Mediacurrent: Is Drupal Right for Universities? A Strategic Perspective

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 22:15

Selecting a CMS for a university can be a challenging decision. There are so many needs and nuances to consider - costs of implementation and maintenance, a wide-range of technical ability among site administrators, developers and content editors, a variety of end users looking for different information and the list goes on and on. While your answer likely isn’t as easy as, “let’s just do what everyone else is doing,” by better understanding why other universities made the choice they did can shed light into your decision-making process. 

Drupal is far and above the most used CMS in higher education - 26% of all .edu domain sites are in Drupal, including 71 of the top 100 universities. 

So why are universities like MIT, Georgia Tech, Louisiana State University, Butler, Stanford, Harvard and the rest of the Ivy League universities choosing Drupal? 

Simply put, Drupal makes good business sense, especially with the added benefits of Drupal 8. At Mediacurrent, we believe your website is your greatest digital asset and can be leveraged to accomplish organizational-wide goals. Drupal makes that possible. Here’s how:  

Communicate With All Students - Prospective, Current, and Alumni 

If you want to reach your full recruiting and fundraising potential, you need to communicate with your entire audience. There are a variety of Drupal features that ease the stress of common communication challenges. 

Language:  Not only are their multiple languages spoken within the U.S., but our country hosts over a million international students. Drupal makes creating a multilingual digital experience simpler. Native language handling is built directly into Drupal 8’s core APIs, giving you over 100 languages to choose from. With that functionality it is easier than ever to engage with prospective students across the globe in a meaningful way.

Accessibility: The CDC estimates that 20% of U.S. adults identify as having a disability. These disabilities often hinder people’s ability to interact with the average website. Drupal is an inclusive community and has committed to ensuring that all features of Drupal conform with w3C and WCAG 2.0. Pair that with a strong higher-education focused accessibility strategy and your potential audience could grow by 20%. 

Technology: According to the 2017 College Explorer Market Research Study, the average college student owns 5.6 devices and spends 137+ hours on them! This may seem like common sense now, but if you want to engage with students, you need to account for a variety of screen sizes. Thankfully, Drupal 8 is designed with a mobile-first mentality and includes out-of-the-box responsive functionality. 

Personalization: Universities face added complexity when it comes to digital strategy due to the broad audiences they appeal to. With so many unique people coming to the same pages, content strategy, conversion path mapping and optimization, and defining strong call to actions can be a struggle. By incorporating personalization into your content strategy, whether that is personalized based on user authentication or by integrating tools like Acquia Lift or Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can speak to the masses but make them feel like you’re speaking specifically to them. 

Reduce Overhead Costs + Increase Operational Efficiencies with Drupal

Drupal can have a dramatic impact on reducing overhead costs and increasing operational efficiency. Universities have a big need for multiple websites: departments, colleges, libraries, and student organizations all want their own website. The direct cost of supporting this many sites along with resourcing the training and support is expensive and encourages unnecessary technology sprawl. As an open source technology (no licensing fees!) along with the multisite feature, creating sites for these different groups is exponentially easier, more cost effective, and ensures brand consistency. 

You can also increase efficiency, ensure content consistency and improve the user experience by creating a “source of truth”.

Write content once and publish it anywhere it’s relevant.

Having to update content such as curriculum or an academic calendar on multiple pages is inefficient and unnecessary. Write once, publish everywhere, save time. 

Improve Brand Equity + Amplify Digital Strategy

As a university, your brand is a powerful asset. You spend significant energy and resources on building loyalty to bolster several organizational goals from recruiting efforts, engaging current students on campus and fundraising among alumni.

With your website being the hub of your marketing strategy, it is critical for your CMS of choice to play nice with your marketing efforts.

Drupal happens to be very SEO friendly out of the box, but there are also advanced configuration options available to support a more sophisticated SEO strategy. You can amplify your digital strategy by integrating your marketing tools and communication platforms directly with Drupal. And the 26% percent of other .edu sites using Drupal make integrating your university-specific tools to your website easier. 

Reduce Risk

I’d be remiss without mentioning security and GDPR compliance. As a university, you hold sensitive information about the students who have attended your school and they are trusting you to keep that secure.

The Drupal community is passionate about security and has an industry leading global security team to ensure your site is protected.

Additionally, as the landscape of privacy rights changes around the world (most recently, GDPR), it’s in your best interest to stay on top of it and reduce the risk of being penalized for data collection practices. 

Have questions about how Drupal can benefit your university? Let us know. We’d be happy to chat. Drupal 6 security update for XML sitemap (6.x-2.x only)

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 21:42

As you may know, Drupal 6 has reached End-of-Life (EOL) which means the Drupal Security Team is no longer doing Security Advisories or working on security patches for Drupal 6 core or contrib modules - but the Drupal 6 LTS vendors are and we're one of them!

Today, there is a Moderately Critical security release for the XML sitemap module (version 6.x-2.x only) to fix an Information Disclosure vulnerability.

The XML sitemap module enables you to generate XML sitemaps and it helps search engines to more intelligently crawl a website and keep their results up to date.

The module doesn't sufficiently handle access rights under the scenario of updating contents from cron execution.

See the security advisory for Drupal 7 for more information.

Here you can download the Drupal 6 patch.

If you have a Drupal 6 site using the XML sitemap module, we recommend you update immediately! We have already deployed the patch for all of our Drupal 6 Long-Term Support clients. :-)

If you'd like all your Drupal 6 modules to receive security updates and have the fixes deployed the same day they're released, please check out our D6LTS plans.

Note: if you use the myDropWizard module (totally free!), you'll be alerted to these and any future security updates, and will be able to use drush to install them (even though they won't necessarily have a release on

Ashday's Digital Ecosystem and Development Tips: Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 21:00

Now that Drupal 8 has gained some momentum, it is time to start planning out your upgrade strategy. You want to upgrade to get the latest benefits and take advantage of the future stability that comes with the direction that Drupal will be taking from here on out. Before upgrading you will want to consider some things about what your current site has. In this article we will be covering some of those questions with some context to assist in the decision making process. Let’s determine if you website is adequately serving the current needs of your business and which content will need to be brought over to the new Drupal 8 site. There may be a difficulty in the switch, but being prepared will put you in position to handle whatever comes up.

Sicherheitsupdates: Angreifer könnte Passwörter in Typo3 überschreiben

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 19:00
Im freien Content Management System Typo3 klaffen mitunter kritische Sicherheitslücken. Patches schließen mehrere Schwachstellen.

Elektrosportwagen Pininfarina PF0 soll bis zu 2,5 Millionen US-Dollar kosten

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 18:30
Der neu gegründete Hersteller Automobili Pininfarina plant Kleinserien von Elektroautos. Das erste Modell soll ein Luxus-Sportwagen werden.

Oracles Blockchain Cloud Service ist jetzt allgemein verfügbar

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 18:30
Mit einem neuen Blochchain-Service will Oracle die Technologie in der hauseigenen Cloud einfach einsetzbar machen.

Apples True-Tone-Ansicht auch für externe Displays verfügbar – aber nur für spezielle

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 17:30
Die neuen MacBook-Pro-Modelle können die verbesserte True-Tone-Ansicht auch auf externen Displays anzeigen. Besonders viele Displays können das aber noch nicht.

Drupal Association blog: Features and the future

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 17:17 has been in existence since 2001. That's a long time for a website to serve an ever changing community! We're doing this work thanks to the support of our members, supporters, and partners. As time goes on needs change, technology evolves, and features are deployed to improve the experiences of site visitors.

As a web professional, you know how delivering small feature requests can have a big impact. To ensure people take notice of the improvements the Engineering Team makes on all of the * sites, we share frequent updates with the community. You can read a monthly what's new on blog, watch for change notifications, and follow on Twitter to know what's on the horizon.

Recently, these improvements were deployed:

  • More maintainers can now grant issue credit

  • Security Advisory nodes are now included in the /news feed

  • Project page screenshots will display in a lightbox

  • DrupalCI.yml Documented

We'll continue to make better every day, with your help. Find out more about what we do and become a member today. Thank you!

 Follow on Twitter: news and updates, infrastructure announcements, commits (and deployments).

c't Photoshop im Handel erhältlich

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 17:00
Das Sonderheft rund um Photoshop und Lightroom enthält Hardware-Tipps und gut 20 umfassende Workshops zu Raw-Entwicklung, Fotoeffekten, Montage und Bildausgabe.

Forschung und Technik auf Youtube: Frauen häufiger Ziel von Kritik und Sexismus

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:30
Viele Kanäle auf Youtube vermitteln Wissen zu Forschung und Technik. Für Frauen ist der Umgang auf der Plattform aber deutlich härter und demotivierender.

MacBook Pro: Größerer Akku, größere Lautsprecher – und schlecht zu reparieren

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:30
Im ersten Teardown des 2018er 13-Zoll-Modells zeigt sich, dass Apple einige Veränderungen am Innenleben vorgenommen hat.

InternetDevels: Drupal 8 Modules you should have

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00

Each Drupal release makes it more refined and up-to-date. The latest one offers better architecture, fresh functionality, improved security and other benefits of Drupal 8. It is considered to be innovative and progressive due to new functions such as multilingual applications, advanced mobile-friendly options or HTML5 for better site management.

Read more

US-Verkehrsministerin über autonome Autos: "Die autonome Revolution kommt!"

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00
Die US-Verkehrsministerin will autonome Autos mit maximaler persönlicher Freiheit und mehr Sicherheit auf einen Nenner bringen. Sie verfolgt 6 Grundsätze.

ProSiebenSat.1: Galileo Spezial diese Woche unverschlüsselt in UHD

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00
Am Sonntag strahlt ProSiebenSat.1 eine Folge Galileo Spezial in UHD-Auflösung aus. Die Sendung ist unverschlüsselt über Satellit empfangbar.

Wenn eine Studentin im Praktikum Jobs in der Produktion vernichtet

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00
Hinter Zahlen zum Voranschreiten der Automatisierung stecken menschliche Schicksale: Eine Autorin hat vor Jahren die Arbeit eines Kollegen überflüssig gemacht.

Mehr Mobilfunklöcher in Niedersachsen als bisher angenommen

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00
Kein Netz? In Niedersachsen kommt das öfter vor. Die niedersächsische Landesregierung will deshalb die Mobilfunkbetreiber in die Pflicht nehmen.

Instapaper wird wieder eigenständig

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 16:00
Das Instapaper-Team hat seinen Später-lesen-Dienst von Pinterest zurückgekauft. Europäische Nutzer bleiben derweil wegen der DSGVO ausgesperrt.

Elektroautos aufladen ist teuer und kompliziert

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 15:30
Der Ökostrom-Anbieter Lichtblick sieht in der Ladeinfrastruktur einen chaotischen Flickenteppich mit einem Wirrwarr an Karten, Apps und Bezahlsystemen

ESA testet erfolgreich Triebwerk für Raketen Vega C und Ariane 6

heise online Newsticker - 18. Juli 2018 - 15:30
Das gegenwärtig größte Feststofftriebwerk hat in Südamerika einen weiteren Meilenstein absolviert. Bald soll es europäische Raketen ins All bringen.

Droptica: Working with a team that is spread out over many locations can be comfortable and pleasant, just like working in a team working at a single office. See how we do it at Droptica.

Planet Drupal - 18. Juli 2018 - 14:59
At Droptica, remote work is something ordinary. From the very first day, we had two offices in Wrocław and Gdańsk. Recently, we also opened our third office in Rzeszów. Every day, developers, testers, graphic designers and other specialists work together in each of these locations. In addition, 90% of our clients come from abroad, like in the case of most software houses. Throughout several years, we have developed methods of effective and efficient cooperation in a dispersed team. We are constantly improving our work model, testing new tools and ways of working. In this article, you will learn how our system works today.