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Drupal trends in 2022 and expectations for 2023

Photo: marekmetslaid__MMP1566-1536×1022
Photo: marekmetslaid__MMP1566-1536×1022

September and October 2022 were important months for the Drupal community. The annual DrupalCon, which is the biggest Drupal related event in Europe, took place in Prague O2 Arena from 20th to the 23rd of September. First in-person DrupalCon Europe since 2019 – well worth the wait with intense 3 days and ~165 sessions. On the 14th of October, DrupalCamp Baltics 2022 was held in Tallink Spa & Conference Hotel, led by our very own CTO Ivo Nellis. Drupal continues to be one of the most relevant CMS platforms on the market, that´s for sure. Here’s a short overview of 2022 and what is to be expected from 2023.

Our team at DrupalCon Praha 2022


DRUPAL UP TO NOW

Last year’s annual Drupal Business Survey 2022 was analysed and presented in Prague during the annual Drupal CEO dinner. The insights of 63 Drupal business leaders from Europe, Asia, and America drew a clear overview of where Drupal is now and where it is heading.

Top Ten Industries

Drupal is still the choice for most large industries and industry leaders. The top three sectors using Drupal have remained the same compared to 2021, led by charities and non-profit, education, and government sites, followed closely by media and healthcare/medicine sectors. 

Top 10 industries by usage:

1) Charities and non-profit
2) Education
3) Government
4) Media
5) Healthcare & Medicine
6) IT
7) Banking & Insurance
8) Travel & Insurance
9) Retail
10) Consultancy

Reasons for Choosing Drupal

The main reason for choosing Drupal has remained the same over several years – Drupal is open-source.  In short, it is free to download, use and modify. But the real value here is the 1M+ community behind it. Developers, designers, and other experts voluntarily contribute to the improvement of the platform by developing new modules and themes and providing daily support to clear all technical doubts in hours.

The Flexibility. Even though Drupal version 7 and older were known to be quite tough, version 8 and onwards have made a huge leap forward and made it up for all the previous versions “robustness”. Drupal offers a robust framework out-of-the-box that’s capable of accommodating complex websites and applications using only its core components (modules) and APIs but is also more than suitable to maintain even the most complex systems. There’s not much that 40 000 community-contributed modules has not already covered. 

The high reputation of being one of the most secure CMS systems (if not the most secure) out there. Drupal does not depend on other third-party plugins which makes the Drupal website less vulnerable to security threats. Also, the community (of 1M+ members) has a dedicated security enhancement team, who tirelessly test and improve the code and core modules. 

Other top reasons mentioned included reliability, compatible, performance, previous experience, and low costs.


MOST EXCITED ABOUT DRUPAL IN 2023

The release of Drupal 10. Even though release in December 2022 comes together with many long-needed updates. Some but not all are mentioned below.

1) New and more modern admin theme “Claro theme”, which replaces the “Seven theme”, designed in 2009. 
2) New front-end theme “Olivero”, the base theme will be out-of-the-box WCAG AA compliant. 
3) Significantly extended headless development opportunities by creating more web service endpoints and JavaScript components. 
4) Automatic updates – the update feature will be added to the core and will be available for Composer-based sites. 

Drupal is stepping up to be more headless. This means that in this case, Drupal acts as a content repository that stores and manages data to make it available via APIs to the front-end systems that can be used to best fit the needs, which then is rendering the content. What it gives is freedom for developers to choose the right front-end framework, while continuing to take advantage of Drupal’s power for the back end resulting in it being more flexible overall. 

Further improvements in accessibility. Drupal Core themes have been developed with accessibility in mind. Drupal 10 takes a significant leap towards providing better tools and opportunities to meet WCAG 2 standards and even more fill them by default. 


ADM – DRUPAL – 2023?

Drupal is one of ADM’s core strengths and we plan to continue building different solutions on Drupal CMS in Estonia and across Europe for private-sector businesses and government institutions.

  1. Moving more and more towards headless development solutions with Drupal, like React/next.js, using Drupal more to serve content and keep the front-end components in a separate library. 
  2. Integrating Drupal with other services and software such as Sentry, Redis, Elasticsearch
  3. Reusability is definitely “a thing”. Building more and more reusable modules and components allows us to be more flexible, keep a stable high code quality standard and create less digital waste.
  4. Automate what you can and what is reasonable – integrating unit, integration, and system/functional testing into all business-critical functions and making it a standard in the regular development processes, as well as CI/CD pipelines. 

To conclude, Drupal is still important for many large and leading industries. Some of the top reasons for this phenomenon are it being open-source, flexible, secure, and reliable. With some great updates and the launch of Drupal 10, there is a lot to be excited about in 2023. Not only will there be different updates but also a drive toward headless systems while efforts are put in place to improve accessibility. As for ADM, Drupal will continue to be one of the key tools in development. The plan is to benefit from the new opportunities in the headless solutions, and integration with other services. In addition, there will be a focus on creating more reusable modules and bringing in more automatisation. 


Author: Paul Post

Some photos from Praha and Tallinn.

One of our team members drove his bike all the way to Praha.
Photo by: Marek Metslaid
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