5 Advantages of Drupal 8

By Kenna Poulos

Upgrading a content management system can be a massive undertaking. Companies using Drupal 7 may be wary of moving to Drupal 8, but there are many advantages to changing to the latest version.

1. Mobile-first Architecture

Content consumption on smartphones and other mobile devices continues to rise. Desktop-centric architecture makes it difficult to offer a fully optimized mobile experience for a website’s audience. Drupal 8 was designed with mobile-first in mind, which creates a solid foundation for a company’s efforts in this area.

2. Improved Translation

People from all over the world may end up being clients and customers when a website offers translated and localized content. Drupal 8 has implemented several major changes to make this process as easy as possible. The authoring tools support any language and the Drupal backend can also have language customization. Third-party translation services can also be integrated into the workflow.

3. RESTful

REST APIs are widely used for web services integration. Drupal 8 uses REST to allow content to be pulled via an API, which can create the foundation for custom development opportunities and making it easy to bring Drupal content into other systems.

The biggest business advantage with REST APIs is the flexibility that they bring. It may not seem like a killer feature compared to some of the other Drupal 8 improvements, but it is an excellent way of future-proofing the content delivery needs that a company may have in the future.

4. Twig Template Engine

The template engine is entirely different in Drupal 8. It uses a structure that divides the logic from the display, which makes it easier for template developers to configure the content blocks without contending with PHP on the display side.

Twig also offers better performance compared to the previously used PHPTemplate. Pages load faster and the templates are secure. Some developers feel that Twig is also easier to work with compared to other Drupal templating engines. This impression may come from the way the logic and display are divided or the fact that it’s no longer possible to insert PHP into the display templates.

5. Better Authoring Tools

Content authoring is a core Drupal functionality and Drupal 8 adds a lot to the experience. The WYSIWYG editor is still the main way that users create content for their Drupal-based sites, but the in-line and in-context editing options offer several new benefits to the platform.

When authors can see what their content looks like when it’s on the page, it becomes easier to create appealing formats and avoid issues when they hit publish. Trying to go back and forth between an authoring panel and a preview screen can add a lot of time when a user needs to make a lot of small changes. The in-context and in-line functionality eliminates this inefficiency and speeds up the entire workflow.

Outside of these five specific improvements, Drupal 8 also brings a boost in performance. In particular, the developers focused on helping users better management large-scale content libraries, which are becoming more and more commonplace in a big data world. This update also offers many security changes  that decrease the risks of someone gaining unauthorized access to the backend or otherwise compromising the site.

If the updating process seems too overwhelming to handle with in-house resources, a partner like Contegix can assist companies in moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Working together with our many Drupal development partners, we can facilitate an end-to-end solution of development, migration and hosting management to make your move to Drupal 8 as painless as possible.

Contact us today to start your migration to Drupal 8.