Drupal 7 vs Drupal 8

20-May-2016
Drupal B2B - complex internet platforms and e-commerce plaforms

Drupal 8 - what's new?

Drupal 8 introduces many improvements compared to its predecessor - Drupal 7. Let's focus on the most important changes. At first glance we can see a modified user interface (UI). Installation isn't that much different from the older versions, the installer guides you step by step through the installation process. Config is simple and pleasant. You can immediately notice the difference in size of downloaded Drupal version due to core expanded with many new required functions and modules.

Extended core
The new core has been enhanced mostly with modules which were available to download from internet in previous versions. It allows quicker website config - you only have to select modules of interest with just a few clicks. Some modules from older versions aren't supported at present due the fact that their functions have been replaced by new modules.

Structure of templates
Until now, the dynamic elements of templates had to be written with PHP. The eighth version introduced Twig template engine (based on PHP), which features simplified syntax compared to earlier versions of Drupal.

More accessible content editing
People involved in content editing will surely enjoy new simplified WYSIWYG editor. It allows you to edit or add new content to website in easy and fun way without having to know CSS or HTML. Text formatting is done with simple and friendly UI. It doesn't require the installation of additional modules from the web. Without the doubt the "in-place" editing is a big plus. It allows you to quickly make minor changes in content without having to enter the admin panel.

Views everywhere
While creating a website that's going to be something more complicated than simple blog it's hard to do without Views module, which allows you to display submitted content in many different ways (views) and to make your own admin pages. The eighth version of the module is a part of the core. From now on home page is also a separate view, making it easier to manage elements that will be displayed on it.

New types of fields
There are new fields built-in in the core, for example telephone, e-mail, link, meta tags or reference to the entity. In addition you can also expand comments and contact forms with fields.

Responsive skins
All skins built in the core are adapted to the mobile screens. Admin panel is also fully responsive. Now the website administration can be done effortlessly with a mobile phone or a tablet, wherever you are. In the eighth version administrative forms in overlay mode are abandoned. They are replaced with a button that returns you to the page where you finished your work last time.

Language support
Drupal 8 doesn't require installation of additional modules that are used in translation of your website. You select the language in which you will manage it in the first steps of installation. You can translate anything you want, like fields, views and blocks. Using the UI you can decide which elements of your website will be displayed in that language.

Is it worth it to transfer your website?

While the transfer of content won't pose much of a problem, the transfer of entire website can give you some difficulties. Each website is different and should be treated individually. Despite the continuous development on updating existing modules and adapting them to the Drupal 8, a lot of them are still not working properly or aren't available, so you have to look for different ways to work around this problem. Programmers shouldn't have much problem with this task, but it could be difficult for people that use mostly UI. Despite the release of the latest version of Drupal, you can still find a lot of supporters of version 6 and 7. Thus, on which version should you decide? It all depends on what we expect from our website and how complex you want it to be. Will it be a simple blog, or perhaps an extended ecommerce platform? Present us your project and we will help you make the right choice.

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