John Faber Managing Partner Follow
February 26, 2024

Remember Next-Drupal? It’s that thing we used to talk about incessantly but have been fairly quiet about in recent months. Not to worry – we haven’t lost interest. In fact, we’ve been working hard to make our Next.js-powered decoupled Drupal front-end product even better in Next-Drupal 2.0! For those of you who are not yet familiar, here is a good introduction to Next-Drupal. For those already acquainted, please read on.

Making a Fast Front-End Even Faster

The primary reason for the new release is that Next.js has recently released a new feature called App Router. App Router is a new model for building applications in React that allows users to render some React components on the server side, as opposed to on the user side only.

React’s new system allows content to be rendered on the server before all the Javascript gets sent to the browser, thereby reducing the amount of Javascript that needs to be sent to the browser. This reduces the browser burden and makes everything a bit faster. That’s right – the fastest-loading front-end out there has just gotten even faster.

Pages Router will eventually become deprecated, but Next-Drupal 2.0 will initially enable both App Router and Pages Router, allowing for a seamless transition from Next-Drupal 1.6. Once this transition is complete, users can then migrate content from Pages Router to App Router. Since this may be a time-consuming process, Next-Drupal 2.0 allows users to do it in a piecemeal fashion. If you're looking for details, we have documented the migration process on Github. 

web speed graphic

Improved Developer Experience

Next-Drupal 2.0 does more than make your site faster. It also provides a better developer experience through a new feature called Draft Mode, which replaces the old Preview Mode.

Draft mode solves the issue of having to rebuild the entire Next.js application when you've only edited a small portion of content. Draft Mode allows the Drupal server to connect to the Next.js app and say "just show me this new piece of content," without doing the whole rebuild.

As with the transition from Pages Router to App Router, Next-Drupal 2.0 enables Draft Mode support without removing Preview Mode support.

When Can I Transition?

If you’re already using Next-Drupal 1.6, you can try out Next-Drupal 2.0 today. While the product has not yet been officially released and we’re still tinkering with it, it’s in alpha mode and ready to be test driven. You can view our progress in this roadmap. We’ve also updated our contribution docs to make it easier for developers to contribute code to the new product without the risk of breaking anything.

If you’re new to Next-Drupal, there has never been a better time to embrace the decoupled revolution. Next-Drupal gives you everything you need to build a next-generation front-end for your Drupal site without sacrificing any of the out-of-the-box features that come with the traditional coupled Drupal front-end. And now it’s even faster and more user-friendly than before.

Looking to level up your web presence with the fastest front-end on the market? Contact us today and let us help you reach your goals.