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Drupal Trends in 2012

2012 is here and, like the ancient Mayans, we're predicting some big changes, especially in our favorite Content Management System (CMS), Drupal. Drupal 7 was released with some of the best and brightest features from user-created modules and boasts some stunning functionality with a default install. Far from some random, half-forgotten, unpolished open-source project, Drupal has matured into a robust CMS choice for companies of all sizes. Here's a glimpse of what the future holds:

Make Way for HTML5

Drupal for HTML5 is the next big thing for us with browser support growing daily. Aside from audio, video, and dynamic graphics through the canvas element, adapting and updating Drupal for HTML5 is a simple matter, with those "tougher" elements only a module away. HTML5's video tag should also provide an alternate video format from Flash, whose makers, Adobe, recently stated that they have no intention of putting Flash on mobile devices. Plus, there are already several options for Drupal implementation. These Drupal Trends promise to be big as browser support continues to grow and mature.

Beefing up Social Media

Drupal 7 will deploy with native support for RDFa and other popular vocabularies which will provide increased support for social media sites like Facebook and Google+. RDF, or Resource Description Format, gives content publishers powerful tools to categorize and share human-understandable content in a common, machine-readable manner. Even though all this takes place unseen in the underlying code of your site, you should notice browsers and devices picking up on these cues on their own, and possibly taking advantage of them in surprising ways. If your users require a new vocabulary for a certain RDF capability, Drupal gives you the tools to add as needed.

Embracing the Mobile Future

Mobile sites in Drupal naturally revolve around detecting what browser your visitor is using and 2012 offers improvements in that regard, but development will be constant considering the ongoing evolution of mobile devices. Mobile market share on the Internet more than tripled in the last year and is expected to keep rising with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. We can hopefully look forward to the increasing adoption of RDF technology in mobile devices which will allow us to leverage Drupal 7's native abilities. In the interim we keep our detection modules up to date and provide a robust mobile theme that integrates with Drupal like any other, while still offering the visitor a choice between mobile and desktop site layout.

What's Good for the Developer is Good for the User

So far, 2012 is shaping up to be a promising year. User modules have not lagged behind and we developers are especially excited about the possibilities, such as combining Views with Apache Solr for powerful search and content presentation to create an all-in-one data solution, not to mention the “lighter” side of things such as easier, simplified theming to speed up site deployment.

Ultimately, these changes and improvements to Drupal are likely to make more a better user experience translating to an increased conversion rate from your website. For more information on whether or not Drupal is right for your business site, please contact us.

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