Why we love Drupal 8

Why we love Drupal 8

May 16 2016 | by BALTEG SINGH

At AlphaQuad, we enjoy building web applications with Modern PHP practices. We regularly use Laravel as our de facto web framework and adopt component based architecture to engineer ‘No Framework Frameworks’ applications, which use solid, tried and tested components from Sensiolabs, the PHP League and other community approved vendors. When we learned that Drupal 8 had been built from the ground up adopting the modern PHP approach we love, we were excited. Looking at the source was a familiar territory to our developers, so we knew we were going to love it.

Here are some of the reasons we love Drupal 8!

1. Object-oriented approach to development

Moving the majority of code away from procedural programming to a more standards-compliant has been welcomed with open arms. Huge advantages are gained to custom development, such as organising code in logical manner, use of design patterns, modular development, code reuse, testable code and decoupling dependencies. Testing capabilities are built into the core which allows for unit testing and behaviour testing from the get-go. All these things keeps our developers happy and zen-like :)

2. Theming is a breath of fresh air

The use of the Twig templating engine and configuration files (YAML) allows for a tidier approach to construct themes. Embracing the MVC architecture means the themes can focus purely on the presentation and no need for mixing in complex logic within them. There is no need to interfere with core folders as the extensions can override any core files when needed without losing changes on a core update.

3. Built for performance

After various benchmarks carried out by the community using various PHP setups e.g. PHP5.6, PHP7 and Facebook’s Hip Hop, it is concluded that Drupal 8 can handle a lot more traffic than Wordpress (See results here). Even with the complex nature of Drupal 8’s construction, the engineers have built an intuitive caching system that enables it to stand up to the rigours heavy site traffic. Page loading has been vastly improved by caching all entities and loading only the necessary Javascript for the page.

4. Open source

We love the Open source ethos. Drupal 8 comes with no licensing fees and which is very attractive in keeping costs low for clients. Another advantage to this is that the client is not restricted or tied into a particular agency. Should the need arise, a client is free to choose from a myriad of vendors. Ultimately, this empowers the client to have control over their product.

5. Mobile in mind and Headless Drupal

Drupal 8 have emphasised being mobile friendly. This means an entire Drupal application can be administered and managed from a smartphone. The responsive nature of Drupal 8 is fresh and serves to put mobile experience first. Breakpoints are built into Drupal 8 and can be setup easily in a configuration file and using the responsive module; images are resized and optimised to increase loading times faster on mobile.

The power of using the data that grows with a Drupal 8 site is readily available for many applications. The REST API that headless Drupal provides can be utilised by many client-side front-end frameworks like AngularJS, React or VueJS via JSON (the most popular format provided by Drupal). It can also be used to serve data to a mobile app. This essentially means that as site grows, that data can be utilised via Drupals endpoints to allow other useful things to be created with your data.

6. Content friendly

Drupal 8 comes with SEO capabilities out of the box as well as a plethora of modules that monitor SEO activity and track analytics. It can automatically generate customisable meta tags and create title based URL structures. It integrates seamlessly with great SEO tools like Yoast and Goalgorilla and the omnipresent Google Analytics. The simple and flexible CMS that Drupal 8 provides makes it easy to author and navigate through the administration area, which negates the complexities of previous versions, allowing content to be the real focus.

The bottom line is, we love Drupal 8 and are in it for the long haul. Please get in touch to discuss how we can leverage our Drupal expertise to help you with your next project or migrate an existing one to this robust, user friendly platform.

Balteg Singh

Why we love Drupal 8