Thinking of Migrating to Drupal 8? A Quick Why-To Scan

SunTecOSS Admin eCommerce

With Drupal 8, an already awesome content management framework, goes on to become still more awesome for users, administrators, and developers.

If your website already runs on Drupal or any other CMS platform, migrating to Drupal 8 might look like a daunting task. But if you are contemplating building a website for a new project, Drupal 8 wins the poll by a landslide. Creating it using Drupal 8, saves time and gives you access to all the advanced features of Drupal at once.

From an economical perspective, building a website with Drupal 8 is less expensive than using any of its previous versions, also because eventually you will need to upgrade it to Drupal 8 in a short span of time.

If Drupal 7 is your base CMS right now, here are a couple of reasons why you might like to consider migrating to Drupal 8:

Enhanced Features of Drupal 8

Drupal 8 has added a variety of new features to its admin panel to increase accessibility to the user. The newly built-in WYSIWYG editor allows the user to easily manage and edit content. It also provides a better language support for your websites in foreign languages combined with a responsive website design.

Take a look at some of the important features including content presentation, delivery of mobile accessibility, multilingual capabilities, build APIs, new ways to create data structures, and most importantly a sharp focus on user-friendliness, that make this upgrade so worth tilting towards.

  • A brand new theming engine called Twig
  • Mobile-first from the get-go
  • More HTML5 power giving you even more functionality and compatibility with mobile and handheld devices
  • Extensive multilingual features right out of the box
  • Configuration management built at the file-system level, making it easier to move configuration elements (like content type, views, or fields, etc.) from local development to the server
  • WYSIWYG editor CKEditor now bundled with the core – allowing easy authoring
  • Quick edits and additions from the front-end
  • Excellent support for industry standard accessibility technologies, like WAI-ARIA
  • Built-in Web Services enabling Drpal 8.0 to be used as a data source, and output content as JSON or XML
  • Enhanced content structure capabilities with fields in large numbers
  • Improved loading speed
  • JaveScript (JS) automated testing, now possible withDrupal 8.1
  • Optimized site load performance for the end-user, via big pipe part of Drupal Core

Efficiently Manage Time, Budget, and Resources

In Drupal 8 migration is more than just an upgrade, as there are 2 distinct systems: one for ‘updates’ (for instance, from D8.0 to 8.1), and another for ‘upgrades’ (such as from Drupal 6, or Drupal 7, to Drupal 8).

If you are only planning to ‘update’ an existing Drupal 8 site, the (update.php) mechanism already in-place can work well for you. However, if you are ‘upgrading’ either from an earlier version of Drupal 6 or 7 or switching from some other platform, you will need to migrate – both the ‘content’ and the ‘configuration settings’. Inferred here is the fact that you will need to create a ‘new’ Drupal 8 site to transfer your old content and configuration settings from D6, or D7, adding to the difficulty and complexity of the migration process.

This might require the services of a web development agency or you can consult your in-house experts. These things need to be planned out beforehand if you plan to go ahead with it, along with your cost associated with them. The biggest advantage of this migration is that you get a chance to re-architect your site and make it more streamlined.

Module Availability

Before migrating your website to Drupal 8, you’ll need to confirm if the modules running on your website are available on it or not. Because if you do consider to migrate your website to Drupal 8, you will need to ensure that the way you conduct your business won’t be affected. Because if you don’t have the modules that you need on Drupal 8, it might affect your business.

Moreover, if you have numerous custom-developed modules, you will need to evaluate and update them to Drupal 8.

Shelf-life of Your Current Website

If you are using Drupal 6 or a still more previous version of it, you should immediately migrate to Drupal 8. This is because the support for Drupal 6 has been discontinued. If you don’t migrate, you will no longer receive security updates for the platform and the modules won’t be maintained in the required format.

If you are using Drupal 7 and experiencing a good site performance, there is no need to worry yet! Drupal 7 will continue to get support until 3 months after the release of Drupal 9. This means that you are good to go through 2018 or later (as there is no date for Drupal 9 yet). But if you have the required budget and intend to optimize your website, there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with the migration right now.

After You say ‘Yes to Migration’

Migration to Drupal 8 is a big project which will require time and resources to bring it to fruition. So, take your time before implementing the migration. ‘Right now’ is usually the best time!