All About…Web: October 2020

Welcome to a new email series from Fíonta called All About…Web. I will be sharing resources about Drupal, WordPress, digital strategy, user experience, and analytics in order to help you effectively manage your nonprofit or association website and achieve your goals, whether it’s to increase online donations, attract new members, or enhance engagement. This monthly email will go out the first week of each month. If you’d like to see more on a certain topic or want to chat about how to plan your next site update large or small, please contact us!

Erin Rickard, Digital Services Manager

DRUPAL UPGRADES

If your organization’s budget took a hit from COVID-19, there is good news as Drupal pushed back the planned end-of-life date for Drupal 7 from 2021 to November 2022. After that security fixes, updates and enhancements will no longer be released for version 7.

While this gives you another year to upgrade, the jump to Drupal 8 or 9 requires a rebuild so now is the time to plan your project. In 2021, plan to undertake discovery to determine the functional and design requirements for the rebuild and arrive at an implementation plan and estimate to factor into your 2022 fiscal year budget. Kick off the implementation in early 2022 to ensure your new site is launched by the November end of life date. 

For those already on Drupal 8, the update to 9 doesn’t require a full rebuild. Instead you’ll need to check for any deprecated code or unsupported modules to replace before the Drupal 8 end-of-life date in November 2021. An upgrade audit will help you determine the scope of the move to 9 for your site. For more information on what to expect in Drupal 9, see our on-demand webinar and the Ultimate Guide to Drupal 9


WORDPRESS UPDATES

The release of WordPress 5.5 in August introduced several great new features. The folks at WP Beginner outline the highlights, including enhancements to the block editor introduced with Gutenberg last year. If your site is using a theme with another page builder tool instead of Gutenberg, this release still includes some goodies for you. 5.5 will help optimize page speed by “lazy loading” images by default, only loading images visible on a user’s browser at a given time rather than loading all images on the entire page at once. 5.5 also introduces an XML sitemap — a file that helps search engines index your content — included by default. The lack of built-in sitemaps has been a gap that plugins like Yoast SEO have filled in the past. 

During your site’s next maintenance, we’ll check that your theme and plugins are compatible with 5.5 before we update you to the latest and greatest. 

WEBINAR: Avoid assumptions: Using research to define audiences in their own words

When managing your site’s content, it’s easy to become entrenched in your organization’s internal language and structure and lose sight of what your audiences really need to navigate effectively. In this Oct 15 webinar from GatherContent, learn how to test your assumptions through conversations with your target audiences and uncover how to improve your content to achieve your user engagement goals. 

BLOG: How to Gain New Leads Using Content You Already Have

Speaking of user engagement goals, this post from Association Success offers ideas on how to make content you already have more effective by repackaging it in bite-sized formats such as one-pagers with key data points for members or the media, downloadable whitepapers, or limited-run newsletters focused on a specific topic. 

WEBINAR: Pantheon WebOps Summit: Growing Momentum through Change

Our managed hosting partner Pantheon is holding an Oct 27-28 summit on updating digital strategy, creating unique experiences, and streamlining marketing operations to create impact and drive change. Live Q&A sessions, virtual happy hours and breakout rooms will provide opportunities to interact with speakers and your fellow digital and marketing managers. 

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