Whether this is your first DrupalCon or your 10th it's always a bit challenging to know which sessions to go to because there are so many great ones. Let me help you. I’ve combed through the different tracks to help guide you in your session choices for DrupalCon Baltimore 2017. This conference is by nature more targeted for the developer audience, but there are lots of great sessions for a less technical user, such as myself.
Three years ago, we launched our annual customer conference, Acquia Engage. Since the conference was founded, I have been managing the event’s website. We’ve learned a lot in the past three years, and have made some great improvements that I thought would be valuable to share. The first year we started with a simple site, but we have gotten more advanced over time.
Where to start?
If you need an event website, what components should your site have? The main sections I always start with are:
Website navigation is something you probably use every day but don’t think too much about. This is how you travel from page to page within a website. It is probably the most used part of your website that you spend the least amount of time evaluating, right? I used to feel the same way. A few years ago, I inherited a site navigation that seemed to be working so my team focused on growing other areas of the site. Looking into how our menu was organized was low priority.
When you need a website or need to seriously update your existing website, the first thing you should do is evaluate the available website platform options.
Over the past 3-5 years I’ve been hearing a lot about website personalization. I have battled a lot with personalization over the years, and to be honest, good personalization can be difficult to execute. I’ve taken some time to reflect on the difficulties of personalization, and have uncovered three main factors that make personalization challenging:
Amazon’s website looks completely different than it did a few years ago, but did you ever notice it changing? I think they do the best job at making small adjustments over a long period of time. This means they avoid killing user experience and make site adjustments manageable for their business. Not only does completing a full site redesign kills your web team’s velocity, but it can also be very intimidating and costly for large enterprises.
Website performance is one of those things that keeps me up at night. How do we improve our performance? When is our performance bad? Does it affect our user experience? These are all questions that run through my head in regards to our website, and I’m here to help you get answers for your site. Performance discussions can get very technical very fast, so my goal in this post is to maintain a balance between high level and informative so you can go to your dev team and ask the right questions.
Question: “When should I move to Drupal 8?”
Answer: “It all depends.”
You thought you were going to get an easy answer? I wish! Even with my own sites I’ve had to evaluate and spend time determining the best plans for migration. But when it’s time to figure out what to do with your site, here are my suggestions.
Many people care about ensuring website accessibility, but don’t know where to start and also don’t understand the legal ramifications.
Does your business rely on form fills (leads) to keep sales teams employed? Is your marketing team tracked on the number of MQLs (marketing qualified leads) they pass over to sales? This is the nature of the B2B beast in most cases.