Since the end of 2015, a new version of Drupal, Drupal 8, has seen the light. As a Drupal web agency with years of experience, we frequently get asked which version is better: Drupal 7 or 8? To make up your mind, you have to ask yourself some questions that will help you to decide which version suits you the best.
Your business needs do matter
You can’t randomly start a project and just decide without any reason which version it is going to be. Planning and analysis beforehand is key. You have decided that you need a new CMS and a small pre-analysis resulted in the choice of the Drupal open source CMS. That’s great! But now, are you going for Drupal 7 or Drupal 8?
First of all, you should have an overview of how big the project is. The size of the project you have in mind can help you decide for which version you should choose. Are you dealing with a rather small website, or is it a big corporate website? How much do you want to tell visitors on your website? Is the website just a teaser or should it contain all the information? How many pages will your future website consist of? Mapping your business needs and prioritizing them is a first step that can help you determine which version suits your needs the best.
How custom will you go?
Another challenge that goes hand in hand with the size of the project is the extent to which you want your website customized. The power of Drupal lays in the additional modules developed by the Drupal community. The core of Drupal contains basic modules, and without adding more community or custom modules, you are a bit limited.
Nowadays, several most used modules are added into the core of each new version (CCK in 7, views in 8) but these modules are a minority and the rest of these most used modules are adapted and upgraded at the good will (and pace) of their respective owners. A non-written rule is that you should have modules that have a stable release, meaning that they have been thoroughly tested in the Drupal community.
Your time is valuable, so allocate it well
It has been several months since Drupal 8 has been launched. Many developers have been trained to work with Drupal 8, and the aim is to master this version as quickly and as good as possible. Keep in mind that the project could take more time than expected if you want certain specific modules that aren’t stable for Drupal 8 for example. Decide for yourself how much time you want to spend on the project? Not sure about what to take into account when making time estimations? SII Belgium is happy to assist you with this.
Choose an agency that knows both
Whatever your version choice of Drupal may be, you should look for an agency that has developers who know how to work with both: Drupal 7 and 8. These are people who have years of experience, have built a whole network of Drupal peers in the community and know the best where to look for when a challenge shows up. A solid Drupal 7 experience is necessary to hit off with Drupal 8.
SII Belgium’s Drupal developers can help you make the decision! We’ll sit together with you and make a thorough pre-analysis by checking the requirements and the needs you have. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us!