that you can achieve them more effectively. Examples of prioritization include:

    • Begin with the issues that can be fixed easily to help build motivation in the team.
    • Prioritize the development of accessible templates and components to support the creation of accessible content.
    • Prioritize visual design to synchronize with an on-going re-branding activity within the organization.
    • Prioritize recruitment or procurement policies to support anticipated hiring and acquisitions.
    • De-prioritize issues that are related to tools or systems, such as a content management system (CMS). The reason being,  they are expected to be changed soon anyway.

    Sustain

    Regular reviews of content, organizational processes, and resources will help in identifying the issues, thereby ensuring that accessibility remains a priority. It is important to coordinate closely with website owners to identify if there is room for improvement. This may include daily content publishing and maintenance activities, as well as broader redesign and development efforts. Since the content of the website is dynamic, make sure that regular accessibility reviews are performed. Accessibility checks can be included in the publishing process in order to reduce the risk of issues occurring. Besides this, consider the technologies that your organization aims to support and ensure to track functionality that changes each version. This may include the baseline browsers and assistive technologies you support and also the authoring tools such as the content management system (CMS). The improvements related to accessibility should be communicated on the website in the Accessibility Statement. Lastly, make your website user-friendly so that the user doesn’t find it difficult to submit the feedback on accessibility which can be used by the organization when considering future improvements.

    Evaluating Web Accessibility 

    It is always a good practice to implement web accessibility, however, it is equally important to evaluate accessibility to ensure that the websites and applications meet accessibility requirements. The process of evaluating accessibility should be early and throughout the development process so that it is easier to address them. The process of evaluation can be done using several accessibility tools. You can further use the filters to narrow down the list to the types of tools you are interested in.

    Page Titles

    Page titles help users to know where they are and help them move between pages open in the browser. The very first thing a user sees when s/he moves to a different web page is the page title.

    What to check for:

    • Examine if there exists a title that adequately and briefly describes the content of the page.
    • Examine that the title is distinct from other pages on the website.

    Image text alternatives ("alt text")

    Text alternatives ("alt text") are used to convey the purpose of an image. It may include pictures, illustrations, charts, etc. Generally, text alternatives are used by people who do not see the image. For instance, people with visual disabilities can hear the alt text readout; and people who have turned off images to speed download can also see the alt text.

    What to check for:

    • Every image has alt with an appropriate alternative text.

    Headings

    Web pages contain visual headings that divide the information into different sections. Generally, the heading text is bigger and bold. To make this work for everyone, the headings are required to be marked up.

    What to check for:

    • The page consists of a heading and there should be at least one heading on every page.
    • All content that looks like a heading is marked up as a heading.

    Contrast ratio ("color contrast")

    • Contrast ratio is beneficial for people who cannot read the text if there is not sufficient contrast between the text and background. For instance, light grey text on a light background.
    • High contrast (dark text on a light background or bright text on dark background) is required by older people with visual impairments who lose contrast sensitivity due to aging.
    • On the contrary, for some people with reading disabilities such as dyslexia — bright colors are not readable. Hence, they require low luminance.

    What to check for:

    • Web pages should also have a minimum contrast ratio of at least 4.5:1 for normal-size text.

    Resize Text

    Some people need the enlarged text in order to read it. Also, some need to change other aspects of text display such as font, space between lines, and more.

    What to check for:

    • All web content gets larger.
    • The text doesn't disappear.
    • Text, images, and other web content do not overlap.
    • All buttons, form fields, and other controls are visible as well as usable.

    Moving, Flashing, or Blinking Content

    Moving, flashing, or blinking content consists of carousels, ads, videos, auto-updating stock tickers, scrolling news feeds, and more. People with attention deficit disorder or visual processing disorders require the power to control the moving content.

    What to check for:

    • Examine if there is any moving, blinking, or scrolling information that starts automatically and lasts more than five seconds.
    • Examine if there is any auto-updated information.
    • Ensure that no content flashes or blinks more than three times in a second.

    Multimedia (video, audio) alternatives

    People who suffer from some kind of hearing impairment or are deaf may not be able to access the information in podcasts or other audio unless it is provided in an alternative format. For example- captions and text transcripts.

    What to check for:

    • Transcripts are easily found near the audio/video itself.
    • Check if there are captions in the specific language.
    • Visual information is provided to people who cannot see the video.

    Keyboard access and visual focus

    Most people feel difficulty or simply cannot use a mouse and therefore they rely on the keyboard to interact with the web. Such people who are blind or have mobility impairments rely on the keyboard commands such as voice input.

    What to check for:

    • Examine that you can tab to all the elements, including links, form fields, buttons, etc.
    • Examine that you can tab away from all elements that you can tap into.
    • Examine that the tab order follows the logical reading order
    • Examine that the focus is clearly visible as you tab through the elements.
    • Examine that you can do everything with the keyboard and you don't need the mouse to activate actions or any other functionality.
    • Examine that after you tab into a drop-down list, you can use the arrow keys to move through all the options without triggering an action.
    • Examine that when images are links, they have clear visual focus and can be activated using the keyboard.
    Conclusion

    From the article above, you should have acquired a helpful high-level overview of accessibility, incorporating why it is important, and how you can get yourself fit into the workflow. Subsequently, it is highly recommended to have web accessibility at the back of your mind when building a website to ensure that everybody has the access to your website. Recently, web accessibility has become more important as the web begins to grow, and more and more people use it in their everyday lives. Therefore, making your website accessible to everyone will not only open the door to a wider range of users but also go towards making the web accessible for everyone.

    Looking for a way to start your first-ever journey to web accessibility, ping us at hello@opensenselabs.com and our industry experts will assist you.
     

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    Promet Source: Always be Optimizing for SEO

    4 days 9 hours ago
    In the current environment, search engines are an essential audience.  While it’s widely understood that attracting the attention of the major search engines, is key to a website’s overall effectiveness, too often, Search Engine Optimization is viewed as a task that can be checked off of a list once completed. SEO needs to be viewed as an ongoing activity, with a consistent monitoring of metrics, along with a focus on learning and adjustments to strategy based on the intelligence hidden in the data.  

    Sooper Drupal Themes: Updates for DXPR Theme, DXPR Layout Builder, and Lightning DXPR

    4 days 12 hours ago

    Today we're presenting the first set of minor updates across the new DXPR (Formerly Sooperthemes/Glazed) branded products. 6 weeks ago we presented the 1.0.0 version of DXPR Builder, DXPR Theme, and our Lightning DXPR Drupal distribution.

    What's New?

    DXPR Theme
     

    • We updated our Free Drupal Theme to let you choose between a traditional 3-line hamburger menu icon and a 2-line menu icon. You can see it in use on DXPR.com right now! Do you like this new option? Let us know in the comments, we may choose to add more options to customize the menu icon.
    • We pushed several front-end performance enhancements that will be especially noticeable if your digital experience platform is taking advantage of HTTP/2. Want to know more about the front-end performance of our products? Feel free to run your favorite tests on our website. Last we checked all the pages in our main menu score in between 95 and 100 on Google PageSpeed. 
    • Drupal 9 compatibility

    DXPR Builder Theme Changelog

    DXPR Builder

    • For the first time ever we're updating DXPR Builder via our very own composer package server
    • We added an option "Mirror" to our row element. There is a design trend in creating story-like layouts with a rhythm of alternating text+image, image+text rows. However on the mobile design the order of content remains as text+image, text+image. With our new mirror option you can reverse the order the row's columns only on the desktop design. An example of this new feature is our Drupal Layout Builder product page. 
    • We've updated Font Awesome 5 Pro icons and included the duotone icon set, which is now available on all elements that support the Icon setting.
    • We modified how our "Full height" option on the section element works. This option will still make your section as tall as the viewer's screen, but we switched to making this minimum-height. This is to prevent text from invisibly flowing off the screen when the sections' content simply won't fit on a small screen.
    • Drupal 9 compatibility

    DXPR Builder Changelog

    DXPR Builder Enterprise

    • Added a "local video" drag and drop element for uploading videos to your media library and streaming them directy from your Drupal platform.
    • Fixed an issue with exporting "user profile" configuration entities.
    • Drupal 9 compatibility

    DXPR Builder Enterprise Changelog

    Lightning DXPR

    • Updated to Acquia Lightning 5.x.
    • Updated all depedencies to Drupal 9 compatible versions.

      Lightning DXPR Changelog

        How to update?

        BADCamp News: Get Ready for Virtual BADCamp: Registration and Session Submissions now open!

        4 days 12 hours ago
        Get Ready for Virtual BADCamp: Registration and Session Submissions now open! Wed, 08/05/2020 - 12:00 vclewis Wed, 08/05/2020 - 09:53 We can’t wait to see you all online! Join us Oct 14-17, 2020 for the first-ever virtual BADCamp. Don’t wait: register now!  With no travel arrangements to make, setting yourself up for an epic time at BADCamp is as easy as letting us know you’re attending. Consider all the other ways to get involved! Drupal Planet

        Tag1 Consulting: Modernizing Drupal’s UI and Improving Accessibility with The Olivero & Claro Themes - TTT #021

        4 days 14 hours ago

        Last month at DrupalCon Global, Dries Buytaert, the founder of Drupal, announced that a major focus of Drupal 9 will be improving the user interface and user experience of the platform - for all personas. Two of the five D9 Strategic Initiatives have been dedicated to making this happen. The “New Front-End Theme Initiative” or user interface (UI) for Drupal, also known as the Olivero Theme, covers the end-user experience. The “Admin UI & JavaScript Modernisation Initiative”, also known as the Claro Admin theme covers site builders, managers, and administrators. A critical component of improving the experience for all users is accessibility. In this episode of Tag1TeamTalks, Michael Meyers (Managing Director, Tag1) talks with Kat Shaw (Senior Front-end Developer, Lullabot), a CPACC-certified accessibility expert working on both initiatives. Join us for a tour and overview of both themes, get unique insight into the development process and inner workings of strategic initiatives, learn about the accessibility improvements, and find out how all these benefit you and your Drupal sites (hint: your sites become a lot more accessible, for free, with little effort on your part). Both initiatives carry over from D8 and have been under development for some time. In Drupal...

        Read more michaelemeyers Wed, 08/05/2020 - 07:33

        Mobomo: Drupal vs WordPress: Which is Better for Your Business?

        5 days 15 hours ago

        Like many developers, some of our first websites were built on the backbones of WordPress. It’s the hyper-popular king of content management systems. It has name recognition, an overflowing user base, and plenty of third-party integrations that help cut your development time. But, over the years, we’ve migrated almost exclusively to Drupal. So why did we switch? What is it about Drupal that leaves developers drooling? And why would anyone pick Drupal — which has around 1.3 million users — over WordPress —which has over 400 million users? Today, we’re going to compare David to Goliath. Why is Drupal, the third most active CMS behind WordPress and Joomla, a good choice for businesses looking to build a refreshing, impactful, and feature-rich website?

        UNDERSTANDING THE CORE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DRUPAL AND WORDPRESS

        By far, the most significant difference between WordPress and Drupal is the overall development need. WordPress is simple. There are hundreds of thousands of third-party plugins that you can leverage to build an entire website with virtually no coding or developing knowledge. And, that’s the single biggest reason that WordPress is so massive. Anyone can build a WordPress site. It’s easy. Drupal requires development. If you want to build a Drupal website, you’re going to have to hire some developers. So, naturally, Drupal has fewer overall users. But, it’s essential to make that distinction. Drupal is built for businesses, public entities, and enterprises. WordPress is built for your everyday website. It’s important to keep this main difference in mind. It’s this difference that resonates throughout these core pillars. And, it’s this core difference that creates pros and cons for each platform.

        DRUPAL VS. WORDPRESS: SECURITY, FLEXIBILITY, AND SCALABILITY

        We consider security, flexibility, and scalability to be the three primary pillars of a CMS. An amazing designer can make a fantastic template or theme regardless of the CMS. And ease-of-use is relative to your plugins/modules, familiarity with the platform, and overall development capabilities. So those are both highly subjective. Security, flexibility, and scalability aren’t subjective; they are what they are.

        SECURITY

        WordPress has a security problem. Alone, WordPress accounts for 90% of all hacked websites that use a CMS. There’s a tradeoff that comes with leveraging third-party plugins to build websites. You increase your threat landscape. WPScan Vulnerability Database shows 21,675 vulnerabilities in WordPress’s core and with third-party plugins. This security vulnerability issue has been an ongoing headache for WordPress from the start. If we do a play-by-play, year-over-year of WordPress’s history, we see an ongoing and consistent security issue:

        • 2013: 70% of the top 40,000 most popular WordPress websites were vulnerable to hackers
        • 2014: SoakSoak compromises +100,000 websites, a massive DDOS attack hits 160,000 websites, and All In One SEO Pack puts +19 million sites at risk.
        • 2015: A core vulnerability puts millions of websites at risk, Akismet opens millions of websites to hackers, and YoastSEO puts over 14 million websites in hackers’ crosshairs.
        • 2016: At this point, millions of hacks are happening every week across plugins. Check out this WordFence weekly update during this period.
        • 2017: The hacks continue. The average small business website using WordPress is attacked 44 times a day at this point, and WordPress websites are 2x more likely to be hacked than other CMS.

        The list goes on. Year-over-year, more vulnerabilities happen across WordPress. And this is an important point. WordPress has subpar security by design. It’s the tradeoff they made to build an ecosystem that doesn’t require development. We aren’t saying that the core of WordPress is inherently security-stripped. It’s not. But, given the scale, scope, and third-party-fanatic nature of the platform, it’s weak on security by nature. Drupal, on the other hand, is the opposite. Websites require development time, each website is customized to the user, and building a website takes time and patience. The tradeoff is better security. Drupal has built-in enterprise-scale security, and you don’t rely on a hotchpotch of third-party applications to build your website’s functionality. There’s a reason that NASA, the White House, and other government entities use (or used) Drupal. It has better security. We want to take a second to make the distinction. WordPress has a secure core. We would argue that Drupal has a more secure core. But the difference isn’t massive. WordPress’s security vulnerabilities are a product of its reliance on third-party applications to make a functional website.

        FLEXIBILITY

        WordPress is more flexible than Drupal to some users. And Drupal is more flexible than WordPress to some users. That may sound complicated. But it comes down to your development capabilities. Drupal has more features than WordPress. Its core is filled with rich taxonomies, content blocks, and unique blocks than WordPress. But, if you aren’t experienced, you probably won’t find and/or use many of these functionalities. On the surface, WordPress has more accessible features. At the core, Drupal is the single most feature-rich CMS on the planet. So, for businesses (especially public entities and larger enterprises), Drupal has a more robust architecture to tackle large-scale projects that have hyper-specific needs. For small businesses and personal website owners, WordPress is easier to use and requires far less development experience to tap into its functionalities, features, and flexibility.

        SCALABILITY

        Drupal has better scalability. This one isn’t a competition. Again, this comes down to the dev-heavy nature of the platform. To scale WordPress websites, you add more plugins. To scale Drupal websites, you develop more. There’s a key practical difference here. Drupal modules, taxonomies, and content blocks all exist in the same ecosystem. Each WordPress plugin is its own micro-ecosystem. So, with WordPress, most users are stringing together a ton of third-party ecosystems in an attempt to create one overarching website. Also, Drupal is built for enterprise-scale projects. So there’s backend support and a large landscape of community support around large-scale projects. WordPress is a catch-all CMS that has a little of everything. If WordPress is a Swiss army knife, Drupal is a custom, hand-forged bread knife — explicitly designed to help you scale, slice, and butter larger projects.

        ARE YOU READY TO DEVELOP YOUR PERFECT DRUPAL WEBSITE?

        At Mobomo, we specialize in Drupal development projects. Our agile-based team of top-level design, development, and support talent can help you launch and scale your website to fit your unique needs. From NASA to Great Minds, we help private and public entities build dreams and execute visions.

        Contact us to learn more.

        The post Drupal vs WordPress: Which is Better for Your Business? appeared first on .

        Specbee: Top Drupal 8 (and 9) Modules for Intuitive Website Navigation

        5 days 17 hours ago
        Top Drupal 8 (and 9) Modules for Intuitive Website Navigation Shefali Shetty 04 Aug, 2020 Top 10 best practices for designing a perfect UX for your mobile app

        What’s the secret sauce to a successful website? Well, there are more than 10 factors I can think of right off the bat. Like an attractive design, page-load speed, quality of content, marketing efforts and more.  One significant yet often overlooked element for a great user experience that drives a successful website is an intuitive navigation. Drupal 8 has a great set of modules to improve the navigation structure of your website. We have curated a list of top Drupal 8 (and 9) modules that enable easy and intuitive website navigation. Read on to find out.


        A good website navigation lets site visitors know exactly where to get their information from as soon as they land on your website. Conversely, bad website navigation damages your rate of conversions and increases bounce rates. A website with attractive design does not always mean that navigating through it is intuitive. I have seen websites with ordinary designs with great navigation structures. And I keep going back to them because I know I can get what I need without scampering all over the place. According to CrazyEgg, the thumb rule is that it shouldn’t take more than 3 clicks for your user to find what they need.

        Elements for an Intuitive Website Navigation

        Your website visitors should be able to navigate from one page to another smoothly without getting distracted or confused. Distracted or confused users will leave your website before you establish a connection with them. Having a great design is good but if your visitors are not able to find your contact form, there is no point, is there? So, what makes up for a good navigation structure? 

        1.    Main Navigation Bars 

        This is the most crucial navigation element of a website. It is a horizontal (sometimes vertical) bar that lists links to point visitors around your website. A good main navigation bar needs to be simple, short, consistent, helpful, and catchy.


        2.    Breadcrumbs

        These helpful navigational aids help site visitors to identify where they exactly are. They are a trail of links that starts from the parent page and ends with the current page, usually separated with a “>” or a “/” symbol.

        3.    Multi-column Menus (and Submenus)

        A more complex website with tons of branches and sub-branches should use multi-column menus. Again, these menus should be simple and easy to navigate through. 

        4.    Sitemaps

        Often considered as just an SEO booster, Sitemaps are extremely helpful as a navigation aid as well. A typical Sitemap should display a hierarchical structure of the entire website.


        5.    CTA (Call To Action) Buttons

        This is where all the action actually happens! Proper placement of these CTA buttons play an important role amongst others like color, font style, size, text, etc.


        6.    Sidebars

        This is a good place to add page-specific links to enhance the UX for your site visitors. Good sidebars should be simple, not too long, contain a CTA and be ordered appropriately.


        7.    Hyperlinks

        Here we are talking more about internal linking than external. A hyperlink should be intuitive and lead the visitor to the page they expect (no surprises please). Although having internal links are good for SEO, don’t over-do it or you may risk losing their focus on the page.  

        8.    Footers

        Footers are easy to ignore and are often used only to display only copyright details. The myth that people don’t scroll till the end of a page is now busted. A typical footer should contain links that you are not able to display in the header or sidebar sections. It could also have your contact details as well as mailing list sign up mini forms.

        Top Drupal 8 (and 9) Modules for Intuitive Navigation 1.    Menu Block 

        The Drupal 8 Menu Block module’s design follows Drupal’s standard tree navigation style but  provides more enhanced features than the ones offered in the core Menu modules. You can easily configure blocks of menu links and specify the level you want to start and end with. There is no limit to the number of levels you can display. You can choose to keep your child menu elements expanded. Some basic features of this module are ported to Drupal 8 core. The Menu block module also supports Drupal 9.


        2.    Easy Breadcrumb

        The Drupal 8 Easy Breadcrumb module works by extracting location segments from the current URL of the webpage. It offers tons of configurable options and can replace the existing Drupal breadcrumbs module. You can choose to completely hide the home page link or any other specified links. The Easy breadcrumb module supports Drupal 9 too!


        3.    Superfish

        The Drupal 8 Superfish module is ideal when you have large and multiple layered, multi-column drop down menus. The module integrates with the jQuery Superfish plugin which is a highly versatile menu plugin that works for touchscreens, screen-readers and other keyboard interactions. It can be configured to add time delays on mouse-out, animations, hide and reveal menu links, adds arrows if submenus are detected, and much more. It is also Drupal 9 compatible.


        4.    Sitemap

        The Drupal 8 Sitemap module is simple, clean and easy to use. It can display the entire site structure in a clean hierarchical structure. You can also choose to generate and display RSS feeds for blogs and categories. The Sitemap module supports Drupal 9.


        5.    Menu Item Role Access

        This module allows you to add access control to your menus. You can enable and disable menu items depending on user roles. The Drupal 8 Menu Item Role Access module allows you to enter the role field (optional) to the menu items. It also supports Drupal 9.

                  Image source: Menu Item Role Access
        6.    Cheeseburger Menu

        If you thought hamburger menus were great, wait till you check out the Cheeseburger menu. The Drupal 8 Cheeseburger menu module comes with some great features and is not just limited to mobile view, it also works with desktop views and varied screen sizes as well. It gives you the flexibility to choose the menu items that you want to appear in the Cheeseburger menu and also edit the menu titles. If you’re using Drupal Commerce, you can choose to display the shopping cart or the store phone number in the menu. Taxonomies could be chosen as the structure for your Cheeseburger menu. The Cheeseburger menu module supports Drupal 9 too!

         
        Image source : Cheeseburger menu

         

        7.    Simplify Menu

        The Drupal 8 Simplify Menu module lets you render menus in your Twig template. It allows customization of the menu markup that enables accessibility and compatible with standards. You can render your menu tree as an array in the twig template and have full control over on the menu’s array. This module does not support Drupal 9 yet.



        8.    Total Control Admin Dashboard

        The Drupal 8 Total Control Admin Dashboard is a useful administrative navigation tool. It acts as a centralized hub for all administration tools. The dashboard displays admin panes and quick links to users, taxonomies, menus, content types, site stats, views panel panes and more. The views panel panes can be further customized. This module also works with Drupal 9.

        9.    Footermap: a footer site map

        As the name suggests, the Drupal 8 Footermap module provides a sitemap for your Drupal website that can be placed in the footer block. It allows dynamic generation of a sitemap and can be easily configured to support translation and caching. You can choose the menus to display, set the menu level limit (child menus), enable menu heading, edit the CSS to match your site layout and much more. The Footermap module also works with Drupal 9.


         

        There are tons of benefits of having a good and intuitive website navigation system. When your visitors get the information they need without having to wander around for long, they will come back to you for more. Analytics tools and AB testing tools can be used to analyze and tweak the navigation elements of your website to help improve your existing navigation system. Drupal enables an engaging and intuitive navigation experience with its many core and contributed modules, some of which are listed above. As a leading Drupal development company, we strive to provide our customers with websites that are highly engaging and drives results. Connect with us today to see how we can help you with your next Drupal project.

        Drupal Planet Drupal Module Drupal 8 Drupal Tutorial Shefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Subscribe For Our Newsletter And Stay Updated Subscribe

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          Shefali ShettyApr 05, 2017 Recent Posts Image Top Drupal 8 (and 9) Modules for Intuitive Website Navigation Image Drupal Pathauto Module - A Brief Tutorial on how to Automatically Generate Bulk URL Aliases in Drupal 8 Image Headless Drupal – The All-You-Need-To-Know Guide Want to extract the maximum out of Drupal? TALK TO US Featured Success Stories

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        Agaric Collective: Double-edged Raiser: Past time to ditch Blackbaud

        6 days 5 hours ago

        I have watched in sadness and sometimes anger as large non-profit after large non-profit collectively poured enough money into Raiser's Edge and other Blackbaud licenses and consulting services to fund many feature enhancements for the main FLOSS alternative, CiviCRM— improvements which would then be free for everyone, forever.

        I have never met anyone who actually likes Blackbaud products and services. However, many organizations felt they were the only safe option, in the sense of claiming to have everything an enterprise needs.

        Now, Blackbaud failed to secure its servers sufficiently and large amounts of its clients' donor data, including personally identifying information, was obtained in a ransomware attack. This was back in May. Blackbaud ultimately paid the ransomer to allegedly destroy the data they obtained— and only late in July finally told their customers what happened.

        As the American Civil Liberties Union wrote to all its supporters, current and past (including myself), this is a rotten situation:

        In all candor, we are frustrated with the lack of information we've received from Blackbaud about this incident thus far. The ACLU is doing everything in our power to ascertain the full nature of the breach, and we are actively investigating the nature of the data that was involved, details of the incident, and Blackbaud's remediation plans.

        We are also exploring all options to ensure this does not happen again, including revisiting our relationship with Blackbaud.

        Fortunately, none of Agaric's clients are affected. But we hope everyone using or considering using Blackbaud and other proprietary services for their most important data will look at free/libre open source solutions. Code you (or your technology partner) can see and contribute to means you truly can do anything. And if you put aside the money that would be gouged out of your organization by the eTapestry, Kintera, and Convio-swallowing monopolist Blackbaud, you probably can afford to.

        At Agaric, we have recently been working with CiviCRM more recently (building on experience dating back fifteen years!) and we know our friends at Palante Technology Cooperative and myDropWizard are well-versed in CiviCRM, as are many others. Please consider this when weighing your options for maintaining a strong, ethical relationship with your supporters, and let us know if you have any thoughts or questions!

        Read more and discuss at agaric.coop.

        rachel_norfolk: Wanting to add a little darkness

        6 days 16 hours ago
        Wanting to add a little darkness Rachel Mon, 08/03/2020 - 13:34

        The huge, huge advantage of using an off-the-shelf, soon-to-be-core theme is that the quality is high, like really high. 

        Of course, there is always a possibility I would want to add something (and I have an idea for a little animation in the back of my mind) so I wanted to find a way to do that without making any changes to the actual theme.

        When Lewis Nyman tweeted about a funky little way to add a "dark mode", I saw my opportunity...

        Tags

        LakeDrops Drupal Consulting, Development and Hosting: The ultimate subscription and notification solution for Drupal

        6 days 17 hours ago
        The ultimate subscription and notification solution for Drupal Jürgen Haas Mon, 08/03/2020 - 13:41

        Almost all websites have one requirement in common: getting notified when something specific is happening. Whether that's a new blog post, a new comment, a modified version of a node, an exception in the logs or a deleted user account, either the site admin or website visitors would like to know about some or all of these.

        Shivan Jaikaran: Composer Memory Problem on Shared Web Hosting

        6 days 20 hours ago
        Composer Memory Problem on Shared Web Hosting admin Mon, 08/03/2020 - 04:27

        If you are using shared web hosting for your composer managed Drupal website, you have probably ran into the problem of your server running out of memory for simple commands such as "composer install". Shared web hosting usually have memory limits which are shared across many websites.

        This problem becomes quickly apparent if you are trying to install a new Drupal website into your shared hosting account. Because this is probably the first time that you have to run "composer install" for this website. Composer will then have to go and fetch all the files and download them into your vendor directory. This process is memory intensive. The end result is your process is abruptly killed without finishing.

        Solution

        A quick and easy solution is to install the site locally whereby you can successfully run "composer install". You would then have the vendor directory locally. Then use a service like FTP to manually upload the vendor folder into the correct directory on your hosting server. Then on your hosting server, try running "composer install" again. 

        At this point, composer would not need to fetch all the files again. Composer may or may not have to update some files in the vendor directory. This is OK. But the process should now be able to complete within your memory limitations.

        It should be noted that the vendor directory should not be committed to your git directory for a few important reasons.

        Tags Drupal Drupal Planet composer Add new comment Language English
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      • Dries

        Camping in Maine

        2 weeks ago

        This past weekend Vanessa and I went camping in Phippsburg, Maine just three hours north from where we live. During this pandemic I have missed travel and adventure. It was really nice to swap out the espresso machine for the percolator and to spend time in nature.

        A coffee percolator.Waking up overlooking the ocean.Reading The Ride of a Lifetime by the campfire.
        Dries

        State of Drupal presentation (July 2020)

        2 weeks 6 days ago

        Last week, Drupalists from around the world gathered for DrupalCon Global. This DrupalCon was the first ever virtual event of this scale for the Drupal community.

        As a matter of tradition, I delivered the opening keynote. You can watch a video recording of my keynote, download a copy of my slides (212 MB), or read the brief summary below.

        A screenshot of the first ever virtual DriesNote. The virtual conference tool showed my slides, my webcam, and real-time chat.

        I announced that we are targeting the release of Drupal 10 around June 2022.

        Next, I spent the majority of my presentation proposing five strategic initiatives for Drupal 10. While it seems early to speak about Drupal 10, we need to start working on these strategic goals now to have them ready by the time Drupal 10 is released.

        The goal of my presentation was to propose five well-balanced initiatives for Drupal 10.

        We decided to go with just five initiatives so we're more focused and because the Drupal 10 release cycle will be shorter than Drupal 9's. Selecting only five initiatives was hard. I spent 35 minutes walking the audience through the selection process. The five proposed initiatives:

        1. Drupal 10 readiness
        2. An easier out-of-the-box experience
        3. A new front-end theme (Olivero)
        4. Automated updates for security releases
        5. An official JS menu component for React and Vue
        1. Drupal 10 readiness

        Drupal depends on third-party software components, many of which will go end-of-life (EOL) in the next few years. When a component goes EOL, it will no longer receive security support.

        The "Drupal 10 Readiness" initiative will focus on upgrading these third-party components. Not only does this keep Drupal secure, it also allows us to take advantage of any new capabilities that come with these updated components.

        Some of the third-party components that need to be updated in preparation for Drupal 10.2. Easy out-of-the-box

        Improving Drupal's ease-of-use remains the number one most impactful item for the community to work on.

        Drupal 9 dramatically improved Drupal's ease-of-use. Several of our most promising improvements made it very far, but still need some finishing touches. Specifically, our new Media Library, Layout Builder and Administration Theme (Claro) are not yet enabled by default.

        I proposed the "Easy out-of-the-box" initiative to work towards enabling these features by default. I believe this initiative will be very impactful in terms of attracting new users to Drupal.

        The 'Easy out of the box' initiative consists of finishing Media, Layout Builder and Claro.3. Front end theme

        One of the most important features to complete is our modern front end theme, Olivero. While there has been a lot of progress in this area, Olivero does not ship with Drupal yet. We want to make sure this beautiful front end theme is available by default.

        A screenshot of the upcoming front-end theme called Olivero.4. Automatic updates

        As shown by the Drupal 2020 Product Survey, by far the most requested feature is automated updates.

        Fortunately, it's something we have been working on for some time. Our first milestone will be to automate security updates so all site owners can sleep well at night, no matter when security releases are taking place.

        Beyond security, automated updates help us work towards our long-term vision of building a composable — or Assembed Web — architecture for Drupal.

        The four major architectural building blocks of the Automated Updates initiative.5. JavaScript menu component

        As I have been saying for years now, many websites are evolving into personalized, omnichannel digital experiences. It's a multi-decade trend, and one of the most powerful ones in our industry.

        Drupal needs to keep evolving with this trend in mind. On the back end, we need to continue to make Drupal the best structured data engine and web service platform. On the front end, JavaScript continues to grow fast. While Drupal is recognized as a capable headless or decoupled CMS, there is still more we can do.

        Furthermore, the second most requested feature in the Drupal 2020 Product Survey was a more modern administration UI. These kinds of UIs are typically built using JavaScript and web service APIs. When done well, a JavaScript UI can offer major usability improvements.

        Clearly, there is more than one reason to invest in web service APIs and to embrace more JavaScript in Drupal:

        1. Many of Drupal's end users are focused on building decoupled front ends and omnichannel digital experiences.
        2. Drupal could improve its own administration UI with more WYSIWYG, drag-and-drop, and other ease-of-use features.

        To make a start toward improving Drupal's headless capabilities and administration UI, I proposed we start to add official Drupal JavaScript components to Drupal Core.

        As a first step, I recommended implementing a JavaScript menu component in Vue and React. This would mark the first official JavaScript component in Drupal.

        'Planting the flag' for providing official JavaScript menu components for Drupal.

        Developing a JavaScript menu component solves a very real problem that many front end developers face. This menu component would render a menu and could be placed in a front end JavaScript application. The content of the menu comes from Drupal. This would allow content authors and non-developers to make simple menu changes without the need for custom code.

        Releasing a first official JavaScript component will require us to set up the tools and processes to manage and release JavaScript components. This will establish a pattern or recipe for more components. Once we build one component, it will be easier to add many more in parallel.

        The path to having a first official JavaScript component is longer than it may appear.Let's do this! A fictitious or forward-looking press release for Drupal 10 in June 2022.

        With the release of Drupal 10 targeted for June 2022, our community has a big opportunity to make the beginner and non-developer experiences much simpler, while still keeping Drupal's power as strong as ever for experts. I believe the proposed strategic initiatives will help achieve that.

        For more details, I recommend you watch the recording of my presentation.

        Whether you're just getting started with Drupal or have been here for years, we want you to contribute to Drupal 10! The best way to get involved in any of these initiatives is to join their discussion channels on Drupal Slack:

        • Drupal 10 readiness: #d10readiness
        • Claro: #admin-ui
        • Olivero: #d9-theme
        • Automated updates: #autoupdates
        • JS Menu Component: #js-menu-component

        Thank you to everyone who attended the very first Drupalcon Global and contributed to the event's success. Even though we were unable to meet in person, I was blown away by the energy of everyone involved, and grateful for the time to connect with old and new friends.

        Dries

        Drupal 10 target release date and Drupal 9 end-of-life

        3 weeks 4 days ago
        We are targeting to release Drupal 10 around June 2022. That is less than two years from the day of this post. Why June 2022, you ask?

        Drupal 9's biggest dependency is Symfony 4, which has an end-of-life date in November 2023. This means that after November 2023, security bugs in Symfony 4 will not get fixed. Drupal has to adopt Symfony 5 (or later) and end-of-life Drupal 9 no later than November 2023.

        For security purposes, all Drupal 9 users will need to upgrade to Drupal 10 by November 2023. We like to give site owners at least one year to upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10, therefore we are targeting Drupal 10 to be released in June 2022.

        Will the upgrade to Drupal 10 be easy?

        Yes, it will be easy, and here is why.

        New functionality for Drupal 10 is actually added to Drupal 9 releases. This means module developers can start adopting any new APIs right away. Along the way, we deprecate old functionality but keep backwards compatibility. Once we are ready to release Drupal 10, we remove all deprecated code. Removing deprecated code breaks backwards compatibility, but because module developers had a chance to stay up to date with API changes, the upgrade to Drupal 10 should be easy.

        If that makes your head spin, think of it this way: Drupal 10 is identical to the last version of Drupal 9, with its deprecations removed. Because of that, there should be no last-minute, big or unexpected changes.

        We used this approach for Drupal 9, and it was successful: 95 of the top 100 contributed modules were ready the day Drupal 9.0.0 was released. We know from Drupal 9 that this approach to upgrades works, and we'll continue to refine it going forward.

        Dries

        Three trends driving today's "Flash Digital Transformation"

        3 weeks 5 days ago

        Today, Acquia announced the launch of its Open Digital Experience Platform, a single platform to build websites and applications, and run data-driven marketing campaigns across channels. As a part of the launch, I wrote a piece for Digiday on the impact COVID-19 is having on digital transformation. Even though many organizations are under pressure to rapidly transition their operations online, the changes they make now can have a positive impact for years to come. Below is the full text of the article.

        Over the past few years, we've seen rapid innovation in many parts of the consumer world. Brands build pop-up stores overnight to test new retail, product, and marketing concepts. The same thing is happening digitally, driven by COVID-19. Businesses need to operate on compressed timelines, and "pop-up" new digital-first businesses (or as TechCrunch calls it, a flash digital transformation.)

        In the past, these efforts would have taken years. This period of rapid change has certainly been difficult for many organizations. However, many of the changes organizations have made in the first half of this year will have a big impact for years to come.

        One example of a brand that adapted its digital strategy due to COVID-19 is King Arthur Flour, the oldest flour company in America. The pandemic resulted in a surge of people baking at home. No longer able to rely on brick-and-mortar sales, King Arthur Flour's digital team drove demand online. They published new celebrity baking series and other creative, relevant content on their site. As a result, their sales increased 200 percent year-over-year, and website sessions spiked by 260 percent.

        Other brands can be just as successful at flash transformation if they keep an eye on the three biggest trends driving it.

        Trend 1: Experience wins, and requires intelligent use of data

        Both a taxi and an Uber or Lyft can get you from point A to B. At the core, they are the same product. But in practice, the Uber or Lyft experience wins — at least in Boston where I live and taxis are notoriously bad.

        Both Uber and Lyft rely on technology to deliver a superior customer experience. Every aspect of their customer experience is personalized, including their mobile applications, emails, text messages, safety features, and more.

        For years, the promise of a personalized customer experience has remained elusive, only available to those who can make large engineering investments (like Uber or Lyft). Today, any organization can deliver great technology-driven customer experiences. Open Source has democratized the building of those. However, personalization remains hard. It requires that organizations get a handle on their customer data, which isn't an easy task and not something that is solved by Open Source.

        Only when you use data to understand your customers' preferences and intentions can you deliver a truly relevant experience. In difficult economic times, relevant experiences help businesses stand out and drive much-needed sales.

        Trend 2: The rise of the technical marketer

        As such, marketers have become more reliant on technology to drive customer experiences. Twenty years ago, a web content management system was a stand-alone application run by IT. Today, content management is deeply integrated in the marketing technology stack and primarily operated by marketing.

        It's not unusual for an ambitious website to have five or more connections into other systems. Marketing technology expert Scott Brinker counted over 8,000 marketing technology vendors in 2020, a 13.6 percent increase over 2019.

        A technical marketer knows how to navigate this landscape to choose the best tools for their organization. For technical marketers, it's essential to have the right platform to integrate the tools and data sources needed to optimize their customers' experiences. The rise of that technical marketer has enabled a new relationship and partnership between marketing and IT.

        Trend 3: Openness

        Until recently, the idea of "open" technology was a hard sell to marketers. On the other hand, developers have embraced open APIs, Open Source, and connectors for years.

        More and more, marketers find themselves road-blocked by closed systems. When a marketing automation system can't talk to other data sources, it can be impossible to implement effective personalization. When an email marketing tool only draws upon the data contained within its own system, it misses out on the data that is collected by a separate web analytics tool. Examples of these types of silos across the traditional marketing stack abound.

        Without the ability to integrate different marketing tools and the data contained within them, customer experiences will continue to be disjointed and far from personal. In fact, research shows that 60 percent of customers are frustrated with brands' ability to predict their needs, and think they aren't doing an effective job of using personalization. To address these frustrations, openness and interconnectivity between technologies needs to become a marketing must-have, instead of a nice-to-have.

        A new age of resilience

        It's been impressive to see how resilient organizations and people have been at adapting so rapidly. This adaptation has been essential to business survival. Fortunately, the changes made under pressure could be the key to succeeding as more of the world becomes permanently digital, enabling the kinds of digital transformations that organizations have been yearning for for years.

        Dries
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