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With Drupal 9, the CMS is Entering a New Era of Possibilities

Drupal 9 is entering a new era, proving itself to be superior to other CMS solutions for content management, collaboration, and agility. One of the best examples of companies using this technology to its full potential, both in-house and for its clients, is digital product agency and Pantheon partner Phase2. Learn more in the following post. 

"The Drupal project has a history of being on the leading edge of technical innovation, but at the cost of being difficult for editorial users to manage. With Drupal 9 and beyond, the project is focusing on empowering those users to access the full power of what Drupal offers."

- Tim Lehnen from the Drupal Association on Drupal 9’s user-friendly nature for editorial and content managers

With Drupal 9, Phase2 is building solutions that enable their internal team and clients to update content across their digital experiences seamlessly and match brand guidelines — all without necessarily requiring the technical expertise of their developers. This kind of agility is essential with more businesses moving their activities online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For a bit more detail, we spoke to Tim Lehnen from the Drupal Association about Drupal 9’s move to becoming more usable for a non-technical audience. He had this to say, “The Drupal project has a history of being on the leading edge of technical innovation, but at the cost of being difficult for editorial users to manage. With Drupal 9 and beyond, the project is focusing on empowering those users to access the full power of what Drupal offers.”

Easier to Respond to the Marketplace

Drupal 9 has also enabled the Phase2 team to respond quickly to topics the marketplace is most interested in with its user-friendly nature for performing content updates, as explained by Chris Jorgenson, Director of Marketing at Phase2.

“Drupal 9 allows our marketing team to publish new landing pages and other content without any constraints or a need for development resources. It allows us to take a multichannel approach to our campaigns that we haven’t had in previous iterations,”

- Chris Jorgenson on the catalyst for Phase2 moving to Drupal 9. 

Overcoming Previous Pain Points of Drupal 

When Chris Jorgenson joined Phase2, the website was running on Drupal 8. From a frontend  perspective, it checked all the boxes, but from a backend and content administration perspective, it didn’t meet all of Phase2’s marketing needs. 

“Our Drupal 8 site that launched in 2017 did not leverage Layout Builder, so the editorial experience was a bit cumbersome and almost always required collaboration with our frontend developers to make even small content revisions.”

The team began looking for a CMS solution that would enable the marketing team to make updates to the website without a developer. After evaluating most of the popular CMSs, they landed back on Drupal. 

There’s a widely held belief that Drupal is great for developers but isn't friendly to content editors and marketers, but Drupal 9 has changed all of that. With Drupal 9, the open-source CMS has not only matched its competition’s ease of use for a non-technical audience, it's surpassed it. 

Interested in supercharging your content and marketing teams' ability to create web pages by upgrading to Drupal 9 — all without requiring the resources of your development team? Sign up for this webinar to learn more. 

Implementing a Design System, Protecting A New Brand

Around the same time that Phase2 was making the transition to Drupal 9, the agency was also undertaking a rebrand. That meant a complete overhaul of the look and feel of their website, along with new messaging to accompany that visual change. They also decided  to integrate their proprietary design system, Particle, into the website’s frontend. 

“All of our Drupal sites use an in-browser pattern library system we create, to ensure web designs are documented and ready for development. Using this approach creates a living styleguide and set of components designed to scale and grow over time. It is also incredibly valuable for brand safety,” said Chris. 

Incorporating design system methodologies into the site’s frontend allowed not just the more technically minded folks to come in and make updates, but it enabled any team member to design pages that hew to  brand guidelines. 

A Train Station Approach

For Phase2, and any organization that uses Drupal 9, future iterations of its digital experience will be able to be moved to a new release (i.e. Drupal 10) without the need for a total rebuild. This is a tremendous leap for Drupal, as previous versions did not offer this type of upgrade path and will result in less cost.

A New Era for Content Marketers on Drupal 

"Drupal has added incredibly powerful features that elevate it from a CMS into a true DXP. In the past, those advanced capabilities have been very developer-centric, but with Drupal 9 and beyond, the project is strongly focused on making that power accessible to all Drupal users."

- Tim from the Drupal Association on Drupal 9’s newfound accessibility 

Drupal 9 gives marketing teams the ability to make changes quickly and easily, allowing them to conduct more A/B testing, deploy landing pages quickly, and update messaging where it will have the most impact. It helped Phase2 implement a WebOps framework and run their website more smoothly in an agile fashion, along with those of their clients.

“It's kind of like night and day where we were and where we are now,” said Chris, on the company’s move to Drupal 9. “There's basically nothing on this site that I can't manipulate without a developer. That flexibility, that nimbleness, that's really the biggest win.” 

Tim Lehnen from the Drupal Association had this to say about Drupal 9’s shift towards being a true Digital Experience Platform (DXP) tailored to all users, “Drupal has added incredibly powerful features that elevate it from a CMS into a true DXP. In the past, those advanced capabilities have been very developer-centric, but with Drupal 9 and beyond, the project is strongly focused on making that power accessible to all Drupal users.”

Learn more about upgrading to Drupal 9, and how this latest CMS changes everything for content and marketing teams looking to create powerful web pages by signing up for this webinar



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Topics Agency Partners, Drupal