Getting the Best Website by Decoupling Drupal

| | 2 min read

From the static website to the latest interactive web applications, sites are built to maximize potential. But think of a scenario in which we could integrate different software components to deliver the best possible website. This is possible with the decoupled architecture. Decoupled architecture refers to the whole system being split into different software components.

In decoupled Drupal, instead of a monolithic Drupal architecture providing the content management and the content delivery, the idea is to separate fully or partially the front-end from the back-end. This gives front-end developers the freedom to create a great UX while retaining the power and flexibility of Drupal CMS via APIs. Here a user or visitor will not interact directly with Drupal (thereby “headless Drupal”) but rather with client-facing pages. These pages are created with JavaScript frameworks such as Angular.js, Backbone.js while using Drupal as the backend content repository. With RESTful services in Drupal 8 core, the API approach is used in the now prevalent mobile app creation too. In Drupal 7, modules such as Services or RestWS are used.

Why Decoupled Drupal Is the Future: Key Benefits

Coupling Drupal with a highly creative client-side framework after proper research and planning gives the following distinct advantages.

  • By allowing front-end developers full control over a site's rendered mark-up, UX, and use of the client-side framework, the website will have an application-like behavior with seamless interactivity and uninterrupted usage even while the page is still loading.
  • By decoupling front-end and back-end, developers have the full freedom to work independently, thereby improving the speed of project delivery and even possibly project cost.
  • Using systems that excel in their fields like layout and display, content storage, content management, the website's full potential can be explored.

Some prime examples of sites that use 'headless' Drupal listed in are



Where is Decoupling Drupal Best used?

Decoupling Drupal is not a 'one size fits all solution for web projects, but has to be evaluated according to each project's need. For the freedom to decide how content should be structured, Drupal is coupled with the front-end framework that will provide the best user experience that can be rendered.

A major drawback of decoupling Drupal is foregoing free functionalities like the layout and display management, content previews, UI localization, and form display along with Drupal's theme system.

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