Drupal’s Out-of-the-box Solutions Make New Websites Easy

April 11, 2019
By Thomas Hafner,
Web Developer

When it comes to Content Management Systems (CMS), there is an abundance of options to choose from for your website. A CMS should, at a minimum, provide a secure, scalable, and easy-to-use system for both content editors and developers. Drupal offers great out-of-the-box solutions to make upgrading your websites a breeze.

Drupal’s most recent iteration, Drupal 8, is the most advanced and user-friendly version to date and provides all the tools necessary for organizations, large or small. Drupal 9, the next major version of Drupal, is targeted to be released on June 3, 2020.

Drupal is a great option for companies migrating existing content from one or more sites, and makes it easy to optimize for search engines and ensure a proper analytics setup. Drupal provides the necessary tools to improve a content workflow, making it easy for content authors while laying the groundwork for personalization.

Drupal Migrate

Typically, the biggest challenge during a website rebuild is how to efficiently move content from an existing site or multiple sites, which may live on different CMS platforms, to one upgraded, cohesive site. For sites with a lot of content, whether that’s blog posts or images or product pages, manual content entry is impractical in a short timeframe for replatform and Drupal offers an appealing solution.

Drupal’s Migrate API allows us to import existing content from other systems and map it to new Drupal content types in bulk. Rather than write a custom PHP script to import content, Drupal Migrate provides a standardized, reusable API that allows us to create an import process as needed and create standard Drupal nodes.

Drupal Layout Builder

Efficient and robust content is key to replatforming. Accommodating content editors from various backgrounds and key stakeholders is also a best practice that we stand by. Often, a website rebuild may involve users that have never used Drupal before, so it’s imperative that the ability to update the website is as intuitive as possible. Allowing the entire content editing team to easily add and edit content without engaging the development team is key. Drupal excels in this space.

Layout Builder provides both technical and non-technical users an interface to visually create a template group. This intuitive interface allows stakeholders to create layouts for many different use cases — from content-specific templates to one-off landing pages. Once created, these components are also reusable across websites!

Search Engine Optimization and Analytics 

Analytics and SEO are now second only to the end user’s experience. Without taking the proper steps, replatforms can easily be disastrous to search rankings and site traffic. Drupal provides many tools that allow you to easily take control of your site’s SEO. These tools allow for sitemaps and redirects that are essential for ensuring a smooth replatform without sacrificing search rankings. Combine that with a well-thought-out, best-practice SEO migration process, and you’ve got all the tools you need to succeed. 

Drupal also provides modules to make it easy to integrate with analytics tools like Google Analytics, through basic modules, or provides more advanced functionality by adding tools like Google Tag Manager (GTM) to your site. While installing using the default configuration is a great out-of-the-box solution, Drupal can be modified in ways that allow you to improve your analytics-gathering process. We recently updated our website and relied heavily on Drupal’s Data Layer module to interact with and supplement the default GTM data layer. This process allowed us to pass custom content and user-specific information through to Google Tag Manager, which we’re using to provide more relevant, personalized content.

Next Level - Acquia Lift and Journey

While gathering analytics about your visitors is key to success, it’s really only half the battle! Knowing how to leverage this data about your customers is even more important. Bounteous has extensive experience helping clients use data to improve client outcomes by delivering personalized messages to help drive engagement.

Looking to the future and accessing what you hope to gain from your website replatform, it becomes essential to integrate the building blocks to accommodate personalization and omnichannel orchestration (Acquia Lift and Acquia Journey). These tools are optimized for Drupal.

Acquia Lift allows you to tailor personalized content to users by leveraging both anonymous data (location, device, user behavior, etc.) and user data while Acquia Journey allows you to create a sequence of personalized touchpoints to more effectively reach your targets and drive greater ROI.

Consider Drupal

Drupal is not only a reliable content management solution but offers tools to ease the burden of site migration and lays the groundwork for building amazing digital experiences. It provides deep capabilities and endless flexibility on the web, and is backed by a community of talented developers and contributors.