Drupal 8 is here for some time and just about 1.2% of the total Drupal Websites are on Drupal 8 (D8). The adoption rate of D8 has started picking up and gradually it will catch pace. There is no doubt about the power or love of community for Drupal, but a big question that keeps crossing the mind is to adopt which avatar (version) of Drupal ? Rightly so after considering the fact that close to 80% of the Drupal websites today use Drupal 7 (D7) and 18% still use Drupal 6 (D6).
As part of my Job, I come across this question (Which version of Drupal is best for me?) from many clients. I helped them make an informed choice that is best fit in their scenario and considering their future plans. In this blog, I would like to point out some of my learnings and findings:
Honestly, the answer to the question is “It Depends”.
It depends on:
- What is the purpose of the Website/ CMS that you are planning to build? Also consider how long you want the website/ CMS to service your needs?
- Do you have any existing Drupal Installation already and any websites running on it?
- Are you planning to migrate an existing website from older versions of Drupal or some other CMS)? If yes, How Mission Critical, complexity and large are the websites /CMS that you already have?
- What is the timeframe, budget that you have for this initiative?
- What is the available skill set (both internal and external partners)?
Let us look at some scenarios
If your needs are simple (A Corporate Website, Microsite(s), Marketing site etc) and do not foresee the need of the website after 2-3 years, then go for Drupal 7.
If you are planning for a fresh robust Content Management System (CMS) which can take care of your current and future needs then go for Drupal 8, but have realistic expectations about the budget and timelines. There is a large set of functionality available in Drupal 7, which is yet to be ported to Drupal 8 resulting in more custom code. This will add to significant increase in scope.
If you already have an existing Drupal Installation (on D6 or D7) and are planning to build a website whose life is short lived (like an event site etc.), then stick to the existing version.
If you are an organization with an existing Drupal CMS Installation having a large portfolio of websites and are thinking of migration to Drupal 8, then start with simple to medium size, complexity websites and get the internal users, administrators acquainted with the changes. Wait for the right time to have major functionality available in form of Contributed modules and then start with a large sized project.
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