Tyler's Site

Next+Drupal - NextGen Multisite

March 1, 2022
Two chocolate cakes- as tasty as next and Drupal

I’ve been extremely impressed so far implementing next-drupal, and seeing the power and potential this combination brings to the table. It is not a new idea – a single backend powering dozens, hundreds, thousands of front ends. There’s just some thing so incredible about how the marriage of Drupal‘s content structure and management, and NextJS’s seamless React integration and all the modern bells and whistles for the modern web, right out of the box. 

I initially set up the next-drupal example project as a completely new front end and backend, using their provided starter template. This worked well overall. I got to experience a few learning moments and hiccups along the way, but nothing hair pulling. In terms of platform specifics, I have my backend running on Pantheon in D9. The frontends are running on Vercel.

With the template project complete, I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted to integrate an existing project, using just the next-drupal libraries, and have just one section of the site dynamic. My personal website I had already been developing in a create-next-app template. I had planned to add the “Blog” functionality to it for some time - As it stood, it was just static content.

I’m extremely impressed with the flexibility of the SDK provided with next-drupal.

Overall this experience went well! This article you are reading is literally the fruit of this endeavor. I was able to simply add the packages from the example project via npm. I had to work my way through some of the example code, and use some critical dev thinking to make a completely new content type specifically for my personal blogs. In doing so, I feel I now have a firm grasp on how I could add any number of new front ends wired into my monolithic admin backend. I really can’t say enough with how awesome this is. Having been in the dev game for some time now, I can firmly say: This is the sort of thing that gets you excited about dev all over again!

To summarize: I’m extremely impressed with the flexibility of the SDK provided with next-drupal. I’m excited to keep going and adding on new sites, testing new methods of delivering data with the next-drupal SDK, and finding new and exciting edge cases.  Ultimately, I think this could be the next step for many organizations with a bunch of “micro sites”, who want no-code-needed content management, paired with fast, responsive, and completely customizable front ends.