Soon, we will be celebrating the first anniversary of the day Droopler – our open Drupal distribution for corporate websites – was released. It is a perfect time for some summaries and plans for the future. In this article, I’m going to show you how Droopler works and what awaits its users in the upcoming release.
Where did the idea of creating a new distribution come from? We were often dealing with the need to quickly build a simple showcase page for a product, company or an event. In doing so, we noticed that the combination of technologies that often go together, such as Bootstrap, npm/gulp, Composer, SCSS and Drupal 8, requires doing the same, repetitive actions all the time. This combination also proves to be difficult to maintain further down the line, especially when the number of pages grows with time. This led us to think about a solution to this problem. And thus the idea was born to build a distribution different than anything on the market.
What distinguishes Droopler from among other similar projects? Well, first and foremost, it turns the process of creating a website upside down. Imagine getting a ready-made website out-of-the-box, right after installing the distribution. All you need to do is add your own content. You don’t have to focus on building your layout from scratch or styling the page – instead, you can invest your time and money into adapting the existing solution. You can also change your website down the line, if your budget allows it, which is a very effective approach to web development, rarely seen in with Drupal.
As a result, we faced the task of developing a universal distribution, one that would work out-of-the-box, be easy to update and upgrade and allow users to implement radical changes to the website layout and design. In order to fulfill these requirements, we decided to go with Bootstrap 4 and took advantage of the experience gathered along the way with Bootstrap Barrio projects, while going for the best and most complete integration with SCSS. At the same time, we decided to make editing the content as simple as possible, in order to enable building it out of ready-made elements using the Paragraphs module. As a result, the 1.0 version of Droopler was a product with a well-thought-out structure, which we gladly shared with the Open Source community. Despite the fact that it had only a couple of ready-made paragraphs and a basic version of the layout, it was a solid foundation for further development.
Since then, Droptica team has been continuously working on making the distribution better and more refined, and we invested more than 1100 hours into its development. The subsequent versions gained the d_blog module for publishing blog articles, new paragraph types, new graphics options and countless fixes and patches. One of the guiding principles for the development of this project was the fact that it needed to be easy to pick up for new users, which is why we’re writing self-documenting code that is in line with standards recognised in the PHP and Drupal communities. We support our development work with Continuous Integration. In other words, we build a product that we would be happy to use ourselves. In fact... we do!
The upcoming days will bring the all-new Droopler 1.4, which is slated to release soon. The new version will feature completely new functionalities, including the presentation of the product offer, editing has been made easier than ever, and we implemented an update system based on solutions implemented by the creators of Thunder. Apart from that, it will also bring fixes for many bugs reported by our users.
As far as the future is concerned, we are going to face new challenges. We are constantly gathering and reading your feedback and comments, which guide the project’s development roadmap, since that way it can be based on our own experience, as well as that gathered by other webmasters. We encourage everybody to actively participate in the life of the Droopler community by taking part in Facebook discussions and by submitting tickets at drupal.org and github.com.
We are also grateful for choosing our product and we wish you many successes in promoting your product on the Internet in the coming New Year.