12 - January - 2017

Drupal 8 adoption and what 2017 is likely to bring

Post by Mike C

It’s now over a year since the release of Drupal 8, the first new version of the open source content management framework in five years. It represented a significant rethinking of the platform when it launched in November 2015 and 2017 is likely to be another significant year for Drupal 8 with further updates and developments expected. As Dries Buytaert, the founder and lead developer of Drupal outlined in a blog last September:

“The only way to stay competitive is to have the best product and to help people adopt it more seamlessly. This means that we have to continue to be able to reinvent ourselves and that we need to make the resulting changes less scary and easier to absorb. We decided that we wanted more frequent releases of Drupal, with new features, API additions, and an easy upgrade path.”

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “How is Drupal 8 doing and what can we expect in the future?". Understandably, this is important to many organisations currently using previous versions and the Drupal community that has a stake in its success. But it’s also important to new users looking to migrate over.

There’s a significant amount of interest because, as with any new update, organisations have to decide whether the framework is right for them. While Drupal 8 is still maturing, adoption rates are now growing fast. This year we migrated the Ixis website to Drupal 8, which you can read more about our experience here.

User growth and high profile successes

2016 saw progress in a variety of key areas including user growth, as well as a number of high-profile successes and this is likely to continue in 2017. As with all new updates, it has taken some time for Drupal 8 to gain traction in terms of the number of users but there has been a clear upward trajectory over the course of the year. There are currently 120,000 Drupal 8 projects, and while Drupal 7 is currently running more than 1 million, this still represents significant growth one year in, especially with adoption rates starting to increase, as outlined on drupal.org.

The wide range of prominent Drupal 8 projects that have launched in the past year helped to showcase the power of the new platform. These include:

  • NBA.com - Millions of fans around the globe rely on the NBA's Drupal 8 website to livestream games, read stats and standings, and stay up to date on their favourite team.

  • Nasdaq - Drupal 8 is used as the basis for its next generation Investor Relations Website Platform. IR websites are where public companies share their most sensitive and critical news and information with their shareholders, institutional investors, the media and analysts.

The migration question

Although the Drupal 7 user base remains solid and the platform will be supported for a long time, there is an end-of-life in sight for it. This is expected to be in two to three years time but might be even sooner, with some sources predicting an end to Drupal 7 development as soon as October 2017. Either way, Drupal 8 promising a host of further improvements, with Drupal 8.2 already available, many organisations are beginning to look at early migration. The good thing about Drupal 8 is that it comes bundled with a suite of tools to assist with the migration of your content from previous versions, making the task less daunting than it might initially seem. With its ‘continuous innovation’ mission statement a migration to Drupal 8 in 2017 will provide the best possible access to the latest functionality and improvements, helping to unlock the framework’s true potential.

For more information about Drupal 8 contact us on hello@ixis.co.uk or call 01925 320 041.

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Mike C

12 years of Drupal development wrangling and a background in digital project architecture.

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