Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 - The advantages

By | 20 th Jan 2016 | 3 min read

Moving to Drupal 8 deserves careful consideration in the technical front,especially when it comes to migrating from an almost stable platform like Drupal 7. Having said that, considering the advantages of Drupal 8, it will likely be the best solution for your business.

The advantages Drupal 8 over Drupal 7

RESTful: With the integration of RESTful web services, any Drupal content can be made available via a REST API by enabling the web services modules included with Drupal core and configuring them. This can be achieved without adding any contributed modules or custom functionality.

Mobile first: Drupal 8 is designed for mobile first and then modified for PC. The main reason behind this is that the decisions you make regarding the mobile design is what is really important, and what you need to focus on. The result is almost always a focused, cleaner, and more usable design which can be easily converted and made suitable for any device.

Improved page caching: Drupal 8 now has page caching enabled by default for anonymous users. It uses a new cache system called cache tags that bring you the faster Drupal ever. This caching system is instantly updated when something is changed and avoids clearing the entire page cache at the same time. In Drupal 8, blocks & entities are now render cached automatically. Only the necessary assets are loaded and rather than relying on global statics that broke caching, we now rely on metadata for caching. For authenticated page loads, the page is assembled from render cached parts.

Improved performance: If you care about performance and you have a large site with a massive amount of content, then D8 would be a better choice as it brings a lot of tools to help make your site faster. In Drupal 8, Javascript by default runs in the footer, which improves front-end performance. Some things will require a good developer support and need to be done right, and if you do, then D8 can perform pretty well in real sites.

Well-defined Configurations: In Drupal 8, it has an "Export Configuration" function that exports either the whole site configuration or a single configuration file. Drupal 8 uses unified format and approach to configuration, where all configuration is in the form of text files in the YAML format. It removes the hassle of using modules like Features to deploy a configuration from one environment to another.

Twig template engine: In Drupal 8, Twig replaces Drupal's default PHPTemplate engine. Twig is part of the Symfony2 framework and it comes from the wider PHP world. Twig is a fast and secure template engine, which provides a greater separation between logic and display, as PHP code can no longer be embedded directly in templates. It also provides a fairly easy platform entry for front-end developers new to Drupal.

Secure: Security is always the first priority, and Drupal is the most trusted and highly secure CMS used in government websites. Drupal 8 is likely to follow the same path. Many Drupal 8 features, such as twig templating system and built-in WYSIWYG editor ensure security.

Migrating to Drupal 8 would be a smart move, as it significantly improves your efficiency, reduces long-term costs, or gives you competitive advantage in achieving your business goals. The early adopters of D8 will get the maximum value from Drupal 8, as their upgraded site will live on Drupal for the longest period. Most likely, they wouldn’t have to consider a new Drupal upgrade until sometime in 2017.