Web development

You don't need to go fully 'headless' to use React for parts of your Drupal site.

You’re about to begin a huge overhaul of your higher education website and one of the first steps is choosing a content management system. Here are some factors to consider when choosing between Drupal and WordPress.
Server monitoring
This list gives you a good set of metrics to keep an eye on and why it's in your best interest to do so.
Content Editor
Drupal 8 is a great CMS for feature-rich sites, but how does it stack up for content editors?
Without a well thought out and detailed strategy, achieving your goals might feel impossible. Here are 7 signs that your project needs a proper discovery phase before investing in any type of design and development project.
Entity Views Attachment, or EVA, is a Drupal module that allows you to attach view displays to entities of your choosing. We used it recently on a project and loved it.
Glass building
With roughly 1.2 million websites using Drupal across the world, including marquee sites such as NBC Universal and pharmaceutical giant Novartis, it’s clear that it’s a powerful content management system capable of supporting large organizations.
Long exposure car lights
You've gone through all the checklist compliance work, but haven't seen any change in your site's speed. What's going on here?
Clothing rack

Drupal has a powerful suite of tools and features for just about any type of website, and eCommerce websites are no exception.


This post is the second in a series covering Zivtech's usage of Gulp for front-end development in Drupal 8.


Gulp is a mainstay of front-end development nowadays.

Bird Migration
Once a site gets stale, it’s time to update. You may be going from one CMS to another, i.e., WordPress to Drupal, or you may be moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8.
Sue Spolan
Sue Spolan
Do different CMS options offer varying levels of security? Here's how to keep your site safe.
Sue Spolan
Sue Spolan
Climbing hooks and carabiners
Writing code for a Drupal site can be an overwhelming experience because, even though it’s written in PHP, there’s a dense API behind it. One of the biggest parts of that API is the hook system.
PHP can be challenging to learn, especially if you’re learning Drupal at the same time.
People working at tables
The goal of any company is to reduce costs and increase profit, especially when it comes to online and IT projects. When an IT undertaking is a transitional effort, it makes sense to consider staff augmentation and outsourcing.
Man listening to music with earbuds
If you can think of a topic, there’s probably a podcast about it. Web development is no different.
Student desk
The most important thing for an employee to learn is the value that comes from training others.
Cable car
If I could go back in time, after I had graduated from my three month web development bootcamp, I would tell myself, “You don’t know git!”
Training your employees is not just a distraction that slows your work down. It is the whole future of the company.
Growing from seed
Believe that your people are intelligent, and that you can teach them something, and that they can learn.
Dumpster and wooden pallets
One of the best things I’ve learned is how to compress my database and copy it across servers. These two commands are drush sql-dump and scp.
In a culture of training, everyone values the idea of working together to teach each other.
Grow your own
Lack of available talent is a common refrain of business owners. Give up on looking and complaining! Learn how to create a sustainable business.

Short for Drupal Shell, Drush is a tool that allows developers to work on the command line, an interface that has both benefits and disadvantages to the Drupal UI (user interface).

Sue Spolan
Sue Spolan
Brick wall
Understand whom you’re building for, employ the right frameworks, organize your codebase, and make your life a lot easier with a CSS preprocessor.
Stephanie Semerville
Stephanie Semerville
Colored wall
Look at your website. Do any of these problems sound familiar? Here's how to fix them.
Sue Spolan
Sue Spolan
Your website’s goal is not to show off cool stuff. It’s to get and keep visitors’ attention to your product or service, and to convert customers. That’s why it’s so important to understand how attention comes into play when designing your website.

If you think of D7 and D8 as basic buildings, the modules are all the things you add to buildings to make them more useful. Here are our five favorites. 

Jason Oscar
Jason Oscar
Study book

Here's a study guide to help you pass the Acquia Certified Drupal Site Builder Exam. These are especially useful to those who are newer to Drupal.

Allison Law
Allison Law
Stop hiding it! Take a good look at your website’s backend. Get answers to all your embarrassing questions in a safe place.
Help text on form fields is an intrinsic component for web applications that contain forms for content creation, user accounts, or data entry.
Colored paper

The Drupal community welcomed the much anticipated release of Drupal 8 a few months ago. What themes are available in Drupal 8?

Conference audience
Drupaldelphia has announced that Bob Moul is the 2016 keynote speaker.
Allie Jones
Allie Jones
Computer and coffee

Junior developer Lauren Lewis shares her insights as a newcomer to the Drupal community.

View from below of modern skyscrapers

This is Part 2 of a series on How to do a Site Audit.

swirling building staircase

As a project manager, you want to share a link with a client for quick feedback, and too often it‘s not as easy as it should be.

Zivtech Staff
Telescope overlooking a beach

There are a lot of different reasons why people need a site audit.

In this installment, I'll step through how to set up oEmbed rich content in a WYSIWYG in Drupal 7.

Wait no more.

Sue Spolan
Sue Spolan

In Drupal 8, we finally have WYSIWYG in core, but no solution for adding videos and other embedded content. How can we have the ease of use of Wordpress for embedding 3rd party content?

Empty seats
What if you could build in quality assurance?
Howard Tyson
Howard Tyson
Child playing Jenga
Your system probably doesn't help you with quality assurance outside of what a computer can look at.
Howard Tyson
Howard Tyson
Maintainable Code
This is part 4 of a series based on Jody Hamilton's talk at Dreamit Ventures to a group of entrepreneurs.
Red wall
If you’re using Chrome, and in all likelihood you are, given that nearly half of global users are on Google’s browser, you may have noticed a security warning. Should you be worried?

This is Part 3 of Jody's talk at Dreamit Ventures.


Here's Part Two of Jody's talk at Dreamit Ventures. Check out some of the other posts in the series.

Abandoned Volkswagon beetle

Jody Hamilton has been doing Drupal development and leading Drupal teams for about ten years.

Drupal 8 comes with a lot of improvements to the content editing experience, but it still doesn't have an easy way to embed 3rd party video and other content.
Probo.CI is a new open source continuous integration system designed from the ground up to work with Drupal.
Howard Tyson
Howard Tyson
With git’s ability to create multiple branches and merge multiple developer's code into one repository, it is easy to get things mixed up; but don’t panic! There are tools out there to help.
Allie Jones
Allie Jones
Here are some additional tools we found to be great assets to a documentarian's repertoire.
Allison Law
Allison Law
User permissions
Let's talk about users, permissions, and roles, and how you can use them to keep your Drupal installation merrily un-borked.

Recently at Zivtech we started migrating our base theme for Drupal called Bearskin over to a gulp-based CSS compiling system. Up until now we had been using the original Sass, written in Ruby, but lately it's been feeling a bit slow.


With Drupal 8 in the final stage of development, support for Drupal 6 will soon be coming to a close. If you are currently running a Drupal 6 site, now is the time to start thinking about upgrading, and choosing which version of Drupal is right for you.


It’s a challenge to locate a service provider who truly meets your business and procurement objectives. This can be especially challenging in the Drupal, & broader Open Source Software, ecosystems, where anybody can label themselves "experts." That’s the conundrum Clutch solves.

There are tons of themed lorem ipsum generators out there. There are many that are comical and some are very innovative in their approach. Let’s take a look at 11 Lorem Ipsum Generators that will be sure to make testing content creation on your next Drupal project fun.
Drupal Themes

We at Zivtech care about accessible websites and strive to make our projects usable by the widest range of people possible.

Sticky Notes
Drupal 7 Core Site Building Jeopardy helps your team study for the Acquia Site Builder certification, or just brush up on your Drupal core knowledge.

Have you ever worked with a Drupal developer who seemed to always be able to fix bugs by finding patches to apply seemingly instantaneously?


AngularJS is a popular javascript framework backed by Google.

Drupal Automation
Drupaldelphia 2014 had a bunch of great sessions this year, some of which were presented by our own Zivtech team members.
Catch up with us at some of our upcoming events!
Custom Page Layout

Using blocks to lay out content on your Drupal site can be a tedious and inflexible process.

Drupal Development
With the advent of screen readers, many web users imagined web accessibility to be complete, but there is more to using the web than simply browsing.
Here at Zivtech, we are obsessed with creating immersive experiences for mobile and the web using cutting-edge design and Open Source Software like Drupal and Angular.js. One of the web design techniques that we've had on our radar is Parallax Scrolling, which gives depth to a page by scrolling two dimensions of the site at different rates.
Philly Dev Camp is a web developer boot camp focusing on skills that local tech companies are looking for in today's workforce.
Drupal in Business
Zivtech CEO Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg will be discussing the future of Drupal in business on a panel with other local Drupal shops.
Zivtech was thrilled last week when Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced that we were one of five winners of Startup PHL’s second round of Call for Ideas Grants, for a 6-week Web Development Bootcamp.
Web Development
Hi, my name is Jason Moore and I am a Developer here at Zivtech.
Drupal Development
We at Zivtech have been working with Drupal for a long time, some of us for over 10 years, and in that time we’ve gotten to use (and sometimes build) a lot of really cool modules to develop stellar sites for our clients.

As a Senior Developer here at Zivtech, part of my job is to develop with an eye towards security.

Brown bear
Introducing Bear Skin, a comprehensive skin for Zivtech's Bear base theme.

The quality assurance (QA) phase of a web development project is the last phase before launch.

Zivtech-built sites are in the running for four awards!
Lemon tree
I've worked on many "Site Rescue" jobs, in which a client comes with a sick, but often brand-new and expensive Drupal site, desperately needing it fixed in a number of ways.
I started the following checklist for my team to level up everyone's pre-ticket review quality, but it can be useful for any Views builders.
Core Sprint
After a full day of sessions and learning about Drupal, Saturday June 23rd from 10 am to 5 pm will be the third Get Involved with Core Sprint.
Come join Zivtech and the rest of the Philadelphia Drupal community on June 22-23, for two action packed days of good programing, great beer/food/code, and even better people!
Rocket launch

After months of site development, code, more code, and long hours, launch day arrives.

Drupal Theme
The other day I got to thinking, just what would it take to build a responsive theme for Drupal from scratch?
Howard Tyson
Howard Tyson

Join us in Portland, Oregon for the Pacific Northwest Drupal Summit October 14 -16, 2011.

Zivtech's Senior Developer, Howard Tyson, recently conducted a Node.js webinar with our partner Acquia.
Helping Clients
Part of the reason why I love Drupal is that it treats everyone as a potential developer.
New York
Zivtech is excited to announce that Andrew Morton, aka drewish, has joined our team as a Senior Architect.
When a client asks for a way to pull content onto a site through RSS, the obvious choice is to use Drupal's Feeds module. I've never been really in love with this module but it does the job well. We recently had an interesting case that required extending the normal functionality of feeds to interact with custom content types.
I first came across the FullCalendar jQuery plugin while searching for a better way to mimic the features and style of Google Calendar. I was immediately impressed; it combined features like drag-and-drop and dynamic resizing with the limitless flexiblity of an open-source project.
We are very pleased to announce our pre-conference Drupal 7 Module Development training session at DrupalCon Chicago, taking place on Monday, March 7, 2011.
Zivtech Development
I've been helping out with the Great Git Migration effort lately, particularly the queue infrastructure. As a result of this work, I created the Waiting Queue module.
Zivtech Development
Back at Drupal Camp NYC Jen Simmons pulled a number us Drupal folks together to come up with some solutions for incorporating HTML5 into Drupal.
Custom Plugins
Context is one of the most useful architectural modules for Drupal. Context works by setting conditions such as a path or a node type and, if that condition is present, reactions such as adding blocks to regions or setting an active menu.

Window washers

Neither my father nor I are particularly meticulous people in the rest of our lives, but you could eat off his hubcabs or my team's code.

Sass and Compass
So you write a lot of CSS, right? I used to be like you. I'll bet you probably write enough CSS to see tons of possibilities in the code, but also maybe you pull your hair out over some of the limitations?
Public Forum
Here's a small Drupal module (D6) and instructions to allow you to have both public and private forums on a site.
Drupal Event
Zivtech will be hosting an Alfresco webinar tomorrow (9/14/2010) on integrating Alfresco, Drupal, and Salesforce.com.
Zivtech Module Development
Sign up for the Module Development Training now!
We're pleased to announce Mason Wendell has joined our team as Zivtech's new Creative Director.
This post will cover the highly available load balancer setup that currently serves 7 sites, with another 4 in the pipeline. Basically, we want to run the sites through two Linux-based software load balancer boxes, and be able to keep the sites up even if one of them fails.
Web development
We're working on a project with too much non-uniform legacy HTML to migrate it all into Drupal. Some of it we're handling by migrating certain data into nodes and dumping the entire HTML content into the node body so it can be easily indexed by Solr for search and the titles can be included in other views listings.
Drupal Camp Philadelphia
This Friday, May 14th, 2010, the next Drupal Camp for Philadelphia, A.K.A. Drupaldelphia, will take place at Temple University's Alter Hall.
Ever wanted to know what changed in the {variable} table? Who changed it? What the old value was? Well, this is the module for you.
Chicago Drupal Jam
I've had a lot of fun today at the Chicago Drupal Jam! Here are a couple of notes from the day.
Drupalcon Sessions
The voting is over and the Drupal Con San Fran sessions have been posted.
Philly skyline
Zivtech is excited to host two events in the next couple of weeks at our offices featuring two of the Open Source Enterprise Content Management systems that we work with.
Drupal Development
We are very excited to announce the launch of the DCTV and Beyond Bullets websites. DCTV is a very cool media arts center based in New York. DCTV's firehouse was home to Democracy Now and currently trains 2,000 students a year. The relatively small organization can boast to winning 15 Emmy awards!
Planning Session
Ryan Szarama, Lyle Mantooth, Mike O'Connor, Amye Scavarda, Damien Tournoud, and I recently met for two days in the San Fran af83 PariSoma office to begin planning an Ubercore initiative (think Ubercart and Small Core) for restructuring Ubercart on Drupal 7.
Media Camp
This past weekend I had the pleasures of attending PublicMediaCamp which was "an initiative to strengthen the relationship that public broadcasters have with their communities through the creation of collaborative projects."
Web Development
Drupal is at heart a content publishing platform. A way to share information as quickly and as accessibly as possible.
Drupal Framework
As the community at large wrestles with Drupal's future as both a framework and a CMS, and its usefulness or focus on the various needs of developers, themers, designers, end-users, and others, Zivtech, as an 11-person Drupal team, deals with the same questions and debates internally.
Web Design
Is Drupal a bad platform for designers? If you were paying attention to the Drupal Planet or the twitter feeds of various Drupal community members and designers in the Drupal world, you might think the answer is a resounding 'Yes'.
We've been sprinting to get stream wrappers into Drupal 7 here at the Zivtech Philly office for the past two days.
Flat World Knowledge, an open source online college textbook publishing company, released version 2.0 this week.
Unfuddle Feedback Module
This is what happens when you are surrounded by brilliant people.
Zivtech is excited to announce two days of Drupal trainings, happening in two short weeks here in Philadelphia!
We had to setup a static file server for a client site - its growing too big for a single box running php, mysql and serving static content.
Drupal Event
This past weekend's Mashable-Indy Hall party (which Zivtech sponsored) was pretty awesome, despite the venue's hat hating ways, but it wasn't the only awesome tech event in Philly this weekend.
Last weekend I had the great pleasure of taking part in the Open Media Camp & Media Sprint, which was hosted by Denver Open Media (DOM).
Drupal CVS
As noted in Jody's blog-post regarding this same subject, there are a number of tools out there which allow for simple cvs checkout from Drupal's repository. Unfortunately, they need to be installed separately for each website, which can be a pain.
Matt Klein
Matt Klein
Summer of Code
As many of you know, I am helping to organize Drupal's participation for this years Google Summer of Code for this year, and one of my duties is to help recruit mentors and help them connect with students working on some of the awesome community and student project ideas that have been proposed.
The James Zabiela Flash/Drupal site won the 2009 SXSW Interactive Web Award in the category "Music."
User Permissions
Jody and I will be working on getting some hacking done on Drupal's permission system at Drupalcon.
Maybe not the most simple, but pretty close.
Zivtech Staff
2008 was a hell of a year. After a few years as an independent contractor, I incorporated Zivtech in January. In April, Jody and I decided to become business partners (which, coincidentally, happened in the same week I learned I was going to be a father for the first time), and by the end of the year we had grown to an eleven person shop.
Philly skyline
Philadelphia held its first DrupalCamp this week, and it went better than I think even the most optimistic of us expected.
Code on laptop
Yesterday I had to do some major filter debugging, causing me to learn a lot about Drupal's filter system. Here are some basic and less basic observations on Drupal's format and filter system.
Person using laptop
If you want to change that default My Account page, here are some ideas for both coders and non-coders.
Zivtech is an Open Source Drupal web development shop with a beautiful office at 15th and South St in Downtown Philadelphia.
Zivtech is extremely excited to announce that we are now officially an Acquia Silver Partner.

I recently wrote a views plugin for the weight module which allows the setup of views which are a drag-and-drop form for ordering nodes.

Drupal Node
There are many contributed node access control modules for Drupal and you really should understand the basics of node access before installing and configuring one.
Video camera
Jody just created a small patch for FeedAPI that added a filter to Views for "Filter by Parent Term," which allowed me to create a new way to sort through the massive amount of videos that have been coming in via the various Drupal themed video feeds that I've been able to find.
Drupal Modules
There are lots of great Drupal productivity/development modules (e.g. drush, devel, coder) which, due to their nature as modules, need to be installed on each site you work on. If you work on a dizzying number of different Drupal sites, productivity improvements which are not site-specific are the most useful.
The following is a HOWTO I just submitted to the Drupal.org Handbook.
John Forsythe recently posted that Contemplate is one of the most favorited modules on his DrupalModules.com site, attributable to the learning curve of creating template files. With no offense to Jeff Robbins who created this very clever module, I've never been a big fan of Contemplate.
Office desk
As Alex UA recently posted, we have partnered in Zivtech, a Drupal-only development business.
As of last week, Jody Hamilton and I officially became business partners.
Today was the last official day of DrupalCon Boston 2008, the latest official iteration of the biannual Drupal Conference.
Drupal Modules

I created this post to use as a companion piece for a presentation I'm giving at the Philly PHP Meetup's "Drupal Show and Tell" event.

I've dealt with many, many different types of software over the years, and rarely have I come across an application or platform with better documentation than Drupal. It's truly amazing that this documentation was created almost entirely by volunteers, and it's a great example of the dedication to improving the system and it's usability.