Guide for TYPO3 projects

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TYPO3 quality guidelines

With TYPO3 you can have a lot of fun & success. And at comparatively low cost.

The prerequisite, however, is that your website is implemented correctly and kept up to date. Unfortunately, this is often not the case, which usually leads to high costs, malfunctions and a lot of frustration.

In the following, we list points that you should definitely consider during development as well as during regular maintenance.

General recommendations

  • Work only with agencies that have multiple TYPO3 certified staff and proven TYPO3 experience >.
  • Always keep TYPO3 up to date, i.e. always on an LTS version. (more on the topic TYPO3 update)
  • Use extensions only when really necessary. The more extensions you use, the more expensive/complex/unsecure maintenance and updates become.
  • Before you start implementing a website or function extension, you should be clear about what you want. Even the best agency cannot deliver on time and quality if design and functional requirements change regularly.

Project management

  • Be sure to comply with the relevant provisions of the GDPR before starting a collaboration with an external TYPO3 service provider. In particular, this means that a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) is concluded with the Agency and that the Agency sets out to you its Technical Organisational Measures (TOM) for the protection of this data.
  • Make it clear from the outset that the basic aims of the website are as follows: Responsiveness, fast loading times, machine-friendly code, simple and extensive editability of content by editors (even header and footer components must be editable), minimal use of extensions. Measures that contradict these goals should be announced and justified in good time.
  • The project should be managed by a qualified project manager (ideally a certified TYPO3 CMS Certified Consultant).
  • The project should be led by an internal person from your company who is basically familiar with IT or web technologies.

Design/UX recommendations

The Webdesignis a decisive factor for a good user experience (UX). It should be guided by the following criteria:

  • Intuition: the user should quickly find his way around the website.
  • Responsiveness: the website is easy to read and use on different devices and display sizes.
  • Simplicity: there are no access restrictions or interaction problems (e.g. buttons too small, uncontrollable animations, etc.).
  • Attractiveness: the website conveys a modern appearance and invites you to stay.

Basically, a design is subject to a very strong subjective perception. From experience and to optimise the UX, we have the following recommendations:

  • stick to "best practices" (e.g. logo at the top left, hierarchical menu structure, sufficient colour contrasts, uniform font, etc.).
  • make sure that the overall picture is coherent. Spacing between the individual components (images, texts, headings) should be reasonable and consistent.
  • offer a professional search function (e.g. SOLR).
  • work with breadcrumbs/navigation path (and draw them out, see Google recommendation).
  • avoid - if possible - oversized photos.
  • Do not start animations and videos automatically.
  • A sitemap is an important way for users to find out what the website has to offer and what it covers.
  • an A-Z list is also a very good way to find your way around and provides users with subject-related navigation.
  • Always send a confirmation e-mail (friendly form of address including the information provided by the user and your imprint) when users fill out forms. If possible, this should contain further information ("we will get back to you within the next 24 hours", "at the moment all places are occupied, but we will register you in the waiting loop and contact you as soon as a place becomes free", "the next steps are now as follows: ...", etc.). This has nothing to do with design, but a lot to do with UX...

Technical implementation (so-called integration)

The implementation of a design in TYPO3 is called integration. There is a separate certification for this task. The so called TYPO3 CMS Certified Integrator-Examination. A TYPO3 Integrator ensures that your design becomes an executable website whose content and functions can then be controlled via TYPO3.

TYPO3 programming should take the following points into account:

  • The latest Long Term Support version of TYPO3 should always be used (e.g. TYPO3 CMS 10.4.16 LTS).
  • Thrid party extensions and own extensions should only be used in very well justified cases.
  • Images may only be displayed in the maximum required size (e.g. much smaller images are sufficient for the smartphone view). This must be done automatically. It is NOT the editor's task to upload and/or embed the same image in different resolutions.
  • Editors' work should be made easier with backend layouts.
  • Editors should only have the rights they need (no page maintenance with admin rights).
  • Editors must have access to the full range of onpage SEO (title, page description, social media integration, etc.).
  • the page structure should be divided into semantic HTML elements(<header>,<nav>,<main>,<section>, <article>, <aside>, <footer>).
  • The logo should be linked to the home page and a meaningful link title text should be set.
  • all domains should be redirected by TYPO3 to a single one, which in any case only runs via "https://" 
  • the canonical tag should be set up to avoid duplicate content
  • Is your website multilingual? Then be sure to include the hreflang tag (Read more)
  • set up an individual 404 error page
  • provide different favicons (Read more)

Editorial work

As an editor, pay attention to the following points when maintaining content

  • Create a sensible directory structure in the file list. The more files there are in a directory, the "bulkier" it will be to work with later.
  • Use only lower-case letters for file names and avoid special characters and spaces.
  • Use only web-optimised images.
  • change the page names or the URL only in very justified cases. If you do, create a redirect from the old to the new URL.
  • Content should be optimised for search engines: Page name, title, description, image name, image title, image alt, don't forget the link title.
  • make sure you use correct spelling, clear understandable texts, clarity and structuring(see also our article Texting for the web).
  • use the TYPO3 functions for SocialMedia integration (OpenGraph and TwitterCard elements)

We are happy to offer you individual TYPO3 training (also online/remote), which teaches you how to use TYPO3 and the most important aspects of search engine optimisation.

Quality control

With the following tools you can check the quality of the website. When implementing a website, not all tests can be fulfilled 100% for various reasons. However, no more serious errors should occur:

Data protection

Violations of data protection are punishable by heavy fines under the GDPR. This is not the only reason why you should take this topic seriously and protect personal data as comprehensively as possible:

  • The loading of external resources (e.g. fonts, YouTube videos, etc.) and the use of tracking tools are always subject to approval. This requirement is usually implemented through the use of a Cookie Consent Box. It must be possible to call up this consent box at a later date in order to withdraw consent if necessary.
  • verwenden Sie immer https (auch für den Backend-Zugang zu TYPO3). Ein Seiten-Aufruf mit http sollte immer auf https weitergeleitet werden.
  • always use https (also for backend access to TYPO3). A page call with http should always be redirected to https.
  • On every page there should be links to the pages "data protection" and "imprint" immediately ("above the fold" -> the part of the website that the user sees immediately without scrolling). It is best to have the content of these two pages checked/specified by lawyers.
  • configure the http header correctly
  • Always follow the principle of data minimisation when filling out forms: only ask for data that is really needed.
  • Use data only for the intended purpose
  • Delete personal data that is no longer needed ("storage limitation"), e.g. log files should be deleted after 60 days at the latest. IP addresses of visitors should be masked. Form data in TYPO3 should also be deleted regularly.