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Drupal 8 or Drupal 7

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.

Difference Between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8

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
Schema.org markup Schema.org markup does not out output Drupal 8’s core RDFa module outputs schema.org 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

Twig

*.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.

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.

Pros and Cons of Using Drupal 8

Drupal is an open-source and free framework for managing content that is disputed under the GNU license for General Public. The framework was created with PHP and offers framework for back-end communication for a minimum of 2.2 percent web sites all over the world. The framework was initially released on the 18th of May 2000 with a stable version recently released on the 7th of December 2016. Here are some drupal 8 pros and cons.

Pros of Drupal 8

Scalable:

There are virtually endless possibilities of using custom modules in Drupal. There are more than 16,000 add-on modules that come with Drupal. This offers every user of the application from bloggers who have little experience and knowledge of HTML to hardcore web developers a lot to choose from. If you intend to put a section for comments in your blog or add a cart for shopping to your website, you can easily customize them with the aid of Drupal. The scalability feature of the framework makes it possible for you to carry out website scaling, based on the pace that is applicable to your business. This is possible if you are trying your hand on the framework or if you are hiring a developer to help you with the creation of your website. With Drupal, you can easily develop a splash page so that investors and customers are able to know about your existence. Furthermore, you can also bring in different features including podcasts and video support. With this, you have the ability to add a lot of different functionalities for you users, which will be critical to your site publication and ecommerce. There are a lot of reputable websites that use the scalability feature of Drupal. Some of such websites include the White House website, Zappos and Princess Cruises.

Community above profit:

A lot of businesses are more profit-driven that they often ignore the needs of their customers. This is, however, not the case with Drupal, making the framework to be completely unique. There are a number of different communities of people that add and support it. Due to the open source nature of the software solution, you don’t need to pay licensing fees that are astronomically high for its modules, whenever they are available. Furthermore, there are a lot of expert volunteers that aid in solving problems people encounter on the online forum of its web site. They also have in-house developers that are motivated with creation of new technologies that can be used for developing websites. The community of Drupal is therefore one created on passion as opposed to profit, thereby leading to continuous significant improvement. You are able to get a forum that is sincere about catering for users of Drupal, irrespective of if the user is an entrepreneur, a veteran development or a novice when it comes to website development. You can easily use Drupal to develop some of the best websites worldwide.

Management of user:

A major strength of Drupal is the fact that they have a great support community that works on its open source software. Same way, they give administrators of websites created in Drupal, the ability to create a community in the web sites they develop, with custom roles deigned for every user. The role of every user will depend on their level of access. As opposed to giving permission to every individual you want to be able to make changes to your web site, it is possible to give responsibilities that will determine how much control such individual have over the website in terms of making changes. For instance, you might want an individual to be an author. The individual will be able to publish posts and other related tags, without having some other abilities like meta tags creation for various pages. Furthermore, you can easily remove, add and modify the roles and permissions you have given to an individual.

Cons of Drupal 8

Too much options:

Well it is said that too much of everything is bad and this could also relate to options. Even though the many options could be Drupal 8 pro and con at the same time, it is a con because no developer or company will require every of the 16,000 modules available on Drupal. When there are too many customization options, you are challenged about what choice to make. Even when you are skilled, you will be wasting a lot of time, making up your mind on which of the modules to use such as using a ‘Commerce Checkout Redirect’ or ‘Commerce Product Option’. The many options also make Drupal sites that are large to load a bit slower, as the huge server load will be created by the script. Compared with WordPress, you can enlist a specific plugin number, which can lead to an unwieldy site as well. So, don’t forget to check out the list of Drupal hosting we recommend.

Not friendly for quick website setup:

If you are an industrious individual, who have a lot of time to grow and learn on their skills, then you will enjoy using Drupal. If on the other hand you just want a quick company website, then Drupal will not be the best option for you. You will require a technical staff that is experienced to set up the site and you will also need to give him some time. if you are however short of both staff and expertise, then you should not opt for Drupal.

Compatibility:

The success of Drupal can be linked to its being the most comprehensive and newest platform for CMS. The other implication is that it is not compatible with several earlier software. If you are creating an entirely new web site, then you won’t have a problem. If you are looking forward to implementing Drupal with part of the CMS you were using earlier, then you will encounter some problem.

Conclusion

Drupal is a new platform that is very effective in creating great website that can beat any other website currently in existence. Drupal 8 pros and cons have shown that you can achieve a lot with the application if you are industrious, building a web site from the scratch and have a lot of time in your hands for the web site creation project.

15 Drupal 8 Features That You Should Know

Drupal is a Content Management System and a powerful platform for developing websites. Being an open source software, Drupal is free to download and also free to be modified and developed. Drupal is search engine friendly and its administrator area is fully responsive which expedites the best viewing on any device which is connected through the Internet. It makes websites under Drupal easy to use and manage from anywhere. Drupal 8 version was released in November 2015, yet there are some cool features which may be unknown to you. Here is a list of 15 such Drupal 8 features which are worth knowing:

Guided Tour

Drupal 8 features

The guided tour has come just below the descriptive text. With just a click the users will be guided through the working of Drupal 8 through pop-ups which explain everything in detail. This is one of the most important features in Drupal 8 as the new users would be clear on how to work around in Drupal. The guide is user-friendly and easy to understand.

Caching

One of the revolutionary Drupal 8 features is its ability to cache automatically. All the entities are cached when a website is developed on Drupal 8 and the Java scripts are loaded only when required. Once a user loads a web page the content is not required to load again, this increases the page loading speed of your website.

Quick Edits and Instant Changes

There are many daily tasks which are required to be done in a website by the administrator. New updates and edits are one of them. The quick edit enables the admin to complete their task immediately with perfection. When logged in Drupal the text can be edited directly saving time and making the job easy.

Webservices Have Been Built within the Core

Drupal 8 features

The earlier versions of Drupal required multiple modules to develop a single webservice this is completely changed with Drupal 8. All that is required to develop a service is in the core and just the four web service module needs to be enabled. You can use Drupal as a data source and output content like XML. Data can also be posted back from the front end. Drupal 8 has Hypertext Application Language which makes it easy to exploit the web service abilities.

Multilingual Ready

Drupal 8 features language flexibility. The administrator interface comprises of built-in translations. Pages can now be created with block visibility and views filtering which is language based.

Configuration Management

Migrating information from the test server to live site is done in no time with the configuration management feature. A version control system can be used to keep a track on changes made in the configuration. This data is stored in files which are distinct from the database of the website.

Create Better Websites with HTML5

HTML5 is now available in Drupal 8 which gives the access to input fields such as email, phone etc. All the bodies and modules in Drupal 8 have been designed to support HTML 5. The functions give you more compatibility with smartphones and other smaller devices.

Fully Responsive

Drupal 8 features

One of the much required Drupal 8 features is the 100% responsive feature. All websites that are created with Drupal are mobile ready. Irrespective of the size of the screen the website created in this CMS will fit exactly to the size of the device on which the website is being accessed. The quality of the pictures displayed will not deteriorate and reduce or expand without harming the pixels. The administrator can also log in from a smartphone or a tab and work easily – from making changes to uploading a new post everything happens smoothly.

New Theme Engine – Twig

The PHP template in the earlier version of Drupal has been replaced by Twig in Drupal 8. There are many functions which make working easy and can be used directly within the templates. It is fast and safe and more functional and attractive websites can be created with Twig. The templates are written in a syntax which is not only easy but also secure.

Better Support of Accessibility

There are several accessibility features which Drupal 8 gives. For instance, the live regions, WAI-ARIA landmarks, roles, and properties have been added to give more semantic HTML 5 elements. The Tabbing Manager is another great mechanism for non-mouse and non-visual users as they can logically access the page’s salient elements. This helps you get you more control for when it comes to the navigation of complex user interface. Color contrasts, font sizes, modal dialogues and jQuery UI’s autocomplete all make Drupal 8 a better CMS to use.

JavaScript Automated Testing

The Javascript front end can be tested automatically which saves time.

Loading Speed

Drupal 8 features

JavaScript is loaded by Drupal 8 only when it is required as it entities all caches. The content of any page that is being viewed one more doesn’t require to be reloaded every time. Earlier seen content is immediately loaded from the cache which helps the page to load quickly thus improving the loading speed of the website. Caching is an automated process once it has been configured and enabled.

BigPipe

The website developers can better the loading time of the website with BigPipe. A user will find a huge difference in load time of the website with it as pages are sent in a way that the browser shows them quite fast – sending the cacheable parts first and then the dynamic parts of the page.

Industry Standards

Drupal 8 matches the standards of PHP7 and uses the best external libraries like Guzzle, PHPUnit, Composer etc.

Fields Creative Freedom

Drupal 8 features

Next in the list of Drupal 8 features is the availability of many fields so that the development of content structure is taken to an all new level. Field types such as email, entity reference, telephone, date etc. help in creating content and now fields can be attached to various content types. Along with this custom contact forms can be created if fields are attached to them.

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