Why will Migrating to Drupal 8 be the most brilliant decision you have ever made

  • By: Shefali
  • Date: 20-07-2018

Change can be hard and terrifying, especially at its inception. Yet, a change is what allows you to grow, evolve and progress.

I know it can get painful to take a decision as big as a migration of your Drupal 7 or 6 content management system – the one that you knew and have loved, but once done, you will know you have made the most brilliant decision, ever! Don’t just take my word for it, get hold of Drupal 8’ers (yeah, it can be a term!) and ask them. As you read on, you will know how Drupal 8 migration can play a key role in the success of your business.

It has been a while, about three years now, since Drupal 8 has made its entry into the field. The best of the Drupal community toiled for 4 years to produce this masterpiece of a CMS and finally announced its arrival in November 2015. Since then, more than 150,000 websites have migrated to Drupal 8, only to find a higher performing, robust and a more flexible solution. If you’re not ready to take the plunge yet, maybe these reasons will help you dive in.

Still on Drupal 6?

If you’re still stuck on to Drupal 6, you must know that everyone else has moved on. Today, the web has changed and so has Drupal. The Drupal community no longer supports Drupal 6 since February 2016. Which means, there will be no new modules or features to look forward to, no more bug-fixes, security updates and patches. Thus putting your website’s security at high-risk and of course depriving it of some TLC from the community. If you still want the best for your website, migrate to Drupal 8 now! Yes, you can completely skip Drupal 7. Drupal’s migrate module is now included in Drupal 8 core and makes the switch easy and fast.

High-performance Personalization

Personalized content has time and again proven to be one of the most effective content marketing strategies to improve your revenue. However, there is a fine line between personalization and being creepy. When you start using personalization the wrong way, you will look like an intruder. But when you implement it the right way, you will look like a company who cares for your consumer’s preferences and choices

Although Drupal 7 also supports personalization by providing many modules to select from, Drupal 8 makes the deal even sweeter. With personalization, there’s bound to be tons of unique content which cannot be cached. Lesser caching of a page means slower loading time, thereby driving the customer away. Drupal 8’s new BigPipe module to the rescue! It lets you segregate your page into different sections (called Pagelets) which can be rendered as they get available (Cached first). This lets you drastically improve your page’s perceived performance and speed.

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Drupal 8 comes packed with even more powerful features and functionalities like never before. If you thought Drupal 6 or 7 was amazing, wait till you experience Drupal 8
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Drupal 8 also integrates seamlessly with third-party personalization tools and our personal favourite is Acquia Lift that connects customer data with content efficiently. While Drupal 7 also provides this integration, it does not receive any new features now. The latest version of Acquia Lift in Drupal 8 features a suave in-context, drag and drop UI.

You’ve got your basics covered!

One of the most stunning features of Drupal 8 is that you have (almost) everything you need, out-of-the-box. This is why content managers are loving Drupal 8 - It’s almost like Drupal 8 has been personalized just for them.

  • Responsive websites are not a luxury anymore, they are a necessity. All of Drupal 8’s themes are responsive off-the-rack – which not only works great with all devices also makes configuration and set up of your Drupal website a lot easier.
  • A built-in, well configured WYSIWYG editor CKEditor lets you preview and edit your content in a breeze. You also have an in-place editor that lets you edit blocks, content, menus, etc. right in the same page.
  • SEO gets you noticed and out-there. With some of Drupal’s built-in powerful SEO modules , you can take your website places! Modules like SEO Checklist, PathAuto, Redirect, MetaTag, etc. are killing it!
  • The newest and most powerful version of HTML, which is HTML5 is now built-into Drupal 8. It lets you embed complex input elements like audio, video, date, email, etc with ease and better functionality across all devices.
  • Take your business global with Drupal 8’s out-of-the-box multilingual support. You can not only create pages enabled with language-based views, even the admin interface allows you to select our preferred language. The built-in content translate modules enables you to translate any content entity into different languages.

Drupal 8’s API-First Approach for better brand interaction

By the year 2020, there are going to be more than 50 billion internet connected devices. Content is now consumed via a plethora of mediums – computers, mobiles, IoTs, wearables, conversational interfaces, smart TVs… and the list keeps growing. Which means, your brand needs to interact with a lot more devices and in many more formats than just a website. Content delivery has gotten a lot more challenging.

Just so we are on the same page, an API (Application Programing Interface) is a set of rules or routines (functions or programs) that specifies how applications can interact with each other. For example, if you want to display the current weather on your website, you can invoke an API with websites that offer this service.

To be able to handle the content delivery challenge efficiently, content needs to be treated like well-structured data. Drupal’s API-first approach, lets you create an API before you build your website or mobile app. This futuristic approach allows you to turn content into services which can then interact with diverse devices irrespective of the formats. While Drupal 7, also supports the API-first approach with the help of additional modules, Drupal 8 comes built-in with the content-as-a-service model.

This is what our in-house expert Drupal Practice Head, Malabya Tewari has to say about Drupal 8’s API first approach – “Drupal 8 has taken this approach to another level and here’s why- REST module is now in core, where you can create own custom web-services using Views (which is also added in core in D8). It is easier to create custom REST APIs using the core REST module. Adding basic authentication is in core as well. You can get APIs, including JSON API and GraphQL, for all entities - out of the box! “

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