5 New Features in Drupal 8.6

Drupal 8.6 was released yesterday and is being touted as the most significant update to Drupal 8 so far.  Browsing initiatives being undertaken by the Drupal community always gave an indicator towards the direction and future of Drupal. It’s easy to understand why the ever-growing community of Drupal users were eagerly anticipating this latest version which promises to focus on enhancing the user experience as a priority.

So, beyond the usual fixes and improvements typical of any update; Vardot decided to highlight the new features and capabilities included in the latest release.


1. Media Editing and Management

A new media library has now become a core feature of Drupal 8.6. This upgrade significantly enhances the experience of content publishers and content marketing teams’ performance in particular.

As an integrated feature of Drupal 8.6; the new media library can be customized based on your needs as a content editor and publisher. Upgrading your CMS to the latest update will enable you as a content marketer to easily edit, publish and manage your content:

  • High efficiency – The mundane task of re-uploading existing media content is a thing of the past now as all media content can be saved and browsed in the new media library available in Drupal 8.6.

  • Embedding made easy – the latest Drupal version features built-in stable support for embedding remote media. In particular; YouTube and Vimeo video content.

Drupal 8.6 Media Library




2. Workspaces

Since the Workflow module has become stable back in version 8.4; staging of multiple content changes at the same time (Workspaces) has been one of the Drupal community’s most requested improvements.

This has been duly delivered as an experimental Workspaces module in Drupal 8.6. A simple and intuitive user interface enables users to define workspaces, deploy multiple content items between them in a smooth manner.

The Workspaces module is steadily evolving but even at this experimental stage; it will prove to be a major upgrade especially for website who prefer or need to publish various changes at once.



3. Layout Builder

A much-anticipated tool that enhances the site-building experience and authoring capabilities.

Provide a drag and drop interface for creating layouts, which can apply both to overall site sections, as well as overridden on individual landing pages.

Web pages can be more dynamic, personalized and purpose-driven now that site builders can take advantage of the Layout Builder module in Drupal 8.6. The flexibility that users are provided to create unique layouts for unique content formats is an exciting feature which will undoubtedly continue to develop and become a stable key feature of the updates to come.

If you still need help enabling the layout features, OS Training made a clear and simple guide.



4. Meeting Evaluators Needs

Drupal has introduced a smoother installation out-of-the-box experience in the form of a demo profile dubbed ‘Umami Food Magazine’ which showcases the most powerful capabilities of Drupal and an overview of a variety of sample views and field types.

Recognizing the importance of a positive evaluator experience; Acquia CTO Dries Buytaert has outlined the Drupal 8.6 installation process in response to challenges that faced evaluators of early Drupal version experiences.

Importantly, the latest update includes major improvements to the download experience and documentation. Users can now download and install fully functional Drupal demo applications in under 2 minutes, whilst new users in particular can benefit from the revamped documentation found on Drupal.org.

Drupal 8.6 demo profile - Umami food magazine



5. Migration

According to the official release announcement; migrating your website from Drupal 6 and 7 to Drupal 8 has never been easier as almost all migration modules are stable.

Drupal Association’s Marketing Communications Manager writes: “Drupal 8.6 sees both Migrate Drupal (migrations from previous major Drupal versions) as well as Migrate Drupal UI (upgrade user interface) modules provide a solution to update older sites. This means that if you have a monolingual Drupal 6 or 7 site, you can now use a supported and built-in user interface to migrate your site to Drupal 8. Multilingual migrations are still experimental and now wrapped in the Migrate Drupal Multilingual module.”

This update has been anticipated by content editors and developers alike and we are sure that Drupal 8.6 will afford users and the community as a whole to pursue opportunities to innovate and improve upon the great advances made so far.

Did the latest update address your priority issues? If not, what are they?

Let us know what you think of the new update.


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