Introduction to Drupal 8 and Upgrading to Drupal 8

Published on: 2019-02-14

Drupal 8 was released in November, 2015, with over 200 new features (and many more since). The new features offer benefits to all your website stakeholders. It provides a significantly better authoring environment, is much quicker to set up, and provides very nice improvements for site builders and developers. These improvements equate to a better visitor user experience.

If you're not quite sure what Drupal is, read What is Drupal and Why use it.

The Perfect Time to Upgrade Drupal to 8 is Now

Published on: 2019-02-14

Drupal 8 was released nearly three years ago as of this post date. There are nearly 7,000 contributed modules available for Drupal 8, so we generally see either a module has moved into core (e.g. views), been upgraded to Drupal 8, or has a Drupal 8 equivalent.

Easier Site Theming (Skinning)

Published on: 2019-02-14

Drupal 8 moved away from pure PHP-based templates to Twig, a simpler and more secure compiled templating language. The motivation for Twig was the same as moving Drupal to the Symfony platform: adoption of a modern, powerful, OOP-based engine. It removes the requirement that themers understand PHP, and instead provides them with a simple framework to provide the desired layouts.

Mobile First Responsive Baked In

Published on: 2019-02-14

Due to the Mobile Initiative, Drupal was the first major content management system (CMS) to be mobile friendly out-of-box. For example, the BYU Sophie site uses the Bartik theme shipped with Drupal 8, which also wound up saving significant time. In fact, we had planned a second phase to deliver a responsive design, but, thanks to the time we saved on the migration mentioned above, we were able to include the design in the first phase deliverable.

Drupal 8 ships with a nice administration theme that is also fully responsive, allowing content creators to add/edit content from their phone or tablet.

Built-in Media/Media Library Modules Ease Media Management

Published on: 2019-02-14

One of the major downfalls of Drupal in the past was both adding media to content, and for larger sites, managing the media assets. With the release of Drupal 8.5.0, the media module was added to core, finally making Drupal’s media capabilities on par with CMS platforms like WordPress.

When combined with the Workflow module (also now built into core), it’s easier than ever to upload, manage, and reuse media assets, then move content between workflow states (e.g. “draft”, “review”, and “published”).

Multilingual Capability is now Built into Drupal 8

Published on: 2019-02-14

As with many other parts of Drupal 8, the ability to create multilingual sites out-of-box was considered so important, it had its own core initiative. Having multilingual capabilities built in means better ease of use, and every entity has the same translation workflow.

Drupal 8 Brings Future Proofing to Your Site

Published on: 2019-02-14

Drupal 8 will make your site more future proof than ever in two ways:

  1. It allows for content to be accessed beyond a browser

  2. The new release cycle allows for major new innovations to be built into core

We’ll explore each item further below.

Improved Performance and Scalability

Published on: 2019-02-14

If you’re scratching your head wondering how Drupal 8, with so many advancements and improvements, could actually be faster than Drupal 6/7 meet BigPipe. BigPipe enhances performance by sending the cacheable parts of the page first, then the dynamic/uncacheable parts. Drupal 8 also requires PHP 7.x, which offers a modest performance improvements over PHP 5.x. Finally, Drupal 8 provides a built-in dynamic page cache for logged in users that caches pages minus the personalized parts.

Greatly Enhanced Flexibility

Published on: 2019-02-14

With Drupal 8, just about everything that makes up the underlying architecture is considered an “entity”. This is a huge break from prior versions of Drupal as entities were broken up into distinct categories, such as node (page), field collection, and so on. Also, things like blocks (e.g. the header and footer of any site) were not considered entities.

These two limitations have been removed in Drupal 8, and the result provides amazing flexibility now. As you can see from the screen capture, just about anything can be referenced in a field. One example benefit is creating a block reference field. This would put the power of adding reusable content in the hands of content editors. How cool is that?

Drupal 8: Vastly Improved Authoring Experience

Published on: 2019-02-14

One of the biggest complaints of content editors for Drupal 6, and even 7, was the authoring experience was clunky, and time consuming. This issue could be exacerbated further if the site suffered from poor architecture decisions.

More Secure than Ever

Published on: 2019-02-14

Drupal 8 has far more crucial built-in functionality than any prior version. This is crucial to website security because core modules have a much higher level of scrutiny than community contributed modules do. Being in core means passing a much stricter review process before being added, and with many more eyeballs on the code. Also, unlike some contributed modules, Drupal core updates are released regularly.

Workspaces Provides an Agile-like Workflow for Your Content Creation

Published on: 2019-02-13

Workspaces is an awesome new core module that ships with Drupal 8. Workspaces provides an Agile-like workflow for your content creation process. It’s meant to be used on a group of new pages, existing items like menus, and other content like tags, to be published all at once.

Change a Page Layout without Hiring an Agency

Published on: 2019-02-13

Video by Dries Buytaert: a Brief Overview of the Powerful Layout Builder

Click Below to Test-drive this Feature

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