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What is Thunder?

Thunder is a Drupal 8 distribution for professional publishers. It consists of the current Drupal 8 functionality, lots of handpicked publisher-centric modules with custom enhancements, and an environment which makes it easy to install, deploy and add new functionality.

Thunder users also benefit from a whole range of channel- and feature-specific enhancements through collaboration with industry partners such as, Riddle, and Valiton.

In 2016, the German publisher Hubert Burda Media established the Thunder Coalition, which aims at joining forces amongst publishers by sharing code and innovation power.

As members of the Thunder Coalition, publishers, industry partners, and developers develop useful modules and extensions, use them for their own purposes and share them with the Coalition by publishing them under the GNU General Public License to further enhance Thunder.

What do I get with Thunder?

  • Create articles dynamically with paragraphs: Using paragraphs, you can add text with a WYSIWYG-editor, pictures, videos, Instagram or Twitter cards to your article – and change the order by dragging and dropping the content wherever you like it. Thanks to a preview mode, you get a good idea of how your article will look like in the end.
  • Schedule your content: You can plan when texts should be published, and you can also set a date to remove the article from your website. Also, you can set an expire date for images. After this, the picture will be replaced with a placeholder.
  • Improved media handling: With the help of the media browser, it’s very easy to add pictures, galleries, or videos to your article. You can upload new pictures to the media browser by just dragging and dropping. The pictures are cropped automatically and with the focal point, you can define the important part of the picture, which should be visible in every layout.
  • Liveblog: Cover events in realtime with the liveblog, our first community project developed by Kurier, Bunte, Drunomics, and galaniprojects.
  • Keep your users engaged with Riddle: With Riddle, any editor can quickly create professional quizzes, polls, or personality tests. Publishers can use these to generate more traffic on their sites and to monetize this traffic with lead generation or selling sponsored quiz slots.
  • Multi-device video player: With the easy-to-embed media player nexxPLAY from, you get a powerful tool for video distribution. It enables live streaming as well as video-on-demand services for all relevant platforms. Plus, offers solutions for monetizing videos. Alternatively, you can include videos from Youtube or Vimeo to your article, too.
  • Single Sign-On solution: The Harbourmaster is a multi-site, multi-device Single Sign-On solution, developed for the media industry by our industry partner Valiton. The Harbourmaster contains a Policy Server, User Directory, Authentication Gateway, and User Manger.
  • Facebook Instant Articles: With Thunder, editors may publish their content easily as instant articles on Facebook. This reduces loading times on the mobile web.
  • Mobile Friendly: With the Thunder installation, you get a responsive theme for frontend and backend. When writing an article, you can check how your text will look on different smartphones and tablets with the help of the device preview.
  • Demo Content and Guided Tour: We added demo content and a guided tour to make it easier for newcomers to understand how Thunder works. Step by step, we explain how to add an article, how to edit an article, or how to add and sort channels.
  • Flexible System: With Thunder, you get a system with a very high scalability. It’s extendable with more than 2500 modules to fit every need. Plus, it’s themeable.
  • Big Drupal community: Benefit from an active community with more than 100.000 user actively contributing and more than 2000 commits per week. In the Drupal and the Thunder community you’ll find support if needed.

Who is doing this?

The distribution is maintained by the Thunder Core Team. The Thunder Core Team are a small number of publishing experts and computer scientists led by Ingo Rübe, CTO at Hubert Burda Media. They maintain the distribution, handle industry relations, publishers’ requests and offers as well as specialists training. They also run the Coalition’s infrastructure (like and organize events. Plus, the Core Team decides which modules are added to or removed from the distribution. The Core Team also ensures that all basic functionality is available free of charge.

And if you like to chat, join our Slack team at

How to reach the Thunder Core Team?

We would love to hear about your plans for using Thunder, your feature requests, your potential needs, and your contributions to Thunder and the Community. Follow the @ThunderCoreTeam on Twitter and get the latest news about Thunder-related topics. Apart from that, we are available for you at and and on the phone: +49 (89) 9250-4617.

Wanna support us?

If you want to help… Here are some things we believe to be important for publishers, but which we are not working on right now:

Feel free to start working on any of these topics. To make sure your developments will find their way into the Thunder distribution, please involve us at an early state. We aim at keeping Thunder as modular as possible. And if you don’t feel like you could do this on your own - no problem. That’s what the community is for! Just tell us if you want to work on one of the topics or if you have any idea how to implement the needed functionality.