Drupal’s Layout Builder feature has established a critical content creation and display framework in the four years since its integration into Core. Replacing older, more complex tools like Panels and Display Suite, this integration marked a significant shift towards a more user-friendly, native layout-building experience. Better yet, unlike other JavaScript-based content layout tools, LayoutBuilder retains support for Drupal’s more powerful features like views, accessibility, and multilingual, to name just a few.

Despite its robustness, creating an excellent Layout Builder experience for your content editors typically requires several additional community modules. These modules add layout options, style customizations, granular permissions, content preview-ability, and, most importantly, fewer clicks to get the job done! You can see a list of Additional Modules for Layout Builder on Drupal.org. Knowing which ones to choose and how best to configure them is a challenge of its own. To help solve some of these friction-ridden experiences, Tag1 would like to formally introduce its new Layout Builder Plus Module, which dramatically helps improve Drupal’s content editor experience out of the box!

Layout Builder Plus by Tag1

Animated image walking through various features of the Layout Builder Plus module.  It shows the reduced number of steps to get blocks into regions onto the page, using the “promoted blocks” feature and changing column layouts

After working with several Fortune 500 clients to customize and build compelling site builder experiences using Layout Builder in Drupal Core, Tag1 has turned this work into a community module with the efforts of Tim Bozeman as the project’s lead developer and maintainer. You can watch a quick demo of the module in action here. Additionally, you can find instructions here if you would like to use this with the Umami demo.

Layout Builder Plus introduces a more intuitive user interface (UI), helping better show the content rendered on the page, adding default block icons, and the ability to drag and drop from a searchable block list, to name a few features. It also provides immediate visual reference and feedback for the content creator, reducing the typical five clicks to get a block into a layout down to just one drag-and-drop event!

Additionally, the new “Promoted Blocks” feature is crucial in streamlining content placement by making a curated list of commonly used blocks more readily available to just drop on the page. No more searching for that newsletter signup form block! Another critical aspect of Layout Builder Plus is the inclusion of the much-needed, sortable sections. This functionality allows users to easily organize and manage larger content sections, offering greater flexibility in content arrangement, whereas previously, this was a somewhat painful experience.

Layout Builder Plus also introduces the powerful Nested Layouts feature. This feature allows a content editor to place and organize blocks in a reusable, nested layout that can be moved around the parent layout, where you can duplicate and save it for placement on other pages with section_library! This feature alone will be a huge time saver for Site Builders managing lots of content pages moving forward.

[An animated graphic showcasing the Nested Layouts Feature of Layout Builder Plus in action]

Lastly, the block duplication feature in Layout Builder Plus again increases efficiency by allowing users to replicate blocks quickly with placeholder content. The module's cleaner user interface mirrors the published content, making the editing process more intuitive and user-friendly.

Tag1 is not done building Layout Builder Plus; we are just getting started and will continue to improve on the interface and add intuitive features in hopes that we make it as easy as possible for Site Builders to gain the most out of the Layout Builder experience in Drupal.

Benefits for Content Editors and Developers alike

At Tag1, we have a long history of driving innovation with Drupal and strongly believe in enhancing the platform for everyone to use by not building proprietary add-ons. We know that this makes Drupal great and drives the adoption of our favorite CMS.

Layout Builder Plus is a generous step in the right direction, and we welcome you to use and contribute to its development by reporting issues and identifying desired improvements or, even better, submitting a pull request! (Or two!)

Tag1 can help you build the best content editor experience possible

Drupal's Layout Builder has revolutionized content editing, and at Tag1, we're here to take it a step further. Our experts are ready to enhance your Drupal experience, blending our deep open-source knowledge with innovative solutions like Layout Builder Plus.

Ready for an outstanding content management system? Contact Tag1. Let's work together to craft a solution that's efficient, exceptional, and ideally suited to your unique needs.

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Original artwork by Mariano Crivello generated using MidJourney