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Drupal 8 for Executives: A Different View

A content management system for the masses.

Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it?

The issue with a mass-marketed CMS is that content needs and workflows will vary greatly from one organization to the next. So the "one size fits all” motto starts to wither in light of this fact. That’s why businesses with serious content needs ought to strive for flexibility in their CMS solution. That’s where Drupal 8 comes in.

The debut of Drupal 8 brings more of what users have come to know and love about the Drupal CMS, and if that wasn’t enough there are more than 200 new features for Drupal users in the new version. The new crop of features is too lengthy to cover in detail here, but consider these crucial aspects that will help your team decide about a Drupal 8 implementation.


1. Mobile Responsive Out of the Box

More and more of the web’s content is being consumed on mobile devices. In fact, a study has shown that more than half of all Google searches are done on mobile. And Google began ranking mobile-responsive sites higher in their search results page in 2015. That means that a website is harder to discover if it doesn’t have mobile responsive layout from day one. With Drupal 8, your team doesn’t need to sweat the conversion to a mobile-friendly layout since it’s part of the design from the start.

The mobile responsive theme is included in the default admin themes, so no matter when you need to get in and make updates to your site—on the go, in the office, before hitting the sack—you'll be able to navigate your admin theme with ease and comfort.


2. More Content-Friendly Than Ever

Drupal 8 is the most content-friendly version of the CMS to date. These features vastly improve on the content creation and editing experience:

  • Inline editing: Fast and seamless updates can take place on the live site with this new feature. Need to change a line of text or insert a new graphic? The layover for the content editor view is gone and instead you get to see your changes in the context of the live site, a huge benefit for content managers.
  • WYSIWYG: Developers have been hailing the refreshed look of Drupal 8’s WYSIWYG editor as the best ever. Now powerful content options come standard to the editor, including image buttons which automatically add the plugin settings.
  • Multilingual: Built-in features to the admin UI support multiple languages and translations. Now your Drupal site can become a global publishing powerhouse while translating content directly in the system.


3. Configuration Management

This module is having a real impact for site builders. The Configuration Manager module stores all the configuration of your Drupal 8 site as yaml files that are small and easy to organize. Having Configuration Manager allows site builders to have greater synchronization between development environments, such as Staging, Development and Production, and cut down on confusion.

Now your Drupal site owns a configuration rather than a list of modules. This configuration is synched across the different environments using a Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) which allows site builders to make changes to a site at a comfortable distance from the live environment.


When's the Right Time to Upgrade to Drupal 8?

Nobody but you has deep insight into your content needs. Your content requirements, which should be among the first building blocks of any redesign or migration plan, might easily be met by building a Drupal 7 site. However, if you’re thinking that a new site ought to have at least a five year lifespan, then the best implementation to meet your needs would be a Drupal 8 site.

This recommendation is based on what has occurred with previous release cycles in Drupal. What tends to happen with the newest version is limited functionality, a waiting period for modules to port over and increased development time on projects to tackle new challenges. 

This uncertainty will likely translate into a greater upfront cost if projects kick off with Drupal 8 in the days immediately following its release. What tends to happen in the long term is that supporting an older version becomes the more costly undertaking. There is risk involved in both stances, basically.

The reason that so many developers are excited for Drupal 8's release is that Drupal's core received so many substantial improvements. While there may be a few hiccups along the road to a site launch on Drupal 8, it is still the most capable version of Drupal that has ever shipped.

 So there you have it! These are just a few compelling reasons why Drupal 8 radically improves on previous versions and why it should be a serious consideration for your upcoming projects. Have a question?

We'd love to hear from you.