Our Drupal 8 Upgrade

Drupal logoRecently we relaunched our website using Drupal 8. It was migrated from the original version 7 site. Overall we rank the experience overwhelmingly positive.

Migrate From Drupal 7

We only hit one hitch when following the instructions. The development setup did not have all the uploaded image files from the original site. This resulted in perplexing log messages. After downloading the image files, the migration worked without issue.

Theming: Zen to Classy

Past experience lead us to appreciate Zen. It was a clean solution that used minimal HTML and CSS to get a website started. Creating a theme with Zen was a blank slate. The Drupal 8 version seems to be more complex and is not well documented. We had limited success using the supplied example.

Switching to the built-in Classy made things simpler. It gave us a more familiar blank slate to build our own styles and templates.

Working with Twig is a pleasure. It's a huge improvement over the old mix of HTML and PHP. The Twig debugging facility is a huge improvement in Drupal 8. It shows which template generated something in HTML comments. Tracking that information down in Drupal 7 was often difficult.


Configuration files are a major improvement. In the past, we limited ourselves to modules that supported Features. This is no longer a concern. Configuration is handled in the same publishing system as our code.

Content Authoring

The new in-place quick edit feature is very good.

The arrangement of the content editing page is nice. It gives more visual weight to the content editing facilities and less weight to infrequently used controls such as URL paths and meta tags. This helps authors focus on what's important.

Workflow has improved for developers and site builders. The same is not true for content authors. There is no support for staging content before publication. This is a feature we would love to offer to clients.


The plug-in system is nice. The bigger modules of Drupal 7 were organizing things into plug-ins already, making it a natural progression. The namespace system results in highly organized code.

Pre-processing items before theming and altering forms work the same as Drupal 7. We were therefore able to get started quickly.


Drupal 8 is a nice platform with tons of potential. We look forward to building customer sites using this technology.


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