Love at first site

Why the upgrade from Drupal 6 to 8 is No. 1 in our book

Think of the anticipation of the release of “Star Wars Episode VII,” but in our developer galaxy.

Instead of Episode 7, we think 8 is great. And instead of a wait until a Dec. 18 release, Drupal 8 can already be seen, used and fully experienced (as of Nov. 19).

We think you’ll agree that the move from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 is going to benefit everyone that lays their hands on it – from end users and developers to clients and consumers. Yep, that’s everyone. Even the White House, currently run on Drupal 6, will need to accomplish this upgrade.

Innovation continues to make Drupal the best open source content management software available in the market. It’s maintained and developed by a community of more than 35,000 developers around the world. Drupalers extend into a diverse group of more than 1 million in 229 countries that speak 180 languages. And now, with the launch of Drupal 8, we will all have more than 200 new features and improvements.

We’ve come to know and work with the Drupal software closely and intimately over the years as we’ve developed sites for our clients. Innovation is our mantra, and Drupal 8 will make a significant difference moving forward; not without its challenges, but it’s worth it.

Why? Because Drupal 8 is a production-worthy solution for clients who want to get a long lifecycle from their website and are willing and understanding that they are going to grow with the platform. And when they’ve stuck with it past the initial growing pains and combine Drupal 8 with the hosting of Pantheon or Acquia, it’s only going to gain strength, stability and reliability.

Two main reasons to upgrade from Drupal 6 to 8: accessibility and mobility.

Drupal 8 is the most accessible version of Drupal, providing rich Internet applications like Aria Live Announcements with direct output to screen readers, functional workflow and CKEditor to make HTML editing simpler. And, with that, content management overall is streamlined – from image fields, sidebars, taxonomy and files to regular and formatted text.

Mobility comes first in the masterminds of Drupal 8. For the first time, they’ve made it easier to administer on a mobile device, with core themes and modules, like the Picture and Breakpoint modules and an HTML5 element, and a backend overlay solution. All built-in themes are responsive. Even the toolbars are responsive, mobile-friendly and easier to use, with collapsible app icons and tables.

Our Drupal 8 debut site was for the Delaware Geological Survey, which allowed us to experience a theming migration that was more usable and more mobile-friendly for the site’s few hundred pages of content, media and images.

Bottom line, the Drupal 8 framework is still new to most developers, but we’ve found the learning curve to be well worth it. Because of our clients’ implementation of Drupal 6, this upgrade round takes some built-in experience, massaging and just the right translation, despite the direct migration. We can’t express to clients enough the importance of responsive design and the saturation and movement of mobile.

Another challenge that doubles as a benefit: theming. Because Drupal 8 is still in its infancy, it’s necessary to use third party services to supplement the experience.

But, we’re pretty excited that on each of our challenges, we’ve standardized the site’s messaging into the new platform, boosting each client’s site to new industry standards.

We’d love to share our excitement with you and show off what we can do. If you’d like your site to join the ranks on Drupal 8, Lets Chat.

Tags: Drupal, migration, and Drupal 8

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