rachel_norfolk: Once in a while…

Once in a while…

My summer house by the river, where I work
Once in a while, an opportunity comes along that is so interesting I simply cannot say no. Almost four years ago to the day, that opportunity was to join the Drupal Association as its first Community Liaison. Indeed, I even came up with the title whilst serving on the Drupal Community Working Group.

Working in the Drupal Association has been a wonderful experience, where I have had the pleasure to work with some of the most amazing people I have ever had as colleagues and friends.

Rachel
Wed, 11/03/2021 – 16:06

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Redfin Solutions: Accessible Website Design and Why It Matters

Is your website WCAG compliant? The Web Content Accessibility Guideline (WCAG) is an internationally recognized set of guidelines that can help ensure your website is adhering to accessibility best practices. After all, it’s important that the people who view your website can complete tasks that align with your organization’s goals.


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Tag1 Consulting: David Strauss on 20 Years of Drupal

In this installment of our 20 years of Drupal series, David joins Tag1 Managing Director Michael Meyers to talk about his experience in making contributions – not just upfront contributions like Bakery, but the ones he considers even more important – the behind the scenes performance enhancements and integrations that have helped make Drupal what it is today.

lynette@tag1co…
Wed, 11/03/2021 – 06:47


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Specbee: Top 11 Tips and Tricks to Optimize Content for People and Search Engines

Top 11 Tips and Tricks to Optimize Content for People and Search Engines
Suganthi
03 Nov, 2021

As you know, content is one of the most important ranking factors of your website, but it’s the unique and well optimized content that ranks higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). We’ll get into optimizing, but we’d be skipping a step if we didn’t note that before you get started writing and optimizing your content, the first thing to do is to identify the purpose of it. Some examples might be to gain more backlinks, rank in SERPs, educate your users, drive social engagement or generate leads. Once you’ve identified your purpose, you can move on to content optimization which is, luckily, one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO ranking. In this article, you will learn about our top 11 tips and tricks on writing optimized content for your audience and search engines. 
Content Optimization 

1. Target Keywords Steal the Spotlight

  • Keyword Research 
  • Determine the keywords related to your content
  • Understand about supporting content
  • Target content to specific keywords

When you plan on writing an article or piece of content, the first thing to do is thorough keyword research. Keyword research will help you determine the set of keywords being searched about your topic. Once you find the keywords you’ll be targeting, you will have to define what kind of content you are going to write. Is it pillar content (content you will use to establish authority) or supporting copy based on other content? With the content type decided, you can map the keywords. 

For keyword research there are multiple tools available online like Google Keyword planner, Moz keyword explorer, etc. If you target your content to a specific keyword from the start it will help your rank. Use those tools for keyword research and decide what works as supporting content and what could work as main cornerstone content.

2. Keywords for your Key Tags

  • Use target keywords
  • Main keyword at the start of the title
  • Description – Main keyword and informative

Your key tags are the Title and the Meta description tags. They’re one of the best places to target your keyword. Add your targeted keyword in the first half of the title. In the second half of the title you can use different variants to increase the click through rate.

Meta description is an important element for a well optimized page. Your meta description can help increase the click through rate by making it clear to the visitor what your content is about. You’ll also want to make sure to include your target keyword in the description. It’s a tricky balance, but it should be written in a way that encourages users to click on your page as well as drive the users intent with a call to action. Remember to keep the meta description under 160 characters and title tag under 60 characters to avoid truncation.

3. Writing Friendly URLs

  • Search engine friendly and Understandable URL structure
  • Avoid complex & confusing structure
  • Use short & keyword optimized URL

URLs should be understandable for humans as well as for search engines. Use clean, search engine friendly URL structure with the target keyword(s) included in the URL. The URL must be short and, just by glancing at the URL, your visitors and search engines should understand what your content is about. Try to use 3 to 5 words in the URL. If it’s longer than that, you likely won’t get much credit with Google’s algorithm.

4. The Importance of Header Tags & Content

  • Title in H1 tag
  • Subheadings in H2, H3,…..H6
  • Use target keyword in the first paragraph
  • Use bullet points

In most Content Management Systems (CMS) like Drupal, WordPress, etc. H1 tags are used as the main title of the page. To write a good optimized title, use the target keyword in a title that describes your content in a way that encourages users to read it.

Now that you have used the H1 tag for your title, use the H2 tag for subheadings and H3 to H6 tags for other subheadings.

It is extremely important to use the main target keywords within the content and it’s good practice to have it in the first paragraph. Here’s the hardest part – placing your target keywords naturally within the content flow. Never force it by writing hard-to-read content for the sake of including the keyword. One thing to consider is using bullet points to make important things readable and understandable for the visitor.

5. Use Optimized Visual Content

  • Make content easier to read – Use Infographics
  • Use optimized images
  • Embed videos from youtube, vimeo and other video streaming platforms.

It probably goes without saying that images and videos are a great way to make your content consumable. Visual content also engages the audience and helps increase the visit time. Specifically, infographic images or videos in your content will have the biggest impact.

The downside to this is that visual content can make your website heavy. Try to compress the images before uploading and give proper and relevant alternate text for the images and videos. Embedding videos from Youtube, Vimeo or any other streaming platforms instead of uploading video to your server will help reduce page load time. A well optimized video and image will help improve the site performance and load the page faster.

6. Link It

  • Link to relevant source
  • Link to anything that adds value to the user
  • Use keywords in the anchor text

Internal linking is one of the most important factors in creating content. Internal links will help users and search engines navigate to relevant subtopics. In most cases, you’ll want to use relevant target keywords in the anchor text to interlink the pages within your site.

That said, don’t be afraid of linking to external sources. You should link to any external sources that provide value to your content. For example, if you are using a statistic, it is always a good idea to link back to the source. In fact, linking external sources will help search engines to understand the relevancy of your content and thus boost your SEO ranking.

7. Responsive Designs

Since Google has moved to mobile first indexing, it’s critical that your content is responsive on mobile devices. If your site is already responsive or has a mobile version then make sure to test out how your content is getting displayed across mobile devices. In most cases it’s more important for your content to look correct there than on a desktop.

8. Accelerated Page Speed

As you may already know, page speed is one of the important ranking factors for mobile search. To put it simply, your page needs to load fast. Keep in mind that images and videos play a major role in page speed, so try to optimize all your visual content on the page.

You can use GTmetrix and Google’s page speed insight tools to check your page speed. They also give suggestions for improvement.

9. Content Quality or Quantity?

  • Enough depth to properly cover the topic
  • Unique & educational content
  • Conclusion/Final thoughts

When it comes to how many words your content should contain there’s no right or wrong answer. The reality is you shouldn’t worry about the length of the content. Just try to cover your topic in depth and always focus on quality rather than quantity. 

Hopefully it doesn’t need to be said, but publish unique content that educates your users and serves the users intent for visiting. At the end of your writing, add a conclusion or final thoughts which helps support that the content is structured properly.

10. Make them Click

Though it is not considered as a ranking factor, it’s important to have a call to action in the content. For example, if your goal is to get visitors to want to know more about you or to work with your organization, the ability for them to do so should be extremely obvious and easy. You can provide a contact form, email id, phone number or a subscribe form near the top or wherever is easily viewable in the page. Even if you’re doing well on your SEO, poor call to action can waste all that good traffic.

11. Socially Shareable

Adding social share buttons in the content will give your users the option to directly share the content with their social network. Most of the CMSes like Drupal provide an option to have social share buttons once you publish the content. If not, you can get it added to your website. A couple things you’ll need to make sure to include are optimized social meta tags with OpenGraph and Twitter card tags. Always test that the correct image and descriptions are shown in social media while sharing the content.

 


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ImageX: Don’t Lose Your Head: How to Know if a Decoupled Website is Right for You

Decoupled websites — also commonly known as headless sites — are all the rage in the web development industry right now. Touted as the best option if you want a creative, compelling, user-friendly site, decoupled websites do offer some interesting advantages. And since you’re always looking for the best way to reach your audience, it stands to reason that you want to explore whether this latest trend can help you reach your marketing goals more effectively.

But don’t let the hype sway you just yet. Before investing in a headless solution, you need to explore whether a decoupled website will truly support your business needs.


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Gábor Hojtsy: Drupal 8 is end of life today: the compendium

It is hard to believe that almost 6 years passed since Drupal 8.0.0’s release on November 19th 2015. What feels like it was just yesterday, Drupal 8 brought lots of amazing new things to the platform. Near and dear to my heart was full multilingual support that I worked on with over 1600 people for several years. Also stars of the Drupal 8 show were the vastly improved configuration management system, Views in core, built-in web service support, more semantic markup, in-place editing, PHPUnit integration, better caching, improved accessibility, even aural announcements for page changes, and so on and on. Drupal 8 embraced collaboration within the PHP ecosystem and beyond with our use of Symfony, Twig, Guzzle and gradually embraced application of Composer.

But I think even more profound was the change of innovation models, where Drupal 8 started to allow feature additions in a backwards compatible manner and thus the inclusion of amazing new features like Layout Builder, Media Library, BigPipe, Settings Tray, Content Moderation, Inline form errors, JSON:API and even the Umami demo all after Drupal 8.0.0 shipped. Some of these were developed in stages thanks to the possibility to include experimental projects in core as well. This allowed us to make Drupal 8 itself much better without needing to do a new major version. In fact the major version bump turned to be a technicality where being on Drupal 8.9 or 9.0 was not giving you shiny benefits anymore, other than keeping you on the train of innovation.

So today Drupal 8’s life ends as innovation continues on the Drupal 9 train.

In the past 8 days I did a countdown post series to give short tips for dealing with this end of life. I suggest you look back if you did not read them yet:

  1. Adoption drive to get projects new maintainers that did not yet update to Drupal 9. If you can adopt a project or two, that would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Use composer to at least check for Drupal 9 compatibility, ideally convert your site to it. If you did not try composer recently, version 2 is leaps and bounds ahead of version 1 and its worth a try!
  3. For modules that are not compatible you still need to use workarounds. The recently introduced lenient composer endpoint provides the most consistent solution for all projects.
  4. For your own code and your drupal.org projects, automated code fixes are the way to go towards Drupal 9. No need to find and fix problems manually when you can automate most of it.
  5. If you need to use an older MySQL/Percona/MariaDB database, there is a way. This should make it easier to adopt Drupal 9 if you were holding off updating your database backend.
  6. If you are on Drupal 8.8 or before, you are already on end of life software. The key to a fast Drupal 8 to 9 upgrade is to keep your Drupal 8 site up to date.
  7. How soon do you need to do this update again? Drupal 9 end of life is in 2023. And Drupal 10 end of life will depend on its componens’ end of lives as well.
  8. So you are still on Drupal 8, what happens now? Nothing will break immediately, but its best to keep moving forward on your upgrade plans.

I hope this series of tips were useful to read. It was certainly an eventful 8 days to write and post them. See you on Drupal 9!


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Matt Glaman: PHPStan 1.0 and phpstan-drupal 1.0!

Congratulations to Ondřej for releasing PHPStan 1.0 today! Years ago, folks weren’t thinking very much about static analysis in PHP. PHPStan’s first release was back in July 2016, with Vimeo’s Psalm released shortly later in November. Now static analysis of PHP code is a hot topic, and PHPStan has become a defacto tool in a developers toolset.

Thanks to sponsored live streaming sponsor Esteemed, I contributed two fixes to PHPStan that’ll help out folks as we prepare to move onto PHP 8.


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Talking Drupal: Talking Drupal #319 – Backdrop CMS

Today we are talking about Backdrop with Jen Lampton.

TalkingDrupal.com/319

Topics

  • Nic – Vacation
  • April – need new shelves for Lego Harry Potter
  • Jen – Heirloom tomatoes and too much rain
  • John – Personal website / blog
  • Backdrop CMS Elevator pitch
  • Difference between Drupal and Backdrop
  • Why choose Backdrop over Drupal
  • Matt Glaman on twitter
    • General challenges of growing a fork’s identity
    • Challenges in being thrifty
  • Biggest milestones in the last two years
    • New core committers
    • 7 releases with new features
      • Layouts
      • File browser
      • Lazy loading images
      • Config overrides
      • Telemetry
    • Backdrop Live events
  • More listener questions (Matt Glaman)
    • Contributor community
    • Companies specializing in Backdrop
  • Wider adoption as D7 approaches EoL
  • Wider adoption as D9 approaches EoL
  • Ease of migration from D7
    • Easier than migrating D7 to D9
  • More listener questions (Matt Glaman)
    • Marketing challenges
  • Anything that you would do differently after 6 years
  • Philosophy
  • Biggest upcoming features
  • Telemetry

Resources

Guests

Jen Lampton – Jeneration Web Development @jenlampton

Hosts

Nic Laflin – www.nLighteneddevelopment.com @nicxvan John Picozzi – www.epam.com @johnpicozzi April Sides – @weekbeforenext

MOTW

CKEditor CodeSnippet


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