Drupal is one of the most well-acknowledged content management services that is available and is used by Examiner.com, The Economist and several other popular websites. It is very easy to modify and powerful and one of the best CMS’s for SEO. In this blog, I am going to explain in detail about the fundamentals of Drupal and how it is used to optimize content to draw more traffic from Google, Yahoo etc. For those who are new to Drupal, it is worth learning that Drupal is one of the finest frameworks for making SEO-friendly sites.
Drupal is a very efficient open source content management system equally beneficial for bloggers, web designers and marketers. Although it is not as popular as another open source CMS WordPress, yet it provides several beneficial features for online marketers and SEO’s. Drupal is extremely powerful and simple to customize. There are hundreds of paid as well as free plug-ins available in Drupal. Its interface is much easy-to-use and more suitable for large sites having loads of content. Drupal is regularly updated and is very secure that makes it suited for anti-hacker webmasters. Since it can be easily optimized, it is the preferred choice of many high-traffic sites and also well-liked blogs.
Drupal is considered to be one of the best platforms for building search-friendly sites. Drupal has a vast community of developers, thus a plethora of plug-ins are available which help optimizing the sites for search. The very same principles apply to Drupal which apply to any other CMS. They include using descriptive titles, ensuring that the URL’s contain top searched keywords and keeping the content detailed, focused and specific.
WordPress allows the feature of using extensions and thereby install modules to the websites. In the same way the developer can add more features to the Drupal website also. These modules can be coded by members of the Drupal community or by any individual Drupal website developer. Some of them are paid while others are free to use. Installing SEO modules to your website is one of the best ways to enhance your Drupal site’s search engine optimization. There are numerous SEO modules which can be installed to immediately optimize the Drupal site for search engines.
If the developer takes care of certain small things during the website building stage, they can make a much more user-likeable and consistent website. It would also save them from a lot of time and distress. It is important to know beforehand exactly what content and design practices are to be included so that the most appropriate Drupal website practices can be employed. Developers using the Drupal platform are advised to be careful of the design habits they use as ultimately it may hurt them. Given below are some useful tips and suggestions to make the Drupal site more effective and elegant:
1. Use of proper planning and wire-framing:
In the process of building a website in Drupal, it is critical to manage the time for comprehensive planning and wire-framing. Drupal is one of the rare open source and highly flexible CMS which enables the developer to show their content in any possible manner. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that the developer has a clear-cut content strategy and design architecture before starting to create pages. Neglect of this step could make the developer go back to scratch and rebuild his site as there was no apparent content strategy.
The web developer should have an action plan ready even before any issues related to regions, blocks, content types or other elements arise.
Moreover, the increased demand for receptive web design asks for concise planning to make room for browser window breakpoints and various screen sizes. This is the reason why involving mobile-first design before laying out the full site is an effective way to ensure that the content would be displayed properly across all kinds of devices.
2. Designing from standard to specific:
While designing the basics of the content which is going to be portrayed on your site, always begin with standard items using them consistently on the full site and gradually enter the more specific content displaying them on a few ages only. This way, you can save a lot of personal despair and time resource by focusing your efforts first on generic content and later moving on to more specific one. For example, you should consider giving most of your efforts to largely appearing buttons, headers and blocks before allocating it to something which would only appear on a page or two.
To do this easily, make a note of all your HTML tags/elements and style these in the order of importance. A list of some of the elements to be designed first includes:
- Basic content page
- Generic block
- Basic content list
- Increasing content, pagers, navigation
- Increasing regions
3. Keeping the site speed in purview during designing:
The speed of any site is largely one of the crucial aspects of an efficient website design. A beautifully designed website may throw away visitors if it takes too much time to load fully. However, there are certain important things to keep in mind in the designing stage which can help optimize your website by getting rid of this issue. As the Drupal community of code builders has increased vastly there are now numerous modules available to apply on your site.
Always remember to install only those modules which you consider to be more impactful and helpful for your site. If you enable too many modules unnecessarily it may slow down your site and adversely affect the User Experience (UX). Remember also, to know beforehand which modules and files you are about to apply to your design to keep a check on them later on and rectifying any issues with them.
This article is written by Aarif Habeeb. He is a Digital Marketing Strategist and Technical Content writer at Technocrab solution. An Indian agency specializing in SEO, PPC and Conversion Rate Optimization strategies that deliver industry-leading ROI. He has worked for small, medium and large organizations and helps marketers overcome the barriers to success through accountability. You can also find him on Twitter.