Since its release in November 2015, Drupal 8 has kicked up quite a fuss. If you’re running a Drupal website, by now you’ve probably heard people talk about Drupal 8. It’s a major upgrade with many improvements, but many users are still wondering if and when they should upgrade their current website to Drupal 8. Is a migration worth the resources? What advantages does it offer over older versions?
In this post we’ll share just some major improvements of Drupal 8 over its previous versions that may help you determine whether an upgrade is worth it. This list is compiled from first-hand experience, most commonly heard when talking to clients who took the plunge.
1. API first
Drupal 8 is built around a services-based, API architecture that is able to serve content across an infinite variety of apps, platforms and devices. This also makes it easier to disconnect the front from the backend and use a separate frontend framework (such as React, Vue or Angular) to create different apps and user interfaces that all draw content from one central structured content database.
2. Improved performance
3. Enhanced accessibility
Unlike its previous versions, Drupal 8 enhances web accessibility by supporting industry standard accessibility technologies — WAI-ARIA. It allows developers to use HTML5 natively, making it easier to optimize for accessibility and SEO. The Drupal 8 frontend is responsive by default, making any install ready for all devices.
4. Multilingual by default
Turning a Drupal 6 or 7 install into a fully multilingual website took quite a bit of effort. You needed several contributed modules and often even custom development to pull it off. Drupal 8 has a multilingual DNA, making it was easier and more efficient to translate your website into several languages.
5. Future ready
The upgrade from previous versions to Drupal 8 may be considered quite an operation, but it may well be the last migration you need to undertake. Drupal’s architecture and release cycle has been revolutionized to offer effortless upgrades to future major versions. This means that your Drupal 8 install will be prepared to upgrade to Drupal 9 without much effort.
Of course this is just a small selection of improved features of Drupal 8 and there are plenty more. The impact of each will rely on your specific case.
If you need any help to determine what is the best course of action for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us for advice. At The Savvy Few, we provide a range of strategy, design and development services aimed at helping organizations make their digital transformation a success.