Layout Paragraphs: A new way to manage Paragraphs
This is a presentation about a new module called Layout Paragraphs which opens up new ways of managing content layouts for editors. It has the promise of providing a WYSIWYG interfacte for editors on the node edit page, something which as eluded editors for a long time in Drupal.
It seems that with each passing year there is a new paradigm for how content can be arranged and organised in Drupal. Over the years a number of approaches have moved in and out of being in vogue: Panels, Displya Suite, IPE, Bricks and Paragraphs to name a few. Some change has been positive, providing leaps forward in flexibility or control. Other developments have not lived up to their promise.
In February 2021 I presented a new module, Layout Paragraphs, to the Sydney Meetup. The slides and video have been provided below. This presentation demonstrates Layout Paragraphs in action and how offers some advanced layout options for Paragraphs. Conceptually it is similar to Layout Builder in many respects, however, it performs its magic on the Node Edit page, integrating with the natural content editing environment for site editors.
Layout Paragraphs offers a new way forward for the following reasons:
- Editing happens on node edit, rather than the layouts page. Better for editors.
- Paragraphs can be placed into Layout regions to bring more flexibility to Paragraphs. This is similar to what Bricks was doing.
- Nicer UI for Paragraph selection.
- Nicer UI for Paragraph display - no need for Preview view mode any more.
A bit of history
It is worth reviewing a little history to see where Layout Paragraphs fits in. The presentation takes a look at some of the popular combinations over the years and gives them over all scores, weighted by functionality and editor experience. Here is a spoiler of what is covered in the video:
|Panelizer and Paragraphs||2014||73|
|Panelizer and IPE||2016||39|
|Panelizer, Bricks and Paragraphs||2017||63|
|Layout Builder and Blocks||2018||70|
|Layout Builder and Paragraphs||2019||78|
|Layout Builder, Layout Paragraphs, Paragraphs||2021||81|
The scores were calculated from a weighted average of various aspects of the techniques: flexibility, control, editor experience, etc. Watch the video for the details.
You can see that Layout Paragraphs is the latest in the line of approaches and that it is scoring quite well. A recipe based around Layout Builder, Layout Paragraphs and Paragraphs seems to work quite well. Layout Builder remains the domain of the sitebuilder, using it to define the basic layouts for the page. With Layout Paragraphs, a new set of simpler layouts can be used by the editor for their paragraphs.
I think that the approach holds a lot of promise moving forward and it is good enough for Morpht to be considering it as a standard part of our editor toolkit. All up we have found the module to be usable and a definite improvement on editor experience. We are adopting it into projects where we can.
Watch the video and let us know what you think in the comments below.