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Create Once, Publish Everywhere (COPE) with Drupal - Why You Should Keep Up with the Principle

Vadim G, Lead Developer
December 6, 2021

Today, millions of people access the web and buy stuff/order services online through a variety of channels and devices. One customer may as well switch between multiple devices in a single. And they expect an equal level of convenience, accessibility, and performance on every platform and device they choose to use. This poses a major challenge for online providers on a global scale. 

Or, rather, used to pose. COPE - Create Once, Publish Everywhere - is the content publishing and managing approach that helps optimize in tune with the times. It is what, basically, will help you keep all of your customers satisfied no matter the way they prefer to interact with your business.



The COPE principle is simple - you create content and, instead of optimizing it separately for every other compatible platform, you make it universally compatible from the start. To be more exact, content is created once and is then repurposed to fit different required mediums. There are all the needed tech tools for this today. 

More in-depth scaling

The ways people consume content multiply and expand on a regular basis. And providers must scale in tune with the time, adapting to providing content via a myriad of devices and formats. An ability to conveniently scale content for all types of new outputs is crucial. And this is where COPE allows achieving it through creating, updating, and managing content in other ways in one place.

Resource-efficient growth

COPE also helps reasonably cut resources for further scaling and growth. Mostly, by eliminating the need to create content in different environments for different end platforms. It also helps avoid content duplications and enables efficient internal collaboration where specialists from one department may create content and content delivery professionals may publish it in line with all the proper requirements.

Extended audience reach

The number of channels for content circulation may grow exponentially and COPE will help you cope with this most efficiently (no pun intended). Consider the following chain of actions as an example - you post a bit of content to the newsroom and associate it with specific keywords/categories -> the content summary is automatically displayed on the newsroom’s homepage/mainpage/respective RSS feeds -> content summary and link is automatically shared on social media -> mobile users get an app notification.

Better accessibility

COPE also helps conveniently optimize content for disabled people and people with certain content interaction and consumption conditions. The approach can help you properly prepare content for the widest range of special user categories - those with vision, hearing, reading, and neurological pathologies and disabilities, as well as non-tech-savvy users and people with slow Internet connection (or no connection whatsoever). 

Simpler redesigning

Redesigning a website is commonly an initiative to keep up with trends and stay fresh in the ever-changing market. Here, COPE helps with the principle of completely separating content from the presentation layer so it then could be copied to a redesigned piece of software. This separation allows creating sort of design templates to be easily filled with the backed-up content, speeding things up and relieving the burden on specialists. 

Fresher, more accurate content

The COPE approach helps efficiently manage content in a bunch of places at once, tackling many essential risks related to the process. These include logging into numerous separate systems, keeping all the content consistent and accurate, and handling other cumbersome, motivation-killing actions. Previously prepared structured fields can be used for both specialists’ convenience and more in-depth personalization opportunities for users. At the same time, links can be pulled to the related recently published content and other methods can be employed. 

And the resulting business benefits go a long way - you save loads of time and effort, hence, costs and extra expenses you would direct on unnecessary optimizations. You may as well become platform-independent yet always ready to cover any required platform. But how exactly this principle can be applied in practice? Drupal helps implement the COPE approach in quite a convenient way.

How Drupal streamlines COPE

Drupal helps achieve versatile content distribution opportunities with the API-first architecture philosophy put at the core of your digital content management system. Here’s how it works:

  • There is a main (central) web service that exchanges data via interacting with a number of different connected applications;
  • Drupal decouples the system’s frontend using additional technologies that represent content in according mediums;
  • This allows enterprises to turn Drupal into a service layer that “connects” content with required ecosystems;

Drupal provides a set of API-first tools that help set all the manipulations in motion, these include:

  1. Content types help classify data for further repurposing;
  2. Fields help represent the content of completely different formats on the website;
  3. Views allow to create content lists governed by classified content types;
  4. View modes help diversify content and represent it in required formats on needed web pages;
  5. Entity reference is a tool that dynamically pulls content from page to page;
  6. Services help direct content into feeds and applications.

These are, ultimately, the capabilities a Drupal specialist may use to achieve all the benefits of the API-first decoupled architecture approach. What underlying tools are there to wield all those opportunities? 

Services can be used for exporting data from a website. It is all well-tried-and-tested services for efficient, resource-efficient Drupal software decoupling. On top of that Contenta CMS API offers a standard jsonapi-based platform that allows for developing decoupled apps and sites that can significantly streamline content management on your Drupal site.

Final Word

You may as well achieve the API-first decoupled architecture and employ the COPE principle in more different ways apart from the mentioned. One thing is for sure - it isn’t among the most popular business-defining approaches today in vain. Stay in tune with the times and adapt to shifting market conditions and growing demands. We’ll help you with timely insights.

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