GPI had the distinct pleasure of exhibiting at DrupalCon for the very first time and meeting many of the wonderful partners and users that have been part of the loyal Drupal following for so many years. Drupalists from all over the world descended upon Baltimore to learn about the latest Drupal has to offer to its vibrant community of developers, designers and end users.
As a first-time participant and exhibitor, we very much appreciated Drupal putting together a First Time Attendee Social, which served as an orientation for DrupalCon newcomers to help navigate all the event had to offer. Connecting with other local agencies was an additional bonus.
During this three day event, we had opportunities to meet with many partner agencies and Drupal adopters and learn first-hand about their experiences working with this open source CMS. We were pleasantly surprised about how many times the topic of localization and multilingual website deployment came up during our many conversations with non-profits and educational organizations who recognize the need for providing native-language information on their sites to their international visitors.
The conference came with a surprise show opener for us: the hilariously unique Prenote that seems to be a recurring tradition for DrupalCon. Following several keynotes on day one and day two were a number of sessions that put the whole range of the latest Drupal developments and capabilities on full display.
The emphasis on Drupal’s multilingual support was very encouraging and really impressed upon me the fact that Drupal can be an excellent choice as an open-source CMS for international companies and global organizations who aim to reach a wider multilingual audience.
As a result, I was not surprised to see several sessions on the schedule focusing on international/multilingual topics. A few sessions that were of particular interest were:
Optimizing Your Site For the World To See: International SEO, which provided a great overview of the state of SEO in 2017, real-world tips on optimizing for international SEO, and in-depth information on the Drupal modules that one can deploy to help with global SEO. Using search engine friendly Drupal 8 as the basis, this session covered the following topics:
- Setting up the right configurations for success
- Maintaining content across multiple languages
- Dealing with duplicate content for websites with multiple dialects
- Common use cases for country and language level optimization
- Nuances between search engines like Bing and Google
- The Drupal Modules that will help you get there
Another session that naturally piqued my interest was:
Multilingual in Drupal 8: A soup to nuts guide featuring VisitTheUSA.com and Habitat.org.
The session outline included:
- Which modules to enable
- Configuring fields for translation
- Which fields should I allow to be translated?
- Using the Translation Interface to translate strings
- How do I translate menus?
- How do I translate taxonomy?
- Configuring “Language negotiation”
- “Gotchas” with translation you need to know
- TMS examples – Lingotek & SDL
- Case study examples from Habitat.org and VisitTheUSA.com
The session provided a plethora of practical information and step-by-step instructions on how to figure out which Drupal 8 modules to enable and how to configure them in order to fully internationalize your website property, how to translate text strings and what kind of Drupal integration you can expect from your translation service provider.
I feel very fortunate to have been given the opportunity to represent GPI at DrupalCon this year and look forward to many future events where we can continue to engage with this incredibly vibrant and creative community!