Monday , 21 August 2017

Comparison between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

Written in PHP Drupal has become one of the favorites among web developers. The CMS is now widely used to develop websites. Even though its application programming interface is refined, installing and using it does not require any special skills. Its performance has been considered better in terms of page loading, than the other free CMS available for building websites. Drupal is being bettered every day and now its alpha versions have been released – Drupal 8, yet there are many who would prefer to stick to its earlier version Drupal 7. For those who are in a fix and would like to know which one to opt for, here is a quick comparison – Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7.

Main Difference

Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7

To begin with, the main difference between them is that the default theme engine PHP Template which was in Drupal 7 has been swapped with Twig. Also, the JavaScript and CSS integration are better in Drupal 8 compared to Drupal 7, however, it changes the way in which they need to be added. Drupal 8 in all terms has been made better than Drupal 7 but there is much learning which needs to be done before one can exploit all the features of Drupal 8. There are some fundamental changes which have been made in Drupal 8 at bringing out much potential in this new version of CMS. Here is a table – Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7.

Key Points Drupal 7 Drupal 8
Released on January 5, 2011 October 7, 2015
Output XHTML markup is there by default Semantic HTML 5 marup present by default markup markup does not out output Drupal 8’s core RDFa module outputs markup
jQuery Consists of jQuery 1.4.4 and jQuery UI 1.8.7 jQuery 2.0 and other code which accepts modern HTML 5/CSS3 browser support.
Theme Engine by Default PHPTemplate


theme_* functions and PHP-based *.tpl.php files



*.html.twig templates ()

CSS File Structure The CSS file structure is not based on BEM and SMACSS The CSS file structure is based on BEM and SMACSS
Breakpoint Media Queries Breakpoint media queries is not used to control how the site looks on various devices. Breakpoint media queries is used to control how the site looks on various devices.
CkEditor CkEditor not present The CkEditor is an important module and it is a visual editor which edits web pages that brings common word processor features to web pages right away
Picture Module Picture module not present The picture module present in Drupal 8 resizes the images automatically for different types of screen sizes
Email Field Normal email field New feature through which the email address is automatically validated and a ‘mailto:’ link is generated when
Object Oriented Programming Concepts Object Oriented Programming concepts are less Most part of the system comes with Object Oriented Programming concepts
Core Modules The core modules has CSS files and several preprocess functions The core modules which included CSS files and preprocess functions by using Classy have been replaced.
Telephone Field Normal email field ‘tel:’ link is generated by the telephone field when it is displayed for Skype or apps or similar kind.
Symphony Symphony framework not present Drupal 8 uses Symphony framework and the MVC architecture that simplifies the maintenance, scaling and reusing of code.
CSS and JavaScript aggregation Not as effective when compared to Drupal 8 CSS and JavaScript aggregation is much improved in Drupal 8
CSS ID’s Consists more ID’s Consists lesser ID’s when compared to Drupal 7
SVG Support Drupal 7 supported all browsers which did not support SVG such as Android Browser 2.3 and Internet Explorer 8 All browsers which don’t support SVG are not supported by Drupal 8
CSS3 pseudo selectors Uses first/last/odd/even classes Uses CSS3 pseudo selectors
Edits Need to visit the Edit page to make changes In Drupal 8 you need not visit the edit page. You can directly edit or change something by clicking right.
Representational State Transfer or REST REST not present Representational State Transfer lets you interact with other applications to create, update, read and delete resources.
Front-end Libraries jQuery v2.x jQuery v2.x, Modernizr, Backbone.js. and Underscore.js
WAI-ARIA attributes WAI-ARIA attributes not used extensively WAI-ARIA attributes extensively used.


Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7

When it comes to Drupal 7 vs Drupal 8, there is no doubt that Drupal 8 has been developed and made better than the previous 7 version. The configuration management system has been made more robust and version 8 has been made compatible with devices of all types especially smartphones. With mobiles taking over the world personal computers will get obsolete soon and Drupal 7 had problems when it came to working with mobile devices. Drupal 8 has been designed to be used by visually impaired users which is another benefit. The new toolbar introduced in Drupal 8 makes it easy for the admin as it features shortcuts, menu, home etc.

However, with all the goodies that the developers have added in Drupal 8, there are a couple of drawbacks in Drupal 8 such as the introduction of Symphony would mean the developers would first have to make themselves known to it before using it. Developers who are not known to MVC would have problems to adjust with the new Drupal 8. If you wish to use Drupal 8 all the existing modules would have to be updated first. For the beginners debugging Drupal 8 would be a little difficult, but this can improve with use. The biggest drawback which can be seen in Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7is that upgrading takes a lot of time, in Drupal, there is no space for legacy installations which means there is no skipping the upgrade. And you will need to make sure your Drupal hosting support this well.

Drupal 8 vs Drupal 7

That said, changes and upgrades are for good, difficulties can be overcome and what is not known can be learnt after all there are so many exciting features that come with it that make your work easy as an admin and give your customers a beautiful website.

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