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Using Drupal to Support Web Accessibility in Higher Education

Web accessibility in higher education is not a new topic. For over 15 years most institutions have been working to insure that their web accessibility adheres to the standards and protocols set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1998 (even though 508, as written, does not automatically apply to institutions of higher education, even those that receive federal funding). And certainly before the benchmark of 508 came around colleges and universities have been leaders in making sure that technology usage around campus supported the diverse needs of the entire community. In fact... Plus

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 3: Performance


Performance is crucial for providing a great user experience. If the site is slow or balky, even great functionality won’t keep the site visitor engaged.

Photo: The Bad place by NeilsPhotography (CC BY 2.0)
Best Practices

The first action for improving performance is analyzing what the website is doing. With the answer to this question, optimize as much as possible, then implement caching.

Analyze—Tools:
Devel for viewing database queries which run on each... Plus

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Streetline Wants to Make Smart Cities a Reality
Do you remember the last time you struggled for what seemed like an eternity to find a parking spot? One way streets. No right turn signs. If only there was a better way to find a parking spot. Well, Streetline believes they have the answer. Streetline uses sensors to deliver parking availability data to their app, informing users not only about the... Plus

Ryan Weaver on synergies in Drupal, Symfony2, and PHP


Part 1 of a 2-part conversation with Ryan Weaver from SymfonyCon Warsaw 2013 in which we touch on the great Symfony documentation and its team, discovering the power of community in open source (instead of doing it all yourself), Symfony2 components in Drupal 8 bringing the two communities together, the advantages (present and future) of loose coupling in Drupal 8's architecture, the next big thing, and more!

Ryan Weaver is the single biggest contributor to the Symfony2 framework's documentation (... Plus

Announcing Acquia Lift

Topic: DrupalAcquiaToday, the web is not just about publishing content anymore. As the web evolves from content management to digital experience management, it's about understanding visitors' interests and preferences, and figuring out how to deliver them an optimal personalized experience. Many... Plus

Introducing Acquia Lift: Website Personalization for Drupal Made Easy

Today’s an exciting day for Acquia with the launch of our new product, Acquia Lift. Acquia Lift is a new personalization product designed specifically for Drupal. There are lots of personalization products in the market, and you may even be using one today, but if you are running a Drupal site, you need to take a look at Acquia Lift.
Here are four reasons I’m excited about Lift:
1) Acquia Lift is designed for Drupal
With Acquia Lift, marketers can easily create, iterate, and optimize content directly within Drupal... Plus

Don’t wait to migrate. Drupal continuous migration

Whether you are just moving to Drupal or upgrading to a new version of Drupal, if you are starting with an existing website, you are facing the same problem: Your migration timeline. It will take you significant effort to move everything you have to the new system and you cannot play catch-up all the time. That’s why many people are opting for continuous migration. What does that mean? Run the migration project in parallel to your existing website effort and migrate gradually, page by page and URL by URL. New functionality is done in the new system, old functionality stays until it’s time to... Plus

3 Keys to Taking Your E-Commerce Site Global

Cloud-based platforms and services have made going global more of a plug-and-play proposition than ever before. You can plug specialized modules into your workflow that let you translate content, run analytics, edit across websites and more, without leaving your CMS.
The remaining challenges are more strategic in nature. Here are three things that you should know before diving in:
1. The world doesn’t revolve around the English language
To maximize your website or online business, you need to offer at least two language options to visitors to your site. The global population is not made up of... Plus

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 2: Security


Good security practices protect your site from hacker attacks. In this article we'll look at some methods for reducing security risks on your site. 

Drupal Security Best Practices

Drupal has good security built in if used correctly. However, once you begin to configure your site you might introduce new security issues. Plan configuration so that only trusted users have permissions that involve security risks.

Keep core and contrib modules updated

You may not opt to do some module updates if the fixes or improvements have no direct effect on your site, however you should... Plus

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Best practices for creating and driving social commerce experiences
As the increasingly social nature of the internet continues to alter the world of commerce, the most recent changes have seen the consumer take a more active role—a partnership role—in producing and consuming a brand’s content or services. In the past, user testing held a prominent place in many brands’ product development... Plus

Best practices for creating and driving social commerce experiences

As the increasingly social nature of the internet continues to alter the world of commerce, the most recent changes have seen the consumer take a more active role—a partnership role—in producing and consuming a brand’s content or services.
My most recent blog looked at how social commerce has defined the purchase process into three phases. In this blog, I’ll look at how social commerce is impacting the creation and consumption of products and services.
In the past, user testing held a prominent place in many brands’... Plus

The Power of Drupal Multi-site Part 2: Hosting Infrastructure

In my previous post, I wrote about how multisite is a powerful mechanism for code management. In this post, I am going to talk about how to manage multi-site at an infrastructure level, and the considerations you should take when deciding upon your site architecture.
Gotchas and misconceptions
It's important to remember that multi-site is a way of managing code, not for deploying it - all of the scalability best practice that years of Drupal hosting has taught us applies as much to multi-site as it does to multi-docroot. You could have a single multi-site... Plus

Getting Started with Forms in Drupal 8

Cross-posted with permission from Drupalize.Me
Forms are an essential part of any web application. They are the primary mechanism for collecting input from our users, and without them Drupal wouldn't be very useful. As such, they're also one of the first things people want to learn when they start learning Drupal. Forms are fundamental to creating Drupal modules, whether you're asking someone to leave a review of your video or giving an administrator the option to turn JavaScript aggregation off.
Form... Plus

Ruben Teijeiro explains why Drupal is easy


This week's podcast is parts of a fun conversation I had with Ruben Teijeiro at Drupal Camp Vienna in December 2013. I "borrowed" him from mentoring Manuela Hutter at the code sprint to talk with me, but in the end, they both still managed to get a lot done that weekend. Thanks for your contributions, folks!

Ruben's description of himself on his Twitter page... Plus

2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend- Meet the Sprinters

The weekend of January 25 was the 2014 Global Sprint for Drupal 8 and at Genuine Interactive in Boston, we had over 40 people get together to contribute to the Drupal community and help prepare Drupal 8 for beta release. Running off of Genuine's espresso machine (which uses Linux), I helped with what I could in terms of documentation and other grammatical reviews that needed attention for Drupal Core.
With it being my first sprint, I was really excited to meet the sprinters and really understand why they are involved with Drupal. Here are a few sprinters I interviewed from this weekend!
Mike... Plus

A Successful 2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend at Genuine with Acquia

Cross-posted with permission from Genuine Interactive
Recently, Genuine hosted the 2014 Global Drupal 8 Sprint Weekend and Acquia co-sponsored the event with about 30 attendees. Drupalists from Boston and the New England area came together to work on issues to push Drupal 8 for beta release. And for those who couldn’t make it to Genuine’s office, participated via Google Hangout.

The event was a great success with contributors working all day to fix... Plus

Top 3 Ways Online Support Communities Provide Value

Call centers, chat sessions, direct emails. These are effective methods of supporting developer communities. The advantages of replacing them with the social support of online communities, though, is a matter of simple math. In addition to lowering the costs of supporting developers, studies have shown that leveraging online communities also has the benefit of increasing customer satisfaction. After all, who better to troubleshoot your issue? A developer who dealt with the same issue a week ago, or someone either struggling to find the answer in a training manual or trying to dredge up second... Plus

5 Mistakes to Avoid on your Drupal Website - Number 1: Architecture

Drupal is one of the most flexible content management systems in existence. In this blog series, I'll go over five mistakes to avoid on your Drupal website which include: architecture, security, performance, infrastructure, and website lifecycle management.
Hat tip to my colleague Ryan MacInnis for prompting me to write this up!
From an architecture standpoint, these are the most vital decisions you'll make to ensure the success and performance of your Drupal website.
How you structure content
How you configure the display
How you organize functionality
Architecture: Content
Content is the... Plus

All Commerce is Social: The 3 Phases of Purchase

Way back in 1999 -- a thousand years ago in internet years -- writer and designer named Darcy DiNucci coined the phrase Web 2.0. This marked the beginning of the web as a social experience, eventually altering commerce so that today customers can be brand advocates who play a crucial role in building your business.
You already know that your customers are talking about your brand on social media platforms, posting images from your product pages to Pinterest, and checking reviews. The brick-and-mortar and virtual commerce experiences have become so intertwined that customers sometimes even... Plus

This fortnight in Drupal core: February 8, 2014

What's new with Drupal 8?
It's been a remarkable couple of weeks for Drupal 8, with several landmark changes, a global sprint, and a surge in core issue queue activity.
Global sprint weekend
The second Global Sprint Weekend was held January 25-26. Over 400 sprinters participated at 39 locations on six continents, with others participating remotely in IRC. Some quick core issue queue statistics from the sprint timeframe:
80 new Drupal 8 core issues created
553 Drupal 8 patches submitted
2468 comments posted on 646 Drupal 8 issues
113 Drupal 8... Plus

Keeping Pace with DigitalDisruption.com

Here are some of the past week's highlights from DigitalDisruption.com, Acquia's portal for examining the impact of digital disruption.
Steve Wozniak shares insights on future, and past
What’s on the mind of, Steve Wozniak, the man who holds the patent for “microcomputer for use with video display?” Not surprisingly for the man who built the first MacIntosh computer, he’s thinking about the usability of technology, specifically wearable technology.... Plus

“The Force” is with Twitter’s Brand Strategist at Apps World

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption
SAN FRANCISCO - The dust has settled and the inflatable Android blow-up dolls have been put away...Apps World North America is officially over.
I finished Day 2 with probably the best talk I heard this week, given by Marc Heedt of Twitter. The brand strategist and social TV specialist for the online social networking platform, Heedt talked about how TV and Twitter are the “force multiplier” in the second screen experience.
“We’re seeing... Plus

Mobile is Changing the Game for Sephora

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption
SAN FRANCISCO- While you may be familiar with Sephora as the cosmetic store at the local mall, the beauty chain is very comfortable in the virtual marketplace as well, concentrating on social and mobile platforms.
I had the chance to catch up with Danny Sullivan, vice president of mobile for Sephora, while attending Day 2 of Apps World North America. I asked Sullivan to talk about how Sephora is approaching mobile and utilizing responsive design.... Plus

Apps World North America: Day 1 Recap

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption
After eight hours of panels, startup and app presentations, and a keynote by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, day 1 of Apps World North America is complete. Here are some of the highlights:
Steve Wozniak's Keynote
Right off the bat, Wozniak urged the crowd of about 8,000 to really think about what it means to be innovative. He pointed out that IBM had claimed to have been an innovative brand for 20 years, but more... Plus

Steve Wozniak shares insights on future, and past

Cross-posted with permission from Digital Disruption
SAN FRANCISCO -- What’s on the mind of, Steve Wozniak, the man who holds the patent for “microcomputer for use with video display?” Not surprisingly for the man who built the first MacIntosh computer, he’s thinking about the usability of technology, specifically wearable technology.

“Wearable tech is something that is huge today,” the personal computing pioneer who has come to be known simply as “Woz,” told me, adding, “But I think its... Plus

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