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Drupal has existed for over two decades — it first appeared in 2001 before many popular web platforms like Firefox, Chrome, and even Facebook. It launched before Apple came back from the brink, social media was a thing, and people considered managing and owning their websites. Since then, many technologies have come and gone, while others have stagnated.

Drupal has not only endured but has evolved into a truly great platform that meets the challenges of the changing times. This dedication to iterating and implementing new features for developers has made it one of the best open-source content management systems for the last 23 years while contemporaries stalled or faded into web obscurity.

I’ve been along for that ride for much of that time, weathering the changes and challenges, contributing my part to enhance Drupal, and enabling its community for the last 16 years. I’ll continue to do so for a long time to come.

Drupal Starshot

The big announcement at Drupalcon 2024 was an initiative called “Starshot.” Starshot is a code name for the initiative to help accelerate Drupal adoption for newcomers and site builders, so onboarding is smoother for them. In essence, Drupal Starshot is a preconfigured version of Drupal with the best community modules and configuration that make it ready to use out of the box for evaluation or for organizations looking to get started quickly.

From the initiative’s page:

“Starshot aims to build the new default download of Drupal. A package built on Drupal core, including refined common features from the contributed project ecosystem to create a great user experience out of the box. Starshot is built on top of results from recent initiatives like Recipes, Project Browser, and Automatic Updates to take Drupal to new heights.


The result of Starshot will be a fast-moving Open Source product that enables site builders without Drupal experience to easily create a new Drupal site and extend it with pre-packaged recipes, all using their browser. It will guide site builders to install recipes for common use cases and innovative capabilities that are immediately useful for production. It will focus on getting people from install to launch really fast and will bring new people and contributors into Drupal and the Open Web.”  
A screenshot that says "Get Started with Drupal" with two options for users to choose from.
A concept wireframe of a new homepage showing both Drupal Starshot and Drupal Core prominently for users to get started.

For years, new Drupal users have remarked that it’s difficult to get started and to know where to start, which is one reason Starshot was created. Another is that many features experienced users were asking for in Drupal core could only be added separately before. Some of those features are installed on almost every site like Pathauto.

However, every module added to Drupal core could potentially slow down core development, expand security coverage concerns, and hinder further development of Pathauto. Keeping features like Pathauto out of Drupal core allowed core to iterate and develop independently by improving its foundation and expanding its internal API framework. Separately, Pathauto has thrived in the community space without getting locked into stringent review and slower core release cycles.

With Starshot, Drupal core can continue its development without being affected. Starshot benefits from updated Drupal core releases while maintaining its easy-to-use out-of-the-box experience. Advanced developers who don’t need Starshot can still start with just Drupal core and build their own experience. It’s a win all around.

This new approach is like how Linux deals with its kernel (the core) and distributions (packaged, tailored operating systems built on the kernel). Popular Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Fedora, Debian, ElementaryOS, and Pop!_OS are curated, purpose-built operating systems that help users get up and running — all built on the base of the Linux kernel. The Linux kernel is developed independently of these systems. Advanced developers can alternatively take the Linux kernel and create a new system that they desire.

With Drupal Starshot, Drupal core can continue its development cycle uninterrupted, and Starshot can add new features around core to make a better starting experience.

“Drupal Starshot will incorporate the best of the 50,000+ modules created over the past decade into a curated, out-of-the-box experience for organizations wishing to build powerful websites quickly.


Recipes, the newest feature added to Drupal core, will help Drupal Starshot become a reality.” 

Learn more about the benefits of Drupal Starshot.

Our team of Drupal specialists can help you better understand if Drupal Starshot’s easy-to-use out-of-the-box experience can help you swiftly build a website that will accomplish your organization’s goals.

Recipes are Drupal 10.3’s newest feature. We wrote a few articles on Recipes last year:

We even released a proof-of-concept Recipe generator:

In case you missed it, here’s how we defined Recipes:

“Recipes are a new concept for Drupal 10 designed to replace the old distribution / install profile approach for sites. Their goal is to uncouple an installation from its base to make installs more manageable and tailored to your site’s specific needs.


A Recipe can be a full-on site install or include content types, roles, content workflow rules, and more specialized packages. This opens the possibility of using several Recipes to “compose” your Drupal site instead of using monolithic distributions which may only do 20% of what you need while including a lot of things you don’t. Like in real life, you can use multiple Recipes to compose your solution, mix and match, and change out the parts you do or don’t want.” 

These articles were well received and helped many users understand the Recipe initiative and develop and wield their own Recipes.

Drupal Starshot will be based entirely on a set of Recipes, which will help prove the success of both initiatives. Recipes will enable any org or developer to download Drupal core and create their own “Starshot” that fits their needs and provides all the benefits mentioned earlier in this piece. As our articles mention, you won’t have the same difficulties with updating or maintaining your stack because Recipes leave no traces in your system like distributions and install profiles used to do.

We pledge to help the Starshot initiative in the following ways:

  • Contribute and provide features to Starshot
  • Contribute to user testing of Starshot
  • A few of our modules have been proposed to be included in Starshot. We will do everything we can to support the inclusion of those modules to make a great experience.
  • Contribute to running Drupal in WASM (WebAssembly) for easy onboarding of new users (run Drupal in the browser!)

We look forward to aiding in this initiative and providing updates throughout the year on Drupal Starshot.

Want to learn more about Starshot and the potential benefits it can provide? Reach out. Our team of Drupal experts would be happy to help you better understand if it’s the right solution for your organization.


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