The WordPress and Drupal content management platforms have evolved significantly in recent years, improving features and functions to make the content creation process easier and more efficient. The latest updates for WordPress and Drupal especially have made it simpler to create content at-scale for marketers, editors, and developers.
Both WordPress and Drupal are open source platforms, which is why so many people use them to build websites. With the ability to add whichever functionalities you need, it’s really great to see CMS platforms evolving to help move the user interface closer to an exceptional experience. In this blog post, we’ll go over some of those improved drag-and-drop user interface experiences in both WordPress and Drupal that make building a website and creating content even easier.
WordPress – Gutenberg
The very first WordPress drag-and-drop feature was introduced in 2008 and it gave users the ability to drag and drop widgets. In 2011, a drag-and-drop uploader was introduced and in 2014, the ability to drag and drop media into the editor was made available In today’s world, the Gutenberg editor is a whole new level of drag-and-drop functionality for WordPress.
With the latest release of the Gutenberg editor, concept blocks were introduced to easily create layouts through the drag-and-drop features. Gutenberg allows users to see exactly what their layout will look like once it’s published through the WYSIWYG interface giving users the freedom to remain within the editor vs. having to save and preview their work every time an edit is made, making Gutenberg more intuitive to the user.
Other features of the Gutenberg editor that make building layouts more intuitive are the dynamic options that are specific to the content block that is being worked on resulting in fewer “distractions” and more focused tasks. The Gutenberg editor still has a way to go to become a fully functional page builder, but it was a necessary step needed to take in order to adjust to today’s quickly evolving tech world and to stay competitive in the market.
With the newest release of WordPress 5.3 coming this month, we can expect to see some new enhancements and features to the Gutenberg editor as well as a performance boost. The updates that will likely have the most impact in terms of the user interface experience are improvements in the editing experience and new features being introduced for theme and block developers. With block editor enhancements, users are able to handle more intricate content layouts without the need to write code.
Looking at the Gutenberg improvements, there are going to be additional features that allow users to further customize their layouts through the use of column blocks, table blocks, button blocks, and more. WordPress 5.3 will also have new a social icons block to incorporate into content pages. Most of the block updates will revolve primarily around added styling features.
Additional user interface experiences come with the admin dashboard. We can expect to see a more cohesive layout across the platform giving it a cleaner and more organized feel. Something that also makes it simpler for people to make updates on-the-go is the improved image upload feature for mobile phones. Before this was not a good experience, but now users can upload photos from their mobile devices as WordPress will automatically save your uploaded and images won’t break during the middle of an upload. WordPress will be able to finish the upload process for you and ultimately improve the quality of photos that are used.
Drupal – Layout Builder
Since Drupal was based off of concept blocks, it was very simple to incorporate the Gutenberg editor onto the platform for an improved editing experience. Drupal’s latest focus with 8.7.0 has been around making content creation simpler for websites with large amounts of content by helping users create designs and layouts that were once available only in the developer’s world. Drupal is one of the first CMS platforms to incorporate the new layout builder featuring the drag-and-drop content management tool vs. other platforms that require the use of 3rd-party plugins.
The new visual design tool allows non-technical users to create and design layouts that are structured across the entire website. It also allows users to create templates for specific types of content giving page builders the ability to customize templates on a case-by-case basis so you are not locked into one theme or style for a specific content type.
Essentially, the new layout builder helps speed up the development process and helps non-technical users build content easier than ever. With the additional out-of-the-box features, Drupal users will not have the need to use as many modules for an improved editing experience and have the option to replace those modules with even more advanced functionalities to take designs to the next level.
As Web Content Accessibility Guidelines get more stringent among website owners, the full Drupal 8.7 is navigable by keyboard. This makes it easier for website owners to follow the recommended guidelines and avoid any penalties. The fact that the drag-and-drop layout builder was built with accessibility in mind is an excellent improvement as websites built in 8.7 will be highly accessible.
The layout builder also supports more complex workflows than ever before. Users are able to send layouts and mockups to people through staging workflows and are able to publish within the same interface. With Drupal’s workflow integration, non-technical users, for example, could easily add an image banner to a website without the need for a developer and most importantly, they are able to do it safely through the use of version controls. For updates that are more complex, Drupal is able to support multiple approval processes within workflows so that users are able to move their work up the review chain easily.
With new features being incorporated into WordPress and Drupal, we can expect to see more content being pushed out in shorter amounts of time as well as seeing “cleaner” work being produced on websites.
As a leading technical and design firm with over 20 years of Drupal and WordPress experience, we help organizations and corporate businesses meet their publishing needs through the use of rich features and functionalities. We use the tools and functions necessary for each client based on their unique needs. For more information on the work we do with Drupal and WordPress clients, continue looking through our website or reach out to our team for any questions you may have on a project through our online form.