Should you migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, and why?
Hello, Drupal 7 website owner! What are your plans for future? Lately, everyone is talking about the amazing benefits of Drupal 8, so you might be considering an upgrade. But there may be some things stopping you. After all, migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not a one-minute process — its time and costs depend on the website scope and its custom features. So, to upgrade or not to upgrade? In this blog post, we are going to take a closer look at the migration question and help you decide.
Reasons to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8
Time plays in favor of Drupal 8 and against Drupal 7
In 2018, the community’s attention is focused around Drupal 8. All the most interesting and innovative features are being created for the eighth version. Useful initiatives, ground-breaking ideas, meetups, development — the best heads of the Drupal community are working for “the great eight.”
What about D7? Yes, it is still a stable and supported version with plenty of proven modules, and it is going to be supported until Drupal 9 is released. No one knows the exact date, but it’s expected to happen within a couple of years. And this day will come, sooner or later. Then support will stop, so the seventh version will not receive security fixes, bug fixes, and improvements. That said, an upgrade is highly recommended.
Easy upgrades in the future
D8 is brand-new and radically different from D7, hence the complex migration. But beginning with Drupal 8, the upgrade processes promises to be very easy — the Drupal team has taken care of it.
Namely, they have implemented new approaches like continuous innovation and backwards compatibility. Every half a year, a fresh version comes out that is full of novelties and backwards-compatible with the previous one.
Migration to Drupal 8 is like your ticket to the “bright side.” Drupal 9, Drupal 10, and later releases will be yours in a snap, once you upgrade to D8.
A wider choice of developers
In the early days of D8, it was hard to find developers ready to work with it — after all, “the great eight” presented a learning curve due to its difference from Drupal 7. But the situation has now changed greatly.
Young developers now start right with D8 — they may have never seen D7 at all. Of those who are experienced enough to have worked with Drupal 7, most charge higher rates for their work. Keep this in mind if you are going to need development services within a strict budget.
The same is true if you need experienced drupalers to create complicated features. Drupal gurus have appreciated the new Drupal 8 architecture, and are more willing to take on projects on D8 than on D7. Drupal 8 wins on all levels.
In addition, Drupal 8 is more universally understandable to a wider circle of developers. It is now in line with development standards and practices. To achieve this, it adopts Symfony components, OOP, and Twig, and has a rebuilt core and new APIs. That said, migration to D8 gives you a better choice of developers.
A glimpse at the irresistible features of Drupal 8
Of course, much ink has been spilled on the Drupal 8 novelties that make migration so desirable, but it is still not enough. Let’s do at least a brief round-up:
- Mobile-first approach.Drupal 8 has been built with the mobile audience in mind. It has built-in tools for creating responsive web pages that adapt to fit all devices. It also allows developers to build mobile applications.
- Multilingual miracles. An upgrade to “the great eight” lets you reach people in different countries in a few clicks — it has awesome built-in features for adding over a hundred languages to your website, including RTL languages.
- Content editing a breeze. Everyone enjoyed the inline editing features in D8, but that was just the beginning. With the 8.5 version came the Layout Builder to let you create layouts and the Media module to easily handle various multimedia.
- High-level integration. If you upgrade to Drupal 8, your site will easily integrate with any third-party systems. It can exchange data with any application through an API, creating incredible user experiences.
- Great speed opportunities. Drupal 8 gets the best from caching — it has great caching modules in its core. This includes the BigPipe that shows your users the unchanged parts of the page immediately.
- Twig for better theming. Migration to D8 gives you Twig — the template engine letting themers create clean templates with consistent code, make the processes easier, more efficient, and safer.
- Web accessibility. After migration to Drupal 8, your website becomes more accessible to all audiences, including people with disabilities. This is achieved by the use of WAI-ARIA, ALT texts, contracts, etc.
That said, migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 looks like less of a suggestion — it looks like more of a lucrative business plan!
You can safely entrust this transfer to our Drupal team. Our developers know the ins and outs of the upgrade process. Here at WishDesk, migration to Drupal 8 is one of the most popular requests from customers. Get your migration here!