For the final time in 2019, we’re back with our overview of the top Drupal blog posts from the previous month. It’s been a great year for Drupal, and we can’t wait for everything that 2020 will bring. So, let’s end this great year with some appropriately great posts!
State of Drupal presentation (October 2019)
What better way to round off the year than with a post by Dries breaking down the state of Drupal at DrupalCon Amsterdam. As it is essentially a recap of his keynote from the event, it is a great opportunity for anyone who couldn’t make it to the ‘Con to get themselves up to speed on where Drupal is by either reading the blog post or watching a recording of the Driesnote which is included in the post.
In addition to recapping what’s new and improved in Drupal 8, Dries also gave an update on Drupal 9 to be released in June and proposed 4 strategic tracks for Drupal 9: reducing cost and effort; prioritizing the experience of beginners; driving the Open Web; and becoming the best structured data engine available.
Making Drupal easier for beginners
Coincidentally, the objective of the next blog post we wanted to include is practically synonymous with one of the strategies proposed by Dries for Drupal 9. Manifesto’s Gabriele Maira, the author of the post, even references Dries’ keynote and the difficulty of adoption for beginners.
Gabriele identifies the following steps that are necessary for beginners to embrace a technology: it has to be 1) easy to install, 2) easy to evaluate and 3) easy to adapt to the needs of its users. In order to solve the pain point of a poor beginner experience with Drupal, he proposes a Not-Just-Code initiative, which would focus on local communities and the experience of newcomers.
Drupal North: Growth of the Drupal Ecosystem in Canada
Moving on, we have a blog post by Suzanne Dergacheva, co-founder of the Canadian web agency Evolving Web, about the growth of the Canadian Drupal community. With active user groups and regular events all over the country, Canada is in fact in 4th place in terms of active users on drupal.org.
Besides the Canadian government, Suzanne is noticing more and more organizations turning to Drupal for their digital experiences, with a lot of educational organizations also giving back to Drupal, and Drupal being a popular topic even at non-Drupal conferences.
She finishes the post by encouraging readers to share their ideas on growing the community and inviting them to attend some of Evolving Web’s trainings.
PreviousNext's Open Source Contribution Policies and Initiatives for the Drupal Community
In the next post on this month’s list, Owen Lansbury of PreviousNext shares in what ways they contribute to the Drupal community. One of the most important steps was reserving a portion of each employee’s week to contribution; the figure they’ve settled on is 20% of a week’s working hours.
The time dedicated to contribution has a lot of benefits to the employees that partake, such as developing communication skills and forging relationships with notable Drupal developers outside their company. What’s more, the contribution benefits not only the individuals, but Previous Next as a whole, as well as their clients who gain both recognition and contribution credit on Drupal.org for sponsoring certain work.
Drupal Business Survey 2019
The following blog post features the results of the 2019 edition of the Drupal Business Survey conducted by One Shoe and Exove, and was published on One Shoe’s blog, as well as by Lizz Trudeau on drupal.org.
Some of the survey’s most notable findings include a 50% increase in the respondents’ Drupal project pipelines and a 65% increase in their average deal size. The most popular industry for Drupal projects is Education, with Travel & Tourism growing the most compared to 2018.
As far as Drupal 9 is concerned, the major and most common expectation are easier upgrades. More generally, the number one hope for Drupal is an improved dev/editor/user experience.
Drupal 9 Planning: A Guide to Upgrading, or Extending the Longevity of your Website
With the arrival of Drupal 9 only about half a year away, businesses are carefully weighing their options in terms of an upgrade. In her blog post, Anne Stefanyk of Kanopi Studios considers each of the three main options - skipping Drupal 8 and upgrading straight from 7 to 9; taking the upgrade path of 7 to 8 to 9; and opting for an entirely new CMS.
Naturally, there are benefits and drawbacks to each option, and this is why Anne’s extensive breakdown of each of them comes especially in handy. After reading her post, you’ll certainly have a much better idea of where you stand and will hence be able to make the most informed decision possible.
Be the community
The next blog post that we wanted to highlight is a great community-centric post by 1xINTERNET’s Adam Juran recalling his unconventional (but nonetheless extremely important) Drupal contribution at DrupalCon Amsterdam earlier this year.
Adam’s unique contribution consisted not of code or sharing his knowledge with others, but connecting and empowering people, one of them being, for example, Aleksi Peebles, who wouldn’t have been able to attend the ‘Con if it hadn’t been for Adam and the people supporting him (namely, Baddý Breidert and Ryan Szrama).
He finishes the post with a powerful message to all Drupalists - “Be the community.” His contribution is a great testament to what we can achieve by being more connected, and it is through connecting that we can truly strengthen the Drupal community - and, in turn, the individual.
Custom Layout Options in Drupal 8
Last on our list for November, we have a post by Lullabot’s Jeff Eaton about creating special content types in Drupal 8. In the first half, he presents some (flawed) approaches to this: creating a special content type for each and every use case; including innumerable fields for a handful of content types; and simply giving editors the ability to work with raw HTML.
The second half of Jeff’s post then focuses on what you can do instead of relying on the aforementioned approaches and presents four more viable solutions. These are: template swapping; stacked components; entity embed; and using Layout Builder. Which one to use largely depends on the specific need; larger and more complex sites, for example, often combine several of these approaches.
Well, this was it for our final recap of the previous month’s top Drupal posts in 2019. We wish everyone happy holidays and we’ll see you all next year!