John Faber Managing Partner Follow
April 14, 2022

The notion of using Drupal as an API-first CMS has been floating around the community for many years. There has been a dream to fully use Drupal as a content platform and a cool React-based technology for the front of the house. It's been a slow road of adoption; why?

Drupal is a Content Management System (CMS). Although there's sophisticated code powering the platform, the bottom line is that content management systems are primarily used by editors who are responsible for adding, updating, and editing content, not code. Drupal has editorial tools that work well and importantly, can be customized to user needs. We spend a lot of time creating a smart, clean editorial experience during our builds. In fact, we think the effort to build fantastic content administration experiences are just as important as a beautiful front-end design, if not more so.

A decoupled Drupal website needs to provide real-time control to editors. Traditionally decoupled Drupal websites did not provide a real-time interface for editors. There was always a tradeoff between going decoupled and being a content management system. Decoupled Drupal Architecture will not be successful if editors are left behind. Existing frameworks today use a page preview process to get editors’ buy-in.

Until now, all decoupled Drupal solutions leave the editors behind, unable to provide on-demand instant real-time publishing making the solutions painful to use. Agencies tried everything to make headless work but ultimately ran into challenging problems.  

Chapter Three wanted to have it all, a fully decoupled front-end that content editors love, the Holy Grail. Next.js provided the path forward for Chapter Three developers to create the Holy Grail of decoupled editing, which we call Next-Drupal

The Future of Drupal is Headless


Next-Drupal integrates Drupal and Next.js, providing a seamless real-time editorial experience between Drupal and your decoupled front-end, paving the way for Drupal to be the best open source content platform available.   Drupal is a powerful content architecture platform that provides a JSON API for everything.  Next.js is a modern React framework that provides on-demand Incremental Static Regeneration. Combining Drupal and Next.js solves the editorial and publishing issues that have traditionally blocked decoupled solutions from succeeding. There are a lot of reasons to move your Drupal site to Next-Drupal.

From a technology perspective, headless has always been something that we've been very interested in and has always been something that we just haven't found the right project to use. And so the thing that we're looking at right now is NextJS and Next-Drupal as well. It looks very sexy and feels like the next thing – literally. We’ll see.” - Ivan Stegic, TEN7

Next-Drupal is the solution we have been waiting for, making decoupled Drupal sites a business-ready reality. Reach out to Chapter Three, and let’s talk about your project!