Drupal 9 is Here and It’s Called Drupal 8:
7 Reasons to Upgrade from Drupal 7 Now
If your website is running on Drupal 7, you may be happy with the status quo. The site may be humming along and working great. Unfortunately, compared to the rapid advances in technology, Drupal 7 is getting old. Just like you put down your Blackberry for an iPhone or Android, it’s time to trade in Drupal 7 for a shiny new model.
Drupal 9 is coming soon.
Drupal 9 will be released in June 2020 and shortly afterwards--in late 2021--both Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will no longer receive community support, security patches, or bug fixes. While an extended support program may be available, for most Drupal 7 websites it makes more sense to migrate. Running a recent version of Drupal is more cost effective and will give you exciting new capabilities and benefits moving forward.
The team at The Worx Company has helped many businesses move their website to the latest Drupal versions, and we can help you too. Don’t wait for Drupal 9 to be released; we recommend making the transition now with an upgrade to Drupal 8. Once your site is on Drupal 8, you are on a smooth path to Drupal 9 and all future versions.
Is Drupal 8 Worth The Effort?
You may be wondering if the cost and effort of the transition is worth it. Over 300,000 companies using Drupal 8 today thought so. There are so many functionality enhancements in Drupal 8, that you will find it makes your life easier and development more efficient and cost effective.
There’s more good news; a lot of the community-contributed modules that you may be using in Drupal 7 are now in the Drupal 8 core, which means they are more robust, easier to use, and less prone to bugs. For example, while mobile responsiveness is an add-on to Drupal 7, it is built into Drupal 8. The core of Drupal 8 includes many popular Drupal add-on modules such as Views, Block and Context. This means that less customization is necessary to design your dream website.
Once you are on Drupal 8, you can focus on marketing, design and lead generation, while The Worx Company maintains Drupal core, hosting, security, and updates.
The Top 7 Reasons to Migrate to Drupal 8 from Drupal 7
Here are seven great reasons--from new functionality to cost savings--to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 today.
1: In Drupal 8, Future Releases and Modern Functionality Can be Had Without Additional Cost
One of the complaints about Drupal has been that version upgrades are a major change. Going from version 6 to version 7 required a website rebuild. Moving to Drupal 8 will probably be the same, and let’s be honest, that hurts in both effort and in your pocketbook. While upgrading from Drupal 7 is a major migration, the good news is that it will be the last time you will need a large Drupal migration just to get the newest features. (Just imagine if you could do that on a smartphone!) Drupal 8 is the path to all future releases and capabilities.
Drupal 9 will simply be a new version of Drupal 8. Think of it as 8.10.
Upgrading from Drupal 8 or any future version of Drupal will be a smoother transition than in the past. That’s because with Drupal 8, the release method changed. Each dot release includes key enhancements while keeping what works from the previous release. Minor releases are backwards-compatible, so modules, themes, and translations are supported on all of the dot releases (such as 8.1, 8.2, etc.).
The critically important aspect of Drupal 9 is that it has been designed to be backwards-compatible with Drupal 8. Drupal 9 will have all of the great capabilities of Drupal 8, but with old, useless functionality removed. This essential feature means that the upgrade to Drupal 8 will not be in vain; the transition to Drupal 9 (and future versions of Drupal!) will be smooth sailing.
At The Worx Company we will migrate our maintenance customers from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, and eventually to Drupal 10, without additional cost. It’s that easy.
2: With Drupal 8, It’s Easy to Build Custom Pages
It is much more straightforward to create personalized, custom content in 8 than 7. Drupal 8 was developed to allow Drupal to continue being a powerful marketing tool, but with an interface that is more accessible to non-technical users.
With the pace of business today, you must be able to quickly implement new campaigns and update web pages with new product information. Improved content creation means that you can react more quickly to market changes, resolve problems, and find new leads.
Drupal 8 helps you rapidly produce a mix of digital content and campaigns across different segments and channels.
With 8, you can create custom content, define customer segments, and deliver the content to your customers in real-time.
Drupal 8’s simplified content creation comes primarily from two new core modules: Layout Builder and CKEditor.
CKEditor is a WYSIWIG editor available in core since Drupal 8.0 (with additional features added in subsequent releases). It makes it easier to edit, proof, and review both text, and images.
Creating new text content is faster since you can more easily paste content directly from Word. Then you can use your browser’s built-in spell checker to proof the text. With the new drag and drop interface, you can edit content directly on the page.
Adding images to your page is simpler too with many options for image size, shape, and alignment. You can even drag and drop images in Quick Editing. Finally, you can see how those images will look on a mobile device.
CKEditor also has an optional language markup button. You can simply select the text and give that selection the right language with a button. This multilingual support is a new development; many users struggled with languages and translations in Drupal 7. Luckily, with Drupal 8, you can easily integrate a different language and create territory-specific content. Drupal 8 can translate links, pages, and titles as well as change the back-end administration into another language. Your website users can select a language from those that you choose to provide. Très bien! (That’s French for "Drupal 8 Rocks".)
Drupal 8’s Layout Builder is a block-oriented page builder that makes it easy to customize mobile-friendly web pages without needing custom code. Any individual page can be customized with any content. You can edit layouts on the actual page and drag and drop content blocks where you want them. According to Drupal.org, Layout Builder "streamlines mass-production while supporting unique creation."
This mobile-friendly page building tool is fully compatible with revisions, workflows, and in-context previews. You can override template layouts based on content type and create one-off landing pages.
Do you need a new landing page without your typical menus, header, and footer? With Layout Builder, you can create one-off blocks—so, for example, you can have a promotion that is only visible in a single landing page. Even if you don’t want to create your own pages, it will speed up the development process so you can get your custom marketing pages built very quickly.
3: Drupal 8 Has Streamlined Content Administration
Content administration is easier in Drupal 8 than it is in Drupal 7. The Content Moderation module allows you to streamline workflows and increase team efficiency. You can define content such as Draft, Archived, and Published as well as determine which user roles can change the status of the content.
In your editor workflows, custom menu links and taxonomy terms are now revisable. This allows the administrator to identify the impact of changes to the content. For example, if you have a big drop in page rankings, you can see if a new version of the content is the culprit.
Drupal 8 simplifies both content administration and managing campaigns.
Because Drupal 8 is mobile-friendly, you are able to monitor your website and campaigns on your smartphone. You can create content, approve changes, clear caches, or perform any other administrative tasks on your mobile device. You don’t need to be in the office to see what’s happening with your content, email, or lead generation. You can quickly respond to customer requests and changes in website status in real time.
There’s another nice little feature in Drupal 8: the Inline Form Errors module makes sure your forms are being filled out correctly. This module places error messages next to the form fields along with a summary of the validation error at the top of the form. It makes understanding which entries need to be fixed much more quickly and easily, which means a higher conversion rate for your site.
4: Manage Media and Videos with Ease in Drupal 8
Content creation isn’t just about text. It’s more important than ever to have media on your website, and with Drupal 8, you can quickly embed remote videos from YouTube and Vimeo.
The new media library means that you can browse existing media and add new creatives without difficulty—even adding more than one piece of media at a time. You can reuse images, documents, and embedded remote media like YouTube videos. Plus, you can now manage items in the Media Library with drag-and-drop.
5: Drupal 8 Website Visitors See Personalized Content Faster
All Drupal implementations now include the BigPipe module. This performance-enhancing feature allows you to deliver personalized content without sacrificing your rapid load time. BigPipe uses the same page rendering strategy as Facebook which means faster perceived performance for pages with dynamic, personalized, or uncacheable content.
BigPipe sends the static parts of your web page instantly. Next, the dynamic, personalized portions are added. This change in content delivery results in a much faster experience for your web visitors.
Improving page load time doesn’t just benefit your user, it can also help to increase your web page rankings. One factor in Google rankings is page speed. It’s just one more thing you can do to improve your SEO efforts.
6: Drupal 8 has Lower Maintenance and Customization Costs
Drupal has always been a lean, open system that is great for fast websites and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But it also had its own way of doing things. This meant that the cost of development and maintenance could be higher as you needed technical support that knew "Drupalism."
This changed with Drupal 8. Starting with this release, Drupal conforms to industry standards while maintaining the things that make Drupal so great. This standardization reduces costs of development, increases the stability of the web sites, and introduces more compatibility with new mobile devices.
The predictability of the Drupal releases makes it easier for Worx Company to provide long-term care of our customers’ websites.
7: Drupal 8 Features Increased Site Security
The threat of cyber security increases every year. Hackers have taken down major, seemingly-secure websites. Clearly, the security of your site is essential. Some of the biggest public names trust Drupal with some or all of their web presence—NASA.gov (in fact most US government sites), Weather.com, Economist.com—the list goes on.
What makes Drupal secure when it is open source software that is free to use? There are over 1 million people in the Drupal community continually reviewing code and functionality. Drupal’s community code review process and high standards for coding prevent many security problems. Drupal 8 is now stable and all of the security efforts are focused on this latest version.
Drupal has also implemented a centralized security team. This provides a single location for patches, updates and security issues across Drupal core and modules. When a security update is released, the security team issues an advisory which provides information on the affected modules, the severity level, and how to fix them.
Worx Company actively keeps up-to-date on security issues and ensures that security updates are made to your system.
Ready to Get on the Path to Drupal 8 and 9?
Let’s work together to get your Drupal 7 site on a path to Drupal 8 and Drupal 9. The short-term cost will be well worth it as you gain the major advantages of the new systems.
It will require that your content, code, themes and templates are migrated, but The Worx Company has already been through this process and can make it as painless as possible for you.
We have a combined 50 years of Drupal-specific experience and have created thousands of websites. We are the largest, exclusive Drupal shop in Oklahoma, but we are small enough to give our clients personalized service. We specialize in businesses that have unique needs for their websites, whether you are looking to increase your marketing presence or sell online.
You already wear a lot of hats. You don’t need to take on the development of your website. We can do it for you cost-effectively and just the way you want it.
Contact us today!