Getting Ready for Drupal 8

Janet Manning // December 2015

Drupal 8 is here! If you haven’t already, it is time to outline internal prioities, training plans, approaches to site migrations, new site builds, and communication needs. At Isovera, we created an internal Drupal 8 Task Force to address these needs; and, to develop recommendations for our clients.

Gauging when a site is ready to be migrated to Drupal 8, or even a new site built in Drupal 8, can be tough. It is a truely site-by-site decision that must consider factors such as:

  • The overall makeup of contributed and core modules
  • The number and complexity of custom modules and themes
  • The current Drupal version (e.g., Drupal 6 sites have special considerations)
  • What type of site it is (e.g., a commerce site, portal, marketing or informational site)
  • How much custom code exists and what shape it is in (e.g., core hacks)
  • Whether the site makes use of advanced search functionality (e.g., Solr)
  • Whether there are specific security- or accessibility-related considerations
  • How much time is required to train-up for Drupal 8 (i.e., ’upskilling’ developers to object oriented programming and training site builders and users)
  • How risk averse the stakeholders are

If you have an existing Drupal site, having a website audited is a great way to begin to assess D8 readiness. Isovera routinely performs site audits for clients who want to check the overall ‘health’ of their site. Some clients are proactive in trying to avoid potential problems; others are experiencing recurring issues that have security or performance implications. The audit report highlights potential security issues and other problems found; and, includes actionable steps to conform to best practices.

During a site audit, site modules, themes, integrations and features of the site are checked and inventoried; and, recommendations are made regarding the removal of unused modules, etc. Having a clear, concise and comprehensive site audit report is a good idea in general, but is also an excellent way to gather all of the information needed to make a decision about when to make the move to Drupal 8. Having a meaningful conversation about D8 readiness and preparation with one of Isovera’s Acquia-certified developers, all of whom have a fortress of knowledge, will make navigating the D8 decision tree much easier. The developer will personally discuss all aspects of the site audit results with you and will help you work your way through the pros and cons of moving to Drupal 8 and what the migration schedule could look like.

Equally as important as assessing site readiness for Drupal 8, is assessing whether Drupal 8 itself is as ready as it needs to be for your site migration or new build. Whether you are working with an internal development group, external agency, or are on your own, keeping tabs on release dates, critical bug reports and the number and variety of ported modules are all important, especially if you are considering a move to Drupal 8 in the near future. Some handy resources include:

General Info

Community

Dates and Updates

Developer Resources

General Resources

D6 Migration

Janet Manning Headshot

Janet Manning

Engagement Manager/Training Coordinator

I partner with internal and client creative and technical teams to build  beautiful, flexible and scalable sites with an amazing user and admin experience. Once a project is underway, I work closely with the design and development team to keep projects on time, on budget and within scope.