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Upgrade your website from Drupal 6 or 7 to Drupal 8

What is Drupal (8)?

drupal-8-logoDrupal8 is an open source website development platform. It simplifies the online management of content and users, and it runs millions of sites—both small and large—around the world.

Drupal is open source software (OSS) released under the GNU Public License. This means it has inherent benefits—cost, flexibility, freedom, security, and accountability—that are unmatched by proprietary software.

Why Drupal 8?

It comes with a range of great new features for both users and developers alike.

From perspective as a front end users, we can look forward to:

  • Drupal 8 isn’t just mobile friendly: It’s mobile first. In Drupal 8, all built-in themes are responsive, and even administration pages are a snap to use on mobile devices.
  • Significantly-improved multilingual capabilities.
  • Drupal-8 architecture is secure and security updates are timely.
  • Improved user experience through the integration of slick new jQuery-based tools.
  • Create and edit content with greater ease with WYSIWYG tools by default and in-line editing for making changes on the fly.
  • Increased support for standard accessibility tools and technologies.
  • Configuration management keeps track of all the important details as content is configured and revised.
  • Drupal 8 comes with a file system-based configuration management system, which makes it simple to transport configuration changes such as new content types, fields, or views from development to production.
  • Caching improves speed and performance of the website. Advanced websites can use Memcache, APC, Varnish etc to further boost their performance.

From perspective as developers, we can look forward to:

  • More key, often-used functionality included in Drupal core, so available straight out of the box. For example:-
    1. There are five completely new field types in the Drupal 8 core. Date, Email, Link, Reference and Telephone.
    2. Contact forms now have add field option, so we need for Webform module now.
    3. Drupal 8 ships CKeditor
    4. Views are in now Drupal 8 core.
  • Improved mark-up based on modern HTML5 standards.
  • Modern Object Oriented Programming (OOP) approach to coding, in-line with modern coding practices, further improving performance and security.
  • A new approach to theming using the Twig template engine, creating many more options and greater flexibility when it comes to the design of sites.

With advantages we have some cons as well. Here are the Drupal 8 disadvantages…

  • Drupal 8 uses Symfony and this means the developers have to retrain themselves to adjust to the changes.
  • There is no continuity/upgrade path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 (the sites have to be completely rebuild).
  • All existing Drupal modules have to be upgraded to work on Drupal 8.
  • Even after Drupal 8 is available, many popular modules may not have yet been released for Drupal 8.

Who is already on Drupal 8?

When should I move a Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8?

migrate-drupal6-7-8
Image Source: Durpal8.nl

There’s no site maintenance reason to upgrade right away. Drupal 7 will be supported long after Drupal 8 released. But if there’s a new or improved feature in D8—like fully translatable admin interfaces, or native schema.org markup—that you think could make your work better, take advantage of it.

Is Drupal 8 meant for a particular size or type of organization?

An important thing to remember is that Drupal 8 is still Drupal. The open source content management system is so flexible that it is used by everyone from hobbyists and small non-profit organizations to large government entities and Fortune 500 companies. Drupal 8 has more than 200 improvements that will bring new capabilities and efficiencies to virtually any type of implementation, large or small.

Still running Drupal 6? Start planning your upgrade now!

As a Drupal user, it’s very likely that you already know that the strength of Drupal comes from its community. So losing that community support is a big deal.

The policy is this: The Drupal community supports the current release and theprevious release. Today, Drupal 7 is the current release and Drupal 6 is the previous release. Both versions get community support for and bug fixes and those critical security updates. (The current release always gets the most attention; the previous release usually gets bug fixes only if they’re really major or critical.)

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