Differences in site building in Drupal 8 compared to Drupal 7

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Drupal 8, with its 200 new features and improvements, is sure to win hearts. The latest version of Drupal offers you absolute ease of use, with customizable data structures, listings, and pages, and capabilities to display data on mobile devices, building APIs, and adapting to multilingual requirements.

Drupal 8 has a leaner and meaner core, easier migration process, in-place content editing tools and more powerful modules and themes. However,there are quite a few differences in the site building features in Drupal 8 when compared to Drupal 7.

Here are some of them:

Views in Core:

Views is the most downloaded module in Drupal 6 and 7 i.e. it is one of the commonly used and essential modules in Drupal. In Drupal 8, Views has been integrated to Drupal Core. Hence, the module functionality is explained in the Help section and drupal.org documentation, rather than in the Advanced Help module.

New Fields in Core:

Several new fields have been added to the core, such as DateTime, Entity Reference, File, Image, Link, Options, Telephone, and Text. A good percentage of websites include most of the fields mentioned here, and to incorporate them in your website, you have to download and install each of the required fields.

Mobile Friendly:

Everything in Drupal 8 has been designed with mobiles in mind. Now you can administer your web content on the go with your cellular phones or tablets.

The focus of the Drupal 8 Mobile Initiative can be categorized into three groups:

Mobile-friendly Administration:

The bad first impression made on web developers by Drupal 6, with it’s unattractive themes, could be replicated by mobile developers evaluating content management systems, if there isn’t any provision for mobile CMS administrative services. The Drupal 8 team is tackling the situation by defining a list of administrative tasks and are working on it.

Responsive Design:

Responsive website design makes websites mobile-friendly without the aid of mobile device support, which in turn reduces the cost of website development. The challenge faced by Drupal here is to convert all the present core themes to mobile first responsive themes.

Front End Performance:

Performance is always an important factor when it comes to websites, and in case of mobile sites, it is not any different. According to studies, around 97% of a page’s rendering time is consumed in the front end. Image handling has also been noted as the biggest performance concern.

RESTful Web Services:

Working as a web service was never easy in Drupal, but the introduction of RESTful web services is about to change it.

REST, a very popular way of making web services work, uses standard HTML methods such as GET, POST, and DELETE. Every entity in drupal can be exposed through the REST interface. You can now integrate drupal with apps.

Form Display UI:

Form Modes are the view’s equivalent in case of entities. Now, you can manage your form display separately from your actual display. In case people use hook_form_alter() in a custom module and manipulate the field to be hidden, the form display UI will make their lives easier. You don’t have to write code to hide fields in Drupal 8.


Blocks have been made very useful in Drupal 8. The main changes in blocks are listed below:

  • Blocks can be used multiple times, even custom blocks.
  • There is an on/off checkbox for a block title, you don’t have to use anymore
  • Toolbar is on the side instead of the bottom
  • The sidebar UI allows dynamic filtering, making access to blocks comfortable
  • Block types and layout configurations are now in code