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What’s New in Drupal 8.5
Are you ready for the latest Drupal version? We are very excited about this update, so let us help you understand the key improvements in the new release.

The new Drupal version available for download brings significant enhancements to the platform in key areas. Drupal 8.5 makes the Media module available for all, improves migrations, fixes workflows running on PHP 7.2 and so much more. This new version provides improved functionalities while maintaining core backward compatibility for public APIs. So what’s so great about Drupal 8.5? Let us break it down for you with some key points.

1. Media in core improved and available to all site builders

Drupal 8.5 addresses the usability issues that were common to version 8.4 and the new module can now be enabled normally. This means that Drupal 8.5 effectively supports playing and uploading both audio and video files as well as reusing and listing media. A number of contributed modules extend the capabilities of the core Media module, allowing such features as WYSIWYG integration, support for remote media like YouTube and a media library.

2. Settings Tray and Content Moderation now stable

The Settings Tray and Content Moderation modules are now stable. The Settings Tray gives a quick solution to managing contextual settings like moving items in a menu block. On the other hand, the improved Content Moderation module promotes workflow states like Archived, Draft, Published and roles that can move content between states. Drupal 8.5 also adds support for translations to be independently moderated.

3. New experimental Layout Builder module

The new experimental Layout Builder module displays layout capabilities for pages, user profiles, articles among other entity displays. This experimental feature will go a long way in improving web development for users. The Layout Builder uses the same user interface as the Settings Tray module. This same “outside-in” user interface enables site builders to effectively edit layouts on their actual pages as opposed to having to do it from the back-end of a separate form. This feature is expected to undergo massive improvements in the coming months.

4. Big steps for migrations

The Migrate Architecture is now stable! After four years of hard work coupled with 1300+ closed issues and over 570 contributors, efforts have finally paid off as Drupal 8.5 comes with a fully functional and stable migration architecture. The 8.5 release also features support for incremental migrations. This means that sites owners and developers will be able to work gradually on their new sites in perfect synergy with their old Drupal sites. The site migrations and incremental migrations will be spectacularly smooth in the latest version. Site owners will now be warned in the user interface if some data on their new Drupal 8.5 sites might be overwritten.

5. BigPipe by default

BigPipe is the epitome of faster with zero configuration. BigPipe is now part of the Drupal’s 8.5 version Standard installation profile. This means that all Drupal 8 sites will be super-fast by default thanks to Drupal’s improved render API and render pipeline. The BigPipe module provides an improved implementation of CMS rendering strategy enabling greatly superior performance for pages with personalized, dynamic or frugal uncacheable content.

Other improvements

Version 8.5 adds a number of additional benefits for users. There is now groundwork for a new demo profile and theme from the Out of the Box Initiative.

PHP 7.2 is now supported which will improve performance over version 7.1. PHP 7.2 is the recommended version to use with Drupal 8.

The next bugfix release (8.5.1) is scheduled for April 4, 2018. Drupal 7 is still fully supported. Make sure to keep yourself up to date and ensure your site is running optimally!

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Chris is OPIN's resident marketing scientist. Obsessed with testing and tweaking, he is constantly uncovering new patterns. His obsession with testing helps the agency gain insights for internal marketing campaigns and client projects. His unconventional methods help our readers look at business and marketing concepts in new ways.