The release of Drupal 10—and the subsequent minor release of 10.1—has brought an impressive array of new features and improvements. If you attended our EvolveDrupal Summit in Toronto, you had the opportunity to walk through the best new features with Martin Anderson-Clutz, Senior Solutions Engineer at Acquia.
Missed the summit? No worries! Use this article to catch up on key points from the presentation, or watch the recording below.
Read on to explore eight awesome reasons why you should consider upgrading to Drupal 10.
1. Speedy Performance
Sites that load quickly usually see more traffic and better conversion rates. Drupal consistently outperforms its competitors when it comes to speed, and version 10.1 brings improvements that make it faster than ever.
Core Web Vitals (CWV) are a reliable measure of a performance—they consist of three metrics that measure how long a site visitor has to wait until they can see a page and begin to make use of it. From January to July 2023, Drupal achieved an impressive CWV score of 51.4%, far outstripping other open-source CMS rivals like Joomla (41.7%) and WordPress (32.5%).
Drupal 10.1 improvements that are contributing to its speediness include:
- Lazy loading. While lazy loading has been a part of Drupal since version 9, Drupal 10.1 takes it to the next level. It now also works for responsive images and OEmbed content.
- Big Pipe. Building on the Big Pipe functionality introduced in Drupal 8, Drupal 10.1 now allows custom placeholder content. This means reduced layout shifts, resulting in a smoother user experience. With placeholders, the layout remains stable as Big Pipe loads in content.
- On-the-fly JS minification. Minimizing code and markup through on-the-fly JS minification is another technique employed by Drupal 10.1. This optimization dramatically improves site speed, leading to a better user experience and lower bandwidth usage.
Drupal's advanced multilingual support has long been a standout feature, but the community hasn’t been resting on its laurels. There are several improvements that mean:
- It’s easier than ever to manage translations and translation workflows
- You can add and manage custom languages within Drupal
- Language detection is more accurate as Drupal now uses browser settings to determine a user's preferred language, rather than relying on their location
3. Modern Functionality
Drupal has dropped support for Internet Explorer, enabling it to support much more modern development techniques. This has resulting in some fantastic initiatives and features such as:
- Olivero front-end theme. The new default theme in Drupal 10, Olivero is designed with accessibility in mind. It embraces modern CSS techniques and atomic design principles, setting a high standard for front-end theming.
- Claro admin theme. Claro is not just a new UI for admin tasks; it's a complete design system with accessibility in focus. It's decoupled from Drupal, allowing for customization to meet specific admin requirements.
- Views responsive grids. Drupal 10.1 introduces a new format for views using modern CSS. This neat feature has gained recognition beyond the Drupal community, even getting featured by CSS Tricks.
- Single Directory Components (SDCs). SDCs make it easier for front-end developers to work with Drupal by grouping related files together. This simplifies customization and enhances the developer experience. SDCs are currently available as an experimental module in Drupal 10.1, and work is ongoing to convert regular components to SDCs.
4. Intuitive Design
Drupal is continuously working to make its interfaces more intuitive for users. For example, the interface for reusing an existing field now provides more information, including field type and summaries, making it easier to select the right field for your content. The bulk content operations interface has also undergone a thorough overhaul.
Meanwhile, the upcoming release of Drupal 10.2 promises a more visually appealing interface for creating new fields that will be easier and less intimidating for Drupal newcomers.
5. Built for Inclusivity
Drupal continues to deliver on its commitment to improving web accessibility and supporting customized digital experiences for people with disabilities. Drupal 10 introduces:
- Nightwatch accessibility tests. This helps the Drupal accessibility team to identify and address potential issues in core.
- Accessible default themes. Olivero and Claro offer out-of-the-box WCAG Level AA compliance.
- Support for assistive devices. The new default themes support HTML5 tags to improve context for assistive devices such as screen readers.
6. Easy Content Creation
One of the biggest improvements to the Drupal content editing experience is the adoption of CKEditor 5. CKEditor 5 is a complete rewrite of its predecessor, making it far more extensible and compatible with modern JS frameworks. It also offers premium features such as real-time collaboration tools, which give users access to a Google Docs-like editing experience within the Drupal admin UI.
CKEditor 5 also introduces autoformats, allowing users to apply formatting using only their keyboard. It supports markdown-like shortcodes for things like bolding or italicizing text and creating headings and bullet lists. For example, typing two asterisks either side of text (**like this**) will bold it.
Media integration has also been revamped in CKEditor 5. There used to be a modal overlay for doing things like setting image alignment or adding a caption, which was problematic as it obscured the content you were working on. There’s now a ribbon overlay instead, giving content creators more context and a much easier experience.
7. Advanced Security
Drupal has a reputation for being secure. It’s trusted by many governments, banks, insurance providers, and other organizations that deal with sensitive data and mission-critical projects.
Drupal has a dedicated security team with a track record of 15+ years that regularly releases security updates and patches. Running security updates just got easier thanks to the Automatic Updates module, which allows you to update Drupal core simply by clicking a few buttons. It also helps with database updates and provides APIs for custom updates. It’s currently available as a contributed module, but work is underway to adopt it in core.
8. Continuous Innovation
With minor releases every 6 months and major releases every two years or so, Drupal continuously drives innovation within its community and ensures compatibility with the latest technologies (Drupal 10 is compatible with PHP 8.1 and Symfony 6.2). There’s also a new initiative to streamline Drupal core by removing less-used components, making it faster and more efficient for developers.
Drupal’s open source community of 1.4 million members—of which more than a hundred thousand are active contributors—have created over 50,000 free modules and 3,000 free themes. This gives Drupal users tremendous power to customize and extend their websites.
What’s more, it’s easier than ever to select the right module for you thanks to Project Browser—a new module that allows you to browse the repository of contributions from within the Drupal UI.
In his presentation, Martin highlighted a few exciting new modules:
- Event Condition Action module – enables site builders to create custom workflows without having to write code.
- Same Page Preview – lets you see in real-time what your content will look like by displaying a preview on the edit page itself.
- OpenAI initiative – a suite of modules and an API foundation for AI integration in Drupal. This will allow you to use tools such as ChatGPT within the Drupal UI for content creation, analysis, and more.
Get Expert Help With Your Drupal 10 Upgrade
If this article got you excited about adopting Drupal 10, why not start a conversation with our Drupal migration experts?
We can help you plan and execute a smooth transition whether you’re switching to Drupal, upgrading from Drupal 9, or taking action due to Drupal 7’s end of life.