Skip to main content
Mediacurrent logo
Hero Background Image


Paragraphs vs Layout Builder in Drupal

by Jay Callicott
September 14, 2020

DrupalCon 2020

In this session from DrupalCon Global 2020, see the current champ in Drupal 8 contrib, Paragraphs (93k+ D8 usage), face off against the relatively new challenger: Layout Builder. 

Paragraphs: Pros and Cons

Paragraphs gained major traction with the release of Drupal 8 and the rise of component-driven design. Here are the advantages and drawbacks:

Paragraphs shines as a page-building tool that provides structure, leveraging entities. You get a consistent interface - everything is on your entity edit page when editing a node. With this familiar interface also comes the flexibility to mix and match different paragraphs on a page. Also in its favor, Paragraphs are API-friendly and fields are translatable. 

Yet the Paragraphs approach has some obstacles to look out for. Nesting can be a challenge when there are multiple layers of paragraphs, hurting editorial UX. Revision bloat and the absence of inline preview are common complaints. 

Layout Builder: Ups and Downs 

Layout Builder, now stable in Drupal 9, is beginning to see some momentum. Here's the good and the bad:

The good: Layout Builder offers long-awaited preview functionality and unlike Paragraphs, it has a layout UX. It’s still translatable and doesn’t prohibit you from using Paragraphs. 

The bad: Inline blocks and “choose blocks” have some UX challenges when used out-of-the-box. Content can feel disconnected. Layout Builder doesn’t pair well with a decoupled approach as inline preview gets lost.

Session Recording and Slides 

So, which of the two page-building tools is best for you? Check out the full presentation below to get considerations for what you should use and when.


Meet team member, Jay Callicott

Jay is an engineer and leader with a passion for creating technical solutions that solve real-world problems. As a long-time advocate for Drupal and Open Source, he has spent over a decade speaking, writing, and developing enterprise solutions that advance Open Source worldwide.

Since 2009, Jay has worked in a variety of roles for Mediacurrent. For the first 6 years, he focused his efforts on perfecting his craft as an engineer. From Drupal consultant to Senior Developer, then Lead Architect, Jay created solutions and led teams that delivered dozens of enterprise websites.

In 2015, Jay was promoted to Director of Development where he was tasked with hiring developer talent and implementing processes and best practices for the team. Jay also split his time as a lead architect, launching several large projects during this period.

A few years later, Jay moved into his current role as VP of Technical Operations. Jay’s primary responsibilities are working with the revenue team to acquire and retain customers, overseeing Security, DevOps, and IT roles, and leading Mediacurrent’s technology vision. He also helps lead the development of tools and solutions, including the Rain distribution, which won Acquia’s “Open Source Giants” award in 2019.

Currently, Jay is a big proponent of decoupled architecture and the JAMStack approach to web development. Read more about Jay’s thoughts in “The State of Drupal in 2019

Learn more about Jay >