Drupal is one of the most secure and solid CMSs. Its well-designed structure and extended functionalities are just a little taste of all possibilities that the system offers. Currently, there are nine official versions of the software available on the Open Source basis. The most popular are Drupal 7 and Drupal 8. However, which one is the right choice? Beneath, you will find ten differences crucial from the perspective of your project's development. Let's check them.
1. Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 – Twig Engine
Drupal 8 uses a brand-new templates engine – Twig. What is unique about it? Primarily, Twig vastly facilitates the PHP-based templates coding process thanks to its simple syntax. Moreover, the templates are fast and secure, which enable developers to design and implement functional websites that fulfill business needs. In brief, Twig is an enhancement that improves the whole Drupal ecosystem.
2. Drupal 7 vs. 8 – Symfony Framework
Drupal 8 is integrated with Symfony – the high-performance PHP framework with the premium code security level. Symfony helps Drupal Developers in the following cases:
- serialization – the Symfony component that turns the objects into formats like JSON, XML, etc. and in a reverse way. As a result, Drupal can smoothly integrate with third-party apps to display the website's data.
- routing – using routing, the programmers can define the rules that, e.g., make the URLs more SEO-friendly, which may lead to better website visibility.
- object-oriented programming – OOP usage causes Drupal can execute more advanced programming functions.
Unfortunately, Drupal 7 is not integrated with Symfony. The programmers must use the internal code base to write the functions. Moreover, the lack of a framework impedes the efficiency of code management.
Read also: Symfony in Drupal 8
3. Responsive Web Design in Drupal 7 and 8
One of the main differences between CMSs versions. In comparison to Drupal 7, Drupal 8 uses the breakpoint media queries that facilitate the responsive web design. As a result, it allows making websites that are user-friendly and display properly on all devices.
4. Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 – CKEditor
The Drupal versions also vary in terms of content management options. The D8 version has a new text editor – CKEditor. As an HTML editor, CKEditor allows users to use multiple WYSIWYG functions. Thus, the users who are not well-experienced developers can add, edit, and manage the text easily, and most importantly, they can track and check the effects of works live.
5. Multilingual Websites on Drupal 7 and 8
The default support for multilingual website development is an undisputable advantage of Drupal 8. It is possible thanks to the new modules implementations responsible for the translations, configuration, and content management. Using them, programmers can easily adjust the website to multiple language versions.
6. Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 Performance
Similarly to the responsiveness, page speed is one of the crucial points in modern web design. Each website should strive to have the page load faster than 3 seconds. When comparing Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, it is easier to achieve such a result in the D8 thanks to the improved caching. This solution causes the resources will not be reloaded if the user visited the website previously. It boosts the performance of the Drupal 8 websites significantly.
7. Fields Types in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8
In comparison to Drupal 7, Drupal 8 has new field types such as date, email address, phone number, link, or notes. The ready-made fields tremendously ease the specific data addition process, saving the developers time for the repeated type fields' implementation.
8. Quick Edit Module in Drupal 7 vs. 8
In Drupal 7, programmers can't edit the content from the front-end level. The situation changed in Drupal 8, where the Quick Edit module was deployed. It enables users to edit the content directly from the front-end of the website. As a result, the user can scroll the website and easily make the necessary corrections.
9. Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 – Core Web Services
Drupal 7 forces programmers to use multiple modules that have to be installed at first. Drupal 8 immensely facilitates that process thanks to the four new core modules – HAL, HTTP Basic Authentication, RESTful web services, and the abovementioned serialization. As a result, programmers can access the basic models directly form views, or generate the data in XML or JSON formats using CMS as a base source.
10. Configuration Management in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8
Drupal 8 has a default configuration management, which is executed from the files system level. Such a solution enables facile fields, views, content types, etc. transfers from the local environment to the production server. Moreover, developers can store the configuration data in files and track the configuration through the version control system like GIT.
Drupal 7 vs. Drupal 8 Comparison – Summary
As it is visible, Drupal 8 possesses numerous enhancements that were not present in Drupal 7 by default. For this reason, it is perceived as a more efficient, elastic, and future-proof platform than the 7th version. Thus, it is recommended to build the new Drupal-based websites, e-commerce platforms, and web apps using the CMS's 8th version.