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Should You Upgrade to Drupal 8 Now?

Design & Development

If the Internet is important to your business, what are you waiting for? Now is the best time to upgrade your website from Drupal 6 or Drupal 7, to Drupal 8.

Drupal 8 has a number of improvements, and this will upgrade is proven to be the last difficult upgrade. You will enjoy all the benefits of Drupal 8 which makes your business stronger, and looking to the future, you will have an upgrade path to Drupal 9 and beyond. You’re not going to gain anything by waiting to upgrade your website. In fact, you will be losing market share to those who are already moving forward.

Drupal 8 has over 200 new features and improvements over the Drupal 7 release. Drupal 9 was built, from the ground up, to be backwards compatible with Drupal 8. In order to do this, you need to employ developers who really know the underpinnings to convert and clean out older deprecated code that will be removed in Drupal 9. Your upgrades going forward will be painless. Any work done in Drupal 7 will have to be rewritten when Drupal 7 code gets deprecated out. Which is one big reason why you should upgrade now!
Drupal9API

Source: Drupal.org

“The first release of Drupal 9 will be very similar to the last minor release of Drupal 8, as the primary goal of the Drupal 9.0.0 release will be to remove deprecated code and update third-party dependencies. By keeping your Drupal 8 sites up to date, you should be well prepared for Drupal 9.”
- Dries Buytaert, Drupal Project Lead

The two biggest changes are the mobile first framework Symfony 4/5 and Twig 2.0 scripting for theming. Below outlines what they are and why an upgrade will benefit you now.

Symfony

Symfony has extensive libraries and offers a lot of functionality that Drupal needs. Symfony also works very well with Twig. This provides a mobile friendly framework that is Object Oriented making APIs to third party products better.

Twig

PHP-based Twig is a faster, simpler, more secure theming engine than PHPtemplate engine. Now you can use HTML/CSS and don’t have to know PHP to theme Drupal pages.

Some of the other best enhancements include:

Mobile First 

Drupal 8 seamlessly supports mobile, it is fully responsive and will automatically reshape elements to look good on any screen size. Drupal 8 Administrative themes are responsive, making administration easier on a mobile device.

Performance

We all know that website performance is critical for your business and to rank well on the search engines. Drupal 8 delivers - utilizing Facebook’s BigPipe Technology to load content much faster through caching.

Entities are stored in cache and JavaScript loads upon demand, which dramatically increases the speed of your website. Caching is fully automatic and configurable. JavaScript computerized testing is automatic manner, making integration easier and more reliable.

Layout Builder

Layout builder can create custom visual layouts arranging content on a page or across different content types using a drag and drop interface.

Content Creation 

The WYSIWYG editor is now integrated into its core, making it more user-friendly with the seamless creation and formatting of the content for nontechnical admins. Media handling is much easier.

Multilingual

Drupal 8 has four core modules that allow the full translation of everything with dynamic, language-based displays, using multiple admin languages and translation workflows.

Configuration Management

A system-based configuration management system (collection of admin settings that determine how the site default functions) improves the use of Git, by allowing the versioning of the configuration without production data.

Varbase

Drupal 8 Varbase provides an easy to use backend with an excellent graphic user interface that provides: Fully Optimized On-page SEO, Responsive Previews & Mobile Ready, Easy Media Management, Landing Pages Creator, graphical admin dashboard, Social Media Tools, Multilingual Translation and Advanced Web-forms. We have deployed Drupal 8 website with Varbase and our customers absolutely love how functional and easy it makes website administration.

Drupal 7 End-Of-Life (EOL) 

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 versions EOL is November 2021, which means no new features, no bug fixes, no Security Advisories and no vulnerabilities reported for core or contributed modules, themes. Now that Drupal 8 is stable and the contrib modules are all completed, it only makes sense to work in Drupal 8 going forward.

Drupal9ReleasesImage

Source: Drupal.org

All of these capabilities are far above what is currently in Drupal 7 or Drupal 6, for that matter. Many times, our customers wait for the next release, which in case would be Drupal 9. However, the beauty of upgrading now is you can get those capabilities now which make your business more competitive and successful. So, what are you waiting for? Upgrade now!

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Ben Bassi

Ben Bassi is the Founder and CEO of CommonPlaces, a custom web development and digital marketing agency in Manchester, NH. With over 30 years of technology industry leadership and strategic planning experience, Ben has led two companies to Inc. 500 status.

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