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Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-
Majority Institutional Environment
Eric Scott Sembrat
Learning 

from Drupal
Hi! I’m Eric.
Eric Scott Sembrat
Web Manager @ College of Engineering
President @ Atlanta Drupal User’s Group
Track Chair @ Drupal Assoc...
Thanks for
having me!
Please ask questions at any time!

I will answer questions at the end.
Today
Let’s focus on:
• Drupal Education: A primer on Drupal as a CMS.
• Drupal Challenges: Challenges with using Drupal.
...
Drupal
Education
Drupal’s Reputation
When you hear Drupal,
what do you think of?
About that chart…
There’s a better way!
To properly articulate the challenges and benefits from
both WordPress and Drupal....
Drupal vs. WordPress
Drupal vs. WordPress
This is Drupal.
Drupal vs. WordPress
Email Field
Entity Form
WYSIWYG
Editor
RulesFlag
Namefield
Drupal vs. WordPress
Drupal vs. WordPress
Your Drupal workflow
can look like this.
Drupal vs. WordPress
Drupal vs. WordPress
Or, it can look like this
(and be beautiful).
Drupal vs. WordPress
Drupal vs. WordPress
This is WordPress.
Drupal vs. WordPress
Contact Form A
Contact Form+
Contact Form 10
Contact Form XP
YAContact Form
Drupal’s Design
Drupal is designed to mimic OOP.
• Plugins (modules) serve a primary purpose and are
meant to be modular, ...
Drupal’s Design
Modular structure inherits
complexity.
• Like with WordPress, some modules doing a particular
task work be...
Let’s Not Dwell.
That’s Drupal in a nutshell.
So, consider that its users and site builders are used to
component-based de...
Before we continue…
It’s worth noting that Drupal is an
incredibly strong and powerful tool.
As is worth noting, Drupal ha...
Bragging Incoming
A few examples of what Drupal is
good for.
Beyond your content-heavy and complex school and
college webs...
Drupal
Challenges
A Common Query
“I need you to build a website for {X}
quickly and have it do {A}, {B}, and
{C} by {totally unrealistic rus...
We can build it!
Drupal could do this.
But, is it the right tool for a barebones website that really
only does two to thre...
Drupal Multisite
Drupal can do multisite.
But the setup and provisioning of a new site within a
multisite is a largely man...
Security Updates
Updates can be sorta automatic.
Drupal relies heavily on scripting and bash command
language for server/l...
Drupal out-of-the-box
By default, Drupal comes
preconfigured to do only the basics.
This is meant to reduce bloat, as site...
What about Drupal 8?
Drupal 8 fixes some of these issues,
but also adds additional complexity.
The latest major release of...
Thinking out loud.
Is there a more user-friendly way?
Drupal will likely never meet the demands of website-as-
a-service w...
Selling
WordPress
Selling WordPress
So, how to sell WordPress to the
campus community?
While your use-case may differ from standards, there ...
WordPress & Workflow
WordPress doesn’t have a Views
replacement.
Views is a key backbone of Drupal and is the foundation
o...
Fitting WordPress In
WordPress augments, not replaces,
the primary CMS.
WordPress provides a niche for web development on
...
Your Users
Institutional users could be already
using other CMSs.
With WordPress.com, wix.com being prevalent and
pervasiv...
WordPress MU
Suitable service-level offering.
The usage of MultiUser (MU) in WordPress allows for
the CMS to act as a serv...
The Details
Overall, WordPress works because
due to its content creation tools.
From a built-in flexible WYSIWYG/filter an...
CMS-Agnostic Design
Proposes the possibility of CMS-
agnostic design.
Building institutional web applications, themes, and...
Incorporating
WordPress:

A Case Study
Campus Branding
Georgia Tech’s branding cascades
top-down from Drupal.
However, this branding becomes unsustainable as you...
Accessibility?
Each example has accessible and
responsive design issues.
These small websites have only a few options for
...
Why not WordPress?
WordPress was already being used
on campus.
Users on campus could use virtual web hosting to install
an...
The Move
The move from decentralized to
centralized WordPress.
An opt-in WordPress multisite to allow users to trade off
c...
Results?
Thinking about web not as a single
CMS but an ecosystem.
Not just Drupal, and not just WordPress.
Results
A quick discussion on the results of
WordPress at Georgia Tech.
Learning
from Drupal
Lessons for WP
Drupal’s OO-design can bring many
good habits to web development.
Despite being more intensive and requirin...
1. Object Coupling
Entity-to-entity connections are
crucial.
Establishing an information architecture is crucial to
making...
1. Object Coupling
Who inherits who? Who extends
who?
By cataloguing this beforehand (or as early as possible),
you can de...
2. Components
Component-level design is superb in
an ever-changing environment.
Building elements component-by-component a...
2. Components
Benefits of LEGO blocks can be
massive.
What happens when your news/event service changes?
When your institu...
3. Build for End-Users
Content Editing should be left to the
content editors.
Streamline the content-creation process as m...
3. Build for End-Users
Free up your time for the fun
projects.
Good Luck!
In Summation
There’s immense value in gauging
benefits in both Drupal and
WordPress.
Your mission is to combine the best f...
Questions?
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment
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January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment

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A high-level discussion of how WordPress has incorporated itself into a Drupal-centric campus for web development. Let’s chat about how to leverage WordPress and its strengths with a pre-established CMS and culture, how to build trust and value in WordPress, and the benefits and challenges that WordPress brings to an established CMS campus environment.

The goals of this session are to:

educate on a Drupal CMS environment and its pros/cons.
evaluate Drupal challenges and where WordPress fits this need.
present a case study on how WordPress was implemented.
challenges, issues, and considerations on incorporating WordPress into an already-established web environment.
future directions to consider for WP usage and initiatives.

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January 2017 - WPCampus Online - Learning from Drupal: Implementing WordPress in a Drupal-Majority Institutional Environment

  1. 1. Implementing WordPress in a Drupal- Majority Institutional Environment Eric Scott Sembrat Learning 
 from Drupal
  2. 2. Hi! I’m Eric.
  3. 3. Eric Scott Sembrat Web Manager @ College of Engineering President @ Atlanta Drupal User’s Group Track Chair @ Drupal Association Graduate Student @ Georgia State University twitter: @esembrat
 web: webbeh.com
  4. 4. Thanks for having me! Please ask questions at any time!
 I will answer questions at the end.
  5. 5. Today Let’s focus on: • Drupal Education: A primer on Drupal as a CMS. • Drupal Challenges: Challenges with using Drupal. • Selling WordPress: Fitting WP into a culture. • Incorporation: A case study from Georgia Tech. • Learning from Drupal: Takeaways from using Drupal.
  6. 6. Drupal Education
  7. 7. Drupal’s Reputation When you hear Drupal, what do you think of?
  8. 8. About that chart… There’s a better way! To properly articulate the challenges and benefits from both WordPress and Drupal. This chart doesn’t do either CMS justice.
  9. 9. Drupal vs. WordPress
  10. 10. Drupal vs. WordPress This is Drupal.
  11. 11. Drupal vs. WordPress Email Field Entity Form WYSIWYG Editor RulesFlag Namefield
  12. 12. Drupal vs. WordPress
  13. 13. Drupal vs. WordPress Your Drupal workflow can look like this.
  14. 14. Drupal vs. WordPress
  15. 15. Drupal vs. WordPress Or, it can look like this (and be beautiful).
  16. 16. Drupal vs. WordPress
  17. 17. Drupal vs. WordPress This is WordPress.
  18. 18. Drupal vs. WordPress Contact Form A Contact Form+ Contact Form 10 Contact Form XP YAContact Form
  19. 19. Drupal’s Design Drupal is designed to mimic OOP. • Plugins (modules) serve a primary purpose and are meant to be modular, like a lego brick. • Plugins are widely inter-compatible and inter- connected. • Drupal rarely has packaged deployments of ‘finished’ objects. • Photo galleries, etc. • There are exceptions.
  20. 20. Drupal’s Design Modular structure inherits complexity. • Like with WordPress, some modules doing a particular task work better than others. • The key is to find the winning combinations to complete a task given specific requirements. • Drupal itself is built with modular structure in mind. • Users, content types (posts, pages, and so on), and vocabularies are extendible and customizable.
  21. 21. Let’s Not Dwell. That’s Drupal in a nutshell. So, consider that its users and site builders are used to component-based design and development. Why and how would WordPress fit into an environment built around this?
  22. 22. Before we continue… It’s worth noting that Drupal is an incredibly strong and powerful tool. As is worth noting, Drupal has a steep learning curve. It is one of the only systems I’ve seen that can construct complex workflows with zero lines of custom code*. (not counting theme styling - never count CSS out)
  23. 23. Bragging Incoming A few examples of what Drupal is good for. Beyond your content-heavy and complex school and college websites.
  24. 24. Drupal Challenges
  25. 25. A Common Query “I need you to build a website for {X} quickly and have it do {A}, {B}, and {C} by {totally unrealistic rushed timeline}. How can we accomplish this?”
  26. 26. We can build it! Drupal could do this. But, is it the right tool for a barebones website that really only does two to three primary things? Is it worth the resources to build up a complex website that actually does very little?
  27. 27. Drupal Multisite Drupal can do multisite. But the setup and provisioning of a new site within a multisite is a largely manual and base-level process.
  28. 28. Security Updates Updates can be sorta automatic. Drupal relies heavily on scripting and bash command language for server/low-level interaction. Updates can be delivered automatically via drush, an optional service for command-line interaction with websites. Otherwise, the update process are prone to mistakes.
  29. 29. Drupal out-of-the-box By default, Drupal comes preconfigured to do only the basics. This is meant to reduce bloat, as site maintainers can build their web application from a fairly small footprint or foundation. This is somewhat mitigated by distributions, but the upgrade paths for distribution components has been uneven.
  30. 30. What about Drupal 8? Drupal 8 fixes some of these issues, but also adds additional complexity. The latest major release of Drupal (November 2015) added Entity Reference, Views, and other key components into Drupal core. However, these additional changes do not entirely mitigate the above issues.
  31. 31. Thinking out loud. Is there a more user-friendly way? Drupal will likely never meet the demands of website-as- a-service without dedicated staffing and significant resources to scaffold development and design to aid non-technical web users.
  32. 32. Selling WordPress
  33. 33. Selling WordPress So, how to sell WordPress to the campus community? While your use-case may differ from standards, there are a number of areas where approaching a secondary CMS like WordPress can benefit your community as a whole.
  34. 34. WordPress & Workflow WordPress doesn’t have a Views replacement. Views is a key backbone of Drupal and is the foundation of most workflow state, content reusability, and information architecture practices in Drupal. Rather than looking at WordPress to replace, there’s areas where WordPress truly shines brighter.
  35. 35. Fitting WordPress In WordPress augments, not replaces, the primary CMS. WordPress provides a niche for web development on campus fitting use-cases to which Drupal is not an ideal fit. • Small, brochure-ware websites. • Plugin-focused website applications. • Brand-independent websites. • Ease-of-use for web content creation.
  36. 36. Your Users Institutional users could be already using other CMSs. With WordPress.com, wix.com being prevalent and pervasive across the web, your users have likely experimented with (or are using) off-campus solutions. Choosing an on-campus WordPress installation may come at the benefit of on-campus resources, plugins, or connections.
  37. 37. WordPress MU Suitable service-level offering. The usage of MultiUser (MU) in WordPress allows for the CMS to act as a service, where users can self- provision new subsites.
  38. 38. The Details Overall, WordPress works because due to its content creation tools. From a built-in flexible WYSIWYG/filter and continually- expanding oEmbed support, building engaging content on WordPress is easier than its competition.
  39. 39. CMS-Agnostic Design Proposes the possibility of CMS- agnostic design. Building institutional web applications, themes, and add- ons for more than just one platform. • Scale for adaptability and flexibility. • Scale for proprietary/internal/legacy systems.
  40. 40. Incorporating WordPress:
 A Case Study
  41. 41. Campus Branding Georgia Tech’s branding cascades top-down from Drupal. However, this branding becomes unsustainable as you drop into small, personalized websites that may not leverage Drupal or even a CMS. Cases include student, organizations, faculty/staff, event-related, and special websites.
  42. 42. Accessibility? Each example has accessible and responsive design issues. These small websites have only a few options for replacing their outdated websites: • Hire a Drupal developer. • Learn Drupal themselves. • Hire a graduate student to build something*. (results may vary)
  43. 43. Why not WordPress? WordPress was already being used on campus. Users on campus could use virtual web hosting to install any content management system, including WordPress. WordPress was the source of many outdated and deprecated websites and security vulnerabilities. WordPress was not being centrally leveraged.
  44. 44. The Move The move from decentralized to centralized WordPress. An opt-in WordPress multisite to allow users to trade off complete control of plugins, themes, configuration for automated security updates, a centrally-maintained campus theme, and CAS/SSO support (among others).
  45. 45. Results? Thinking about web not as a single CMS but an ecosystem. Not just Drupal, and not just WordPress.
  46. 46. Results A quick discussion on the results of WordPress at Georgia Tech.
  47. 47. Learning from Drupal
  48. 48. Lessons for WP Drupal’s OO-design can bring many good habits to web development. Despite being more intensive and requiring more work to bring up-to-speed, we can learn a lot from Drupal’s design.
  49. 49. 1. Object Coupling Entity-to-entity connections are crucial. Establishing an information architecture is crucial to making sure your website custom data grows organically along with the content. Don’t Repeat Yourself.
  50. 50. 1. Object Coupling Who inherits who? Who extends who? By cataloguing this beforehand (or as early as possible), you can determine the best way to re-use and connect data across data types.
  51. 51. 2. Components Component-level design is superb in an ever-changing environment. Building elements component-by-component allows them to be switched out with new iterations or updates, replace with a new workflow, or even connect with an external data source entity. The goal here should be to build custom components with chunking into individual LEGO blocks in mind.
  52. 52. 2. Components Benefits of LEGO blocks can be massive. What happens when your news/event service changes? When your institution revamps its style guide? When a new faculty information system is online? When legal requirements necessitate a change?
  53. 53. 3. Build for End-Users Content Editing should be left to the content editors. Streamline the content-creation process as much as possible. Abstract out any HTML markup chunks into system components to simplify the user experience for your editors.
  54. 54. 3. Build for End-Users Free up your time for the fun projects.
  55. 55. Good Luck!
  56. 56. In Summation There’s immense value in gauging benefits in both Drupal and WordPress. Your mission is to combine the best facets of both worlds to create a website which is usable both for your end-users and the content editors. Do this, and you’ll be unstoppable.
  57. 57. Questions?

×