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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.

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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.