Entity view (Content)

Improving Drupal Content Management Features

By vburley
Apr. 15, 2016

In the marketing world, content is still king. The internet is an endless ocean of content that is easily accessible at any time, on any device. This means that marketers are focusing their efforts on a multi-platform approach to delivering content to their audience. Through numerous and dispersed entry points, the customer has a coordinated and comprehensive experience of the brand story.

As brands and content creators compete for consumers shortening attention spans, it’s becoming more and more important to keep up with a rapidly evolving digital landscape, and publish new content fast.

Drupal 8 has done a good job of making things easier for site builders to empower content creators. There are more tools in core that help content creators to quickly edit and add content. These mobile-friendly tools makes content editing possible across more devices.

New features in core for content editors:

  • Text formats and editor configuration

  • CKEditor

  • Drag and drop editor toolbar configuration

  • Image captions

  • Quick edit

  • Better preview with view mode options

  • Responsive and mobile-friendly interface:

    • On-the-go team members can review, edit and approve content from mobile devices, like iPhones, iPads and Android devices, to keep content and campaigns flowing, no matter the device they’re on.

A blog post last week from Drupal founder Dries Buytaert (with contributions from Appnovator Tim Millwood) discusses improvements and new features that are being used by the Drupal team at Pfizer. The modules they’re developing are helping to advance the current content management features in Drupal and solve some problems for content in Drupal.

Dries highlights these use-cases in his post:

Use cases

Before jumping to the technical details, let's talk a bit more about the problems these modules are solving.

  1. Cross-site content staging — In this case you want to synchronize content from one site to another. The first site may be a staging site where content editors make changes. The second site may be the live production site. Changes are previewed on the stage site and then pushed to the production site. More complex workflows could involve multiple staging environments like multiple sites publishing into a single master site.

  2. Content branching — For a new product launch you might want to prepare a version of your site with a new section on the site featuring the new product. The new section would introduce several new pages, updates to existing pages, and new menu items. You want to be able to build out the updated version in a self-contained 'branch' and merge all the changes as a whole when the product is ready to launch. In an election case scenario, you might want to prepare multiple sections; one for each candidate that could win.

  3. Preview your site — When you're building out a new section on your site for launch, you want to preview your entire site, as it will look on the day it goes live. This is effectively content staging on a single site.

  4. Offline browse and publish — Here is a use-case that Pfizer is trying to solve. A sales rep goes to a hospital and needs access to information when there is no wi-fi or a slow connection. The site should be fully functional in offline mode and any changes or forms submitted, should automatically sync and resolve conflicts when the connection is restored.

  5. Content recovery — Even with confirmation dialogs, people delete things they didn’t want to delete. This case is about giving users the ability to “undelete” or recover content that has been deleted from their database.

  6. Audit logs — For compliance reasons, some organizations need all content revisions to be logged, with the ability to review content that has been deleted and connect each action to a specific user so that employees are accountable for their actions in the CMS.

Today, there’s a huge focus on integrating mobile into your overall brand experience, giving your customers a relevant and consistent interaction with your brand. With continued improvements to these and other content management features in Drupal, marketers can easily manage their web and mobile content.