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Vardot: 10 SEO Modules that Every Drupal Website Must Have

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 10:55
10 SEO Modules that Every Drupal Website Must Have Dmitrii Susloparov Mon, 07/31/2017 - 11:55

You’ve built a brilliant website, you’ve employed a top notch designer and you’re offering well priced, high demand services. Yet for some reason you aren’t getting good traffic to your site. Before diving into an intensive content review and firing your designer, consider that you may have made a great website for people, but you haven’t caught the attention of search engines.

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a term commonly thrown around in online marketing, but few people explain what it actually means. Briefly speaking, SEO is a focus on improving your website and the content for machine consumption. By integrating keywords, friendly URLs, metatags and deep links search engines with rate your website higher. However overdoing it will lead to search engines penalising your site with a lower your rating – you can’t simply dump a handful of keywords and expect good results, you need strong content as well.

 

Best Drupal SEO Modules to Optimize Your Site 

There are many ways you can improve your search engine rating, from metatags to site theming. But one of the first steps you should do is integrating into your site a collection of Drupal SEO modules that can help with a higher ranking. In many cases you won’t even have to touch the customer facing part of your website. With a few tweaks and back end administration you can optimise your search engine results, boost the traffic to your website and massively increase your conversion. We recently published an article with must have security modules, and in this one we list the best ten SEO modules that every Drupal website must include - have a look!

XML sitemap

Usage: Currently installed on 286,000 sites, downloaded 1.72 million times

The XML Sitemap module automatically deploys a sitemap that meets industry standards and makes your site easier for search engines to crawl and categorise. Typically search engines will crawl and index your site based on external and internal links. XML Sitemap provides a single point of information for search engine bots to refer to and gain a strong understanding of your site.

XML site map will include metatags about your page (if you’ve installed the metatag module listed below, these will be higher quality tags) as well as further metadata such as relative links, the pages last updated time and date, and how often the content is updated.

Pathauto

Usage: Currently installed on 703,000 sites, downloaded 4.45 million times

Pathauto is a great SEO module because it takes a boring, laborious manual task and automates it for you, from start to finish. All you need to do is set up some rulesets and away you go.

Pathauto Tips and Hints

Pathauto gives you a simple way to define URLs that are both user friendly, and lead to stronger search engine optimisation. Drupal will normally give your web pages a url like “yoursite.com/node/12345”. This type of URL means nothing to a user, and even less to a search engine. With Pathauto your can build URLs based on the category and page title. As such you can have URLs like “yoursite/search-engine-optimisation/top-ten-drupal-modules-for-easy-SEO”. This sort of URL is easy for your site visitors to understand, and gives you bonus points with search engines.

The module has been updated for Drupal 8 (with some valuable learning resources) with a new version released late April 2017.

Redirect

Usage: Currently installed on 196,000 sites, downloaded 1.28 million times

Among the best Drupal SEO modules you also may want to cosider Redirect. It is an important module for preventing ‘dead links’ inside your website, and for creating short links in advertising materials. Redirect allows you to set rules such as sending users who visit ‘yoursite.com/promo1’ to ‘yoursite.com/seo-course/learn-seo-with-us’.

While this is great for marketing, it’s also great for keeping a high rating with search engines. Having multiple ‘bouncing’ redirects won’t help you, but having dead-links to your site will count against you. If you remove a page from your site, or simply rename it, you can use a redirect to ensure that you don’t lose the traffic that was trying to find the old page.

Redirects is more than just a net for catching missed opportunities. It also tracks how often people are hitting those redirects. This can help you track how popular a promotional link is, or how many people are trying to access a page you have moved or renamed.

Redirect has been updated for Drupal 8, with the latest release coming out in May 2017.

Global Redirect

 

Usage: Currently installed on 188,000 sites, downloaded 922,000 times

 

Duplicate content on a web site can negatively impact your ranking with search engines. This becomes a problem with modules like Page Title (see below) that give your pages a friendly alias. Unfortunately your page retains its original unfriendly title, as well as the friendly new one - which looks like duplicate content to a search engine.

 

Global Redirect is one of the Drupal SEO modules that solves this problem, as well as capturing a variety of broken link scenarios and returning the user to your homepage - thus improving the user experience and giving you a cleaner record with search engine rankings.

 

Global Redirect is available for Drupal 7, however if you’re using a Drupal 8 site then it has been bundled up with the similar ‘Redirect’ module.

Metatag

Usage: Currently installed on 353,000 sites, downloaded 2.49 million times

The Metatag module allows you to provide extra metadata to your website, generally in the meta description tag, and the meta keywords tag. Both of these are crawled by search engines and you can optimise your results by including words and phrases that people may use to search your site, but don’t explicitly appear in your content. For example, if you have a website about chicken farming, your keywords could include ‘hen’ ‘rooster’ ‘eggs’ even if those words don’t appear on the page.This will give you more chance to match with what a user is typing into their search engine.

Metatag is available for Drupal 7 and 8, with the last version being released in June 2017.

Google Analytics

Usage: Currently installed on 380,000 sites, downloaded 4.72 million times

Adding the Google Analytics module won’t automatically improve your SEO, but it will arm you with all the knowledge you need to see where your site is succeeding, and where it could do with a little more polish.

The Google Analytics can not be called one of the classical SEO modules, but it will give you the ability to track and exclude users and roles within your site (so you aren’t erroneously tracking your own clicks), track link clicks, downloads, and ‘mailto’ clicks. The module also supports AdSense, as well as a host of other items.

 

With Google Analytics you will be able to see where your traffic is coming from, how long users stay on your pages, and what catches their attention while they are there. With this information you can tweak your content strategy to appeal to your audience, driving more traffic to your site and increasing conversions.

Google News sitemap

 

Usage: Currently installed on 3,000 sites, downloaded 32,000 times.

 

The Google News sitemap module creates a similar but separate sitemap to the XML sitemap in the module above. This one is specifically tailored for Google News and allows you to set caching times, the types of content to include, how recent news should be and to customise tags and keywords.

 

The last updated for Google News sitemap was released in June 2013, however there are considerations to integrate it with the XML sitemap module, giving you two great functionalities in a single module.

Site verification

Usage: Currently installed on 57,000 sites, downloaded 397,000 times

For your site to rank well in search engine results it is important that your site is verified. There are many spam sites on the internet that are set up for a short period of time for nefarious reasons. By having your site properly verified you avoid seeming like one of these sites, even when you are just starting out.

 

The Site verification module assists with this process by allowing you to upload a verification file, and then managing the authentication process for you. There is a development Drupal 8 version of this module available, or a fully tested Drupal 7 version.

Page Title

Usage: Currently installed on 92,000 sites, downloaded 648,000 times

Having good page titles is essential to search engine optimisation, and in 2006 a module was released with a laser focus on good page titles.

The Page Title module does more than just put a nice heading on the page. Page title hooks into the metatags to ensure that your title is replicated throughout the code in all the essential spaces. These are picked up by search engine bots that are checking your site, and give you extra ticks in the SEO checklist (see the next module). You can tell if you have it set up properly by looking at the top of your web browser, for example the Page Title Module on Drupal.org clearly shows you what page you’re on, and the website name.

While this might seem like a small change, visitors to your site will feel much more confident in the professionalism, and search engines will bump you up in the rankings.

If you are still running Drupal 7 you will need this module, but if you’ve upgraded to Drupal 8 just download the metatag module mentioned above as these two modules have been merged together.

SEO Checklist

 

Usage: Currently installed on 30,000 sites, downloaded 313,000 times

 

Finally, SEO checklist is another one of those modules that won’t improve your sites SEO, but will equip your with the skills and knowledge to make changes to your site. The SEO Checklist does nothing to your site, except for give you a simple report of what needs to be done, and allows you to check off each task as you work through it. This is a must have for anyone managing more than one site, or if you have multiple people managing the one site.

 

The SEO checklist is updated regularly to keep up with industry standards and the latest techniques. It has a fully supported version for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

Conclusion

Drupal is an amazing CMS for search engine optimization, and using the right SEO modules will set you up for success. By preventing duplicate content, filling your content with strong metatags and keywords, using human friendly URLs and having a clean site map your site will rise rapidly through search engine rankings.

At Vardot we pride ourselves on educating our customers, developing brilliant websites and giving back to the Drupal community. By building SEO-friendly websites we aim to satisfy our clients and their customers. Hopefully this article will set you on the right path to a high quality website, but if you need more, check out our article on Optimizing Your Site For Search Engines or get in touch with us.

heykarthikwithu: Drupal 8 – If not Features, What??? Configuration Management..!

Mon, 07/31/2017 - 05:07
Drupal 8 – If not Features, What??? Configuration Management..!

With Some Best Practices with Drupal 8's Configuration Management will help you to achieve packaging reusable functionality.

heykarthikwithu Monday, 31 July 2017 - 08:37:46 - IST, Asia/Kolkata

Tim Millwood: Validating Drupal 8 Config

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 21:10
Validating Drupal 8 Config

Did you know Drupal 8 has a new system to manage config? sure, everyone does by now.
But, did you know you can validate the import of config? Maybe not, that's a bit more of a hidden gem.

If you're writing a module that uses config entities or config for settings, you might want to make sure that the config is valid when imported. This came up recently in the core Content Moderation module. We wanted to make sure that when config for Workflows are imported they don't end up removing moderation states which are in use by other entities. For this we added an event subscriber, ConfigImportSubscriber, which is now part of Drupal 8.4.x.

To add one of these to your modules first you will need to add a service to your modules services.yml file:


content_moderation.config_import_subscriber:
class: Drupal\content_moderation\EventSubscriber\ConfigImportSubscriber
arguments: ['@config.manager', '@entity_type.manager']
tags:
- { name: event_subscriber }

Here you will see, for content moderation, we have the service name, the class, a couple of arguments, and it's tagged as an event subscriber.

You will then need to add you subscriber class within your module add the namespace added in services.yml.

<?php

namespace Drupal\content_moderation\EventSubscriber;

use Drupal\Core\Config\ConfigImporterEvent;
use Drupal\Core\Config\ConfigImportValidateEventSubscriberBase;

/**
* Check moderation states are not being used before updating workflow config.
*/
class ConfigImportSubscriber extends ConfigImportValidateEventSubscriberBase {

/**
* {@inheritdoc}
*/
public function onConfigImporterValidate(ConfigImporterEvent $event) {
if ($this->isWorkflowInUse($event) {
$event->getConfigImporter()->logError($this->t('The workflow @workflow_label is being used, and cannot be deleted.', ['@workflow_label' => $workflow->label()]));
}
}

}

Here, with a lot of the logic removed for simplicity, we're extending ConfigImportValidateEventSubscriberBase, which is the base class for all validation of config at import. Then we override the onConfigImporterValidate() method, which passes in the $event object. From that object we need to determine if the config is valid or not, then log an error if not.

This can also be tested in a kernel test:
$this->config('workflows.workflow.editorial')->get(); will get us the existing config for the editorial workflow entity.
\Drupal::service('config.storage.sync')->write('workflows.workflow.editorial', $config_data); will allow us to update that config.
$this->configImporter()->reset()->import(); will then run an import, imported the updated config. This will need to be wrapped in a try/catch because a failing import will throw an exception. In the catch part of the statement we can pass or fail the test depending on the intended result.

For more information take a look at the full event subscriber: http://cgit.drupalcode.org/drupal/tree/core/modules/content_moderation/…
Also the full test: http://cgit.drupalcode.org/drupal/tree/core/modules/content_moderation/…

timmillwood Sun, 30/07/2017 - 20:10 Tags drupal drupal 8 drupal-planet Add new comment

Tim Millwood: Funding DrupalCon speakers

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 20:43
Funding DrupalCon speakers

As someone who has been using Drupal for over 9 years, attended 8 DrupalCons, spoken at 4 for of them, been on the DrupalCon track team twice, and was co-lead for DrupalCon London I've feel I know Drupal events pretty well.

This year for DrupalCon Vienna things have changed a little. Firstly back in February a few program changes were announced. These included things such as summits, training, sprints, and t-shirts. Some of these are now back on the agenda due to community efforts, but why stop there with community efforts.

This year I was part of the PHP track team with Campbell Vertesi, Michael Cullum, we wanted to try and get an awesome line up, with some top name speakers. As Drupal has started embracing aspects of PHPunit, Doctrine, composer, guzzle etc it'd be great to have people involved with those projects speak at DrupalCon. However the issue is funding! They're not going to get a great deal out of DrupalCon, so won't fund themselves. Their employers have no reason to send them, so they won't fund it. DrupalCon doesn't pay speakers, so that's not an option. So, Campbell had a great idea of crowdfunding. We asked two speakers, Sebastian Bergmann (of PHPunit fame) and Michelle Sanver (of PHPWomen fame). They submitted multiple sessions each, which were equally ranked and chosen along with other sessions. Now comes the time to get their funding.

On GoFundMe there is now a fund running to "help bring (more) PHP to DrupalCon", at the time of writing it's close to 2/3rds of the goal.

This is a very controversial topic, and with the other changes brought in at DrupalCon Vienna has sparked a lot of discussion. After laying off many members of staff over the last few years, and DrupalCon Europe never to make a profit things are tough. Although this sort of experiment is good to see, it's good to see people talking about it, and it's good to see people getting behind it.

https://www.gofundme.com/php-at-drupalcon

See you in Vienna!

timmillwood Sun, 30/07/2017 - 19:43 Tags drupal DrupalCon drupal-planet Add new comment

DrupalEasy: Becoming a First-Rate Web Developer; Heart in the Game, Eye on the Prize

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 15:21

We've had more than 100 students complete our 12-week Drupal Career long-form training since 2011, working with individuals, teams, young and old, men and women, all with different backgrounds, abilities, motivations and aspirations. We've seen talents explode, helped keep people engaged and even watched interest fizzle. About the only constant is that everyone in every class wants to or needs to learn Drupal, whether they have decided on their own, or need to build their Drupal talent as part of a developer team.

Every so often, we run into a student who really brings to life our vision of what the course can help people accomplish; someone who does everything before, during and after that just exudes enthusiasm and commitment toward predictable success. Brian Coffelt (@briancoffelt), a student in the Spring 2015 Drupal Career Online session, and now Web Administrator and Developer for Duke Cancer Institute in Durham, NC, is one of those sensations.

Brian, after 15 years of serving as a public school health and physical education teacher, realized he was in a situation that fell short of providing him the professional fulfillment and the type of income potential he desired. "I wanted to challenge myself and better provide for my family," he recalls. "I learned of Drupal from my brother-in-law (Shaun Heath, an earlier DrupalEasy graduate) and began to research how powerful Drupal was. I also saw a great need for quality Drupal developers and a promising job market."

The Drupal job market was actually the key ingredient in the creation of DrupalEasy's long-form career technical education program, which was born as a solution for Florida's Space Coast when the end of the Shuttle program left about 7,000 people, including lots of IT-types, without jobs. The in-person course was a hit, and the positive outcomes led us to make things official, with a license through the Florida Department of Education, Commission for Independent Education, which we continually qualify for and renew annually. Since we moved the course live-online, we've been able to train up people in Drupal from all over the country.

Brian lived in Nashville at the time he started the program. He came to us with a not-so relevant degree in education, but made up for it with true desire, commitment and hard work. He dove straight into course curriculum as a star student from the first day. "His comprehension was very high, most likely because of his diligence and strong interest in the topics," says Mike Anello (@ultimike), who created and teaches the DCO. It also had a lot to do with his self-study before the class even started; delving into a roadmap of languages, frameworks, and workflows that Shaun provided and that he researched in preparation.

"During the training, I made it a point to watch all DCO webcasts before class to ensure that I retained the concepts. Mike also recommended additional courses and topics to look into which I took full advantage of," he explained. He also participated in every optional co-working lab during the course, and completed every assignment and project. Brian was very comfortable with his abilities, and once the course ended, skipped going for an internship and sent out applications and landed a full-time Drupal developer job almost immediately. Brian and his family later relocated from Tennessee to North Carolina for his current position, where he's found his niche in front-end development for Duke.

Even now, Brian is still eager to learn. "I try to attend the DrupalEasy office hours when it fits into my work schedule," he says. Mike holds Thursday office hours for all current and former students, to get information and help with issues, both from Mike and the others in the DrupalEasy learning community that's been formed. The learning community, especially former classmates are important to Brian as well. He keeps in touch with one fellow student several times a week, with whom he has also collaborated on Drupal projects and attend DrupalCamps together.

Brian maintains his status as a rising star in Drupal by seeking out professional development and Drupal learning as much as possible, attending local Drupal meetups as often as he can, participating in the Duke Drupal users group and going to camps and cons when he can. He also spends at least a couple of hours a week reading up on the newest trends in Drupal, although, he explains, "Fatherhood cuts into my reading time quite a bit."

According to Brian, "the best part of Drupal development is the satisfaction that comes with creating quality work. A close second would be the Drupal community." He set out with a goal for professional fulfillment and greater opportunities for his family. "My new Drupal career has allowed me to attend events throughout the country. The pay scale and benefits available to me now greatly outweigh those of a public school teacher. I also enjoy the ability to work remotely from home when needed. This flexibility is in stark contrast to my previous profession," he explains. Mission accomplished!

He also offers a bit of guidance for those looking to become Drupal developers. "My advice to someone learning Drupal is that you get what you put into it. If you sacrifice your time and energy, Drupal can be very rewarding. There's plenty of opportunities for those who are willing to work hard and push themselves." he explains. He continued, "I can't recommend DrupalEasy enough! It has opened so many doors for me and the instruction I received was second to none!"

The next session of Drupal Career Online starts in October. You can learn more about Drupal, Drupal Careers and our career training program at an upcoming Taste of Drupal free mini-webinar.

Chen Hui Jing: Drupal 101: Developing with Pantheon

Sun, 07/30/2017 - 02:00

Pantheon is a website management platform that is known for specialised Drupal and Wordpress services. It offers various tiers of service depending on your particular use-case. Developers can utilise a free account for all the necessary development work and charges will only kick in after deploying to production.

While it is possible to do your development work entirely on your local machine then migrating the site to Pantheon, there are some slight configuration differences between hosting on Pantheon versus your own bare-metal server. I found it easier to just start off the process on Pantheon to begin with.

All the basic stuff
  1. Sign up for a Pantheon account.

OhTheHugeManatee: Why No Mainstream PHP Speakers Come to Drupalcon - and How We're Changing That

Sat, 07/29/2017 - 17:01

I’ve learned something incredible as the PHP Track Chair for Drupalcon Vienna. The Drupal Association has no way to invite PHP speakers to Drupalcon.

This blew me away when I first learned about it. After all the work to bring mainstream PHP to Drupal core, after all the outreach to PHP-FIG, after all the talks Drupalists have given at major PHP conferences, how is this possible?

You see, basically every other PHP conference covers their speakers’ travel and accommodation costs. Drupalcon doesn’t, and never has. Historically it has to do with Drupalcon’s identity as a community conference, rather than a professional one. But it means the best PHP speakers never get to Drupalcon.

On one hand that’s great for our project: our speakers are all passionate volunteers! They’re specialists who care deeply about the project. On the other hand, it contributes to isolated, “stay on the island” thinking. If the only speakers we hear are Drupalists, where do we get new insights? If the only people at the BoF or code sprint table are Drupalists, how do we leverage the strengths of the broader PHP community? How do we contribute back? How do we grow?

Every year, the lack of financial support holds back major PHP contributors from speaking at Drupalcon. The maintainers of Composer, PHPUnit, and Guzzle want to come to Drupalcon, but we don’t make it possible. These people built and maintain the cornerstones of Drupal. Why do we hold them at arm’s length?

This year, as Drupalcon PHP Track Chair, I’m in a position to make some changes. So I invited two notable PHP speakers to come and join us at the con: Sebastian Bergmann, author of PHPUnit, and Michelle Sanver, president of @phpwomen. Today I’m announcing a very special GoFundMe campaign to pay the travel and accommodation for these two exceptional contributors.


I believe that Drupalists want to get off the island.

I believe in the benefits of closer cooperation with the PHP community.

I believe there’s a lot we can learn from these people, and a lot we can teach them too.

And I believe that I’m not the only one.

We’ve estimated costs conservatively; this is not a lot of money. Anything we collect above and beyond their needs will go to the Drupal Association, but let’s be honest with ourselves: this campaign isn’t just about bringing Sebastian and Michelle to Drupalcon. Your donation shows the Drupal Association that you want to welcome contributors from other communities. You prove to them that their constituents want to bring in this kind of speaker. When you donate, you stand up for the kind of community you believe in.

Please donate, share, and tweet the campaign today.


Because “get off the island” isn’t just about the code. It’s about the community.

fluffy.pro. Drupal Developer's blog: Changed Fields API

Sat, 07/29/2017 - 15:27
This is a simple API module for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 which allows developers to react on changed fields in a node when it was updated. For example, you want to modify node object depends on its field values. Or you just want to know what fields were changed. Or finally, you need to check the difference between old and new field values and do some other thing depending on this difference.
Read more »

Dries Buytaert: Acquia a leader in 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 21:23

I'm on vacation this week, and I've been trying to disconnect and soak up time with my family. However, I had to make an exception to write a quick but exciting blog post, as Acquia was named a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. This marks Acquia's placement as a leader for the fourth year in a row, solidifying our position as one of the top three vendors in Gartner's report.

Acquia recognized as a top 3 leader, next to Adobe and Sitecore, in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.

Early in my career I didn't fully understand or value the role of industry analysts like Gartner. Experience has taught me that strong analyst reports provide credibility and expose vendors to new markets and customers. It's easy to underestimate the importance of this kind of recognition for Acquia, and by extension for Drupal. If you're not familiar with the role of analyst firms, you can think of it this way: if you want to find a good coffee place, you use Yelp. If you want to find a nice hotel in New York, you use TripAdvisor. Similarly, if a CIO or CMO wants to spend $250,000 or more on enterprise software, they consult an analyst firm like Gartner. Large enterprises continue to rely heavily on leading analyst firms.

This year's report further cements Acquia's position as an industry leader as we received the highest marks for Cloud Capability and Architecture. The report further highlights how Acquia enables our customers to use Drupal to the fullest extent. We enhance Drupal with services like Acquia Lift that empower organizations to not only meet the needs of their customers, but to be ambitious with digital. Today, a variety of organizations, ranging from DocuSign to the Tennessee Department of Tourism are using Acquia Lift to create significant value for their businesses.

In addition to tools like Acquia Lift, Gartner also highlighted the flexibility inherent to Acquia's platform. Acquia's emphasis on Open APIs, ranging from Drupal 8's API-first initiative to APIs for Acquia Cloud, Acquia Site Factory, and Acquia Lift, allows organizations to deliver critical capabilities faster and better integrated in their existing environments. For example, Wilson Sporting Goods delivers experiential commerce by marrying the abilities of Drupal and Magento, while Acquia supports Motorola's partnership with Demandware.

Our tenure as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management has enabled organizations across every industry to take a closer look at Acquia and Drupal. Organizations like Nasdaq, Pfizer, The City of Boston, and the YMCA continue to demonstrate the advantages of evolving their operating models with Drupal in comparison to our proprietary counterparts. Everyday, I get to witness firsthand how incredible and influential brands are shaping the world with Acquia and Drupal, and our standing in the Gartner Magic Quadrant reinforces that.

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8 core release window on Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 19:42
Start:  2017-08-01 12:00 - 2017-08-03 12:00 UTC Organizers:  catch cilefen xjm Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

The monthly core patch (bug fix) release window is this Wednesday, August 02. Drupal 8.3.6 will be released with dozens of fixes for Drupal 8. Drupal 8.4.0-alpha1 will also be released sometime during the week to begin preparation for the upcoming minor release in October. There will be no Drupal 7 bugfix release this month.

To ensure a reliable release window for the patch release, there will be a Drupal 8.3.x commit freeze from 12:00 UTC Tuesday to 12:00 UTC Thursday. Now is a good time to update your development/staging servers to the latest 8.3.x-dev code and help us catch any regressions in advance. If you do find any regressions, please report them in the issue queue. Thanks!

To see all of the latest changes that will be included in the release, see the 8.3.x commit log.

Other upcoming core release windows after this week include:

  • Wednesday, August 16 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, September 06 (patch release window)
  • Wednesday, October 5 (scheduled minor release)

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, as well as the Drupal core release cycle overview.

Lullabot: Pantheon Adds Free HTTPS For All Sites!

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 15:30

Pantheon is rolling out free HTTPS to all their websites—great news for the Drupal community since HTTPS is tremendously important, and Pantheon now provides an easy and free alternative to buttoning up your Drupal site with HTTPS. 

HTTPS is critical these days. I wrote a series of articles about HTTPS earlier this year, HTTPS Everywhere: Security is Not Just for Banks, HTTPS Everywhere: Quick Start With Cloudflare, and HTTPS Everywhere: Deep Dive Into Making the Switch.

As I noted in those articles, HTTPS is important for the privacy of your site users as well as the security of the site itself. And it's increasingly important in SEO.

Pantheon partnered with Fastly to deliver traffic across their edge cloud platform, and they integrated Let's Encrypt to provide HTTPS free to all sites on their platform. As a result, sites will run even faster, and content will be delivered even closer to users. As they say,"HTTPS on Pantheon is now automatic and free—forever."

All Pantheon sites are now automatically:

  • Distributed across 36 global points of presence (POPs)
  • Issued HTTPS certificates for free 
  • Getting an instant 2x boost in performance, at minimum

Pantheon provides details about how to take advantage of the HTTPS change. New sites will be set up on HTTPS automatically. Existing sites may need to make a small change to your DNS configuration and add some configuration to settings.php. Note that existing sites will be rolled out gradually. If you don't see a single "Domains/HTTPS" tab in your dashboard, your site hasn't been updated yet. Contact Pantheon, and they'll take care of it.

In my HTTPS series, I talked about the process of using a free Cloudflare account to add HTTPS to a Drupal site hosted on Pantheon. Any site set up as described in that article is ready for the Pantheon change, and will not need to make changes to DNS and settings.php file. They should have been configured correctly as a part of setting the site up to use Cloudflare. The only change needed to switch from Cloudflare to using Pantheon's CDN is to go to the "DNS" page on Cloudflare and toggle the orange cloud icon, so it is gray instead of orange. That will indicate that Cloudflare is no longer providing the proxy service, only DNS.

I tried this out on my own Pantheon site. I had set it up using Cloudflare's free SSL option. Since I already made the necessary DNS changes as a part of that change, the switch to Pantheon's new CDN was seamless. I only had to contact them to tell them I was ready to switch, wait for the changes to propagate, go to Cloudflare and toggle their CDN off, and a few minutes later I could see that my site was serving HTTPS using the Pantheon certificate. After this change, Cloudflare is still providing my DNS services, but not my SSL certificate.

I commend Pantheon for adding free HTTPS to their platform!

agoradesign: Drupal quick tip of the day: the "autocompleteclose" event

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:30
Today I want to introduce you to the lesser known "autocompleteclose" event that you can use for Ajax callbacks in Drupal's Form API.

Drop Guard: Setting up Drop Guard as a bigger agency - an experience report

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 13:30
Setting up Drop Guard as a bigger agency - an experience report

When it comes to new tools, different workflows or any other kind of process changes, a company needs to ensure that the changes happen as smooth and resource saving as possible. 
Drop Guard will undergo some big improvements this year to keep this switch for our users, developers, small Drupal shops and big agencies, as simple as possible. Besides outside-feedback from customers, we always love to hear the thoughts of our own team members. This time, we want to share an interview with our web developer Serkan Bekdemir, who’s now responsible for the Drop Guard usage in our own company, Bright Solutions

Enjoy a scoop of honest critique and suggestions!

Business Drupal Drupal Planet Drupal shops

Chapter Three: How to Migrate Posts from Wordpress to Drupal 8

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 05:24

In this post I will show you how to migrate thumbnail content from Wordpress to Drupal 8. My goals are to help you better understand the content migration process, give you starting point for future migrations, and teach you how to write process plugins and migration sources. Taxonomy terms and users migration is more straightforward so I won't cover it here.

This migration example contains templates to migrate thumbnails content. For this post, I assume the image/thumbnail field is using the Media module field. I will be using the Migrate drush module to run migrations.

First, make sure to configure your connection in your settings.php file. Add the following with proper credentials:

Redfin Solutions: Installing D8 Contrib Modules

Fri, 07/28/2017 - 03:28
Installing D8 Contrib Modules

In Drupal 8 there are a handful of ways you can install contrib modules to your project and here we’ll discuss some of the pros and cons of each.

Brett July 27, 2017

Himanshu Dixit | Blog: Week 8: GSoC 17 Creating More Social Auth Implementers

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 22:19
Week 8: GSoC 17 Creating More Social Auth Implementers himanshu-dixit Fri, 07/28/2017 - 01:49

Texas Creative: Block Exclude Pages Module (Drupal 8)

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 18:15

The improved blocks system in Drupal 8 provides a lot of flexibility to the site builder. But, have you ever had the problem of blocks showing on undesired pages because of the limits to visibility patterns?

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Manifesto: Exciting new in-core features in Drupal 8.3.x

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 11:11
As far as Drupal minor releases go, 8.3.x is a pretty major one. A whole host of new features have been brought into the open source content management system, and some experimental modules have been updated since the last iteration. Here’s a brief rundown of what’s new, what’s been updated, and how each new feature. Continue reading...

Drupal core announcements: Experimental Modules' status towards Drupal 8.4.0 release

Thu, 07/27/2017 - 09:56

Starting in Drupal 8, we've added the notion of Experimental Modules, to help provide an early look at core features which are not yet complete. A major focus of Drupal 8.4.0 has been stabilizing these experimental modules, so that they can "graduate" to stable modules which can be installed in production and leveraged by other core and contrib modules.

Here's a document that outlays the current status of each experimental module, as well as their goals with respect to the forthcoming 8.4.0 alpha deadline (which is this coming Monday, July 31). If you're looking for a productive way to help your favourite initiative during 8.4.0's alpha/beta/RC phase, check it out!

Here's the TL;DR:

  • Content Moderation: Move from alpha to beta
  • Workflow: Move from alpha to beta
  • DateTime Range: Move to stable
  • Inline Form Errors: Move to stable
  • Layout Discovery: Move to stable
  • Media Entity: Move to stable (so contrib can rely on it), but hide module from UI (so end users don't accidentally turn this on solo, as it causes UX regressions)
  • Migrate / Migrate UI: Get as close to stable as possible.
  • Place Block: Hide module from UI (so end users don't turn it on), propose instead as patch to Block module for 8.5.0
  • Settings Tray: Move from alpha to beta