A handful of “life-saving” module releases, enlightening tutorials, well-curated Drupal theme selections... This month has “spoiled” us with lots of valuable Drupal blog posts. Therefore, coming up with a shortlist of 5 Drupal blog posts has been quite a challenge for us here, at OPTASY.
But, in the end, we did manage to trim our bulky lists of favorites. To focus on our common preferences and keep only the following truly valuable pieces of content on Drupal in our final selection:
1. Top Drupal Blog Posts- OpenSense Labs: Implementing Pattern Libraries with Drupal
Since keeping consistency across the websites that we develop is an ever-present challenge and priority for us, this post on building pattern libraries in Drupal came in handy...
While reading it we were already:
- counting just how much time we would save for creating new functionalities and setting up new pages
- anticipating how easy it would be to maintain our future Drupal websites once we've integrated pattern libraries that anyone could tap into and streamline the creation of new features
- imagining how convenient it would be to just reuse design elements and functionality stored in those libraries
Overall: we couldn't stop thinking how streamlined the whole Drupal development process would be, for all our future projects. And to what extent the end user's experience would get improved by means of... consistency.
The solution the OpsenSense Labs presents there is an effective formula: Pattern Lab + Drupal 8= Emulsify.
Then, they get into details on:
- what Emulsify is: a prototyping tool leveraging atomic design that you could rely on for setting up a living style guide
- how Emulsify works: by integrating Pattern Lab it enables you to easily put together and manage components and thus streamline your entire development process in Drupal 8
2. InternetDevels: New Quicklink Module in Drupal 8 for Performance Improvement
The team from InternetDevels have surprised us with a present in the form of a new module that has the potential to become the newest tool in our Drupal development “essential toolkit”.
One including other valuable performance optimization Drupal modules...
It's called Quicklink and here's what makes it so... “tempting”: it uses link prefetching to boost up page loading time on Drupal 8 websites.
Take this example from their blog post: a visitor lands on a specific page on your website with the intention of accessing other links as well. Once the used browser goes idle, the module tracks the user's viewport and caches the content corresponding to the links in that viewport.
Once he/she clicks on any of those links, the content will have already been safely stored in the cache and thus it gets displayed much quicker. That is what link prefetching is all about...
Next, the blog post's author goes on delivering details on the underlying library, the API and the method this module uses for link detection and respectively for waiting for the browser to go idle. Then, it gets into specific details on how to install and configure the module.
3. Vardot: The 7 Best Drupal Themes to Use in 2019
Why have we included Vardot's piece of content on our favorite Drupal blog posts list: March edition?
Because versatility has been one of their key criteria when selecting those specific 7 themes. They anticipated website owners' and development teams' requirements in terms of customization and flexibility — not just look & style — when picking their Drupal themes.
In this respect, their collection included Drupal themes ranging from Progressive to Winnex, from OWL to... Edmix.
4. Dries Buytaert: JSON:API Lands in Drupal Core
Dries' post is a long-time awaited news: Drupal now ships with JSON:API support.
According to his predictions, in just a few months all Drupal 8 websites will get support for this module.
What does this mean?
- it means that the once far-to-reach future where Drupal would be API-first is now... closer than ever
- Drupal teams get empowered to create content models with no coding required, straight in the Drupal UI
- we're being provided with a web service API that pulls that content into JS apps, voice assistants, chatbots...
Just imagine: with this module in core, all your comments, blog posts, tags, and other Drupal entities will get easily accessed via JSON:API web service API. This way, you can serve your content across an entire ecosystem of platforms and devices...
5. Echidna: New Search Overrides Module
We ran over this article the other day and we knew we just had to add it to our top 5 favorite Drupal blog posts of the month.
It presents a solution to a too frequent challenge: handling those scenarios where you're not 100% happy with the search results provided by Search API Solr and you need to... tweak them.
To tailor them to your specific needs, so that they're fully relevant for your end users...
Now you have the option to trigger the Drupal module Search Overrides' power. It's designed to enable website admins to override the generated search results. Manually...
Say you're one of these Drupal site admins: you choose the nodes to be placed at the top of the search results generated when entering specific search terms and you remove those nodes that shouldn't get displayed. As easy as that! The module will provide you with a method to leverage whenever you need to override search results on a Drupal website.
Note: the Echidna team's now working on integrating functionality that would allow for search result overrides to be... role-specific. For instance, a Drupal back-end team would get different results compared to the end users, for the very same search term.