Today, the Drupal community has officially released the first release candidate of Drupal 8, with the final release imminent. This is a historic day for Drupal, the open-source content management system that powers your website as well as millions of other web properties in the world. This release has been 4+ years in the making, had 3000+ code contributors, and represents a huge opportunity for you. We believe your presence on the web is the single greatest marketing tool that exists within your organization. Even if a major site redesign is not on your short-term horizon, we highly recommend educating yourself on what this release means to your organization. Here are some key items of consideration:
1. There are over 200 significant improvements to Drupal 8. These changes include “mobile first” functionality, extensive multilingual capabilities, built-in web services, a robust configuration management system, and WYSIWIG features that are much more authoring friendly for content administrators for "non-technical" users.
2. Drupal 8 leverages the Symfony2 framework and the most proven and scalable technologies available. If you have an in-house team that helps support your Drupal properties, we have already started on custom training programs that will help further assimilate your organization to Drupal 8. This will be particularly critical for retaining developers that want to learn Drupal 8's cutting-edge technologies.
3. Lead the charge for web accessibility. Statistics show that up to 20% of the global population is affected by some form of visual, hearing, cognitive, or motor disability. Now is the time to make your organization’s web presence accessible to all users. Drupal 8 has adopted standards like HTML5 and the Web Accessibility Initiative’s Accessible Rich Internet Applications Suite (WAI ARIA) that are critical for disabled users to have a positive experience.
4. Be an innovator. Open-source software continues to revolutionize the technology industry. Mediacurrent wants to help you stay ahead of your competition, some of whom are still using outdated, legacy based content management platforms that charge licensing fees. Knowledge is power.
5. The future is now with D8. The international Drupal community only supports the two latest releases of Drupal. This means that if your site is on Drupal 6 (or an earlier version) the modules used to maintain your site will eventually be deprecated.
Our team at Mediacurrent has hundreds of years of collective Drupal experience. We are passionate about supporting our customers. Let’s continue the conversation and assess how Drupal 8 aligns with your strategic planning.