November 2, 2015

We’ve been in the thick of it, we’ve launched projects on beta versions of Drupal 8. We’ve experienced the tectonic undulations of the development process and we’ve felt the project timeline swell to a Release Candidate (both mentally and physically). Drupal 8 is currently at RC2 but we’re already veterans. For these reasons, we’re quite familiar with the myths surrounding Drupal 8.

Drupal 8’s development has sparked much debate. Drupal is already a very powerful framework/cms for producing robust sites and systems, but some are concerned of an increased level of complexity. Much of the flotsam and jetsam of Drupal 8’s longer-than-expected production remains as “myths”. With Drupal 8's official release date just around the corner, we feel it's important to provide some clarity.

Myth 1: Drupal 8 is for the enterprise.

Certainly, Drupal has been a viable and strong tool for use in Enterprise-level projects for years and years. This doesn’t cut-out the small and medium-sized projects. The vast improvements and numerous features added to the new level of Drupal are accessible for use on any level of project. Improvements like Views-in-core, the integration of Twig into the templating system, rich text editing, or the Configuration Management: these are all features that can be utilized by any web project, including small-to-medium sized business and nonprofits. This new version is not enterprise-exclusive.

Myth 2: Drupal 8 is "too complex".

Even prior to the beta release, members of our team were exposed to community asking repeatedly asking the same question: “Isn’t it Drupal 8 becoming too complex?”. This was a difficult to answer, since the question is so open-ended. Too complex for what, exactly?

Drupal’s strengths have always been rooted in it’s flexibility and dynamicism. Drupal 8 allows for complex implementations when needed. Out of the box site-building for Drupal 8 is no more complex than Drupal 7. The structural and functional improvements in Drupal 8 exist to aid in site-building and site development - no matter how basic or complex the project is.

If what you need is solutions to complex problems, Drupal 8 will rise to the occasion. It’s now object-oriented, composer-integrated, Symfony-equipped, and can easily interface with third-party applications using REST.

Myth 3: Drupal 8 is too difficult to learn.

Drupal 8 is equipped with several new improvements and features. This fact alone obviously suggests some amount of education is needed to become familiar with it’s changes. Learning these changes is no more difficult than doing the research and applying what you learn. If you are an adept user or developer with Drupal 7, then the step to Drupal 8 is quite reasonable, it just takes the work to research. Documentation, blog posts, DrupalCamp and DrupalCon videos are available online to help familiarize yourself with its differences, and Drupal 8 adoption is increasing every day - this means more and more educational resources are being produced every day.

Myth 4: Drupal 8 is slow.

Not only is the site delivery significantly faster than Drupal 7, but it’s only getting better. The leaps and bounds in development have paved the way for significant performance increases. Early versions of Drupal 8 may have been feeling the speed woes, but the RC continues to impress with load times cut in-half from previous versions. Additionally, with the advanced cache tools available in Drupal 8, and the native ability to run on PHP7, we are only scratching the surface of how fast a Drupal 8 system can be.

Grab your compass

Drupal 8 is different than Drupal 7, that much is clear. However the noise and woes surrounding the myths are irrelevant to the current state of Drupal 8. There are numerous resources for learning and exploring the new opportunities it provides. It’s an improved framework with a plethora of new and exciting features for it’s users to dive into.

Additional Resources

Check out some of these additionl resources on Drupal 8: