LATEST FROM OUR BLOG

Take your daily dose of (only) relevant news, useful tips and tricks and valuable how to's on using the latest web technologies shaping the digital landscape. We're here to do all the necessary information sifting for you, so you don't have to, to provide you with content that will help you anticipate the emerging trends about to influence the web.

What’s the Best Drupal Managed Hosting Provider? Here Are Your Top 4 Options
You want it to be easy to use, to provide you with as much automated maintenance as possible and... up to 100% uptime. So, what's the best Drupal managed hosting solution for your needs? And, let me guess: your “feature wishlist” is a bit longer actually:   autoscaling capability multi-site support: you want to be able to manage all your Drupal websites from a single dashboard CDN backups and easy restores on a daily basis support for migration Given your list of requirements, what are your best choices here? I've done my research and narrowed down your options to 4. 4 fully managed hosting solutions for Drupal that you should consider first. Here they are:   But First: Why Managed Hosting? What Does It Really Get You? Why would you want to go for a fully managed hosting solution for your Drupal website(s) instead of a... self-managed one? Because:   you gain so much time; time that you'd otherwise invest in setting the Drupal infrastructure yourself, from the ground up you avoid the risk of getting tangled up in software installation, configuration, infrastructure management (which can turn into a time and energy-consuming ordeal even if you have the know-how to set up a scalable VPS on AWS yourself) you avoid the headache of maintaining a whole infrastructure of Drupal sites you get remote administration that covers mundane, regular operations such as module updating   In short: you delegate your managed hosting provider with everything outside the codebase. Why spend time on the ongoing maintenance of your website when you can invest it in... improving it? In growing it?   1. Pantheon Drupal Hosting   Disclaimer: it's the Drupal hosting that we are using here, at OPTASY. But is Pantheon the best solution for your own use case? For your expectations of a hosting platform? It is if it's a simplified, easy to use hosting solution that you need for your Drupal website(s). One that provides you with:   great support solid tooling  almost instant patching great developer experience ease of use with Drupal high availability and scaling intuitive interface, which makes migrating and cloning your Drupal websites so much easier lots of integrations   But let's see precisely what services it provides you with.   Pantheon Drupal's Key Features   php7 Git 24/7 Drupal support  Once-click core updates  Built-in stagging environments: dev, test, live Global CDN Solr Developer dashboard   2. Acquia, One of the Best Drupal Managed Hosting Solutions   Acquia Drupal hosting is another great option to consider when you're trying to figure out which is the best service for you. Why? Because it provides you with:   some of the best tools: both powerful and easy to use enterprise-level security cloud hosting specifically tailored to suit Drupal websites unmatched scalability: Acquia Drupal 8 hosting powers some of the largest Drupal websites in the world    Acquia Drupal Hosting Key Features   Enterprise-grade security and recovery: a whole set of firewall controls and access and authentication controls; Acquia-hosted websites are known to be better equipped to recover from cyber attacks A hosting platform optimized for Drupal exclusively A turnkey solution: the built-in Node.js support enables you to develop your Drupal back-end apps, as well as your server-side rendered front-end apps, on the same hosting platform Robust development tools: APIs, integrations, and command-line tools that help you build and optimize your apps in no time Real-time monitoring, analyzing, and troubleshooting Close to 100% uptime: Drupal hosting Acquia makes the best choice for you if your uptime and performance requirements are way beyond basic Centralized dashboard for all your websites and a unique Drupal codebase Source: acquia.com   3. SiteGround Drupal Hosting Another popular hosting option for Drupal websites is Siteground, a platform robust enough to withstand the challenges of user-heavy, high traffic sites. It's also the most versatile managed hosting solution on this list, for it meets the needs of both small website owners and enterprise and large organizations. But why would you choose if over other Drupal 8 hosting services? SiteGround Drupal 8 Hosting Key Features   Daily backups 1-Click Drupal installation Responsive support from actual Drupal developers by mail, chat, helpdesk ticket Dynamic NGINX caching (available only on some of the hosting plans) Website transfer assistance with zero downtime   4. Cloudways Managed Drupal Cloud Hosting     Cloudways is not just one of your best Drupal managed to host options. It's also one of the most... different. It allows you to choose the cloud hosting provider for your Drupal infrastructure. You're free to go for Amazon AWS or Digital Ocean, Google Cloud or maybe Vultr, you name it. Why cloud hosting? Because it's easier to scale, more cost-effective, and faster.  In short: it's top performance hosting that scales that you get with Cloudways. But there are also other strong reasons why you'd want to choose to host your Drupal website(s) on Cloudways. Cloudways Managed Drupal Hosting Key Features   Composer support  ease of use: just sift through all the different options that it provides you with through an intuitive UI, select the ones that you prefer via quick one-click access, and set up your Drupal website in no time  HTTP/2 support PHP migration support Free migration SSD-Based Drupal Cloud Hosting CloudwaysCDN you get to host multiple Drupal websites on one server you can add more team members and share server access across your entire team  built-in caching options auto-scalable kyup servers: they downscale and upscale, depending on the amount of traffic on your website(s), with zero downtime managed platform: you can spin up servers and deploy your apps in the blink of an eye   Final Word  The key takeaway is that choosing the best hosting services for your Drupal site(s) is crucial. Imagine that you'd buy yourself a Porsche, but you don't afford a... garage for it. Or its maintenance costs. See my point? When you run your website on a performance powerhouse like Drupal, you need to look for a hosting platform that can match such a robust setup. And speaking of keeping your Drupal infrastructure secure and well-maintained, we have an entire team of Drupal experts that you can delegate your time-consuming maintenance tasks to:   updating Drupal modules running security patches as they get released monitoring your website's performance monitoring it for suspicious activities ...   Just drop us a line and let's tailor a Drupal security and maintenance plan to suit your website(s) needs.   Image by kropekk_pl from Pixabay ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / May 28'2020
Drupal 9 Features: From “No New Features” to... 9 New Shiny Things You Can Expect to See in Drupal 9
What new Drupal 9 features can you expect to see on June 3rd, 2020? For, it's a bit confusing, isn't it?   on one hand, you have the “no new features“ statement on the other hand, you get answers like: “the easiest upgrade in a decade”, “newer PHP libraries”, “a brand new admin theme”, and so on   So, are there any new shiny things in Drupal 9 that you can look forward to? Or maybe get worried about... There is one shiny new feature and 8... improvements, from what I've seen. And I've grouped all together in a list. Here it is: 1. The New Shiny Thing: Easy Upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 A smooth upgrade experience, this is the only new shiny thing that Drupal 9 ships with. In short, moving to Drupal 9 will be as easy as updating from one minor Drupal 8 version to another. Source: Drupal.org Word of caution: the upgrade path to Drupal 9 is “buttery smooth” if and only if you stick to a “healthy” routine of weeding out old and deprecated code from your current codebase. 2. Drupal 7 and 8 Will Continue to Get Supported Alongside Drupal 9 One of the biggest Drupal 9 vs Drupal 8 (and even Drupal 9 vs Drupal 7) difference is the overlap of security coverage: Till Drupal 9, whenever a new stable version got released, the previous one lost its support. Starting with the 9th version of the CMS, Drupal 7, and Drupal 8 will continue to get community support till November 2021. In other words, Drupal 8, cleaned-up of all deprecated API will continue to work on Drupal 9.  And Drupal 7 will get community support for... 1-1.5 years after Drupal 9 gets released.  One of the unexpected Drupal 9 features. For it disrupts the way that the Drupal community used to approach major versions once they were no longer “the latest” ones. 3. Claro Becomes the Default Administration Theme … once it gets stable. 4. New Drupal 9 Features: CKEditor 5 Gets Implemented ... in a future version of Drupal 9. Security support will drop for CKEditor 4 sometime around Drupal 9's end of life. Therefore, Drupal 9's roadmap includes adding CKEditor 5 to a future version (and eventually removing CKEditor 4 completely in Drupal 10).   5. The Workspace Module Goes from Experimental to Stable Source: Drupal.org How is this good news for you? Let's say that you need to prepare multiple versions of your Drupal site and, depending on certain factors, to push live only one of them. The Workspace module allows you do to precisely that: to replicate content between workspaces on the same Drupal site. And, luckily, the module will be generally available starting with Drupal 9... 6. What's New in Drupal 9? Twig 2 That's right, Drupal 9 comes with support for newer PHP libraries. Support for Twig 2 here included. 7. Drupal 9 Will Be Backward-Compatible with Drupal 8 from Day One What are the new Drupal 9 features? Minor upgrade versions of Drupal 8 will be backward-compatible with Drupal 9. This means that all your Drupal 8 components will work with Drupal 9. This ninth version of Drupal is built on top of Drupal 8, basically.  In other words: no need to panic that your (Drupal 8) website's key features will no longer be valid in Drupal 9. This is going to be the first time that 2 major versions of Drupal are fully compatible.   8. From Symfony 3 to Symfony 4.4 “What's new in Drupal 9?” Symfony 4.4. Since its third version will no longer be supported in November 2021, Symfony 4.4 gets integrated with Drupal 9. All while making sure that Drupal 9 is forward-compatible with Symfony 5, as well...   9. Olivero Becomes Drupal's New Default Theme New Drupal version, new front-end theme. Olivero will come to replace Bartik, the current default theme in Drupal.   Wrap-Up: 5 Drupal 9 Requirements Your Drupal Site Should Meet Now you know which are the predictable, the new and the... shiny new features in Drupal 9. What next? How do you ensure that your Drupal website's Drupal 9-ready? Here are 5 key steps to take for a buttery-smooth upgrade:   Make sure your environment is Drupal 9-compatible: PHP 7.3, MySQL 5.7.8, Drush 10   Update to the latest minor versions of Drupal 8 as soon as they get released: you'll be able to upgrade your website to Drupal 9 only from Drupal 8.8. and Drupal 8.9    Keep your modules up to date: do all your contributed modules run on their latest versions?   Weed out any deprecated API from the custom projects that your website's using   Update core to Drupal 9   Word of caution: if your website (still) runs on Drupal 7, upgrade to Drupal 8.  To sum up, the shortest path to a smooth upgrade to Drupal 9 is sticking to the best practices:   remove all deprecated code (go for an automated tool like drupal-check or Rector to identify deprecations on your website) update your Drupal core and contributed projects to their latest versions   Or, you can leave all the preparations to us. Just drop us a line and we'll evaluate your website's level of... readiness:   Is there any deprecated code still “lingering in there? Does it run on Drupal 7? Are there any outdated versions of PHP or MySQL that it is still using?   Then, we can come up with a plan to get it Drupal 9-ready. Image by Marsel Elia from Pixabay   ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / May 20'2020
Top 10 Drupal Websites in Asia: From The Jakarta Post to... the Mitsui Chemicals
What are the top 10 Drupal websites in Asia?  What famous Asian brands, newspapers, NGOs, key players in various industries, have their websites powered by Drupal? To answer your question, we've done some digging and put together a selection of the best Drupal-based websites in Asia, ranging from the most popular to the most niche ones:   1. Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Japan   Japan's leading chemicals manufacturer runs its multi-site infrastructure on Drupal. Why Drupal?   because of the powerful multi-site and multi-language features that it provides, out of the box because Drupal enables them to store content centrally and then share it, personalized for each country, across their ecosystem of sub-sites: Japan, Germany, China, Singapore   In short: Mitsui Chemicals Inc. needed a robust CMS. One that could withstand its heavy structure of domains and groups of sites and enable them to manage all their content on a single platform. 2. ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs, Philippines The news division of this reputed media corporation in the Philippines —  ABS-CBN — has its website powered by Drupal. And the reasons why they chose this CMS are... pretty obvious:   we're talking about a complex network of various types of content: video, multimedia, story... the website delivers critical news in real-time, so Drupal's feature of processing and publishing data in real-time is critical for them the newspaper has a whole community of online readers built around it, so it depends on Drupal's access control system   A content-heavy, high trafficked website, that updates its content in real-time… Drupal's built precisely for this type of scenarios. And that's why ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs is listed among the top 10 Drupal websites in Asia. 3. The Haribon Foundation, Philippines Now, we couldn't have left out non-profit organizations from our list of popular Drupal websites in Asia, now could we? The Haribon Foundation is a biodiversity conservation organization in the Philippines, that trusted Drupal for turning its website into a user engaging one. One that tells their story right to all the future volunteers, donors, members, and partners. Why Drupal?   because it ships with plenty of built-in functionality, enabling them to get their website up and running in no time because it provides them with a robust taxonomy system, which enables them to categorize and organize their content  because it's scalable: it's built to accommodate all future initiatives, no matter how bold, and all future loads of traffic because it's open-source  because it's easy to use by non-technical users (anyone can create, add, publish, and further edit content)   4. The Beijinger, China A community website with an audience made of English-speaking expats living in Beijing, China. Why did they go with Drupal?   because of the different types of content that they display on their website, ranging from forums to events, to reviews, podcast, blog, directory, photo gallery because a significant part of the content is user-generated, which means that they can get the most of Drupal's user role and permission-based access control system  because they needed a CMS that could grant them the best editorial experience: adding and editing so many types of content, on different sections of the website, had to go... smoothly   5. The Jakarta Post, Indonesia, One of the Top 10 Drupal Websites in Asia The largest English language newspaper in Indonesia, The Jakarta Post is on the list of the key media sites using Drupal. A heavy load of content, that needs to be updated in real-time... these are just 2 of the key factors that turned Drupal into the only CMS suitable for this high trafficked newspaper site.   6. Amman Stock Exchange, Jordan Another one of the top 10 Drupal websites in Asia, due to:   the crucial role that this economic platform plays in the region  the outstanding user experience that it provides, despite the complex technical challenges that it needs to deal with “in the backstage”   Why did they choose Drupal over any other CMS option?   Drupal enabled them to provide their users a mobile-first experience: a seamless user experience was crucial for the Amman Stock exchange website, with users being enabled to view charts, graphs, and tables on the go, from any devices Drupal provides the right tools to “empower the end-user”: users can set up and easily manage their own portfolios on the website, set filters for the content that they receive, personalize their notifications, etc. Drupal's robust enough to withstand high spikes of traffic Drupal integrates seamlessly with their ecosystem of third-party systems, that provide the Amman Stock Exchange users with market and financial information Drupal is multi-lingual right out of the box: Amman Stock Exchange could provide a personalized experience to business owners and investors from all over the world   7. Pacific Aikido, Japan The Aikido dojo, which been teaching its classes in and around Tokyo since 1991, has its website powered by Drupal. And it's no surprise to anyone why they chose it:   Drupal makes it plain easy for the end-users to manage their own content: students and parents can log in and engage in conversations with the site owner, while the latter can upload and update content quick and easy Drupal's conveniently extensible: it enabled the team working on this project to implement the Image API and thus enable the site owner to upload his/her own images nice and easy   Images that get resized automatically, by default, once published on the website... The website's both a public-facing site and an easy to use private back-end, where students and parents can communicate with the site owner. 8. Playtika, Israel We can't put together a list of the most popular Drupal websites in Asia and not include Playtika, the leading gaming company based in Tel Aviv, Israel. Since Drupal ships with a whole collection of responsive tools and responsive themes, it made it a lot smoother for their UI and UX design to look great on both their web and mobile websites. 9. Al Bawaba, Jordan This independent digital news, blogging, and media platform — the largest one in the Middle East — is on all the “Top 10 Drupal websites” selections. Why did they decide to build their digital presence with Drupal?   because they have a large, diverse, and expanding content team — different types of editors, researchers, journalists, publishers — so they decided to leverage Drupal's system of user roles and its flexible content workflow because they depended on Drupal's powerful SEO features because they were facing increasingly high volumes of content (multimedia content here included) and Drupal's built with content-packed websites in mind   An efficient digital media assets solution and a conveniently scalable CMS were critical for this content producer and distributor in the Middle East. So, Drupal was the only CMS framework that checked all the requirements off their list.   10. Taiwan Environmental Information Center     Another NGO — the “product” of a larger non-profit and non-governmental organization: Taiwan Environmental Information Association —that's earned its place among the best Drupal websites in Asia. Their website stands out as an extensive network of environment-related information: editorials, green events, feature articles, news... Now, the reasons why they trusted Drupal with their digital presence are clear to anyone:   it's open-source it empowers the content team to add, edit, and publish content (multiple types of content) on the fly it's extensible and conveniently scalable it's non-technical user-friendly   The END! This is how our list of “top 10 Drupal websites in Asia looks like”. What other websites would you have added?Image by Lizbet Palmer from Pixabay   ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 21'2020
Which Drupal Page Builder Should You Use: The Gutenberg Editor or Cohesion DX8?
You want to enable your content editors to build new pages on their own. So, which drag and drop Drupal page builder do you choose? Let me try and guess what's on your "wishlist":   to be super easy to use, with an intuitive front-end editing interface to be light to be compatible with your Drupal theme to load fast to provide a decent collection of ready-to-use designs to be conveniently flexible   Have I guessed it right? Now, which of these 2 popular editors for Drupal 8 — Gutenberg Editor and Cohesion DX8 —  checks the most must-have features off your list? Let's compare them: 1. Introducing: Acquia Cohesion DX8 “The only low-code platform for the design, build and management of Drupal 8 websites.” (Drupal.org) A Drupal website builder that empowers you (your designers and content editors) to create all the visual aspects that make a website:   layout theme element styles templates components   And all that in the browser, via a highly visual drag-and-drop user interface... With no need to write CSS, PHP or HTML. Here's how it works:   Acquia Cohesion DX8 provides your editors with a library of branded (reusable) content components — sliders, tabbed elements, hero sections, banners, video players, feature panels they select, mix and match, and assemble together the blocks of their choice … and fill them in with content.   Tip: your non-technical editors can also edit, inline, those display components (block “templates”). And voila: A simplified way of building Drupal websites. A component-based approach to building a Drupal site. And during all this time, your development team can focus on building all those unique functionalities that you have in mind. 2. 5 Reasons Why You'd Want to Use Cohesion DX8 Now, let's talk... benefits. What are the main advantages of choosing Acquia Cohesion as your Drupal page builder?   2.1. Your content editors can assemble new page layouts quick and easy. And “quick” is the keyword here.  The non-developers in your marketing and other teams can assemble new web pages in no time: They just drag and drop and arange different components available in the library, making them fit into the design pattern that you've already defined for them.   2.2. Your marketers are free to edit content & layouts right on the page. Another strong benefit that you can reap from using this particular Drupal layout system is that your editors can easily modify content/layout right on the live website. In other words, Acquia Cohesion DX8 provides them with an easy to use in-context editor. This means that your content editors can open the page that they need to update and make any change in... seconds. Tip: you get to set different levels of permissions and keep track of who's updated what on the website.   2.3. Your content editors can build and manage your website with no coding skills needed. In other words, you'll turn your editors into... web designers. Source: Dri.es They need no coding skills, except for a low-level understanding of some general website concepts, to put together a new enterprise-grade Drupal website if needed.   2.4. You can replicate the newly created design on all your Drupal websites Why would you opt for this low-code site builder?  Because it enables you to export and reuse the same style configuration and web design across your entire ecosystem of websites. To sync your brand styles across your whole network. An easy way to control your brand across a multi-site structure.  And a guarantee that your non-developers, who are granted such “power”, will keep brand-compliant in their work.   2.5. Your non-technical teams can build uniquely designed and fully responsive websites The non-developers in your team (content editors, designers with little coding knowledge) can easily put together custom layouts using this drag and drop page builder for Drupal. Source: Acquia.com Moreover, Acquia Cohesion DX8 makes it easy for them to preview their newly created layouts in multiple device aspect ratios.   3. What You Can Expect from Using this Drupal Page Builder Let's say you've already found the answer to your “Gutenberg Editor vs Cohesion” dilemma: you've opted for Cohesion DX8. Here's what you'll notice:   your team sets up and launches brand new Drupal websites faster now the costs for developing new websites have lowered all the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 website migrations have been streamlined keeping brand consistency across your multiple Drupal websites is no longer a challenge your digital marketing and content authors are more confident to experiment with new content (since updating and reverting changes is so straightforward) your senior developers gain more time to innovate; to focus on their own development tasks   4. What You Can Build with Cohesion DX  Let's see precisely what you can create using this page editor for Drupal:   full page content templates  master templates that your content editors can use to put together headers, navigation systems, footers... menu templates, from basic list menus to interactive, multi-level ones content components, which can then be assembled together into unique layouts CSS styles view templates for your blocks or page page content layouts   5. Introducing: Drupal Gutenberg       The Gutenberg Drupal 8 module comes as an alternative to the body field editor in Drupal: Editors can build a new page by assembling content blocks instead of writing text in a text body. Source: Drupalgutenberg.com A Drupal page builder that enables them to:   move blocks around the page, as needed reuse uniquely designed contrib blocks across multiple pages on your Drupal site and even across multiple projects select from the pre-built blocks — lists, paragraphs, tables — that Drupal Gutenberg provides them with insert raw HTML in the form field   When it comes to the “user-friendliness” factor, Drupal Gutenberg “bids on” a highly visual editing experience, just like Cohesion DX8 does: Any member of your team, regardless of his/her technical skills, can easily build a new page by putting together media, text, and content blocks.   6. 4 Reasons Why You'd Want to Use Drupal Gutenberg  “Why would I choose precisely Gutenberg as my page editor?” Here are some compelling answers:   6.1. You empower your editors to build new landing pages on their own. It's all about “democratizing publishing": Drupal Gutenberg enables them to add, move around, and edit blocks quick and easy.   6.2. Your editors get a whole collection of custom blocks to choose from That's right: Gutenberg Cloud library comes as a rich content repository for contributed blocks. From:   call to action sections to uniquely designed forms to web components   ... your content editors get a whole collection of blocks created by other developers to dig into when building new pages.   6.3. You grant your editors a flexible, visual editing experience.  One of Drupal Gutenberg's biggest selling points is its React-powered UI API. The JavaScript type of “fuel” that makes the editing experience both flexible and powerful:   a scalable, high performant editor that content creators can use with great ease; no technical background needed   Where do you add that they get “spoiled” with lots of pre-designed elements to choose from, as well.   6.4. You enable your editors to use and... reuse Drupal media assets. Gutenberg's conveniently integrated with Drupal's media library. This means that your marketing team can easily scan through and choose the media assets that they need to incorporate into their landing pages. And even re-use them as many times as needed.   7. What You Can Expect from Using this Particular Drupal Page Builder A more independent, empowered marketing department. Which automatically translates into a more productive development team, as well.   8. What You Can Build with Drupal Gutenberg “What are the most typical use cases for the Gutenberg editor?” you might ask yourself.   landing pages text-heavy content types (e.g. blog posts) designs that don't call for a lot of dynamic configurations  simple layouts content structures and designs that blend in perfectly with your theme's looks   9. Final Word  “So, which Drupal page builder should I choose: Drupal Gutenberg or Cohesion DX8?” It depends greatly on your feature needs and on your content team's skill level, as well. For instance: do you value the convenience of replicating the same designs on all your websites (Cohesion) more than... having an entire library of contrib content blocks to select from (Gutenberg)? Keep “confronting” the features of these 2 website builders and put them against your team's needs and experience, as well.   The END! How flexible is the authoring experience for your own team? Have you tried implemeting any of these page editors into your page building workflow? Feel free to share your experience, good or bad, in the comments below. Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay   ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Apr 14'2020
Top 10 Drupal Websites in Australia: From the Most Impressive to the Most Visited Ones
They're visually-appealing, highly popular, built on top of robust structures, so that they should "cope with" with huge amounts of traffic and content... These are but some of the things that the top 10 Drupal websites in Australia have in common. But which are they, more precisely? Australia's finest examples of websites using Drupal? We've done our research and put together a 10 best list for you. Let's dive right into it:   1. Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation(ANSTO)   "Australia's research and development organization, and the center of Australian nuclear expertise..." (source: directory.gov.au) And the presentation could go on with other superlatives to "wow" you with:   Australia's most important science infrastructure (one of) Australia's largest public research organizations it sums up more than 1000 experts that use nuclear techniques to find the answer to various medical, environmental, and industrial challenges   A significant content load? A large team of content editors in need of the most robust tools to streamline their content management workflow with? The web project had Drupal 8 written all over it... And it quickly became one of the top 10 Drupal websites in Australia. Why Drupal? Because Drupal provides the best editing experience. Content managers are free to build new custom pages on their own, by just selecting and assembling pre-designed blocks. Not to mention that the "component-based" approach to design ensures consistency throughout the website and, implicitly... the best user experience, as well.    2. University of Technology, Sidney The University of Technology Sidney (UTS), Australia's #1 university and the 10th best one in the world, also has its website running on Drupal. Drupal is the platform that powers a lot of higher education websites worldwide, so... no surprise here, right? The reasons why UTS chose Drupal are obvious:   their multi-site structure incorporates no less than 150 UTS sub-sites the "cluster" of mini-sites needed a central content hub and a unified platform the internal content team needed enough freedom and flexibility to create, edit, and publish content across the entire network of sub-sites they needed to integrate lots of third-party systems (e.g. systems sourcing course information)    In short:   Drupal makes the perfect choice for multi-site setups it integrates seamlessly with third-party apps it provides the best editorial experience   3. The Australian Government       Undoubtedly one of the top 10 Drupal websites in Australia.  "The Government of Australia is standardizing on Drupal for hundreds of government departments and agencies across Australia, starting with the country’s homepage. Drupal enhances digital services to millions of citizens." (source: Drupal.org)   Why Drupal? For multiple reasons:   Drupal's ideal for multi-site architectures Drupal provides a granular permission system it integrates with lots of third-party services and solutions (payment systems, citizen service centers, various "latest news" sources)  it's one of the most secure CMS platforms: Drupal has its own dedicated Security Team and a foolproof process for monitoring, identifying, and publishing any security issues it's flexible, giving unmatched freedom to content editors and website admins: anyone from the internal team can update content on the website quick and easy Source: Drupal.org   4. Bunjil Place     The "home of arts and entertainment in the City of Casey" is Drupal-powered.  And it's probably one of the most visually impressive examples of Drupal websites from Australia. A high-trafficked website, that "bids on" Drupal 8 to provide an interactive user experience. Now, if we were to list just some of the strongest reasons why Drupal was the best option for this Australian website:   the diversified content hosted on the website (text, video, eye-catching images), that falls into multiple sections and subsections the need for a new responsive design the need to incorporate some powerful user-oriented functionalities (e.g. visitors can easily book spaces in the palace for their future events)   Drupal was the only choice here... 5. The Australian Drupal's already famous for being the best CMS solution for news websites. And the CMS platform is behind the online presence of "The Australian" — Australia's national news brand — as well. A high-trafficked, content-packed website, with content that needs to be updated on the fly, on a regular basis.  They couldn't have opted for another platform than Drupal... 6. Australian Conservation Foundation, One of the Top 10 Drupal Websites in Australia   Australia's national environment organization — over 600,000 people — has its website running on Drupal. It's a campaign-driven site, one of the most popular Drupal-based websites in Australia, that leverages the CMS platform's top features to:   manage all their content workflows with great ease engage their member database and anyone willing to address urgent environmental problems via social networking, donation processing, event management, analytics, fundraising   A website that needed to withstand high amounts of traffic and to support complex content workflows: Drupal was the most suitable CMS solution.   7. Australian War Memorial "The Memorial's purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war or on operational service and those who have served our nation in times of conflict." (source: awm.gov.au) One of the top 10 Drupal websites in Australia that turned this CMS platform into a reliable publishing tool for all the historians, researchers, and designers accessing it. We're talking here about a content-heavy website, hosting content that ranges from:   war-related material to extensive archive to a database of unique collections of film footage, artworks, sound recordings to articles on Australia's military history   And where there's rich and varied content, that needs to be handled with ease by various internal teams, there's Drupal, as well. Drupal with its:   robust inline content creation and editing tools sophisticated access control system   8. Charles Darwin University  One of Australia's public universities and one of the world's most reputed universities (among the top 2% universities on the globe) has its website running on Drupal. And for all the self-evident reasons:   they needed to provide internal users with the best experience: Drupal enables content editors to create their custom course pages by simply putting together pre-built components they also needed to provide an intuitive search experience to all the external users: Drupal makes it easy for students to find, review courses, and sign up   9. International Business Times Australia   The Australian version of this digital news publication is built on Drupal. But is it of any surprise that the go-to source of financial news in Australia has chosen this CMS platform to build its online presence on? After all:   news publications are Drupal's "specialty" Drupal's already famed for powering some of the most content-intensive websites in the world  Drupal's gained a reputation for being the CMS that provides the best content editing experience: the internal team at International Business Times Australia can create, update, and publish new content on the go   10. Car News Australia       One of the top 10 Drupal websites in Australia, that stands out from the crowd as a high-trafficked one. Its complex content ecosystem has turned Drupal into the Carsguide team's only option. The site's an intricate network of 7 different sections — "buy + sell", "reviews", "news", "advice"... — that unfold, each, into "clusters" of multiple sub-sections. A content network that called for a CMS with particularly powerful content creation and editing features. A content-rich architecture that's now powered by Drupal.   The END! We're curious now: what other famous brands are on your own top 10 Drupal websites in Australia? Photo by Iván Lojko on Unsplash  ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Apr 03'2020
Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg: How Do You Know Which Page Builder’s Right for You? 
Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg: which of these 2 next-generation site-building tools to use to create your page layouts?  Or, better said, to empower your content editors to design great-looking pages on their own.  In order to help you make an informed decision, I've made an honest “Layout Builder modules vs Gutenberg editor module” comparison.  Therefore, in this post you'll find your answers to the following questions:    What issues with the editing experience in Drupal do these 2 new page layout builders come to address? What is the Gutenberg Editor? What are Drupal Gutenberg's main strengths? What are its limitations? What is the Layout Builder for Drupal? What are the Drupal Layout Builder's main strengths? What are its weaknesses? When would you use one Drupal page builder over the other?    1. Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg: What Limitations Do They Address?  Or, to put it this way: what makes a good content editing experience?  Here are some of the editors' main requirements:    to be easy to use (with an intuitive drag and drop interface) to enable them to create custom page layouts on the fly, with zero CSS or HTML knowledge to be ideally flexible, enabling them to adjust the pages to their needs    Now, if we put editors' requirements against the "reality" of the editing experience in Drupal, here are the limitations we can identify:    it doesn't provide a decent level of visual design it compromises branding for flexibility or the other way around it requires some HTML experience it doesn't go beyond the level of a basic WYSIWYG editor it doesn't allow them to design fully customed page layouts it doesn't provide a 100% intuitive user interface it still makes editors dependant on the site builders/Drupal developers in their teams And these are precisely the problems that these 2 Drupal page builders "promise" to solve.    2. Introducing: The Gutenberg Drupal 8 Module   The Gutenberg Editor module is no more than WordPress's layout system integrated with Drupal.  What sets it apart from the other tools for creating page layouts in Drupal?  Its block-based approach.  Creating content in Drupal becomes a matter of selecting and assembling multiple blocks.  Each block stands for an individual piece of content: a separate block for a button, another separate block for an image, another one for a column, for a heading...  Furthermore, you get to create content inline. To edit the media content, text, and blocks on the page that you're building.  In short, you can take the Drupal Gutenberg module as a convenient "block editor".  You (or your editors) can put together and visualize your page layout in one large form field. That, instead of editing every single form field that makes up a page.    3. 4 Reasons to Choose Drupal Gutenberg  Let's say that you're looking for a site building tool to build a... landing page (or one that would empower your content editors to create it).  Why would you go with the Gutenberg content editor for Drupal 8?  Here are 4 good reasons to choose it:    it provides you with lots of predesigned elements out of the box you can see what you're building on the editor side it doesn't require you to be experienced in working with CSS or HTML you can design your own blocks or use blocks created by other open-source developers    4. 6 Reasons Why You Might Hesitate to Choose Gutenberg  Any honest Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg comparison must include the 2 tools' main weaknesses, as well, right?  So, here's why you may want to think twice before choosing the Gutenberg content editor in Drupal 8:    the way it stores data could be... better it doesn't excel when it comes to layout flexibility: you can align your blocks left, right, center, but you can't add custom margins, for instance the style options that it provides are quite limited, one of the main drawbacks highlighted in any Gutenberg vs page builder comparison updating a page created with Gutenberg is particularly overwhelming the visual editing experience is not one of the best ones: visualizing your layout is a bit more difficult you cannot reuse your Gutenberg blocks and the page layouts that you create with this editor    Tip: when it comes to the poor visual experience that you get with the Gutenberg Editor, you can always improve it with page builder plugins. There are some pretty good ones out there that guarantee you a 100% visual design.   5. Introducing: The Drupal Layout Builder Module (Core) "Drupal 8's Layout Builder allows content editors and site builders to easily and quickly create visual layouts for displaying content. Users can customize how content is arranged on a single page, or across types of content, or even create custom landing pages with an easy to use drag-and-drop interface." (source: Drupal.org) The Layout Builder for Drupal enables you to create layouts by putting together separate form fields and block entities. No coding know-how needed.  No need to tweak the templates in the theme's source code.  In short, it "spoils" you with a drag-and-drop type of visual editing experience. You can put together structured content quick and easy.  Source: Drupal.org "But how exactly does it work?"  Here's how you create a custom layout with this Drupal page builder in 5 quick steps:  enable the module go over to the "Manage Display" tab of your target content type click the "Use Layout Builder" checkbox click the "Manage Layout" button then, you're free to use your Layouts and Blocks (after you've created them), dropping them in the defined regions of the page that you're building    6. 7 Reasons to Choose the Layout Builder in Drupal 8  Here's a legitimate question that this Gutenberg Editor vs Layout Builder in Drupal 8 comparison should respond to:  “Why would I want to use Drupal Layout Builder?”  The best answers would be:    you can create your content blocks and just drop them on the regions of your page layout you get to (re)arrange otherwise static fields the way you want to you're free to add views, blocks, widgets, to any section of your page the content that you create is specific to that page type, so all the pages of that type will have the same layout you get to override the default layout to create fully customed pages your layout is rendered on the web page in real-time you're free to incorporate blocks in the main content region 7. 5 Reasons Why You Might Hesitate to Choose the Layout Builder  When comparing Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg, you inevitably get to the point where you ask yourself:  "What are the Layout Builder's main weaknesses?"  Now, here's why you wouldn't want to jump on it right away:    you can use it only on the main content area of your page unlike the Gutenberg Drupal 8 module, the Layout Builder doesn't ship with prebuilt elements for you to just choose from and assemble with Drupal Layout Builder, you need to create your blocks and page type first; you can't "get away with" choosing user-contributed blocks it's not always easy to see what precisely gets overridden you can't rely on a granular permissions system for overriding individual pages    8. When to Use Drupal Gutenberg: 4 Typical Use Cases  You'd want to use the Gutenberg Drupal 8 module if:    your Drupal website's a content-packed one you need to build a landing page you need to create a simple layout: Gutenberg doesn't really shine when it comes to style options you need to create content that fits perfectly into your theme's looks: Drupal Gutenberg pulls right from your theme's styles    To sum up, designing landing pages are Gutenberg's most typical use case.  Use it to add just some extra design (nothing too "extravagant") to an "About Me" page, for instance.   9. When to Use the Drupal Layout Builder: 2 Typical Use Cases  You'd want to use the Layout Builder for Drupal if:    it's a field-intensive page that you're building: a product page, a case study, etc. you have synced content on that page (from Salesforce, for instance)   The END!  Your turn now: have you tried any of these Drupal page builders?  Which one best serves your content goals?  What other pros and cons would you have added to this Drupal Layout Builder vs Gutenberg comparison?  Let us know in the comments below. Photo by Jason Dent on Unsplash  ... Read more
Silviu Serdaru / Mar 25'2020
Drupal Voice Search: How to Set Up Search Based on Voice Recognition on Your Drupal Site
Drupal voice search has gone from trend to standard these days.  So, you can't help ask yourself:  "How do I enable search based on voice recognition on my Drupal website?"  And that's precisely the question that I'm about to answer in this blog post.  That, along with all the other ones that must be "haunting" you:    How does voice search impact my revenues?  How do I optimize my website content for voice search queries?  How do I set up a custom voice search engine on my Drupal site?  Can I even build a voice-powered app with Drupal? How?    1. How Does Voice Search Impact Your Traffic, Conversions, Revenues?  “Voice Shopping Set to Jump to $40 Billion By 2022, Rising From $2 Billion Today“ (source: prnewswire.com) How does making your Drupal website voice search-friendly translate into higher conversion rates?  The logic is simple:    it's more convenient for users to speak to the search bar than to type in their queries in order to find the needed products or services by allowing them this convenience, you improve their experience on your website and that'll bubble up to your web traffic, conversions... revenues  "Becoming voice-first is going to be the new mobile first" (DrupalCon Nashville 2018)  In other words:    understanding how search engines provide accurate answers to users' vocal queries optimizing your content to the patterns that you will have identified    … will have a huge impact on the user experience on your Drupal site.  Source: Gartner.com And great user experience is what sets high ranking websites apart from... the rest.    2. Here's How You Make Your Content Cater to Voice Search Queries  Spoiler alert: I'll be pinpointing just the main techniques to apply for optimizing your content for voice search.  If you feel like delving deeper into this topic, we have a full post focused solely on actionable tips for optimizing your website for voice search. That being said, here's the list of essential voice search SEO techniques to implement:   2.1. Incorporate Short, Simple, Clear Answers Into Your Content 30 words at most, according to Backlinko's research.   2.2. Fine-Tune the FAQ Page on Your Drupal Site This page alone plays a key role in your voice search optimization strategy. It's there that search engines often “extract” their answers from.   2.3. Use Natural Language When Writing Your Content A user would speak to a search bar as he/she would ask a question to a person. Which is significantly different from him/her interacting with a text search box via a robotic keyword search entry.   2.4. Configuring Drupal for Voice Search: Optimize Your Content for Google's Featured Snippets I'm not going to get into details here, but there are lots of highly valuable MOZ blog posts on this topic that I recommend you have a look at.   2.5. Center Your Drupal Voice Search Strategy Around Question Keywords “How to...”, “What to...”, “Why use...”   2.6. Make Sure to Include (Really) Long-Tail Keywords Into Your Content  5+ word keywords, I mean.   3. Set Up a Drupal Voice Search Engine in Just a Few Steps  How do you create a search system based on voice on your Drupal website?  Image by Kaufdex from Pixabay Here are the easy steps to creating a custom voice search engine with Expertrec:    First of all, you need a google tag manager account, a Gmail id, access to your Drupal admin dashboard and a valid sitemap    Set up an account on https://cse.expertrec.com??platform=cse using your Gmail ID   Enter your website's URL login to your Drupal admin panel and install google tag manager: https://www.drupal.org/project/google_tag   Enter your google tag manager ID and save the configuration   Access https://cse.expertrec.com/csedashboard/home/code and copy that code   Add the first part of the code in your control panel, using Google tag manager   Use the custom HTML option and configure the trigger to place it on all the web pages on your Drupal site where you want the voice search enabled   Go to Structure-> Block layout-> Header ->Place block-> Add custom block-> click on source and enter: <ci-search></ci-search> (opt for "full HTML"). It's this code that will display a search box in your website's header   Hit the Save button and finally, navigate to UI customization->features-> enable voice search    And that's it: 9 simple steps to add voice search to your Drupal site.    4. Building Your Own Voice App: Why Would You Want to Use Drupal?  Now, let's say that you've optimized your Drupal website for voice search, improved your search ranking and given your traffic a major boost.  And you've decided to go further and... build your first voice app, as well.  Why would you use Drupal to build it?  Here are some of the most solid reasons:    Drupal provides you with a sophisticated user permissions and access control system it allows you to restrict access to content it provides you with fieldable content it ships with a pre-built front-end Drupal it enables you to put together complex content workflows it provides multi-language support out of the box it provides you with an API module    Note: in the end, it's your use case, along with all the specific feature needs deriving from there, that should influence your final decision.  But how would your Drupal voice app work, more precisely?  Here's the whole "mechanism" in the back-end, summed up to 4 stages:    the user talks to the voice assistant (Alexa, Siri, Cortana...) the voice assistant talks to Drupal Drupal provides an answer to the voice assistant the voice assistant delivers the answer to the user    Chatbot API is the module that makes communication between Drupal and the AI voice assistant possible. It integrates, out of the box, with Dialogue Flow and Alexa. I won't go into detail on the basics of a voice-powered app and the fundamentals of a VUI design. Yet, I recommend you watched the DrupalCon session on Powering an Alexa App with Drupal. It includes a handful of useful tips and actionable information on building a Drupal-powered voice search. In this chapter, my sole intention was to outline those Drupal features and functionalities that make it the best candidate for a voice app.    The END!  I won't hide it: I'm curious whether you've already got your Drupal website voice-search friendly or not just yet.  What strategies have you implemented so far to make your content more findable for vocal queries?  Have you set up your own Drupal voice search engine? Are there any obstacles that Drupal challenged you with? That made the whole optimization for voice search more complex than expected?  Let us know in the comments below.  Photo by Matt Botsford on Unsplash  ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Mar 23'2020
What Major European Websites Are Built with Drupal? Top 10 Drupal Websites in Europe
In today's post, I'll share with you a selection of 10 European websites powered by Drupal. From:   the most famous higher education website in Europe running on Drupal to the most popular newspaper-website in France to the most visited recipes and cooking website in the UK   ... I'll put the spotlight on the top 10 Drupal websites in Europe. So, without further ado, here are the names listed on Drupal's European hall of fame: 1. BBC Good Food, One of the Top 10 Drupal Websites in Europe  The most popular recipe website in the UK and one of the most visited Drupal websites in Europe.  The BBC Good Food team had very clear objectives when they chose Drupal for their rebuild:    to provide engaging content on their platform to deliver a seamless experience across all devices to deliver a unified experience to its international audience to guarantee their visitors a powerful search and intuitive navigation    And Drupal was the only CMS to check all the goals off their list.  Here are just some of its features that made it the only choice for the BBC Good Food rebuild:    scalability: Drupal's built to scale up and withstand massive amounts of traffic sophisticated content workflow: from Drupal's robust WYSIWYG editor to the role-based access control system, to the preview feature and the powerful content editing and publishing tools, BBC Good Food's content team can now add, edit, and upload various types of content... on the fly, across all devices built-in multilingual support: the BBC Good Food website was redesigned with a global audience in mind  “We rebuilt the site in Drupal, which will allow us to spin out versions of the site internationally, for example with the same core content but reflecting different language and market trends, and with some local content on top of it. But we still need to develop plans for this.”  (Chris Kerwin, BBC Worldwide’s head of publishing) Other popular cooking sites built on Drupal: 24 Kitchen, Bosscaffe, Alevri.    2. Joinup, a Collaborative Platform Created by the European Commission   A Drupal-powered collaboration platform that contains a heavy load of content in the form of:    news discussions case studies events interoperability solutions (guidelines, software, code-lists, vocabularies, taxonomies, licenses, organizational assets)    “Interoperability solutions” that users (public administrations, citizens, and businesses) can share, find, re-use, and get inspired by to develop and implement new ones.  Now, you can just imagine that:   such a high volume of data such a diversified ecosystem of content   ... have turned Drupal into the unique CMS option to consider for Joinup.  Its excellent content capabilities and high scalability have made Drupal the best solution.  “On 4 October 2017, a brand new version of the platform, based on Drupal 8, went live. This migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 was mainly driven by the fact that the maintenance of version 6 by the Drupal community was coming to an end and, also, by the performance and scalability improvements introduced by Drupal 8.” (source: Joinup.ec.europa.eu)   3. Jysk   The Danish retail chain is a leader in the European market of furniture and household goods, with online stores in 20 countries. Which makes its website (or better said "network of sites"), one of the most famous Drupal websites in Europe. Why did the company choose Drupal to power its web presence? Because:   Drupal provides them with a multi-site architecture: Jysk's online presence translates into 20 different domains with similar feature sets and functionalities, sharing the same codebase, yet with different databases and configurations Drupal's flexible: which enabled them to come up with fully customed e-commerce solutions, robust enough to cope with their complex business processes and backend systems Drupal provides them with powerful content management features Drupal provides them with multi-language support right out of the box: a crucial functionality considering that their website content needs to be translated into 20 different languages Drupal's built to cope with high volumes of traffic: which, for Jysk, means about 60 million page views per month   4. Carrefour.fr   Why did the leading retailer in Europe choose Drupal for its e-commerce website?  For all the obvious reasons:    Drupal's editorial workflow: it empowers content creators to edit the content on carrefour.fr quick and easy and as often as needed Drupal's one of the most secure open-source CMSs: an aspect of critical importance when handling lots of customer data Drupal's system of roles and permissions: the granular access control system allows editors/admins to monitor who edits/publishes different types of content on the website (from product descriptions to prices) Drupal's built with high-traffic websites in mind: massive volumes of traffic and intense e-commerce operations is what Carrfour.fr, one of the top 10 Drupal websites in Europe, needs to withstand Drupal's online payment system: and here we're talking about a high volume of online payments being carried out daily Drupal's equipped for content-heavy websites: hundreds of products, prices, product-specific promotions... no wonder that this retailer chose Drupal for powering its e-commerce website with: Drupal's the robust, go-to option for content-packed websites    5. Sevilla FC   Sevillafc.es is one of the most popular Drupal websites in Europe.  Why did the football club go with Drupal for their website?  Because:    they needed to appeal to an international audience and Drupal 8 provides multilingual support out of the box they needed to get their new website equipped for high peaks of traffic and Drupal's already famous for powering some of the world's most visited websites they needed a CMS that would enable their administrators and content team to add, update and publish content quick and easy and Drupal provides some of the most powerful content management workflow tools they needed powerful multimedia capabilities, that Drupal provided their website with they needed to set up a content management workflow for their mobile app content, as well: Drupal enables them to update and distribute content from a single entry point to their entire network    A "network" that includes their website, mobile app, and third party system.    6. Cancer Research UK Among the top 10 Drupal websites in Europe, Cancerreaserchuk.org stands out with its vision:  “Our vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”  It's no surprise to anyone why Drupal was chosen: it powers the websites of some globally known NGO, charity and non-profit organizations.  What I'd like to draw your attention to, in the case of Cancer Research UK in relation to Drupal, is Drupal Commerce powering its whole network of online shops.  The main goal, when bringing all the shops together on the same codebase was:    to deliver a seamless shopping experience all while preserving each shop's identity   7. University of Oxford   Multiple individual sites under the same umbrella, providing a seamless, yet site-specific user experience.  Multiple departments of the same university in full control over their web presence... Does it ring any bell?  The website of the University of Oxford couldn't have been powered by another CMS than Drupal.  And the Application Development team there, at Oxford, dared to take Drupal's capabilities even further: they developed Oxford Mosaic, a Drupal multisite solution.  “Oxford Mosaic provides an easy-to-use interface for publishing attractive, responsive websites. Centrally maintained and fully supported, Mosaic is a cost-effective and sustainable web publishing solution.“ (source: Meetup.com)  By using Drupal:    creating new customizable web pages and even whole new sub-sites, from the ground up handling a massive volume of content, highly diversified content, ranging from news and events to university research and information on the admission process withstanding high volumes of web traffic, with all the students, faculty, and alumni accessing the website on a daily basis    … became easier.   8. The Paris Opera   Paris Opera's website is another one of those Drupal website examples that stand out. Like many other large organizations in Europe (and worldwide), they chose Drupal for being:    reliable secure robust flexible to accommodate all development needs    9. Le Figaro  The online presence of the largest national newspapers in France is Drupal-powered.  No wonder why:    like any high-traffic newspaper website, it depends on Drupal's robustness for facing the challenge of live videos, media, and feeds-packed web pages Le Figaro depends on Drupal's capabilities to deliver loads of varied content at a high page loading speed it depends on Drupal's powerful features to support its social features (e.g. the comment sections on their articles) 10. Lush Cosmetics Lush.com sets itself apart as one of the top 10 Drupal websites in Europe.  It 's also one of the most complex ones, from a content and user experience standpoint. A Drupal website where content and comments blend in beautifully.  Now, let me pinpoint just the strongest reasons why this company chose Drupal:    it stores a large catalog of products, with lots of interactive features that bubble up to the user experience: star ratings, user reviews, wishlists, charity pot it's “packed” with tons of varied content that needs to be edited and published quick and easy: product videos and guides, ingredients lists, articles it provides a seamless multi-channel customer experience it addresses a global audience    In other words, Lush selected Drupal because:    it supports Lush's complex editorial workflow it provides enough flexibility so the Lush team can easily update and customize various sections on the website it integrates beautifully with third-party systems (various payment gateway, for instance) it enables them to provide highly personalized experiences to users accessing their website from countries all around the globe it grants the best user experience on all devices: their Drupal website's conveniently responsive it's built to “fuel” even a heavy and complex content infrastructure like Lush's    The END!  These are the 10 best European Drupal websites.  What do you say: do you find it accurate or have we done certain websites an injustice?  Let us know, in the comments section below, if you agree with our top 10 Drupal websites in Europe.  ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Mar 19'2020
Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs: Which Drupal Page Builder Should You Use?
There’s no better way of telling which tool best fits your needs than by putting Drupal 8 Layout Builder and Paragraphs to the test, right? If you were searching for an honest comparison of the 2 Drupal 8 drag and drop page builders, you’re on the right blog. Because in this post I’ll compare Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs. What you’ll get is a straight answer to each one of your key questions regarding the 2 most popular page building tools in Drupal:   Why would you choose Drupal Paragraphs? What are its main trade-offs? What are its best use cases? What are the key advantages of using Drupal 8 Layout Builder?  What are its limitations? What are the use cases of Layout Builder vs Paragraphs?   Now, let’s get you those answers:   1. Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs: Introducing the 2 Contestants 1.1. Drupal Paragraphs The Paragraphs module was quite a revelation when it was first released. Why? Because Drupal rocked supreme at enabling users to create template-based pages, but when it came to uniquely designed pages (i.e. landing pages) it started to show its limitations. And this is where the Paragraphs module came in. It “seduced” Drupal developers with a new component-based approach to building a page’s layout. Source: Championsdigital.com   The Paragraphs layout builder would allow developers to create individual paragraph types — popup elements, plain text, code blocks — and editors to assemble those paragraphs into highly flexible pages. Moreover, they could reuse those page components to create new and new content layouts.  For instance, they could put together a page that included one WYSIWYG Paragraph, a Slideshow Paragraph, and one paragraph with both text field and image field... The idea of “flexible structured content” had taken over the Drupal planet...   1.2. Drupal 8 Layout Builder The drag and drop page builder in Drupal core designed to take the content editing experience to a new level. How? By granting editors more control over the Drupal layouts they create. Drupal 8 Layout Builder enables non-technical users to easily mix and match nodes, fields, and other types of content via a drag-and-drop UI. They can create their visual layouts and landing pages in no time. All they need to do is drag and drop, then rearrange site-wide blocks and content fields to their liking. Source: Drupal.org Moreover, users can even create new custom “inline” blocks of their own. Power and flexibility combined into one visual design tool aimed at improving the editor experience.   2. What Are Their Key Strengths? 2.1. Drupal Paragraphs In a Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs “battle”, why would you go with the “stacked components” approach to layout building in Drupal 8? Source: Drupal.org   Because the content editing experience is intuitive: editors can use the “Add a popup” and “Add a quote” tabs and rearrange their components with drag and drop   Because it enables you to group multiple fields into new complex elements   Because it allows you to come up with an unlimited no. of ways for combining your paragraphs   Because it enables you to create reusable components that you can then use per node    Because it prevents the workflow of your nodes from becoming too cluttered by providing an entity type for your sub-page components   Source: Drupal.org   2.2. Drupal 8 Layout Builder What are its key selling points? Why would you choose Layout Builder over Paragraphs?    Because it requires less custom code   Because it grants you a higher level of control over the layouts you’re creating   Because it grants you lower maintenance costs   Because you get to mix field content with blocks   Because you’re free to create and populate new landing pages from the ground up: just set up your custom content blocks and arrange them to your liking within the layout   Because it provides you with an improved authoring experience   Because you can extend the default set of layout grids through custom plug-ins   Because it allows you to keep your structured data   Because it enables you to get the most of the block system for creating your Drupal layouts: custom inline blocks, programmatic blocks, custom global blocks, custom field blocks   “Blocks” that are fieldable, translatable, templatable, reusable, and part of Drupal core, as well.Source: Phase2Technology.com   In a nutshell, this Drupal page builder provides both:   an easy way to manage fielded content in the backend the best drag-and-drop editor experience   3. Where Does Each Drupal Page Builder Fall Short? 3.1. Drupal Paragraphs What could make you… hesitate before choosing the Paragraphs layout builder for creating structured content? What are its key limitations?   You (your content editors) still depend on a developer to set everything up Managing nested paragraphs when dealing with complex layouts can get quite overwhelming   Source: Evolvingweb.ca   And this is the biggest trade-off that could discourage you from going with Paragraphs as your page building tool: You get to nest/add new and new elements, which carry their own sets of elements, up to the point where this “unlimited nesting” of paragraphs turns into a too confusing interface to cope with.   3.2. Drupal 8 Layout Builder  Where does it fall short? In a Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs “debate”, which drawbacks of this visual design tool could make you choose Paragraphs instead?   You might find block content not to be 100% explicitly connected to nodes Combining template-based with custom layouts is a bit challenging Enforcing a sitewide consistency of your custom-made layouts is quite a dare 4. When Would You Use One Layout/Editing Tool Over the Other? 4.1. Drupal Paragraphs   When you need to reuse many of the content components on your website to create new pages When being able to reuse those components “per node” is of particular importance for your workflow When your structured layout does call for nested paragraph bundles   4.2. Drupal 8 Layout Builder When would you use this particular solution for creating layouts in Drupal 8?  When is Layout Builder a better choice than the paragraphs module?   When your landing page calls for a grid-like layout, including both dynamic elements (custom blocks, views) and fielded content   When you need to “juggle with” multiple columns for creating your layout   When you need to create a fully customed page from the ground up; a “special” page, that’s not connected to any structured content on your website (i.e. a single “Get a Quote” page)   When you need to custom-tune templated layouts; to override existing page layouts   When you need to set up “layout templates”, such as the layout for your product page or your blog post page   5. Final Results: Which Approach Best Fits Your Needs? What do the results of this Drupal Layout Builder vs Paragraphs comparison tell you? That there’s no “best” Drupal page builder. Only the one that best fits your specific layout creation needs. It all comes down to the level of diversity in your content:   If it’s a particularly intricate page layout that you need to create, you might not want to go with Paragraphs. Its nesting feature can turn against you.   If you’re “craving” flexibility and the content on your Drupal 8 website varies a lot from page to page, yet you still want to keep a level of layout consistency, the Drupal 8 Layout Builder is your best choice   Your turn now: which of these 2 page building tools do you prefer and why? Let me know in the comments below.   Image by 200 Degrees from Pixabay  ... Read more
Adriana Cacoveanu / Mar 06'2020