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November 12, 2018

7 Things to Think About Before Starting a New Drupal Project

Thought by Leigh Anderson, Sr. Marketing Communication Specialist
Line art of a computer screen with a Drupal logo surrounded by seven potential problems

Are you considering updating your site or building a new one? Periods of digital transformation can be both thrilling and challenging. There are lots of things to keep in mind when planning a switch to a new CMS like Drupal, and here are seven of the common things we’ve seen potential clients forgetting about when they approach us for a digital project.

GDPR compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, is a new law that governs how the data of European citizens must be handled, regardless of the nationality of the organization that is managing the data.

The EU’s new law affects any organization that has data tied to even a single citizen of Europe. Even if your organization isn’t based out of Europe, the GDPR almost certainly applies to you.

Component-based design

A “component-based design” philosophy is a straightforward approach to unifying a web platform’s visuals. Rather than designing big items in a top-down way, a component-based design begins with taking a holistic view of an organization’s needs, constructing an ideal design concept, breaking that concept down to its smallest principles, and building back up from there.

A component-based design guides the appearance of pages by providing base-level components and guidelines. These guidelines and components can be combined and organized in different ways to deliver increasingly complex structures using a component library. We’ve been recommending component-based designs to our clients lately because of how much they simplify the process of creating and managing content on a site.

Auditing your site

Having a digital platform that’s functional and intuitive is extremely important for offering a customer experience that will drive lead generation, encourage conversions, and build loyalty towards your organization.

As content and technology evolve over the lifetime of the platform, it’s necessary to have a process for monitoring the site to make sure it’s performing at a high level. A site audit is a great way to understand what’s going on with your site and can be completed by your team or by a qualified digital agency like FFW.

Accessibility features

Does your digital platform support web users with specific needs? There are quite a few social and business drivers for having a fully accessible website, and it’s vital to ensure that your organization is serving every user equally— regardless of different levels of physical or mental ability that those users may have.

Measurement strategy and setting goals

What will you measure, how will you measure it, and what are your goals? Identifying KPIs is essential, as is setting up your data analytics to properly measure the things you need to understand. A contractor like FFW can help you lay the groundwork for a successful measurement strategy.

Planning for the future

The launch of your site is only the beginning. What happens afterward is up to you -- and far too many organizations don’t have a plan. Building a roadmap for maintenance, improvements, and future-proofing is a critical part of the long-term success of any digital project.

Security

Unfortunately, security breaches happen. There are multiple ways that failure can occur, from problems on your platform to injection vulnerabilities in your CMS or other tools. What will you do if your system is compromised? Having a plan in place for keeping your site secure and responding to attacks is a must for any digitally mature organization.

For help planning a Drupal project, contact FFW. Our team of experts has extensive experience helping our clients plan, navigate, and successfully execute on their digital roadmaps.

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