Comparing Drupal Modules for Flexible Layout Building

Of course, Drupal is well-known and loved for structured content and page layouts. However, one-off and other flexible pages for marketing campaigns are simply not ideal. Some may wish to look at using landing page builder tools like Unbounce, Leadpages, or even Hubspot, instead of Drupal.

However, there are certainly many advantages of building the page out in Drupal, such as sitewide content reuse, consistent analytics, and marketing attribution, not to mention the advantages of keeping your web ecosystem open-source and served by one central hosting provider, or the PR and perception problem itself of Drupal being difficult to use.

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The Best We Have So Far
  • Paragraphs: developer involvement is too high for flexible landing pages. It's not easy to implement something flexible and there are always edge cases to support. Unless one only implements basic and generic landing pages, you won't have the desired flexibility.
  • Layout Paragraphs: inherits the cons of Paragraphs, and interoperation between paragraphs becomes even more important. Suitable for flexibility in content layout and an improvement upon Paragraphs alone, but not suitable for maximum flexibility in landing page creation.
  • Layout Builder: mainly for site layout, but rigid and hard to use for content layout. We recently tried to shoehorn Layout Builder into a flexible landing page builder for both technical and non-technical team members, but it was far from fitting the bill.
  • Gutenberg (for Drupal): flexible for content layout, has the potential for no to low dev involvement, but only basic Gutenberg functionality exists currently. Drupal extensions (none exist) and Gutenberg blocks need major improvement. Integration with Drupal blocks, views, etc is also incomplete.

Panels was always a developer or experienced site builder tool more than a flexible layout builder for non-technical people, which is why it didn't make the list. 

The Winner: Gutenberg

If we extend Gutenberg further, it would be the most flexible and suitable for flexible landing pages, in our opinion, since we are unlikely to need any structured data for landing pages and it would be flexible enough for sales, marketing, and other non-technical people to modify. 

Second Best: Layout Paragraphs

You may have to rely on a developer more than Gutenberg, but the flexibility is great for content editing and may give marketers closer to what they want, given the proper investment up-front.


Written in part from input by Chin Kiong Ng "CK"

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O8 is a web and digital marketing consultancy based in Minneapolis, MN offering expert-level UX Design, CRO, and strategic consulting, as well as highly-technical capabilities in Drupal, WordPress, and HubSpot

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