Drupal 8: Built for a Mobile-first world

| | 3 min read

Dries Buytaert, Founder and lead developer of Drupal CMS, set the tone for Drupal 8 in his Chicago Keynote back in 2011 when he said, “If I were to start Drupal from scratch today, I’d built it for mobile experiences first, and desktop experience second.” His vision has come true with the Drupal’s latest version, Drupal 8.0.0 RC (release candidate) due to be released on 19 November 2015.

Why do you need a Mobile-first website?

Today, there are already around 400 websites built on Drupal 8. Drupal 8 has mainly evolved around not just a mobile-friendly approach but also a Mobile-First principle; this does not come as a surprise seeing the proliferation of mobile devices worldwide. According to IDC’s worldwide quarterly tracker report, the number of smart phones sold in the second quarter of 2015 has crossed over 340 million. In fact, websites accessed through smartphones far outpace those being viewed through a laptop or a tablet. Keeping up with the current trends in mobile usage, it is a foregone conclusion that Drupal, with it's increased performance and enhanced capabilities, is headed in the right direction.

Gear up for an amazing mobile experience with Drupal 8!

The main features of Drupal 8 that make it mobile friendly are:

Responsive Images and Breakpoints: To support the wide array of Internet-enabled devices being released in the market, Drupal 8 has incorporated responsive design into everything. Cases in point are the Breakpoints Module and the Responsive Image Module. The Breakpoints module standardizes the use of breakpoints. Breakpoints are widths for which the design of a website changes. The Breakpoints Module and the Responsive Image Module have to be enabled (not default) though it comes with the core.

For Responsive Image Module, Breakpoint module is a requirement as it uses the breakpoints that are coded in to the theme along with image styles to resize the images appropriately It can be configured using a User Interface (UI) to make the images on the site responsive.

Responsive tables: Drupal 8 provides support for responsive tables so that table columns can have ‘High’, ’Medium’ and ’Low ‘priority. The priority is such that while for large screens all are displayed, for smaller screen sizes the higher priorities are displayed first.

Responsive Themes: Built-in themes such as Bartik, Seven, and Stark are responsive, i.e. elements and blocks will automatically resize in proportion to the viewing device (Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone).

Mobile-friendly toolbar: The new mobile-friendly administrative toolbar introduced in Drupal 8 expands and orients itself horizontally on widescreens. It collapses down to icons and orients vertically for smaller screens. It allows the user to easily access various parts of the site.

Front-end Performance: Drupal 8 has tried to reduce front-end footprints to improve on the loading speed. Drupal 8 loads zero JavaScript files for anonymous visitors and jQuery can be replaced by native JavaScript, where needed, to reduce the bouncing rate and retain more traffic.

With Drupal8, deploy content once and display it the way you want on any device. For sites still in Drupal 6, it is a wakeup call (without the snooze button!) to migrate to Drupal 8, since support for Drupal 6 will cease in 3 months from the release of Drupal 8.

Zyxware Technologies has a great Drupal team that has helped many personal bloggers, government sites and enterprises power their websites with Drupal. If you want to build mobile-friendly Drupal websites or migrate to Drupal 8, we are here to help you. Get in touch with us to know more about our Drupal development services.


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