The most common question we encountered was “Why Drupal 8?” when explaining to clients the importance of migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Although it is possible to answer this question with the shortest word, “Drupal 8 is the biggest and most innovative update to date”, we will try to examine these innovative features in detail in this article.
The Infrastructure of Drupal 8 Is Much Stronger
The concept of “leaving the island”, which is popular in the Drupal community, marked the significant paradigm shift in Drupal. This paradigm shift with Drupal 8 was predicted to cause significant technological and cultural advances in Drupal - and even in PHP. Drupal 8 has not like any other Drupal versions. The Drupal community has made serious structural and radical changes with Drupal 8 and has been successful.
The leaving the island yields to Drupal in the short term was as follows:
- New Theme Engine: With the Twig theme engine that comes with Drupal 8, it allows frontend developers to write code more easily. Twig also offers a great advantage in terms of security and performance.
- Object Oriented Programming (OOP): The procedural programming in Drupal 7 has been replaced by object oriented programming in Drupal 8. Thanks to this structure, while the reusability of the codes is provided, it provides the opportunity to write a structural code that is easy to maintain for developers.
- Symphony Components:Symphony components that provide flexibility and scalability can now be used in Drupal 8.
- API First: Thanks to Restful Web Services and JSON API that come with Drupal 8, the entire infrastructure can easily talk to different systems.
- New Text Editor: CK Editor, which comes in the Drupal’s core, offers many editing functions similar to MS Word.
- Views: Which are used in almost every Drupal project, where database queries are managed, and which is one of the indispensable modules of Drupal, are now in the Drupal 8 core.
- Field Types: With Drupal 8, the default fields are now much more in the core. Many fields such as Phone, Email, Date, Asset Reference, Connection come ready. Since almost everything evolves into the structure of the entity, it can be used for blocks, impressions, comments, etc. field can be added. Thus, the already flexible Drupal structure has become much more flexible.
Ease of Use Improved greatly in Drupal 8
- Claro Theme, which has a very modern look as an admin theme, has been brought to Drupal.
- Page Layout, the structure that forces the support of a developer in the landing page needs; By using very superior tools such as Paragraphs, Layout Builder and Gutenberg Editor, to the structure was introduced that could allow the editor to make the desired page layouts freely.
özgürce yapmasına olanak sağlayabilen bir yapıya geçildi.
- Media library is taken into the core; visual, video and file management have been modernized. Media content / contents previously used in the system can be recalled.
- Creating content publishing workflows has been made easier by putting the Workflows plugin into the core
- With the WYSIWG editor, which comes with new features in Drupal 8 core, data entries are made easier.
- With the In-Place editor, which allows the title, body, etc. sections to be changed on the same page without going to the editing page, easy and fast content editing is provided.
Mobile Friendly Drupal 8
Drupal's primary objectives were to make mobile compatible for both end-users, the target audience of content, editors who input content and managers who make various adjustments. Besides, Drupal had to be made suitable for any mobile solution/application. The Mobile Initiative, Web Services Initiative and HTML5 Initiative took part in achieving these goals. As a result of these studies, Drupal 8:
- Thanks to its API First infrastructure, it has become a very suitable platform for developing native and hybrid mobile applications.
- Managerial forms have been adapted to mobile devices, so easy data entry from mobile devices is provided.
- All core themes are mobile-compatible.
- Frontend performance has been improved.
- CSS structure and architecture has been improved.
- Added features that allow the user to configure uploaded images by device size.
Thus, Drupal 8 has become one of the few content management systems in the world that are truly mobile-friendly (both mobile compatible and compatible with mobile application development).
High Security on Drupal 8
Since 2005, there is a very strong team in Drupal that deals only with security, and this team focuses on solving security problems up-to-date and fast every time a new version is released. This focus naturally makes the new version safer.
Apart from that, basic structural changes made in Drupal 8 have too positive effects on the security issue:
- Thanks to the Twig template engine, which comes from the Symphony 2 framework and is used from HTML production, potential Cross Site Scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in special themes and modules have been prevented.
- Removed the PHP data entry format from the core in Drupal 7 and older versions, which allows you to write random PHP code by admin and editor.
- By using the filtered HTML format for content input by default, other site users are less likely to cause XSS attacks.
- User session management has been strengthened.
Drupal 8 High Performance
You may have read articles that contain test results comparing Drupal 8 and Drupal 7 speeds at different times and showing that Drupal 8 is slower than Drupal 7.
Indeed, this result is true when the naked Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 are tested. However, there are many missed points in these tests:
- There are too many modules in the Drupal 8 kernel than the Drupal 7 core. In the light of user experience, Drupal 8 has published some modules used in almost every project in Drupal 7’s core.
- Drupal 8 has a lot more and granular caching mechanisms.
- The theme engine Twig used in Drupal 8 is much faster.
- The Big Pipe plugin in the Drupal 8 core enables the smart loading of the main content on the page, creating very fast user interactions.
- Drupal 8's modern OOP (object oriented programming) infrastructure based on Symphony 2 paves the way for new performance improvements.
Today, Drupal is released at 8.8.4 and there are a lot of performance improvements after Drupal 8.0 (Drupal 8.7's performance is about 1.5 times the performance of Drupal 8.0). Compared to the still bare (no additional modules installed, only kernel) version, Drupal 7 seems a bit faster, but in real use, Drupal 8 has higher performance due to the features we mentioned above.
Web Accessibility is Excellent in Drupal 8
Web accessibility, which means that everyone, especially disabled and elderly people can access web content and use web tools, has been one of the subjects that Drupal places great importance on. The Drupal Community is making accessibility improvements not only for the end-user but also for the developers. With this approach, considerable progress has been made in accessibility in Drupal 8.
- More Semantic Structure: Drupal 8 has more semantic HTML5 elements that can be used for assistive technologies used by people with disabilities.
- Audio Alerts: With the Drupal.announce () function, the ability to send messages to audio users has been added.
- Adjusted Tab Key Sequencing: Tabbing Manager mechanism has been created that enables users who cannot see and use the mouse to access the items on the page in a logical order.
- Hidden / Invisible / Focused: Alternatives to CSS codes such as display: none, which are generally not considered during the front-end development process but are especially important for the access of the visually impaired, have been developed.
- Alternative text: Alternative texts of images are made mandatory by default.
- Bartik: In Bartik theme, the links started to be underlined so that people can easily identify the links on the page.
- Accessible Inline Form Errors: This improvement made it easier for everyone to identify which errors they might have made while filling out a web form.
Although theoretically, it is never possible to establish a fully accessible infrastructure, Drupal systems can be accessed by more people day by day thanks to the importance that Drupal community places on web accessibility.
Development and Maintenance Costs are Lower in Drupal 8
A developer in Drupal 8; OOP, Symphony components, Twig, yml will be able to write code more easily with the infrastructure and features that facilitate coding, thus reducing the development time. Maintenance costs will also decrease with the healthier code base in Drupal 8. Upgrades to major versions such as migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 or migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 have been very painful to date. Upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 or later major versions will now be as easy as minor version upgrades from Drupal 8.6 to Drupal 8.7. In other words, this difficult and costly process ends after Drupal 8. Thanks to the same structure, the infrastructure of the automatic update feature that will come with Drupal 9 has been improved.
The Future of Drupal 8 is Bright!
Drupal is not just software, it's a huge community. The Drupal community is an innovative, inclusive and forward-thinking community always putting more ahead. Nowadays, it is not accidental that Drupal comes to mind when it comes to advanced/enterprise corporate solutions. With Drupal 8, Drupal, who is willing to leave his strong island, embraces different technologies, radically changed his technology, did not settle with this and changed the community structure. They identified points open to development and focused on these points to the Drupal community, one of the world's largest open source communities. It has made great strides in a short time with a wide range of initiatives. It demolished the criticism of “close to the developer and far from end-user”. Drupal is a CMS that is very suitable for the needs of the developer, site builder, editor, and end-user today. Now Drupal;
- Drupal aims at a much wider market with thousands of new features that we have counted and not counted above.
- It aims to have the best structured data engine to offer compatible content to desktop, mobile, kiosk, smartwatch and any device in the future.
- It wants all people to access the Open Web, focusing on accessibility, inclusion, security, and interoperability.
The future of Drupal is too bright and those who want to have ambitious digital experiences prefer Drupal.
- https://dev.acquia.com/blog/10-reasons-why-you-should-start-your-new-project-in-drupal-8-instead-of-drupal-7/30/07/2018/ 19716