Tools for Drupalcon Dublin

Optimize Drupal Site Development with These Six Critical Tools

If you’re attending DrupalCon Dublin this week, then may The Luck of The Irish be with you!

But as many of us know, it takes a little more than luck to create a compelling Drupal Website. So, consider this shortlist of tools we use to optimize the development of each Drupal website we work on.

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1. Streamline Your Updates with EverCurrent

How often does Drupal present you with an update notification screen? Is it always clear which module needs updating? When was each module last updated — and where would you go to fix it?

Now you can solve these challenges and more, with ease.

Once you get started with Drupal, implement EverCurrent. You’ll quickly know which modules need to be updated, and when. No more searching. No more guessing. In fact, Evercurrent can be set to send you a customized email report of updates automatically. You choose what you want to see. Only need the security updates? Or, do you want to see just modules? Set it up however you like.

This tool will save your developers time that could be better spent creating, innovating, and contributing valuable content to your project and the open source community.

2. Maintain Control Over Your Code with BitBucket

Main reason to use BitBucket is to facilitate source control among many team members who are working on the same project. One of the tool’s more compelling features is that it enables you to control workflow in simple, easy-to-manage configurations. We integrate BitBucket with Slack and JIRA to keep our code clean, concise, and optimized within a controlled environment.

Source control is essential for website development. Bitbucket allows Project Ricochet team members to track each change, see who made the change, and understand what prompted them to make it. You’ll also be able to reference to the issue that was addressed and see the effects of the change. So, if there’s a problem with code you can more easily figure out where it went wrong. If we develop a piece of code that we find extremely useful, then we have context as to why we were first prompted to use it in the first place. This can definitely save you time on future projects.

3. Track Project Tasks Comprehensively with JIRA

It’s no secret that complex projects demand organization and fastidious project management.

That’s a big reason why the Project Ricochet team relies on JIRA. So, what exactly does JIRA stand for? Interestingly enough, it’s actually shorthand for Gojira, the Japanese name for Godzilla. Probably a longer story than we have space for here, but in the context of what JIRA can do for you, it somehow seems fitting.

I like to think that essentially, JIRA is “in charge of everything.” It serves as a central place where your team can track issues, improve code quality, and expedite development. When expectations are clear for all stakeholders, website development can proceed smoothly, purposefully, and on-budget.

JIRA Agile is a project management add-on that enables your team to manage JIRA issues in an agile environment. Each of your projects can have its own Agile Board where you track the status of work along with backlogged requests. We’ve found that JIRA is a truly essential tool for dynamic web development teams.

Within JIRA, our detail oriented project managers can document concise user stories, implement customized workflows, and lead daily scrums or weekly sprints. All that critical information can be used by our talented, creative, and resourceful Drupal Website Developers to create compelling sites in a reasonable amount of time. JIRA has also enabled the Project Ricochet team to create custom integrations that track ticket burn time, assist with daily planning, and keep our team on track overall.

4. Share Key Information Among Team Members with Slack

Efficiency often depends on clear communication. And, this is where Slack really lives up to its name.

Essentially, Slack provides a central area where distributed team members can monitor key developments with each project, and keep each other informed.

Members can participate in specific chats and channels within the app to share ideas, update one another, or ask for support on a given task. You can customize Slack in terms of how notifications and reminders are set. It even enables you to post links, images, emojis, and animated GIFs in your conversations.

Because Project Ricochet is a distributed team, Slack helps foster friendly cooperation and mutual support while developing Drupal websites.

5. Accelerate Development with Acquia

Put simply, Acquia is a platform of tools that complements and supports a range of Drupal development tasks as you work. Created by Drupal Rockstars, Dries Buytaert and Jay Batson, Acquia has become the “go to” platform for building, optimizing, and delivering Drupal websites. Whether your team is large or small, the Acquia platform serves as an exceptional foundation for creating powerful websites.

6. Promote Your Pages Efficiently with HootSuite

So, you’ve designed a great website. But once it goes live, you’ll want to encourage visitors, right? HootSuite can help with that.

HootSuite is a tool that enables you to schedule tweets, track who’s following you, and “listen” for relevant social media mentions in one central place. It also helps you coordinate the sharing of your content through your various social media channels — including Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Power Your Drupal Development

Developing your website with Drupal is often a great business decision in and of itself. But whenever you can simplify the process and maximize efficiencies, it pays to do so. As you work, it’s likely you’ll find many other useful tools that will help you save time and work more efficiently. Start with the six outlined above – and you should definitely be off to a good start.

Project Ricochet is a full-service digital agency specializing in Open Source.

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