Development News

ADCI Solutions: Why migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 02:58

This is the final educational article on Drupal 8 migration

Here we will tackle the topic of migrating from Drupal 7. The love is not gone, but we cannot neglect the fact that Drupal 8 can provide many more benefits for business.

Read Why migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

 

ADCI Solutions: Why migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 02:58

This is the final educational article on Drupal 8 migration

Here we will tackle the topic of migrating from Drupal 7. The love is not gone, but we cannot neglect the fact that Drupal 8 can provide many more benefits for business.

Read Why migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

 

Dries Buytaert: Acquia retrospective 2019

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 02:24

Wow, what a year 2019 was for Acquia!

At the beginning of every year, I like to publish a retrospective to look back and take stock of how far Acquia has come over the past 12 months. I take the time to write these retrospectives because I want to keep a record of the changes we've gone through as a company and how my personal thinking is evolving from year to year.

If you'd like to read my previous retrospectives, they can be found here: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. This year marks the publishing of my eleventh retrospective. When read together, these posts provide a comprehensive overview of Acquia's growth and trajectory.

Our product strategy remained steady in 2019. We continued to invest heavily in (1) our Web Content Management solutions, while (2) accelerating our move into the broader Digital Experience Platform market. Let's talk about both.

Acquia's continued focus on Web Content Management

In 2019, for the sixth year in a row, Acquia was recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Our tenure as a top vendor is a strong endorsement for the "Web Content Management in the Cloud" part of our strategy.

We continued to invest heavily in Acquia Cloud in 2019. As a result, Acquia Cloud remains the most secure, scalable and compliant cloud for Drupal. An example and highlight was the successful delivery of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. According to Federal Computer Week, by 5pm on the day of the report's release, there had already been 587 million site visits, with 247 million happening within the first hour — a 7,000% increase in traffic. I'm proud of Acquia's ability to deliver at a very critical moment.

Time-to-value and costs are big drivers for our customers; people don't want to spend a lot of time installing, building or upgrading their websites. Throughout 2019, this trend has been the primary driver for our investments in Acquia Cloud and Drupal.

  • We have more than 15 employees who contribute to Drupal full-time; the majority of them focused on making Drupal easier to use and maintain. As a result of that, Acquia remained the largest contributor to Drupal in 2019.
  • In September, we announced that Acquia acquired Cohesion, a Software-as-a-Service visual Drupal website builder. Cohesion empowers marketers, content authors and designers to build Drupal websites faster and cheaper than ever before.
  • We launched a multitude of new features for Acquia Cloud which enabled our customers to make their sites faster and more secure. To make our customer's sites faster, we added a free CDN for all Cloud customers. All our customers also got a New Relic Pro subscription for application performance management (APM). We released Acquia Cloud API v2 with double the number of endpoints to maximize customer productivity, added single-sign on capabilities, obtained FIPS compliance, and much more.
  • We rolled out many "under the hood" improvements; for example, thanks to various infrastructure improvements our customers' sites saw performance improvements anywhere from 30% to 60% at no cost to them.
  • Making Acquia Cloud easier to buy and use by enhancing our self-service capabilities has been a major focus throughout all of 2019. The fruits of these efforts will start to become more publicly visible in 2020. I'm excited to share more with you in future blog posts.

At the end of 2019, Gartner announced it is ending their Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. We're proud of our six year leadership streak, right up to this Magic Quadrant's end. Instead, Gartner is going to focus on the broader scope of Digital Experience Platforms, leaving stand-alone Web Content Management platforms behind.

Gartner's decision to drop the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant is consistent with the second part of our product strategy; a transition from Web Content Management to Digital Experience Management.

Acquia's expansion into Digital Experience Management

We started our expansion from Web Content Management to the Digital Experience Platform market five years ago, in 2014. We believed, and still believe, that just having a website is no longer sufficient: customers expect to interact with brands through their websites, email, chat and more. The real challenge for most organizations is to drive personalized customer experiences across all these different channels and to make those customer experiences highly relevant.

For five years now, we've been patient investors and builders, delivering products like Acquia Lift, our web personalization tool. In June, we released a completely new version of Acquia Lift. We redesigned the user interface and workflows from scratch, added various new capabilities to make it easier for marketers to run website personalization campaigns, added multi-lingual support and much more. Hands down, the new Acquia Lift offers the best web personalization for Drupal.

In addition to organic growth, we also made two strategic acquisitions to accelerate our investment in becoming a full-blown Digital Experience Platform:

  1. In May, Acquia acquired Mautic, an open marketing automation platform. Mautic helps open up more channels for Acquia: email, push notifications, and more. Like Drupal, Mautic is Open Source, which helps us deliver the only Open Digital Experience Platform as an alternative to the expensive, closed, and stagnant marketing clouds.
  2. In December, we announced that Acquia acquired AgilOne, a leading Customer Data Platform (CDP). To make customer experiences more relevant, organizations need to better understand their customers: what they are interested in, what they purchased, when they last interacted with the support organization, how they prefer to consume information, etc. Without a doubt, organizations want to better understand their customers and use data-driven decisions to accelerate growth.

We have a clear vision for how to redefine a Digital Experience Platform such that it is free of any silos.

In 2020, expect us to integrate Lift, Mautic and AgilOne, as well as make them the best solution for Drupal. We believe that this will benefit not only our customers, but also our agency partners.

Momentum

Demand for our Open Digital Experience Platform continued to grow among the world's most well-known brands. New customers include Liverpool Football Club, NEC Corporation, TDK Corporation, L'Oreal Group, Jewelers Mutual Insurance, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Lonely Planet, and GOL Airlines among hundreds of others.

We ended the year with more than 1,050 Acquians working around the globe with offices in 14 locations. The three acquisitions we made during the year added an additional 150 new Acquians to the team. We celebrated the move to our new and bigger India office in Pune, and ended the year with 80 employees in India. We celebrated over 200 promotions or role changes showing great development and progression within our team.

We continued to introduce Acquia to more people in 2019. Our takeover of the Kendall Square subway station near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April, for instance, helped introduce more than 272,000 daily commuters to our company. In addition to posters on every wall of the station, the campaign — in which photographs of fellow Acquians were prominently featured — included Acquia branding on entry turnstiles, 75 digital live boards, and geo-targeted mobile ads.

Last but not least, we continued our tradition of "Giving back more", a core part of our DNA or values. We sponsored 250 kids in the Wonderfund Gift Drive (an increase of 50 from 2018), raised money to help 1,000 kids in India to get back to school after the floods in Kolhapur, raised more than $10,000 for Girls Who Code, $10,000 for Cancer Research UK, and more.

Some personal reflections

With such a strong focus on product and engineering, 2019 was one of the busiest years for me personally. We grew our R&D organization by about 100 employees in 2019. This meant I spent a lot of time restructuring, improving and scaling the R&D organization to make sure we could handle the increased capacity, and to help make sure all our different initiatives remain on track.

On top of that, Acquia received a substantial majority investment from Vista Equity Partners. Attracting a world-class partner like Vista involved a lot of work, and was a huge milestone for the company.

It feels a bit surreal that we crossed 1,000 employees in 2019.

There were also some low-lights in 2019. On Christmas, Acquia's SVP of Engineering Mike Aeschliman, unexpectedly passed away. Mike was one of the three people I worked most closely with and his passing is a big loss for Acquia. I miss Mike greatly.

If I have one regret for 2019, it is that I was almost entirely internally focused. I missed hitting the road — either to visit employees, customers or Drupal and Mautic community members around the world. I hope to find a better balance in 2020.

Thank you

2019 was a busy year, but also a very rewarding year. I remain very excited about Acquia's long-term opportunity, and believe we've steered the company to be positioned at the right place at the right time. All of this is not to say 2020 will be easy. Quite the contrary, as we have a lot of work ahead of us in 2020, including the release of Drupal 9. 2020 should be another exciting year for us!

Thank you for your support in 2019!

Dries Buytaert: Acquia retrospective 2019

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 02:24

Wow, what a year 2019 was for Acquia!

At the beginning of every year, I like to publish a retrospective to look back and take stock of how far Acquia has come over the past 12 months. I take the time to write these retrospectives because I want to keep a record of the changes we've gone through as a company and how my personal thinking is evolving from year to year.

If you'd like to read my previous retrospectives, they can be found here: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. This year marks the publishing of my eleventh retrospective. When read together, these posts provide a comprehensive overview of Acquia's growth and trajectory.

Our product strategy remained steady in 2019. We continued to invest heavily in (1) our Web Content Management solutions, while (2) accelerating our move into the broader Digital Experience Platform market. Let's talk about both.

Acquia's continued focus on Web Content Management

In 2019, for the sixth year in a row, Acquia was recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Our tenure as a top vendor is a strong endorsement for the "Web Content Management in the Cloud" part of our strategy.

We continued to invest heavily in Acquia Cloud in 2019. As a result, Acquia Cloud remains the most secure, scalable and compliant cloud for Drupal. An example and highlight was the successful delivery of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. According to Federal Computer Week, by 5pm on the day of the report's release, there had already been 587 million site visits, with 247 million happening within the first hour — a 7,000% increase in traffic. I'm proud of Acquia's ability to deliver at a very critical moment.

Time-to-value and costs are big drivers for our customers; people don't want to spend a lot of time installing, building or upgrading their websites. Throughout 2019, this trend has been the primary driver for our investments in Acquia Cloud and Drupal.

  • We have more than 15 employees who contribute to Drupal full-time; the majority of them focused on making Drupal easier to use and maintain. As a result of that, Acquia remained the largest contributor to Drupal in 2019.
  • In September, we announced that Acquia acquired Cohesion, a Software-as-a-Service visual Drupal website builder. Cohesion empowers marketers, content authors and designers to build Drupal websites faster and cheaper than ever before.
  • We launched a multitude of new features for Acquia Cloud which enabled our customers to make their sites faster and more secure. To make our customer's sites faster, we added a free CDN for all Cloud customers. All our customers also got a New Relic Pro subscription for application performance management (APM). We released Acquia Cloud API v2 with double the number of endpoints to maximize customer productivity, added single-sign on capabilities, obtained FIPS compliance, and much more.
  • We rolled out many "under the hood" improvements; for example, thanks to various infrastructure improvements our customers' sites saw performance improvements anywhere from 30% to 60% at no cost to them.
  • Making Acquia Cloud easier to buy and use by enhancing our self-service capabilities has been a major focus throughout all of 2019. The fruits of these efforts will start to become more publicly visible in 2020. I'm excited to share more with you in future blog posts.

At the end of 2019, Gartner announced it is ending their Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. We're proud of our six year leadership streak, right up to this Magic Quadrant's end. Instead, Gartner is going to focus on the broader scope of Digital Experience Platforms, leaving stand-alone Web Content Management platforms behind.

Gartner's decision to drop the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant is consistent with the second part of our product strategy; a transition from Web Content Management to Digital Experience Management.

Acquia's expansion into Digital Experience Management

We started our expansion from Web Content Management to the Digital Experience Platform market five years ago, in 2014. We believed, and still believe, that just having a website is no longer sufficient: customers expect to interact with brands through their websites, email, chat and more. The real challenge for most organizations is to drive personalized customer experiences across all these different channels and to make those customer experiences highly relevant.

For five years now, we've been patient investors and builders, delivering products like Acquia Lift, our web personalization tool. In June, we released a completely new version of Acquia Lift. We redesigned the user interface and workflows from scratch, added various new capabilities to make it easier for marketers to run website personalization campaigns, added multi-lingual support and much more. Hands down, the new Acquia Lift offers the best web personalization for Drupal.

In addition to organic growth, we also made two strategic acquisitions to accelerate our investment in becoming a full-blown Digital Experience Platform:

  1. In May, Acquia acquired Mautic, an open marketing automation platform. Mautic helps open up more channels for Acquia: email, push notifications, and more. Like Drupal, Mautic is Open Source, which helps us deliver the only Open Digital Experience Platform as an alternative to the expensive, closed, and stagnant marketing clouds.
  2. In December, we announced that Acquia acquired AgilOne, a leading Customer Data Platform (CDP). To make customer experiences more relevant, organizations need to better understand their customers: what they are interested in, what they purchased, when they last interacted with the support organization, how they prefer to consume information, etc. Without a doubt, organizations want to better understand their customers and use data-driven decisions to accelerate growth.

We have a clear vision for how to redefine a Digital Experience Platform such that it is free of any silos.

In 2020, expect us to integrate Lift, Mautic and AgilOne, as well as make them the best solution for Drupal. We believe that this will benefit not only our customers, but also our agency partners.

Momentum

Demand for our Open Digital Experience Platform continued to grow among the world's most well-known brands. New customers include Liverpool Football Club, NEC Corporation, TDK Corporation, L'Oreal Group, Jewelers Mutual Insurance, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Lonely Planet, and GOL Airlines among hundreds of others.

We ended the year with more than 1,050 Acquians working around the globe with offices in 14 locations. The three acquisitions we made during the year added an additional 150 new Acquians to the team. We celebrated the move to our new and bigger India office in Pune, and ended the year with 80 employees in India. We celebrated over 200 promotions or role changes showing great development and progression within our team.

We continued to introduce Acquia to more people in 2019. Our takeover of the Kendall Square subway station near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April, for instance, helped introduce more than 272,000 daily commuters to our company. In addition to posters on every wall of the station, the campaign — in which photographs of fellow Acquians were prominently featured — included Acquia branding on entry turnstiles, 75 digital live boards, and geo-targeted mobile ads.

Last but not least, we continued our tradition of "Giving back more", a core part of our DNA or values. We sponsored 250 kids in the Wonderfund Gift Drive (an increase of 50 from 2018), raised money to help 1,000 kids in India to get back to school after the floods in Kolhapur, raised more than $10,000 for Girls Who Code, $10,000 for Cancer Research UK, and more.

Some personal reflections

With such a strong focus on product and engineering, 2019 was one of the busiest years for me personally. We grew our R&D organization by about 100 employees in 2019. This meant I spent a lot of time restructuring, improving and scaling the R&D organization to make sure we could handle the increased capacity, and to help make sure all our different initiatives remain on track.

On top of that, Acquia received a substantial majority investment from Vista Equity Partners. Attracting a world-class partner like Vista involved a lot of work, and was a huge milestone for the company.

It feels a bit surreal that we crossed 1,000 employees in 2019.

There were also some low-lights in 2019. On Christmas, Acquia's SVP of Engineering Mike Aeschliman, unexpectedly passed away. Mike was one of the three people I worked most closely with and his passing is a big loss for Acquia. I miss Mike greatly.

If I have one regret for 2019, it is that I was almost entirely internally focused. I missed hitting the road — either to visit employees, customers or Drupal and Mautic community members around the world. I hope to find a better balance in 2020.

Thank you

2019 was a busy year, but also a very rewarding year. I remain very excited about Acquia's long-term opportunity, and believe we've steered the company to be positioned at the right place at the right time. All of this is not to say 2020 will be easy. Quite the contrary, as we have a lot of work ahead of us in 2020, including the release of Drupal 9. 2020 should be another exciting year for us!

Thank you for your support in 2019!

Dries Buytaert: Acquia retrospective 2019

Main Drupal Feed - Tue, 01/14/2020 - 02:24

Wow, what a year 2019 was for Acquia!

At the beginning of every year, I like to publish a retrospective to look back and take stock of how far Acquia has come over the past 12 months. I take the time to write these retrospectives because I want to keep a record of the changes we've gone through as a company and how my personal thinking is evolving from year to year.

If you'd like to read my previous retrospectives, they can be found here: 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009. This year marks the publishing of my eleventh retrospective. When read together, these posts provide a comprehensive overview of Acquia's growth and trajectory.

Our product strategy remained steady in 2019. We continued to invest heavily in (1) our Web Content Management solutions, while (2) accelerating our move into the broader Digital Experience Platform market. Let's talk about both.

Acquia's continued focus on Web Content Management

In 2019, for the sixth year in a row, Acquia was recognized as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Our tenure as a top vendor is a strong endorsement for the "Web Content Management in the Cloud" part of our strategy.

We continued to invest heavily in Acquia Cloud in 2019. As a result, Acquia Cloud remains the most secure, scalable and compliant cloud for Drupal. An example and highlight was the successful delivery of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's long-awaited report. According to Federal Computer Week, by 5pm on the day of the report's release, there had already been 587 million site visits, with 247 million happening within the first hour — a 7,000% increase in traffic. I'm proud of Acquia's ability to deliver at a very critical moment.

Time-to-value and costs are big drivers for our customers; people don't want to spend a lot of time installing, building or upgrading their websites. Throughout 2019, this trend has been the primary driver for our investments in Acquia Cloud and Drupal.

  • We have more than 15 employees who contribute to Drupal full-time; the majority of them focused on making Drupal easier to use and maintain. As a result of that, Acquia remained the largest contributor to Drupal in 2019.
  • In September, we announced that Acquia acquired Cohesion, a Software-as-a-Service visual Drupal website builder. Cohesion empowers marketers, content authors and designers to build Drupal websites faster and cheaper than ever before.
  • We launched a multitude of new features for Acquia Cloud which enabled our customers to make their sites faster and more secure. To make our customer's sites faster, we added a free CDN for all Cloud customers. All our customers also got a New Relic Pro subscription for application performance management (APM). We released Acquia Cloud API v2 with double the number of endpoints to maximize customer productivity, added single-sign on capabilities, obtained FIPS compliance, and much more.
  • We rolled out many "under the hood" improvements; for example, thanks to various infrastructure improvements our customers' sites saw performance improvements anywhere from 30% to 60% at no cost to them.
  • Making Acquia Cloud easier to buy and use by enhancing our self-service capabilities has been a major focus throughout all of 2019. The fruits of these efforts will start to become more publicly visible in 2020. I'm excited to share more with you in future blog posts.

At the end of 2019, Gartner announced it is ending their Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. We're proud of our six year leadership streak, right up to this Magic Quadrant's end. Instead, Gartner is going to focus on the broader scope of Digital Experience Platforms, leaving stand-alone Web Content Management platforms behind.

Gartner's decision to drop the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant is consistent with the second part of our product strategy; a transition from Web Content Management to Digital Experience Management.

Acquia's expansion into Digital Experience Management

We started our expansion from Web Content Management to the Digital Experience Platform market five years ago, in 2014. We believed, and still believe, that just having a website is no longer sufficient: customers expect to interact with brands through their websites, email, chat and more. The real challenge for most organizations is to drive personalized customer experiences across all these different channels and to make those customer experiences highly relevant.

For five years now, we've been patient investors and builders, delivering products like Acquia Lift, our web personalization tool. In June, we released a completely new version of Acquia Lift. We redesigned the user interface and workflows from scratch, added various new capabilities to make it easier for marketers to run website personalization campaigns, added multi-lingual support and much more. Hands down, the new Acquia Lift offers the best web personalization for Drupal.

In addition to organic growth, we also made two strategic acquisitions to accelerate our investment in becoming a full-blown Digital Experience Platform:

  1. In May, Acquia acquired Mautic, an open marketing automation platform. Mautic helps open up more channels for Acquia: email, push notifications, and more. Like Drupal, Mautic is Open Source, which helps us deliver the only Open Digital Experience Platform as an alternative to the expensive, closed, and stagnant marketing clouds.
  2. In December, we announced that Acquia acquired AgilOne, a leading Customer Data Platform (CDP). To make customer experiences more relevant, organizations need to better understand their customers: what they are interested in, what they purchased, when they last interacted with the support organization, how they prefer to consume information, etc. Without a doubt, organizations want to better understand their customers and use data-driven decisions to accelerate growth.

We have a clear vision for how to redefine a Digital Experience Platform such that it is free of any silos.

In 2020, expect us to integrate Lift, Mautic and AgilOne, as well as make them the best solution for Drupal. We believe that this will benefit not only our customers, but also our agency partners.

Momentum

Demand for our Open Digital Experience Platform continued to grow among the world's most well-known brands. New customers include Liverpool Football Club, NEC Corporation, TDK Corporation, L'Oreal Group, Jewelers Mutual Insurance, Chevron Phillips Chemical, Lonely Planet, and GOL Airlines among hundreds of others.

We ended the year with more than 1,050 Acquians working around the globe with offices in 14 locations. The three acquisitions we made during the year added an additional 150 new Acquians to the team. We celebrated the move to our new and bigger India office in Pune, and ended the year with 80 employees in India. We celebrated over 200 promotions or role changes showing great development and progression within our team.

We continued to introduce Acquia to more people in 2019. Our takeover of the Kendall Square subway station near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April, for instance, helped introduce more than 272,000 daily commuters to our company. In addition to posters on every wall of the station, the campaign — in which photographs of fellow Acquians were prominently featured — included Acquia branding on entry turnstiles, 75 digital live boards, and geo-targeted mobile ads.

Last but not least, we continued our tradition of "Giving back more", a core part of our DNA or values. We sponsored 250 kids in the Wonderfund Gift Drive (an increase of 50 from 2018), raised money to help 1,000 kids in India to get back to school after the floods in Kolhapur, raised more than $10,000 for Girls Who Code, $10,000 for Cancer Research UK, and more.

Some personal reflections

With such a strong focus on product and engineering, 2019 was one of the busiest years for me personally. We grew our R&D organization by about 100 employees in 2019. This meant I spent a lot of time restructuring, improving and scaling the R&D organization to make sure we could handle the increased capacity, and to help make sure all our different initiatives remain on track.

On top of that, Acquia received a substantial majority investment from Vista Equity Partners. Attracting a world-class partner like Vista involved a lot of work, and was a huge milestone for the company.

It feels a bit surreal that we crossed 1,000 employees in 2019.

There were also some low-lights in 2019. On Christmas, Acquia's SVP of Engineering Mike Aeschliman, unexpectedly passed away. Mike was one of the three people I worked most closely with and his passing is a big loss for Acquia. I miss Mike greatly.

If I have one regret for 2019, it is that I was almost entirely internally focused. I missed hitting the road — either to visit employees, customers or Drupal and Mautic community members around the world. I hope to find a better balance in 2020.

Thank you

2019 was a busy year, but also a very rewarding year. I remain very excited about Acquia's long-term opportunity, and believe we've steered the company to be positioned at the right place at the right time. All of this is not to say 2020 will be easy. Quite the contrary, as we have a lot of work ahead of us in 2020, including the release of Drupal 9. 2020 should be another exciting year for us!

Thank you for your support in 2019!

CiviCRM Blog: E-Commerce for Nonprofits: Maximize Revenue for your Mission

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 21:58

For a nonprofit, raising enough funds to do the most good is at the forefront of goal setting this new year. Direct and recurring donations have always been time-proven and effective ways to achieve this goal. But how can a nonprofit differentiate themselves and maximize the revenue available to aid their cause? Adding an e-commerce store with profitable products that both connect to your organization’s vision and add funds to fuel your efforts can be a game-changer.

 

Charity:Water’s success in the e-commerce space is both aspirational and strategic genius. By implementing an e-commerce solution, powered by a payments processor similar to the Commerce iATS module available for both Drupal 7, 8 and the iATS extension on CiviCRM, Charity:Water has turned branded products into additional brand recognition, a compelling story, and increased financial support. They are successfully speaking the language of millennials, providing authentic alternatives to traditional donations.  

 

While nonprofits explore different income streams, there are important considerations.

 

Make an Impact with your Product Selections

Reflect on the demographics of your donors when choosing products to boost profit possibilities. Some products will appeal to different age groups and doing your research ahead of time will allow you to curate the most appealing product lineup.

 

Keep your Nonprofit’s Mission Top of Mind

The e-commerce addition that best represents the values and aspirations of your organization are more likely to be received as genuine by your existing donors. 

 

Protect your Organization

Avoid costly fraud complications by selecting a payment processor that is secure and easy to use. With the payment processing modules and extensions already available for Drupal 7, Drupal 8 and CiviCRM, you’ll have your store up and running in no time.

 

Ready to get started or have questions? Feel free to reach out for more information.

 

MembersPartnersCase studies and user storiesDrupalDrupal 8

CiviCRM Blog: E-Commerce for Nonprofits: Maximize Revenue for your Mission

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 21:58

For a nonprofit, raising enough funds to do the most good is at the forefront of goal setting this new year. Direct and recurring donations have always been time-proven and effective ways to achieve this goal. But how can a nonprofit differentiate themselves and maximize the revenue available to aid their cause? Adding an e-commerce store with profitable products that both connect to your organization’s vision and add funds to fuel your efforts can be a game-changer.

 

Charity:Water’s success in the e-commerce space is both aspirational and strategic genius. By implementing an e-commerce solution, powered by a payments processor similar to the Commerce iATS module available for both Drupal 7, 8 and the iATS extension on CiviCRM, Charity:Water has turned branded products into additional brand recognition, a compelling story, and increased financial support. They are successfully speaking the language of millennials, providing authentic alternatives to traditional donations.  

 

While nonprofits explore different income streams, there are important considerations.

 

Make an Impact with your Product Selections

Reflect on the demographics of your donors when choosing products to boost profit possibilities. Some products will appeal to different age groups and doing your research ahead of time will allow you to curate the most appealing product lineup.

 

Keep your Nonprofit’s Mission Top of Mind

The e-commerce addition that best represents the values and aspirations of your organization are more likely to be received as genuine by your existing donors. 

 

Protect your Organization

Avoid costly fraud complications by selecting a payment processor that is secure and easy to use. With the payment processing modules and extensions already available for Drupal 7, Drupal 8 and CiviCRM, you’ll have your store up and running in no time.

 

Ready to get started or have questions? Feel free to reach out for more information.

 

MembersPartnersCase studies and user storiesDrupalDrupal 8

Promet Source: Baking Accessibility into Web Design and Development

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 01/13/2020 - 16:00
Too often, compliance with WCAG 2.1, to ensure web accessibility for people with disabilities, is an afterthought of the web development process. WCAG 2.1 compliance is a multifaceted endeavor, and when accessibility is incorporated into every phase of development, the result is greater efficiencies and superior outcomes. Let’s look at the key phases of the web development workflow, and the advantage of keeping accessibility top of mind every step of the way. 

Zivtech: Why You Should Upgrade to Drupal 8 (Even With Drupal 9 On the Way)

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 12/09/2019 - 13:30

With Drupal 9 set to be released later next year, upgrading to Drupal 8 may seem like a lost cause. However, beyond the fact that Drupal 8 is superior to its predecessors, it will also make the inevitable upgrade to Drupal 9, and future releases, much easier. 

Acquia puts it best in this eBook, where they cover common hangups that may prevent migration to Drupal 8 and the numerous reasons to push past them.

The Benefits of Drupal 8

To put it plainly, Drupal 8 is better. Upon its release, the upgrade shifted the way Drupal operates and has only improved through subsequent patches and iterations, most recently with the release of Drupal 8.8.0

Some new features of Drupal 8 that surpass those of Drupal 7 include improved page building tools and content authoring, multilingual support, and the inclusion of JSON:API as part of Drupal core. We discussed some of these additions in a previous blog post

Remaining on Drupal 7 means hanging on to a less capable CMS. Drupal 8 is simply more secure with better features.

What Does Any of This Have to Do With Drupal 9?

With an anticipated release date of June 3, 2020, Drupal 9 will see the CMS pivot to an iterative release model, moving away from the incremental releases that have made upgrading necessary in the past. That means that migrating to Drupal 8 is the last major migration Drupal sites will have to undertake. As Acquia points out, one might think “Why can’t I just wait to upgrade to Drupal 9?” 

Read more

Agiledrop.com Blog: Our blog posts from November 2019

Main Drupal Feed - Mon, 12/09/2019 - 11:03

The year has come to a close - and what a year it has been! For Agiledrop as well as for Drupal, this has been a truly amazing and successful year - and yet, we feel it is only a prelude to all that’s coming in 2020. To properly end the year, here’s a recap of all our posts from last month - enjoy!

READ MORE

WPTavern: Zero BS CRM 3.0 Improves UI, Changes Database Structure, and Becomes More Extendable

Wordpress Planet - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 20:43

The team behind Zero BS CRM launched version 3.0 of their WordPress plugin today. This is the first major release since the plugin was acquired by Automattic in August. The updated plugin uses custom database tables, opens the plugin for more extensions, and has a more consistent UI than previous versions.

CRM is an acronym for “customer relationship management.” CRM systems allow businesses to manage their customer relationships through an interface. How CRM systems work can vary greatly, depending on the software used. In general, the goal is to help manage contacts, sales, and productivity.

Zero BS CRM was co-created by Mike Stott and Woody Hayday. Despite a low number of plugin users (around 1,000 at acquisition), Automattic acquired the plugin based on the strength of the product. Currently, Stott and Hayday are the primary developers on the plugin and maintain more than 30 commercial extensions for it.

Many CRM solutions are SaaS products, such as Salesforce CRM and HubSpot CRM. “The main benefit of ZBS CRM over online SaaS type solutions is it sits in your WP admin dashboard, and you own your own data,” said Stott.

Version 3.0 of the plugin improves in several key areas. One major change is the switch to custom database tables rather than pigeon-holing everything into a custom post type. This change should speed up accessing data such as contacts and transactions in large databases.

Users should benefit from a much improved and consistent UI from previous versions. Zero BS CRM does not strictly follow the core WordPress admin UI. “When looking at ZBS CRM and how to tie in all our menu items into the WordPress UI – it wasn’t easy,” said Stott. “We settled on using a UI framework with our own top menu, and a natural follow-on for that was to draw our list views using that same UI and button systems. Whether we move this back or not depends on feedback from our users — we get a lot of positive feedback on how easy it is to navigate around and wouldn’t want to change something that’s been getting good feedback.”

Contact management screen in the Zero BS CRM plugin.

Moving to custom tables over custom post types has also helped improve elements of the UI. Stott said a huge advantage is not having third-party plugins accidentally adding themselves to the plugin’s admin pages, such as having unnecessary SEO options on contact records.

Another big change in 3.0 was building out a more extendable foundation for the plugin. This will open up custom CRM objects in the future. For example, plugin users could manage resources such as “properties” or “campuses” along with customer contact data. This update creates more potential for industry-specific extensions.

“It really opens the door for more extendibility in the future,” said Stott, “and through an improved API in 2020 will allow for us to do more work across platforms and open up our CRM tools to more people.”

The Zero BS CRM plugin remains free and is available in the WordPress plugin repository. The primary source of income comes from its extension bundles, which are priced monthly and billed yearly. The website currently offers freelancer ($11/month), entrepreneur ($17/month), and elite ($30/month) pricing options. It also has a reseller plan available.

The Move to Automattic

When the plugin was first acquired, there was an initial idea to rebrand as “Jetpack CRM.” However, they have maintained the Zero BS CRM branding with an acronym instead of the direct expletive for “BS.” A rebrand may still be on the table in 2020 or beyond.

“We’ve been gathering user feedback and sentiment following the minor changes to ZBS CRM and the initial reactions if we were to rename as Jetpack CRM,” said Stott. “Since the shorter name, there’s been less objection or negative feelings, which puts less pressure on a big rebrand project, but it’s certainly something we’ll be coming back to.”

Stott said the primary focus since the acquisition has been less on branding and more on delivering 3.0 to the existing customer base.

The acquisition by Automattic has helped with how their two-person team works. “The main thing is being able to lean on the amazing team and people throughout Automattic,” said Stott. “In the past, we’d only have Woody and my input, now we can reach out to experts in design, marketing, plus much more, and bounce our ideas around a vast pool of experience.”

He explained that the additional support resources of Automattic’s Happiness Engineers means that he and his partner can focus more on engineering and growing the product and team.

The acquisition of Zero BS CRM came during a busy year for Automattic. With major moves such as acquiring Tumblr and the Salesforce investment, this small plugin has mostly flown under the radar in comparison. Stott and Hayday have big plans for 2020. They would like to grow the engineering team and explore bringing their tools to more WordPress.com users.

The plugin’s growth has remained stable since the acquisition, according to Stott. “The announcement brought us some additional customers who saw the backing from Automattic as strong advocacy for the plugin over other solutions in the WordPress space, so they made the decision to join us,” he said. The plugin has doubled its active install count and now serves over 2,000 users. The team expects to continue growing in the coming months.

Mediacurrent: Open Waters Podcast Ep 8: Streamlined Design With Rain

Main Drupal Feed - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 16:15

This episode, we welcome UX pros Cheryl Little and Becky Cierpich to talk about the Mediacurrent Rain installation profile. Hear how Rain, the recent winner of Acquia’s “Open Source Giants” award, can streamline your design project.


Audio Download Link

Project Pick:  

Becky: nocoffee vision simulator

Cheryl: Notion.so

Interview:
  • What is Rain?
  • How did Mediacurrent designers help build Rain?
  • What’s included in the Rain component library?
  • Are you glad that you did/ how does this benefit your team?
  • How do digital strategists interact with Rain?
  • Do developers like Rain?
  • How about clients? What has their reaction been?
  • OK, how about project managers? Do they get anything out of Rain besides a more efficient project?
  • Thinking about the editorial experience, how does Rain look to a site builder?
  • Is there any reason a project shouldn’t start with Rain?
  • What's next for the future of Rain?

Resources

TEN7 Blog's Drupal Posts: Case Study: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota Contact Directory

Main Drupal Feed - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 15:55
HELPING LSS CLIENTS CONNECT DIRECTLY WITH THE SERVICES THEY NEED

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) is one of the state’s largest private nonprofit social service organizations, providing a vast array of services in all 87 Minnesota counties for children and families, older adults and people with disabilities.

Sooper Drupal Themes: Drupal 8.8 is here! What changes does it bring?

Main Drupal Feed - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 09:47
Drupal 8.8 is paving the way to the future

Drupal 9 is approaching fast. However, until Drupal 9 arrives, there is another major update that is coming soon. Drupal 8.8 was launched on the 4th of December. In this blog post, I am going to tell you what are the changes and quality of life improvements that you can expect from the next major Drupal update.

Drupal WYSIWYG will include will allow media embedding

This is a feature that was long awaited for Drupal. Media has been poorly handled by Drupal for a while now. Because of that, this feature was awaited for a decade already. However, with Drupal 8.8, this wish becomes a reality. The good news is that this feature will come with complete media management capabilities that make it easier to embed the media for content creators and site builders alike. Thanks to this new development we will also be able to integrate media embedding in a future release of our Glazed Builder visual page builder.

Claro, a new administration theme integrated into Drupal core

On top of these updates, Claro, a new administration theme will be integrated in the Drupal core. This theme will bring a new refreshed design to Drupal. This UI refreshment has been long requested by the Drupal community. However, in drupal 8.8, these requests are finally coming to fruition. Below, you will see a comparison between the old and the new improved UI of Drupal with screenshots taken from both of them.

In the first screenshot you can see the new page creation tab from the old Drupal UI.

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In this screenshot, you can see the same page as in the screenshot above, however, with the new UI added on top of it. As you can see, now it has a white background with blue highlights. The fields appear to be  bigger than previously, further improving the clarity and the text readability. The blue highlight seems to use a darker blue than the one in the previous version of the UI. All in all, the changes are so drastic, however, the better color pallette choice and the boxy look bring out a more clean and modern look for Drupal 8.8.

JSON:API should become significantly faster

First, let’s start with what JSON:API is.JSON:API or JavaScript Object Notation is an encoding scheme that is designed to eliminate the need for an ad-hoc code in order for that code to be able to communicate with the servers that communicate in a defined way.

In the Drupal 8.8 update, JSON:API is thought to be able to create the work even faster than before. This was possible because of a couple of issues that were resolved:

  • The include paths are resolved for every resource in a resource collection, instead of once per unique resource type. 
  • ResourceTypeRepository computes ResourceType value objects on “every request”
  • Resource “entity” should use partial caching

These changes will make Drupal 8 a better platform for phone apps and other "headless" applications.

jQuery UI is going to be deprecated from Drupal core

jQuery UI will be deprecated in Drupal 8.8. This front-end library is used to render user experience components like dragging and dropping, sliders, selecting and sorting, etc. It was first added in 2009 to the Drupal core. However, it became unmaintained since 2017 and as a  consequence was listed as an Emeritus project, which means that the people who were maintaining the projects are reaching or are at the end-of-life of the project. Even though jQuery UI will become deprecated in Drupal 8.8, it will be completely removed from Drupal with the release of Drupal 9. On top of that, because of the end of life, jQuery Ui will not work with future jQuery versions. With this in mind, it seems that Drupal core is in the middle of the process of switching to JavaScript solutions. Also, it seems that Modules and themes that are depending on jQuery UI will have to have it as a dependency and also to manage their libraries.

Path aliases are going to be converted to revisionable entities

Custom URL aliases will now be provided by a new revisionable content entity type in Drupal 8.8. However, the path.alias_storage has been kept for backward compatibility purposes, although its hook has been deprecated. You can check out the next link in order to be fully prepared to upgrade your code for Drupal 9.

Configuration Management improvements

Drupal Configuration Initiative 2.0 started being implemented from the release of Drupal 8.6. However, it started being implemented more and more with new releases of Drupal. Now, with the release of the new Drupal 8.8, the configuration management will see new improvements. One of the changes is that the Sync directory is defined in $settings['config_sync_directory'] in settings.php.
On top of that, the ability to support multiple configuration directions is $config_directories is not deprecated. Furthermore, if you happen to have a custom or contributed code that relies on this ability you either need to move your setting either to $settings or another storage. To read more about this see the change record.

Full support of Composer to build Drupal projects

Composer has helped Drupal development become more in line with the PHP standards. The relationship between Composer and PHP had started to develop more with the release of Drupal 8. Now, Drupal 8.8 will come packed with more Composer plugins.

  • Drupal/core-composer-scaffold: This plugin will be replacing the drupal-composer/drupal-scaffold plugin. The new plugin will be in charge of automating the scaffolding of the Drupal core Composer in the right place. On top of that, this plugin will provide a couple of options for the setup approaches.
  • Drupal/core-vendor-hardening: The task of this plugin is to remove some of the unnecessary folders that are present in vendor directories such as tests or documentation, this process being important when the vendor folder is included in the docroot.
  • Drupal/recommended-project: This composer template will have a role in the generation of a Drupal project structure which follows the recommendations presented in Drupal 8.8, which states that the vendor folder should be outside of docroot.
  • Drupal/legacy-project: This Composer template will generate a Drupal project that will follow the old structure. However, using this will not be recommended for Drupal 8.8.0 and further.

These Composer related parts can be found in the new /composer folder from Drupal source core.

Drupal, better than ever!

Drupal 8.8 seems to bring out a new cluster of features and quality of life improvements that will surely make the life of the site builders and content creators easier. This release will is one important release that paves the way for the arrival of Drupal 9. With that being said, congratulations to all the people that have contributed to the release of Drupal 8.8. Keep up the good work!

Tag1 Consulting: Enterprise, LDAP, and Drupal's Group Module

Main Drupal Feed - Fri, 12/06/2019 - 00:17
We are excited to share details about our recent integration with the Group module . By default, Group module stores group memberships in the Drupal database. For a recent project, our Client required that group memberships are canonically stored in their existing LDAP directory. That way, memberships may be re-used to control access to 3rd party applications like real-time chat, file sharing, etc. Group module provides a simple service, GroupMembershipLoader , that is responsible for loading all memberships for a group or all memberships for a user. We swapped that service for a custom one that queries LDAP instead of querying database. Further, we added a simple caching layer so that a user’s group memberships are cached in that user’s session. // Cache a user’s own groups in their session for fast retrieval. $duration = \Drupal::getContainer()->getParameter('ldap_directory.dgids_duration'); $this->getPrivateTempStore($account, $duration)->get('ldap_directory')->set('dgids', $dgids); A group membership not only relates a user to a group but also assigns a role to that membership. In our implementation, a member can be a Reader, Contributor, or a Group Admin. We decided to model that by creating a DirectoryGroup content entity, and configuring Group module such that DirectoryGroups can become group content. So, when a new Group is... Read more moshe Thu, 12/05/2019 - 16:17

WPTavern: Gutenberg: One Year Later

Wordpress Planet - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 17:49

As we quickly head into the final weeks of 2019, we also pass the first anniversary of WordPress 5.0 and, subsequently, Gutenberg coming headlong into our lives.

Love it or hate it, Gutenberg is here to stay. If you had asked my thoughts on it last December, I would have probably sided with a large portion of other WordPress users.

What are you doing?

WordPress is fine, leave it alone!

Stop forcing me to use this!

Here we are, twelve months later, and you know what? I LOVE IT. And, I am not alone.

When it comes to writing content, I cannot imagine using the Classic Editor anymore. Sure, for a few paragraphs, the Classic Editor is fine. However, when you need to make a 4,000+ word post, Gutenberg and the new block system make things a lot easier.

Yes, the UI is a struggle for someone brand new to WordPress. We have all heard the “Wait, I thought you said this was like Word?” line. A good onboarding process would tackle that going forward. For the rest of us, if you have not adopted Gutenberg yet, you should take another look at it.

The Need for a New Editor

Let’s be honest. The Classic Editor was great for short posts, a couple of headlines and paragraphs, job done. But, how often were you going into the Text tab to remove an extra line break, fix a shortcode, or cut and paste a section to somewhere else in the post?  At best, it was a struggle. Often, it was excruciating to get your post just right before publishing.

Not only will I not miss this, but I am pleased that new users will not be exposed to it anymore either.

Classic Editor – Text tab in action

When I first heard of Gutenberg — before it was released in WordPress 5.0 — I installed the plugin and was immediately confused and slightly bewildered at the options. I wondered how I would edit in the future.

I, among many others, probably gave out the same noises as when Facebook and Twitter reveal a huge overhaul of their UI, agreeing with everyone that things would never be the same again. This was a mistake. Of course, I was both right and wrong at the same time. I just didn’t know it. Editing would not be the same again. Instead, it would be a lot better (with some adjustment).

I also know that many people will not agree with me and do not like the way Gutenberg looks or behaves to this day. But, if you give it some time and understand how it can make your life easier, it will do just that.

First, take the time to work out the difference between Blocks and Document. On the left you have all the blocks for your post or page, inserting them in merrily as you go. On the right, the Document panel controls everything else, handily changing when you need to fine-tune a block.

Gutenberg block editor in action

One of the most common complaints I have read is people struggling with the toolbar that appears as you hover over each block. There is a simple solution to this, and when it is enabled, the majority of people suddenly start to love it! Make sure you set the view to “Top Toolbar” in the Gutenberg options. Now you have a distraction and clutter-free editing environment to work with.

Gutenberg vs. Page Builders

Gutenberg is not a page builder, and it is a common argument thrown out by people on why they refuse to use it. They are right, it is not a replacement for the likes of Elementor or Beaver Builder. If you remove the comparison to page builders from your mind, you will find adapting to it is much easier.

My peers and I regularly chat about Gutenberg and agree it is already great for writing. The post creation process is a breath of fresh air. Others have great stories from their clients about being able to produce content and edit it with ease, and the number of editor-related support requests is down, which can only be a good thing.

However, many of us would not use it for designing pages. Instead, we still prefer to use one of the many page builders for that complete control.

Gutenberg Phase 2 will allow editing of the site to areas outside of the main content (e.g., headers, footers, sidebars) and will creep further into the page builder category, which means we will have a strange blend of Gutenberg and page builders living side by side on many sites soon.

Will it remove the complete need for themes? Who knows? I suspect we will have people further divided into opposing camps going forward, but what a great opportunity for us to collectively work on for a better overall experience in the end.

By the Numbers

Let us take a quick look at Gutenberg and its penetration to date.

Currently, 63.8% of all WordPress installs are running 5.x onward according to WordPress.org, which means Gutenberg is available natively on nearly two-thirds of all WordPress installs.

But, it is not all red roses when it comes to adoption.

The Classic Editor plugin has over 5 million active installs (and a rather biased 723 five-star reviews, such as “Keep this forever” and “Never going to give it up!”). It is also currently in the top five of the most popular plugins.

Is this the backlash against Gutenberg or incompatibility with older themes forcing users to use the Classic Editor for now? At a guess, a good majority is probably the latter combined with some diehards.

But, look at the graph below from the Classic Editor plugin page.

Growth is declining. That is not a movement of people who continue to install Classic Editor on new installs and refuse to adapt.

Classic Editor adoption will likely continue falling, and perhaps the original date of it being supported until 2022 isn’t that far-fetched after all (note: they have said they will continue to support it longer if needed).

On the flip-side, the Gutenberg plugin has 200,000 active installs and a whopping two-thirds of reviews (2,003) are a paltry one star. However, many are merely unhelpful complaints (e.g., “This is junk” and “Destroy it”). They do not tell the true story to novices.

As you can see from the graph below for the Gutenberg plugin, active install growth is up and continues to climb. It is not at the same pace as the decline with the Classic Editor, but that is probably because it is bundled with WordPress now.

One thing people seem to forget is Gutenberg is a plugin in and of itself. It is updated frequently, whereas the majority of users only see changes to it when there is a WordPress core update.

If you can see past the fields of one-star reviews and install the plugin, you will be rewarded with more frequent updates to the experience.

For example, version 7.0 recently added in the Navigation block as stable, allowing users to quickly create a menu of links. Don’t get me wrong; this does require theme integration for it to work, but you can get a better idea of where it is heading on a more frequent basis this way (7.0 is expected to ship with WordPress 5.4 in March/April 2020).

Block Party

Compatibility with Gutenberg continues at a quick pace. With over 21 pages of block-enabled plugins available on WordPress.org, pretty much all the popular plugins have solutions in place. A fair amount of plugin updates these days are also adding new and enhanced blocks as standard.

If those are not enough for you, we also now have a new breed of block-specific plugins. There is a growing trend of plugins devoted to purely enhancing the style and number of blocks you can add to your site.

Popular Gutenberg-focused plugins such as Stackable and EditorsKit add further styling and editing abilities, bringing you another step closer to full-page design and enhancing your content.

EditorsKit – a purely Gutenberg plugin.

Because no one knows how far Gutenberg will go and which toes it will step on, block plugins may have a fight on their hands in the future. At the pace they are being released and updated, it is a good sign of a committed global collective who not only believe in the future of blocks but is excited about it too.

What Does the Future Hold?

Gutenberg is here to stay, and I don’t think any of us have ever denied that. It is probably not an issue for anyone who started using WordPress for the first time this year.

Thankfully, for those already deeply embedded in WordPress, things are getting easier (and I would say more enjoyable) with the growth of the new Gutenberg-specific plugins.

With the advent of platforms such as Wix and Squarespace, it was obvious that WordPress needed something to make it more user-friendly and Gutenberg is a solid attempt at that. It is still a bit rough around the edges, but the days we look back nostalgically at the Classic Editor are likely numbered.

How will it look at the end of 2020? Will you still be using the Classic Editor?

Agiledrop.com Blog: Top Drupal blog posts from November 2019

Main Drupal Feed - Thu, 12/05/2019 - 09:33

For the final time in 2019, we’re back with our overview of the top Drupal blog posts from the previous month. It’s been a great year for Drupal, and we can’t wait for everything that 2020 will bring. So, let’s end this great year with some appropriately great posts!

READ MORE

WPTavern: Initial Documentation for Block-Based WordPress Themes Proposed

Wordpress Planet - Wed, 12/04/2019 - 20:56

In a pull request on the Gutenberg repository yesterday, Riad Benguella created an initial document that outlines how block-based WordPress themes might work. While the document is merely a starting point for the conversation, it is a set of ideas that will likely forever reshape the WordPress landscape. It is paradigm-shifting.

For the first time, theme authors can glimpse what their future holds. Since the inception of Gutenberg, many have asked for more technical details. Particularly, they wanted to know whether themes would be reduced to a stylesheet or a stylesheet and a few PHP files. What would themes look like architecturally? Would themes exist at all?

The document, while open for changes, makes a strong case about the structure of themes going forward. It is clear that much forethought has gone into the proposal. It matches the direction of the experimental site-editing feature in Gutenberg that has already been set in motion. Even though it is subject to change, there seems to be a finality to the overarching idea. The writing has long been on the wall. Now everyone can see the wall. The missing piece is figuring out how to bring the idea to fruition.

What is Full Site Editing?

Before understanding how themes of the future might work, you must first understand the direction that Gutenberg is headed. The end goal for Gutenberg, and eventually WordPress, is for users to have the ability to customize every aspect of their site via the block system. Currently, the block system primarily handles editing post content.

To move to full-site editing, every piece of dynamic data about a site must be a block. For example, a site title block must exist as a placeholder for the site title. Users should be able to place it anywhere they desire to output the title, such as in the header.

This has left theme authors with a reasonable question: If users can move these blocks anywhere, where do themes fit into the picture?

It is easy to see how themes would become little more than a stylesheet that styles every WordPress block while also handling other necessary styles like typography and vertical rhythm. Even then, it makes one wonder if themes, at least in how we have come to know them, are necessary at all.

The Proposed Theme Structure

The proposed structure does not look much different from current WordPress themes. The big difference is that theme templates would become “block templates” and “block template parts.” These templates would be HTML files rather than PHP files.

The following is where the structure currently stands.

theme |__ style.css |__ functions.php |__ block-templates |__ index.html |__ single.html |__ archive.html |__ ... |__ block-template-parts |__ header.html |__ footer.html |__ sidebar.html |__ ...

From a templating perspective, it appears relatively normal for a WordPress theme. The files simply have a different type and are organized in specific folders.

However, the difference is how the HTML templates would work. They would essentially become placeholders for blocks. Users would also have the ability to edit or completely overwrite individual templates via the WordPress admin. Because templates are made up of blocks, no code would be necessary on the user’s part. They could simply point and click to insert or remove blocks with their mouse.

In other words, block templates within themes would be unique starting points for users to build their sites.

There are two noteworthy items about the proposed system: themes are still themes and end-users can become theme builders.

The Essence of a Theme Remains the Same

When you cut through everything else, WordPress themes have always been HTML and CSS. The PHP aspect of theming basically mixes PHP function calls (i.e., template tags) within some structured HTML markup. If you look at most themes going through the official WordPress theme directory, you will find that the underlying markup is mostly the same.

In the block template system, this idea doesn’t change. If anything, it could simplify the role of theme author by creating a set of standard elements (blocks) that themes output. If done right, it also creates a standard for class names so that styles can easily be shared across themes and all sorts of similar goodies.

Anyone Can Build a Theme

The initial outline explains the potential of exporting themes:

Ultimately, any WordPress user with the correct capabilities (example: administrator WordPress role) will be able to access these templates in the WordPress admin, edit them in dedicated views and potentially export the templates as a theme.

This is where the proposed system could revolutionize website building. Those without the coding skills to create a WordPress theme today could have the tools to contribute something back tomorrow.

The idea aligns perfectly with the open-source ethos of WordPress. By giving everyone the ability to export their customizations, it provides an avenue for contributing that we have never had before for non-coders. A free directory of customized themes created by and for the community, anyone?

The Design Side of the Equation

Block templates are merely the HTML. Themes will need to stand apart with their CSS. However, there must be standardization to pull this off.

Designers will need to shift to a block-based approach when it comes to design. Some may already be familiar with various “component-based” systems, which would work much the same way. Rather than designing from the top-down, theme authors would approach design on a more atomic level by designing each block.

There are also many unanswered questions about how styles will eventually work. Currently, there is an open ticket for discussing a style system for blocks. Much of the discussion is around how to integrate a design system with themes.

Join the Discussion

It is important to point out that nothing about this proposal is set in stone. It is a high-level outline of what the future of themes could hold. However, now is time for input from the community, especially theme authors who may have felt a bit out of the loop in the past. Now is the time to make your voice heard and to contribute ideas to the discussion.

The WordPress theme review team also has an open discussion on the future of themes that goes along with this proposal and whether themes should start taking advantage of experimental Gutenberg features.

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