Developers Corner

Drupal 8.6 Upgrade: What should you expect?

Sep. 26 2018
Ian Cassidy
Marketing Manager

 

Welcome Drupal 8.6! More change to the Drupal-verse landscape, and more new features to look forward to. This will obviously affect all current D8 users, but what should you look out for? Let's examine how it might impact your site and what unexpected issues may occur.   

 

The Rundown

As we know, Drupal’s open source CMS is maintained by the vast community of Drupal engineers. Within this space, users release contributed modules that are used on many sites across the web. And with every upgrade, Drupal tends to incorporate features based on existing functionality that already exists in the contributed module space. In an ideal world, this sounds great, but with it, comes an underlying issue.

With each new release process, new features are continually added. Once those features are added into the core Drupal space, what happens to the contributed module it was based on? As those functions become incorporated in the core, the contributed modules become obsolete. Moving forward, the modules are no longer maintained and supported. This leaves sites potentially facing some issues and with it, decisions that need to be made.

 

The Upgrade

This upgrade may affect certain sites differently. Some may not be heavily impacted, while others will have more changes to make. However, in some scenarios, these upgrades are inevitable so what should your organization expect and what kind of decisions must be made in light of an upgrade?

 

Issues When Upgrading to Drupal 8

  • Possible UI changes  

  • Cost of the version upgrade can be significantly pricey

  • By upgrading, you could risk breaking some areas of your site depending on the number and nature of the changes

 

During upgrades, a problem that often occurs is changes in the UI. When this happens, users have to relearn the system. It can be frustrating having to re-learn how to use certain functionalities on your side. However, the benefits of these changes will undoubtedly be seen across performance, usability and overall experience.

Another area to consider is deciding whether or not an upgrade is worth the cost and risk. A version upgrade can be undoubtedly costly. If your site is complex, it may be worth noting that it will take more time and work to upgrade your site.

Depending on the changes, the upgrade could also present a possible risk of breaking your site, and lengthening the process overall. For stable sites, this will be something you and your team will have to discuss moving forward.

One certainty, these decisions, and scenarios regarding upgrades come with the nature of owning and managing a site. Upgrades have future interests, in mind. They promote improvement, enhancement, and are, if carried out correctly, always a step forward for your digital environment and your overall business.  Regular upgrades are important to maintaining the security and reliability of your site. Officially, Drupal.org only supports the current and one previous release of Drupal 8. By performing timely upgrades to the new releases, you ensure that your site is protected against the latest threats and risks.

 

Upgrading with the aid of a professional team can greatly help in providing a smooth transition to an enhanced environment, and will undoubtedly minimize any risk along the way.

 

Conclusion

Drupal will continue to evolve. It will push for a better user experience, customer experience and an overall enhancement in security and performance. This step forward will come with its challenges, but what’s important is that we are proactive about these issues and address them as early as possible to prepare the next course of action.  

Contact Achieve today to discuss how your roadmap to 8.6 might look.

 

 

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