With the addition of Drupal 8 to Drupal's already impressive repertoire of back-end content management, we felt it necessary to highlight a few features and changes provided in its newest version. Read on and discover how to really optimize your Drupal 8 experience.


New Theme Engine

The newest version of Drupal comes with a brand-new theming engine called Twig, a PHP-based engine that's flexible, fast and secure. Twig makes it much easier to develop equally beautiful and increasingly functional Drupal websites, being that its templates are written in a less-complex syntax than PHP templates or others, while also being more secure. Really exciting stuff we can't wait to try ourselves.


First Thing's First: Mobile Responsivity

Unlike previous versions, Drupal 8 is mobile first. Each built in theme that comes with Drupal 8 are programmed with responsive design in mind, along with an admin theme that adapts to varying screen sizes, and a "Back To Site" button that brings the user back to the front page. Tables fit into any given screen size with zero issue, with the new admin toolbar operating efficiently on mobile devices. Talk about a big step forward!


Quick Edits Made Easy

Nothing beats the feeling of instant gratification derived from a real-time web update like Quick Edits. This new feature is a backport of Drupal 8 in-place editing for Fields. Meaning, if logged into Drupal content on your desktop, you as user are able to directly edit text, make quick fixes and additions from the front-end of the page with total ease and real-time results. Content managers are able to watch in real time what the consumer will see on a site, and can make important changes in the blink of an eye that could change how said consumer views your company.


Guided Tours for All Users

Another fixer-upper improvement from previous versions. Directly located under the help link, the Guided Tour provides users a series of click-through pop ups that explain how the program itself works, making it one of the most helpful Drupal 8 features for novice users. This also means that users are able to more easily understand CMS, a huge step forward for companies looking to interact with clients whose tech background and experience might not be as solidified as others, but are eager to learn and build on what knowledge they have.


Loading Speed

In a world where time is of the essence, Drupal 8 reigns supreme, at least with loading speeds. Drupal 8 now caches all entities and loads JavaScript only when most necessary. Once a page is viewed, the content is no longer required to be reloaded again and again. All previously viewed content quickly loads from the cache.  Caching is completely automatic once necessary settings are configured and enabled as well.


Improved Accessibility Support

Drupal 8 possesses excellent support for standard accessibility technologies, such as WAI-ARIA. Features that provide control for Internet applications, such as ARIA Live Announcements API and TabManager, are extremely beneficial improvements made in Drupal 8. Better font sizes, modified color contrast and balancing, jQuery UI's autocomplete and modal dialogs all make Drupal 8 an absolute dream to operate.


JavaScript Testing Made Easy

With Drupal 8.1, automated testing is made possible for front-end testers through JavaScript(JS.) Company QA crews may now test JavaScript automatically on the front-end, thus saving time and creating ease in continuous integration.


Built In Web Services

Drupal 8 has taken a major step forward by offering itself as a possible data source AND output content in versions such as JSON or XML. Users can also post data back to Drupal 8 from the front end area. HAL or Hypertext Application Language has been added to Drupal 8. This implementation makes the exploitation of a web service and its capabilities far less painful.


We here at GSATi are great supporters of those who support us through collaboration and creativity. Drupal 8's newest features are the epitome of that perfect union, and we absolutely cannot wait to explore all it has to offer.

Looking to expand your Drupal horizons? Email us at and start your journey with us at GSATi today.

Danielle Longueville