Top 10 Tutorials for your Drupal Website

Drupal is one of the most popular and powerful content management systems. Creating your website with Drupal will allow you endless options for design and function. Use these 10 Drupal tutorials to easily give your website features and options you may have never thought possible.

1. Tutorial For Site Setup

Every Drupal website owner should begin with a basic site-building tutorial. The first thing to do, after getting Drupal-compatible web hosting, is to review such a tutorial to create your site’s key elements. This site-setup tutorial will walk you through building your website’s administration menu, site editor, pages, menus, and slideshows.

2. Update Drupal Using Minor Updates and Patches

There are a few types of updates you will come across as a Drupal website owner including, minor, major and patch updates. This tutorial will show you how to keep your installation current to avoid bugs and errors, and maintain the latest module compatibility. Patch updates are often aimed at fixing bugs or security issues and may be released at any time. Minor updates fix site functions errors, and are released less often.

3. Autoloading Awesomeness

This tutorial will show you how to take advantage of autoloading in your visitors web browsers. This is helpful when you want to display video or other media without the user having to click ‘Play.’ Use the Auto-loading Awesomeness tutorial to follow in the steps of major media and social companies who know rely on the feature, such as Facebook and Instagram.

4. Preparing Your Site for Drupal 8

The latest release of Drupal, as of 2017, is Drupal 8. This tutorial will help you get prepared for a major update to any outdated Drupal sites. IT discusses manual site audits, security updates and audit modules. While your updated your Drupal and installing Drupal 8, you should check that you have Drupal optimized web hosting, so that you can make the most of your Drupal installation.

5. Installing and Editing Drupal Themes

This tutorial is perhaps among the most important for any Drupal user. It shows you how to install and modify themes for your Drupal site by giving you the basics on how themes work. After reviewing this tutorial, even a beginner will be able to choose and install a Drupal theme that’s right for their site. Those with just a few minutes on their hands can learn how to change colors, module positions and add or remove elements.

6. Drupal SEO Tutorial

If you’re focused on marketing and Search Engine Optimization, then this is the Drupal tutorial for you. It will teach you how to create SEO-friendly posts, tags, and headers. Beginning with a focus on mobile Drupal templates and themes, this handy guide will ensure your site doesn’t get buried in the search results.

7. Drupal Modules Tutorial

This tutorial is invaluable for those who want to begin developing Drupal modules and backend coding. It will show you how to use Object-Oriented PHP to create Drupal modules with function in the backend of your site and interactive features for your website’s frontend. Some PHP knowledge is required for this tutorial. Object-Oriented PHP will keep your Drupal site coding from being redundant, and save you time behind the keyboard.

8. Use Node.js with Drupal

Many web developers are used to node.js and want full javascript integration on their Drupal based website. This tutorial will teach you to seamlessly integrate the popular node.js package with Drupal to use them inherently together. Using Node.js on your Drupal site will allow you to build web applications that are as scalable as you need them to be. This would work great for any new social media site or mobile application.

9. Create a Custom Slideshow

Slideshows have many purposes on websites, including rotating content to keep the site fresh, and ensuring certain content has a front-page standing. This tutorial will show you how to easily create a slideshow on your Drupal site using theme libraries and the Slick module. It involves some simple HTML markup and Java which you can copy and paste or make modifications to. Your finished product will look great on any business website, and will rotate three or more images or embedded media modules at your desired speed.

10. Loop Over Objects

This tutorial is among the more advanced on the list, but should appeal to anyone with even a little coding background. It will show you how to loop over objects using the built-in tag IteratorAggregate. If you’re looking to get started practicing your PHP skills on a live site, this tutorial is a great choice and will provide convenient, functional results.

Drupal can be used for personal websites, business and corporate sites, and even blogs. It’s a diverse CMS that allows countless customizations. By following these tutorials you will gain a better understanding of your Drupal interfaces, and be able to add creative elements to your website.

How to Build Recognition as a Web Designer in 2017

With the mass number of web designers available online, it’s hard to get recognized for your work and expertise. It often takes web designers years to build a following and start getting recognized as a trusted authority in the industry. However, there are many things that you can do to get ahead and build recognition quicker in 2017. Here are some strategies that you can use to get your name out there and become a leading industry expert.

1. Create and Distribute Quality Content

The best way to show your expertise is to teach other people what you know through your content. Quality content will go a long way whether it’s something simple as a web hosting setup video or something more challenging like a header design tutorial. You want to publish content that targets your ideal client as well as your peers in the industry. That will help you bring in more business while helping you connect with other industry leaders and influencers.

But you have to do more than publish great content. You want to promote your content using social media, guest blog posts, viral campaigns, giveaways, etc. Content marketing tactics like infographics, contests and web design template giveaways can really give you the exposure you need to build an audience for your site and stand out in the crowded space.

2. Create Case Studies

A case study is one of the best ways to establish your expertise. What you want to do with your case studies is to do a ‘before and after’ example of a website design project. Show the reader what the website looked like before you worked on it and show what it looked like after you’ve made your changes. Case studies are popular because people often look for real life web design projects they can model.

You want to make these case studies as detailed as possible. Include photos, screenshots, rough drafts, test results and anything else that can explain your thought process. You want to walk readers through the problems and challenges of the original website and talk in-depth about how you resolved them. This kind of content tends to do well as it often gets shared by enthusiasts, influencers and experts who’ve found it to be helpful.

3. Build an Extensive and Diverse Portfolio

You’re probably already aware of the importance of having a portfolio on your website. Your portfolio shows potential clients what you’re capable of and is often essential to landing the job. The problem is that many web designers have a portfolio but don’t put up enough of their past work to showcase their talents. You want to display a respectable amount of work to show potential clients that you’ve had an extensive work experience.

Another problem is that many web designers focus on the same types of websites/projects and their portfolio is very two dimensional. You want to show that you can handle many different types of projects as you never know what the client is looking for. If you don’t have experience with different projects, then branch out and try to get projects that are outside of your comfort zone. It’ll give you the experience you need while also helping you diversify your portfolio.

4. Diversify Your Expertise

At this day and age, you need to more than design websites. If your knowledge only extends to designing a great looking site and setting up web hosting, you need to gain other web design/development skills. This can include anything from user experience design, SEO, storytelling oriented design, web branding, to responsive design. Having expertise in other aspects of web design helps you set yourself apart from other everyday designers and conveys that you bring more to the table for your clients.

One expertise that is often sought after is conversion rate optimization. People often need help getting their site to convert more traffic into leads or sales. By honing your skills in conversion rate optimization, you can attract clients that are looking for conversion focused design and even charge for additional services.

5. Collaborate with Industry Influencers and Leaders

One of the best ways to quickly get your name out there is to associate yourself with established influencers and industry leaders. There are a wide variety of ways you can work with other professionals. This can include anything from podcasts, interviews, content exchanges, to speaking at industry events.

You want to be on the look for opportunities to get involved with the community and other professionals in the industry. When somebody reaches out to you, don’t turn down the offer because it isn’t compensated. Use it is a platform to get your name out there. At the same time, don’t wait for people to reach out to you. Come up with creative ways you can work with others in your industry.

6. Aggressive Marketing

Nothing cures slow sales like marketing. You have to make sure that you invest a good amount of your time and money into marketing. There are many ways to market yourself as a web designer including content marketing, social media, display advertising, site sponsorships, to offline events. You have to be aggressive with your marketing if you want to grow.

At the same time, you need to be focused with your marketing. You want to focus on one strategy until you’ve figured out a way to make it work. For example, if you’re working on content marketing, figure out how to get results from your efforts rather than trying to working on other strategies simultaneously or jumping ship if you don’t see results quickly enough.

This is a short list of some of the most solid strategies to get your name recognized as a web designer in 2017. The process can be challenging but you’ll start to get some traction and leverage that into results with enough persistence.