Hi, I take this opportunity to request focusing on creating a more modern and full-featured editorial capabilities on Backdrop CMS.

After finnishing my first complete site on Backdrop CMS and having 15 years of experience on big Drupal sites (since Drupal 4) I see that tools for creating content are more sofisticated every year. Modern Gutenberg projecte for Wordpress has been extended to Drupal and it offers an incredible editing experience. I see how hard Wordpress has been compiting against Drupal and other CMS, taken a big leap with last Wordpress 5 version. We could discuss which platform is better from a technical stand point, but Wordpress has became a de-facto standard. The lack of the edit node form with vertical tabs on the right column as Drupal 8 or Wordpress already have after many years makes Backdrop to be perceived as an old proposal. Having the capability to create editorial workflows would be a more professional approach.

Considering Backdrop CMS a tool for not so ambitious projects as Drupal 8 is, may lead us to forget than Backdrop is far better that Drupal 7, and for 10 years huge sites has been built with Drupal 7... So huge sites could be built with Backdrop CMS if it was state-of-the-art on editing, SEO and editorial tools. Even if that CMS only focus on a lower-market for any potential customer having an easy experience building content and achiving Google rank . Paragraphs is today on the Backdrop module list but tools as YOAST and others could push this CMS to new levels. Fast deployment and good editing and SEO experience on as easy to use CMS is what inbound marketing tools are demanding.

With so many CMS platforms I foresee that the ones not having the best user experience on creating content are not going to last. Todays Backdrop CMS editor experience is not much more better that first Drupal 7 versions. We could discuss which concrete tools and on which order should be incorporated. Other CMS platforms are evolving on that area and I encourage Backdrop CMS to also face it.

Most helpful answers

Hi oadaeh, and thanks for your reply. Thanks for that Yoast module suggestion, I'll give a try. Regarding Gutenberg it's true that it looks complex, but what I try is calling the community attention towards improving an area on which all present CMS are working to improve and probably on Backdrop CMS is still somewhat old. 

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oadaeh's picture

Regarding Yoast, the Real-time SEO module for Drupal is a port of that WordPress plugin, and there is a Backdrop port of the Drupal module here: https://github.com/backdrop-contrib/realtime_seo

It currently uses an older version of the Yoast JavaScript code, but it's a start.

I agree that the editing experience needs to be improved, but I don't agree that Gutenberg is the way forward. I have been looking at various solutions similar to that, and they frequently have bigger problems with back-end maintenance and administration than the editing UX problem they solve. I would like to find a solution that solves the editing experience without introducing a maintenance problem.

Hi oadaeh, and thanks for your reply. Thanks for that Yoast module suggestion, I'll give a try. Regarding Gutenberg it's true that it looks complex, but what I try is calling the community attention towards improving an area on which all present CMS are working to improve and probably on Backdrop CMS is still somewhat old. 

I agree. I think that Backdrop CMS has made improvements in a very simple editorial workflow, but needs work (additional improvements) for anything beyond the most basic editorial experience. 

In my imagination, this initiative would take a fresh look at the current editorial experience in Backdrop CMS, review alternatives, think about our current capacity for improvement, and move forward with a practical plan of action.

As an initiative, I would encourage us not to start with a predetermined assumption about the correct solution, before looking at alternatives.

Having said that, I think it's great to start talking about what other CMSs have done and how they would apply to Backdrop.  

klonos's picture

Hello @JordiTR and thanks for starting this thread,

I agree that we should have sensible defaults in core that help with SEO out of the box, but complicated SEO tweaking should be left to contrib projects such as https://github.com/backdrop-contrib/metatag and https://github.com/backdrop-contrib/seo_meta.

As for Gutenberg, I also don't think that it is the way to go. You see, the switch to Gutenberg and the added complexity introduced in 5.0 were the main reasons that lead to the fork of ClassicPress from WordPress (similarly to what happened with Drupal 8/9 and Backdrop).

There are some other reasons why I think that a solution like Gutenberg is not a good fit for Backdrop:

Drupal has always been focused on structured content; whereas WordPress AFAIK has always had a single content type, where all content was created, as a big "blob". This makes it harder to manipulate such content with tools like Views.

Gutenberg is meant to provide a block-editing experience, which in Drupal/Backdrop can be achieved with Paragraphs and Blocks/Layouts (while still retaining the structured content).

There is cost associated with big changes, and this is one of the main reasons Backdrop was created in the first place. The focus of Backdrop is backwards compatibility (easier upgrades from Drupal 7), and not introducing complexity/cost for site builders and site owners - it is not to adopt whatever new "cool" technology/tool happens to come out.

My 2c