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Key features and benefits of Drupal 10

We map out the most important new features Drupal 10 unlocks to help you decide if you should upgrade your current version of Drupal, or migrate your website from a different CMS.

Drupal is a popular open-source content management system (CMS) that powers some of the world’s best and most visited websites. With a 1.4 million strong developer community, contributing over 50,000 free modules, Drupal is powerful and flexible. That’s why it’s our CMS of choice for large websites.

Drupal’s powerful customisation and editorial tools make it popular with big names like NASA, Tesla, UNICEF, The European Commission, Visa, The Olympic Games, and more. However, older versions of Drupal have developed a reputation for being tricky to use. The complexity of the CMS meant it could be confusing for content managers and required training to get the most from it.

Drupal has evolved through many iterations since it was first created in 2001. The latest major version, Drupal 10, was launched a year ago and boasts a range of features and improvements that make life easier for content managers, as well as improving performance and security. We wanted to map out the most important new features Drupal 10 unlocks to help you decide if you should upgrade your current version of Drupal, or migrate your website from a different CMS.

Improved WYSIWYG editor: CKEditor 5

The CKEditor 5 is new in Drupal 10 and offers a greatly improved content editing experience. The previous CKEditor 4 was becoming outdated but version 5 offers a far slicker UI that’s quicker to learn and very easy to use. Links and images can now be edited directly, rather than in separate windows, and the new editor will automatically remove any markup from Microsoft Word or Google Docs when pasting in content, saving content managers from time consuming formatting.

The Drupal Media library now supports drag and drop uploading of files and the CKEditor 5 allows you to easily edit media captions, media links, and media alignment.

Upgrading to Drupal 10 allows you to unlock the CKEditor’s premium features. You have to pay for a premium licence, but it is a major upgrade that gives you access to a whole host of useful tools. These include: real-time collaboration, tracked changes, import and export to Microsoft Word, Export to PDF, Revision history, AI assistant, the checking of spelling and grammar, and more.

Drupal CKEditor 5 (1)

New admin UI

Drupal 10 features a new default admin theme called Claro, which is a major improvement for managing Drupal sites as it has a far cleaner interface.

Since Drupal 7, content managers of Drupal sites would generally be using the default admin theme Seven. By 2023 this theme was over ten years old and lacked lots of the improvements in user interface design that have occurred over the last decade. In April 2022, it was decided that Claro would be included in Drupal core from version 9.4. If you’re upgrading from an older version of Drupal, you will be very pleasantly surprised by the leap forward Claro represents in terms of usability.

The new design simplifies the user interface, makes file management far easier, and gets rid of developer terminology that content managers often found confusing. Almost every element of the interface has been redesigned, from the typography and colour palette to the UI and forms. Input focus indicators and visual prompts help make the interface more intuitive to use, and the control elements of the UI are now at the WCAG AA standard, making it inclusive for users with accessibility needs. The interface design is now much cleaner, making the experience of managing content far more pleasant.

Drupal 10 also unlocks other themes, such as Gin, which we use on our sites. Gin uses Claro as a base, so includes all the improvements discussed above, but improves the UX even further.

Drupal Gin admin theme (2)

Improved performance and security

Drupal 10 can unlock faster page load times, as it dispenses with using a large jQuery library that older versions of Drupal used to implement functions not supported in browsers. Instead, it uses modern JavaScript components. Losing parts of the jQuery Library means faster loading times, improving the experience for users. Drupal 10 also replaces Symfony 4 with Symfony 6 (a PHP web application framework), which has improved performance, fixes vulnerabilities, and offers better security.

Is it time to upgrade to Drupal 10?

Drupal 10 is a step forward for one the world’s most powerful and popular content management systems. It’s not a dramatic leap from Drupal 9, but rather a gradual evolution that continues to make the CMS faster, sleeker, and more user-friendly. If you are upgrading from Drupal 7 or 8, you will notice a drastic difference, but even those on more recent versions of Drupal should consider upgrading as you would benefit from the more secure and high-performance version of the CMS.

Ultimately, upgrading to Drupal 10 is the best way to future-proof your website, so we’d recommend upgrading as soon as you can. We have one of the most experienced teams of Drupal specialists in the UK, so if you need help managing your site’s upgrade, or migration, to Drupal 10, get in touch and we will be happy to help.

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