Are you still using Drupal 7? Going to upgrade to Drupal 8 or do something else?

Discussion in 'IT & Internet' started by Andy Inman, Jan 15, 2020.

?

I plan to move from Drupal 7 (or 6) to:

  1. Drupal 8

    100.0%
  2. Drupal 9

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Backdrop CMS

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. WordPress

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Something else

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    I would guess that there are more WordPress (and other systems) users here than Drupal, so not expecting a lot of responses but trying anyway...

    Drupal 7 (and earlier) is/was great. Drupal 8 is great too, but arguably it's not a suitable platform for use by SMEs. There are articles on the web about that so I won't go into the reasons here.

    I use Drupal 7 for my own sites and all but one of my clients use Drupal 7 rather than 8. One important client recently asked me to advise them on how, when and importantly, whether or not to move to Drupal 8. The following data is from the drupal.org site:

    [oops: can't post image here, please see drupal.org site /project/usage/drupal page]

    It's difficult, based on the above data alone, to recommend Drupal - it appears that Drupal's heyday has passed, and that the release of Drupal 8 (November 2015) was what halted the previous high growth and triggered the start of the decline of the Drupal empire. Elsewhere it is argued that Drupal's growth continues within the Enterprise sector, but that's not really relevant to me, other than, perhaps, as a confirmation that Drupal 8 really isn't suitable for SMEs any more.

    So, what are the other options to replace Drupal 7 with something else? There's only one, that I know of, that would be a fairly simple (lowish cost) option, and that's Backdrop CMS, which is itself based on Drupal 7. Whether Backdrop will still be around in 5 years, who knows? That itself will probably depend on how many existing Drupal 7 sites choose to switch to Backdrop. Switching to anything else (where WordPress is the obvious main contender) would require fully rebuilding. It may or may not be practical to import existing content, any custom code in Drupal 7 would have to be largely re-written (high cost), and so on.

    Drupal 7 will be end-of-life in November 2021, Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and Drupal 8 will be end-of-life in November 2021 - So there's still the best part of two years to go, and of course Drupal 7 sites won't stop working, they'll just be "unsupported".

    I have my own ideas and opinions on "what to do": about the future of my own sites, my Drupal-focussed consulting/development business, and how I would advise my own clients, but would love to hear from others, both developers and users.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #1
  2. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    Was 7 to 8 the big jump when they started using Symfony?

    I looked at Drupal (and Symfony) years ago (I think when I was moving on from Wordpress). If I remember rightly Drupal is a CMS but more intended for developers to build on than something like Wordpress so its somewhere between a CMS and a framework?
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #2
  3. Nico Albrecht

    Nico Albrecht UKBF Enthusiast Full Member - Verified Business

    681 123
    Wait for Drupal 9 to come, 7 and 8 have still support and both supports end on the same date. I would choose Drupal in a heartbeat over word press. Drupal just seems much faster, secure and more logical to use.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: Nico Albrecht Member since: May 2, 2017
    #3
  4. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    Yes, the D7 to D8 transition was where they started using Symfony. So, while content and other data can (more or less) be migrated from D7 to D8, any custom code needs to be extensively modified. So, far from trivial, and it's not so much more difficult to move to something else instead.

    Can I ask, what did you move to from WordPress?

    Yes, Drupal is, sort of, a framework but with a capable CMS built in, also loads of add-on modules available to extend the core functionality. My interest in it was always for building web apps rather than "just" building sites. Now with D8 it's kind of a framework built on a framework (Symfony).
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #4
  5. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    Hi Nico. I wouldn't argue with the last part (Drupal rather than WP) but wonder whether some other option (Backdrop, Craft CMS or...) would be an even better option, especially for smaller companies.
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #5
  6. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    I tried (ModX and WolfCMS) the latter of which is now dead, but I fortunately only ever did one site in each.

    I then moved to Django, which is great, but meant learning a new language as well as a (large) new framework.

    I am now dabbling with Phoenix and Elixir. I love it so far and expect to do some real work in it soon - but I do not think its popular enough or has the breadth of libraries to replace Django and Python for me (or PHP for you).
     
    Posted: Jan 15, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #6
  7. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    Here's the graph I referred to in my original post:

    [​IMG]
     
    Posted: Jan 16, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #7
  8. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #8
  9. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    That figures, and I think I may be getting to that point myself. By the way, I love your blog post why your website should be ugly - great points, just FYI you have a typo near the top in easthetically
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #9
  10. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    Thanks @Andy Inman, for both the correction and the compliment.

    Typo fixed. I spotted another (wrong word rather than misspelled) while doing it.
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #10
  11. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

    5,527 769
    I do believe Joomla was a fork of Drupal (via Mambo).

    Joomla is a great CMS and better, in some things, than WP (which, of course, isn't a CMS).

    I looked at Drupal several times years ago and found it a lot more difficult than other systems, but really powerful.
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #11
  12. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    Joomla was a fork of Mambo, not Drupal.

    How is WP not a CMS? I am no fan, but as far as I can see it does everything CMS should.

    I think Drupal is getting squeezed between easier to use CMSs and more flexible and productive frameworks. The move to Symfony should have helped but it seems to have broken too much for existing users.
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #12
  13. consultant

    consultant Your Business Community Staff Member

    5,527 769
    I thought Mambo came from Drupal?

    WP is blogging software that is developing into a CMS, mainly via plugins. Joomla was developed as a CMS.
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: consultant Member since: Jan 21, 2008
    #13
  14. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    I do not think Mambo and Drupal are related. They were launched at about the same time, and the original version of Mambo was not open source which it would have had to be if it was a Drupal fork.

    I would say WP has been a general purpose CMS for a while now. Matter of definition. Personally I only use it as a blog platform (which I think is still what it is best at).
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #14
  15. Andy Inman

    Andy Inman UKBF Contributor Free Member

    37 2
    Agreed, although Drupal is very flexible - it's possible throw together a simple application with literally zero custom code, a do quite a lot more with relatively little custom code.

    One big issue is maintenance costs, especially installing security updates and other updates, because that process is semi-manual (for better security) whereas with WP (and others?) it's fully automated. One service provider offers:
    • Drupal Security Maintenance Plan: "It will only cost 10-15 hours/month of our developers’ time to keep your Drupal website secured at all times."
    • The Basic Drupal Maintenance Plan: "It only costs you 25-35 hours/month of our developers’ time to securing and running your site smoothly at all times."
    So, only (!) 10-15 hours for security updates. At maybe £50 or £75 per hour, a minimum of £500/month, £6000/year, and that's for minimal (security only) maintenance! Now, in reality, on Drupal 7, I can run a full security update in about 15 minutes (unless something goes wrong, relatively rare), and once a month is usually adequate. So adding some overhead for communication, documentation, etc, maybe an hour a month in total. But that's still hundreds of pounds per year to the client. Many smaller companies will struggle with that, let alone £6000/year which is what, it seems, larger providers will charge.

    With Drupal 8, installation of updates got more complicated - now requiring use of Composer which sometimes won't even run (due to memory requirements) on smaller VPS and shared hosting. There are ways around that of course, but...

    Getting back to the original point, it seems to me that Drupal 8 is simply not suitable for SMEs (unless they have adequate in-house technical resources, even then, those aren't free).
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: Andy Inman Member since: May 6, 2016
    #15
  16. gpietersz

    gpietersz UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    630 124
    Ouch! those maintenance costs are high.

    Yes, Wordpress updates are rarely a problem. Where I do use Wordpress I tend to use wp-cli as it does everything for you without needed the web app to write files (which I think is a bad idea).

    Other things I have used are NOTHING like that. With most things regular security upgrades are painless and quick. Major upgrades or if things break

    If you are talking about systems with a few thousand or low tens of thousands of lines of custom back end code, it might take me tens of hours of work to do a Django version upgrade between LTS versions (once every two years) but that tends to be either more complex systems, or those with poor code quality or because recent ones its included a move to Python 3 as well. If its straightforward it might take just a few hours.

    As far as PHP frameworks go most people I know seem to be going for Laravel at the moment.
     
    Posted: Jan 17, 2020 By: gpietersz Member since: Sep 10, 2019
    #16