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The Rise of Decoupled Drupal: What, Why, and When

Websites with decoupled architecture tend to be more flexible, user-friendly, faster in web performance, and more accessible. All these factors are crucial for maintaining a successful online business. As a website owner, you need to understand that the right data structure and architecture of the platform influence website operation and, as a result, user experience, customer satisfaction, and security.

The ‘decoupled’ or ‘headless’ Drupal has already become a must and not a trend. Today, the team at Drupfan explores what decoupled Drupal is and how headless architecture can benefit your website. Let’s review the decoupled Drupal essentials together.

What is Decoupled Drupal?

Traditionally, the websites had a monolithic structure — in other words, a ‘coupled’ architecture. A monolithic website reduces the flexibility during web development, as well as is limited in custom feature and functionality building. In a decoupled Content Management System (CMS), particularly in decoupled Drupal, the front-end layer is developed separately from the back-end. Thus, with headless Drupal, web specialists receive more space for flexibility for creating unique digital landscapes based on clients’ needs and requirements.

At first, Drupal had a monolithic structure, but after Drupal 8.5 the capabilities for headless CMS development were included in Drupal core. The major advantage of the decoupled Drupal architecture lies in its flexibility: the front-end layer can be presented through multiple channels and built through multiple frameworks, such as React, Vue, Gatsby, and others. In such a duo, Drupal serves as an engine that manages data and handles functionality, while React (or any other chosen front-end framework) only works for the visual presentation of the platform.

decoupled drupal

Choosing React as the front-end framework for the Drupal website is beneficial for data management, user experience, performance, and SEO optimization. This combo is perfect for building responsive and interactive user interfaces that require complex data management and high traffic capacities while ensuring a positive and flawless user experience.

Explore how Drupal and React benefit each other in our recent blog post.

Why Using Decoupled Drupal?

Let’s review the key benefits of Drupal as a decoupled content management system.

  • Improved web performance

Headless architecture guarantees faster content delivery and better overall website performance. As a result, user experience is enhanced, as visitors get faster web responses to their queries. If a web page loads for 1,5 seconds or more, users can leave the website

Explore more tips and tricks on improving Drupal web performance.

  • High level of security

Enhanced security with the reduced risks of hacking is the main advantage of the headless architecture. In addition, continuous Drupal security updates guarantee a solid defense against malicious code injections and DDoS attacks.

  • Responsive mobile design

The decoupled front-end is more responsive, as well as easier to optimize for mobile to look and function well across multiple devices and screen sizes.

  • Interactive features

The headless front-end skyrockets user experiences by allowing the development of unlimited interactive features in user interfaces, such as dynamic forms, push-up notifications, animation, chatbots, interactive maps, gamification elements, and more.

  • Personalized content

Thanks to decoupled architecture, it is easier to set up personalized user experiences that change based on user preferences or web-behavior.

  • Faster front-end changes

With a headless architecture, you don’t need to access back-end code to make any changes to the website design or layout, as the presentation layer lies separately. This results in quicker front-end changes that don’t affect any functionality.

When to Choose Decoupled Drupal for Web Development?

Decoupled Drupal is great, however, it might significantly increase the project budget. In addition, not all projects require headless architecture. Thus, you need to understand when decoupled Drupal is the right fit for your needs and requirements. Below, the team at Drupfan shares the most common cases when decoupled Drupal significantly benefits digital platforms.

  • Choose headless Drupal when you need to display content across multiple platforms or channels.
  • Opt for headless Drupal for multilingual platforms.
  • Choose decoupled Drupal if you need to develop complex and interactive front-end interfaces.
  • Decoupled Drupal is the best option if you expect high traffic.
  • If the website requires numerous external integrations, a decoupled Drupal can facilitate 3rd party integrations.

Decoupled Drupal is the best fit for platforms with specific sets of requirements, creating tailored and more efficient user experiences in the digital landscape.

Final Thoughts

Opting for a headless Drupal is a strategic choice that can benefit your digital platform in multiple ways. Drupfan has helped a number of clients across the globe go decoupled with Drupal. Possessing immense expertise in Drupal web development, Drupfan’s dedicated specialists are here to answer all your questions about decoupled architecture, as well as build robust digital solutions to meet your specific needs and requirements. Let’s start your Drupal project together!