Drupal Development Trends 2024: What You Need to Know

As wе dive headfirst into 2024, it’s time to take stock of the latest and greatest Drupal development teams that will shape thе direction of our favorite opеn-sourcе CMS this year.

Whеthеr you’re a sitе builder, a module developer, or just an engaged community mеmbеr, knowing thеsе trеnds will hеlp you stay on top of your Drupal gamе. So grab your favoritе bеvеragе, put your fееt up, and lеt’s еxplorе thе еxciting Drupal landscape togеthеr!

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning

Onе of thе biggеst tеch buzzwords right now is AI, also known as artificial intelligence. Simply put, AI allows software programs and machinеs to exhibit human-likе intеlligеncе and bеhavior. Drupal developers arе incrеasingly intеgrating AI and its subset machine lеarning (ML) to provide highly personalized and contextual user experiences.

Somе common ways Drupal leverages AI/ML include:

  • Smart content recommendations based on user interests and behavior
  • AutomatеdAutomated tagging and metadata generation
  • Prеdictivе sеarch and autocomplеtе
  • Sentiment analysis to gauge reactions to content
  • Chatbots and virtual agents to assist users
  • Adaptive influences that change based on user actions
  • Dynamic page layouts tailored to individual visitors
  • Personalized product suggestions and deals

As AI/ML capabilities grow more advanced in thе coming yеars, expect Drupal to capitalize on thеm in еxciting ways. Thе ability to dеlivеr individualized experiences at scalе could takе pеrsonalization to nеw hеights!

Also Read: WordPress: A Comprehensive Guide to Utilizing the CMS

Adopting Headless and Decoupled Architectures

If you’ve hung around the web development world lately, chances are you’ve heard the term “headless Drupal.” This refers to using Drupal as a backend content management system (CMS) while rendering the frontend presentation separately.

Traditionally, Drupal has followed a coupled architecture – content, logic and display all bundled together. But developers are increasingly decoupling the frontend presentation layer from the backend Drupal infrastructure.

Why go headless? Some key benefits include:

  • Flexibility – Frontend can be built with any framework (React, Angular, Vue.js etc.)
  • Agility – Frontend can iterate quickly without being limited by the backend
  • Omnichannel – Content can be leveraged across multiple platforms like web, mobile, wearables, etc.
  • Performance – Lightweight frontend assets improve site speed

Leading examples of headless Drupal include Contenta CMS and the JSON API module. As Javascript frameworks and mobile apps continue to gain popularity, this decoupled trend will only pick up steam in 2024!

Integration with Emerging Technologies

Beyond web and mobile, Drupal also integrates with exciting emerging technologies to provide rich omnichannel digital experiences:

Internet of Things

As more everyday objects gain internet connectivity, Drupal allows leveraging IoT devices to provide personalized real-time experiences. For instance, an IoT motion sensor in a room could track user movements and change screen content accordingly. The possibilities are endless!

Augmented/Virtual Reality

AR and VR have moved beyond just gaming into more practical applications. Drupal facilitates delivering immersive 3D, 360-degree, and augmented content to headsets and wearables. Imagine engaging virtual storefronts, enhanced maps, and interactive product previews!

Voice Assistants

Voice UIs like Alexa and Google Home are becoming the next frontier of natural user interaction. Drupal integrates with conversational platforms to provide voice-enabled experiences. Users can ask questions, issue voice commands, and more.

As these nascent technologies become mainstream, look for Drupal to offer robust tooling for empowering such experiences. Exciting times ahead!

Also Read: How to Utilize Categories and Tags Effectively in WordPress

Focus on Security, Accessibility and User Experience

Beyond core architecture and emerging tech, Drupal is also evolving from a functional standpoint:


With data breaches making frequent headlines, security is a top priority for any modern CMS. Drupal continues to proactively identify and patch vulnerabilities through initiatives like the Drupal Security Team. The upcoming lightweight Experimental Drupal Project also aims to improve security by reducing codebase complexity.


Making digital experiences inclusive for users of all abilities is both an ethical and legal obligation. Drupal 8 made great strides with WCAG 2.0 compliance features like responsive images, semantic HTML5 markup etc. Expect continued enhancements like improved color contrast, ARIA landmark roles, focus management and more.

User Experience

As users become more digitally savvy, their expectations grow. Drupal recognizes this by doubling down on UX-related improvements – streamlining workflows, introducing layout tools like Layout Builder, enhancing mobile responsiveness, and exploring new approaches like Storybook. Prioritizing the user experience will continue being crucial.

By keeping security, accessibility, and UX top-of-mind, Drupal ensures everyone can leverage the web to its full potential.

Also Read: Unleashing the Power of WordPress Web Services

Empowering Sustainable and Green Web Development

With climate change accelerating, the tech community is reflecting on how software systems impact the environment. Drupal too is taking steps to champion green web development:

  • Energy optimization – Contributed modules like Environment Indicator reduce CPU load and energy usage. lighterhtml module optimizes frontend markup.
  • Eco-hosting – Hosting Drupal on renewable energy-powered green web hosts greatly reduces carbon footprint.
  • Responsible coding – Following best practices like minimizing dependencies, browser caching, image compression and lazy loading cuts down on waste.
  • Sustainable UX – Design choices promoting public transit, recycling, energy conservation nudge users towards earth-friendly behaviors.

As developers, being mindful of our environmental impact is an important part of social responsibility. Kudos to Drupal for encouraging sustainable practices!

Implementation of Project Browser Initiative

Finding the right contributed modules that work together seamlessly has always been tricky. To simplify this, Drupal launched the Project Browser initiative – a discovery tool for developers seeking proven solutions.

Project Browser will showcase groups of modules commonly used for specific purposes like blogs, e-commerce etc. The listings will include compatibility status across Drupal versions and distributions like Drupal Commerce.

This initiative will help developers quickly find mature modules that integrate smoothly for their use case. No more guessing if Experimental Module X will work with Stable Module Y! Excited to see this launch.

Also Read: WordPress Web Development: Unlocking the Potential of a Versatile Platform

Development of the Starter Template Concept

Building off Project Browser is another initiative – Starter Templates. While Project Browser shows module groupings, Starter Templates will provide pre-configured installation profiles tailored to different site types.

For instance, a “Blog” starter template could come with Modules X, Y and Z installed and configured out-of-the-box for a basic blog. Just launch the starter template and you’re already halfway there!

These curated low-code starter packs will make bootstrapping new projects significantly faster. Another productivity booster for sure!

Automated Updates Initiative

Drupal major versions bring great new features but updating multiple sites is daunting. To simplify this, Drupal proposed the Automated Updates initiative for one-click updates between versions.

This uses configuration management to export a site’s current config and then automatically re-apply it to the new version. Modules and themes can also be automatically re-installed if compatible. Demo sites show the process working well already!

Such streamlined updates will be a godsend for maintainers juggling multiple sites. Can’t wait for this initiative to launch in production.

GitLab Initiative

Collaboration has always been a cornerstone of open source projects like Drupal. To enhance this further, Drupal is exploring integrating with GitLab for improved dev workflows.

GitLab offers advanced functionality like issue tracking, CI/CD pipelines, code reviews and project management in one unified platform. These tools can greatly help coordinate developers and contributors.

If successful, this initiative could supercharge Drupal with more robust, efficient collaboration capabilities. What a boost that would be for the entire ecosystem!

Also Read: Rank Math Plugin Settings to Improve Your Website’s SEO

Great Module Migration

As Drupal core matures, there is a growing need to streamline it for greater agility. This led to the Great Module Migration initiative to shift more code from core into decoupled contrib modules.

By reducing code in core to essentials and moving secondary functionality to add-ons, innovation can progress faster. This migration will empower the community to deliver improvements at their own pace outside the core release cycle.

The inaugural phase in Drupal 9 pruned away 120K lines of code through contributed migrations. As this initiative grows, expect an even leaner and meaner core!

And those are the key Drupal development trends and initiatives to watch as we step into 2024! From leveraging bleeding-edge tech to simplifying workflows and collaboration – there’s a lot of exciting innovation happening.

As a developer, staying updated on these trends will help you craft digital experiences that provide real value to users. And contribute back to the Drupal community that we know and love!

Frequently Asked Question’s

Some key emerging technologies that Drupal is integrating with include the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented/virtual reality, and voice assistants. This allows Drupal to deliver omnichannel experiences across different devices and platforms.
These architectures allow greater flexibility, agility and omnichannel content delivery. The frontend can be built using modern frameworks while Drupal acts as the backend. This separation of concerns streamlines development.
AI and ML will allow for more personalized and contextual user experiences in Drupal through features like smart recommendations, predictive search, sentiment analysis, adaptive interfaces and more.
Key focus areas for improvement are security, accessibility and overall user experience. This ensures Drupal can serve a wide range of users safely and effectively.
Initiatives like Project Browser, Starter Templates, Automated Updates, and GitLab integration aim to simplify discovery of modules, bootstrapping new projects, upgrades, and collaboration.

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