Drupal is among the most effective content management solutions available to businesses today. Its benefits range far and wide, from its open source nature to the countless available modules and scalability. Any geek interested in a new CMS should at least consider this open source solution.
At the same time, any Drupal implementation has to follow a strategic process to ensure success. Without that process, you risk running head-first into a brick wall with no helmet. To get you started, consider this article your guide a successful Drupal Implementation.
5 Key to Success in Implementing Drupal
As mentioned above, implementing Drupal needs to be strategic in order to be successful. To take advantage of its many benefits, you have to make sure that you approach the project with the future in mind. These 5 keys can help ensure a successful Drupal implementation.
- Implement a Cashing Solution. When implemented, Drupal’s internal cashing solution ensures that your website always loads quickly for your audience. Make sure you keep the necessarily configuration in mind as you develop your site.
- Keep the Drupal Core in Place. Customizing Drupal should not mean changing the base core. To make sure you run a stable solution, keep that core in place and use modules for your customization needs.
- Choose Your Modules Wisely. Speaking of modules, it’s easy to get tempted by the countless available options. But you have to make sure that you only choose modules actively supported and current, preventing potential security and site breakdowns.
- Keep Your Drupal Version Up-to-Date. The smartest thing to do in the course of your implementation is to update Drupal to the latest proven version. In other words, find the version that has already been successfully used but already has the latest fixes in place. Waiting six months after the initial release of a new version is a good rule of thumb.
- Select the Perfect Host. Finally, make sure you can find a hosting service that will serve your website reliably and consistently. Downtimes can kill websites, and security risks can be just as dicey. Work with your web developer on making sure the host you choose fits your needs.
10 Mistakes Your Drupal Implementation Should Avoid
Of course, the above 5 keys to success are not all you should keep in mind. In addition, it’s easy to make mistakes in the course of your implementation that could come back to haunt you. Avoiding the most common Drupal implementation mistakes helps to keep your project on pace for success.
- Picking the wrong host. Unless you are prepared for regular down times or slow page load times, don’t underestimate the importance of the host.
- Not enabling cashing. Both page and server side cashing will help to improve your website performance, and avoids losing potentially significant revenue.
- Changing Drupal core files and themes. Don’t mess with a good thing. For customization, use Drupal functions or subthemes instead.
- Neglecting a backup plan. Regular manual or automated backups are crucial to ensure that if the worst case scenario occurs, you’re well prepared.
- Waiting for content after the implementation. Your content should drive your CMS development, not the other way around. Think about your content strategy early, then implement Drupal accordingly.
- Using non-supported or maintained modules. This could lead to an unstable and even unsecure site. Only use updated, well-maintained modules instead.
- Ignoring site security. From spam blocking to your host’s firewall, security should be one of your biggest priority during your Drupal implementation.
- Ignoring comment sections. If any part of your site allows for comments, you need a solution in place that helps to regular them.
- Keeping SEO to the basics. Drupal offers some internal SEO tools, but it makes sense to go beyond those. Google Webmaster Tools should be a crucial part of your arsenal to optimize your website for search.
5 Security Modules that Keep Your Website Safe
Most of the above mistakes lead to slower load times, a more drawn-out implementation process, and potential down times. Security, though, can become an even more significant issue if you do not prioritize it in the course of your Drupal implementation. Here are 5 modules that help you keep security in mind at all times.
- Password Policy. This module can help you anytime your users need to set or remember a password. Set individualized constrains, or automated expiration dates to keep data safe at all times.
- Security Kit. This module offers security under four major categories: cross-site scripting, cross-site request forgery, clickjacking, and SSL/TLS. As a result, you lower the risk of exploitation via a number of potential sources.
- Security Review. This is a perfect module to check the base security of your Drupal website. Based on its reports, you can make quick and efficient changes to improve site security.
- Username Enumeration Prevention. This module offers simply protection from ‘trial and error’ hackers. It disables the automated message that occurs when a correct username was entered with a wrong password, protecting your user’s names in the process.
- Generate Password. As the name suggests, this module helps you create ‘hidden’ generic passwords for new users that will be more difficult to breach. You can set the rules on the complexity of these passwords, and allow your users to change them to more custom alternatives after the fact.
The many benefits of Drupal make it the perfect CMS for a wide range of business. But of course, you have to make sure you get through the implementation process first. The above guide can help you get started, making sure that your finished product is beautiful, loads quickly, and keeps any user data secure at all times.
As a CMS, Drupal continues to rise quickly in popularity and functionality. As such, it’s of particular interest for any geek or computer expert even tangentially involved in website design and technology. To learn more about similar topics, contact us.