My organization has a solid Drupal 7 site, but I think it's nearly time for an update. How can I convince my stakeholders that we need a backend upgrade along with a visual refresh?
Saying a modern nonprofit or business needs a website is like saying the tires on your car need air. Deny it and you’re going to have a bad time. Given the significant tasks required of your website, from fundraising and ecommerce to PR and campaigning, the tools you use to power it and the interface through which your team will interact with the site should be given important consideration.
Lucky for you, one of the most widely used content management systems (CMS), just got a major update. Drupal 8 brings too many new features to discuss fully here, but you’ll be happy to know the end product is one that’s worth the investment.
One – The content authoring experience is more efficient
Drupal’s admin interface has evolved over the years, and we’re happy to see it continue here. For starters, the new interface is streamlined, mobile-friendly, and by emphasizing simplicity, it makes the process of creating content and managing your site more efficient. Then comes Quick Edit, a tool which allows you to edit content directly on the page, without having to switch to the admin panel. Lastly, some under-the-hood improvements to how Drupal 8 caches portions of your site, means that logged-in users — whether they login just to access a community or special resources, or it's your staff managing the site and adding content — will likely see a significant boost to performance. These improvements just underscore how the experience for content authors and editors means your team takes less time, and less clicks, to update content on Drupal 8.
Two – The improvements for developers means easier maintenance
A number of new features in Drupal 8 are developer focused. There’s Twig, a new templating engine, some commonly used modules are now included by default in Drupal 8, and there’s better support for things like accessibility and multilingual support. Unless you’re a developer, you’re not likely to ever see these changes first hand, but you will experience them.
These improvements for developers mean maintenance tasks will largely be much easier (and occasionally faster) for developers to complete. This saves you money on regular support, and allows you to devote that time and resources into other areas, like digital strategy or building new features.
Three – Migrating is easier than it's ever been
If you’ve been through a redesign of a website, you know that one of the most daunting tasks is getting all of the content you want to keep migrated and configured properly inside your new website. In this area, Drupal 8 has seen a major leap forward.
Drupal 8 can read the database from a Drupal 6 or 7 site, and pull in configurations and other settings in addition to the actual content. Practically speaking, this removes what was previously a major task for content migrations: writing all of the code that retrieves and assembles the existing site’s content. Now, Drupal 8 assembles it for you. In some cases, this could cut the time to do a content migration in half.
We’ve been enjoying building new projects in Drupal 8, some of which we will be able to share with you soon. Until then, if you have questions about Drupal 8 that you’d like us to touch upon, or if you’re wondering if Drupal 8 can work for you, get in touch.