To Drupal, or Not to Drupal: Part 2
This is the conundrum some may be facing when moving away from Drupal 7.
If you or others in your organization are battling with this question, there are several considerations you should make before choosing to move away from the Drupal platform. We'll cover them in 5 short reads:
- Part 1: Coming to grips with the task
- Part 2: Comparing apples to apples
- Part 3: Better, or just different?
- Part 4: How much are you really outsourcing?
- Part 5: Knowledge attrition
Comparing Apples to Apples
Given the importance of your organization’s website, it’s always good to explore your options. Beware, though, the natural inclination to compare the bells and whistles of a different platform (proprietary or otherwise) to those of your current Drupal 7 website. Here’s why that’s important.
An organization’s website often involves multiple people with different areas of concern. Those not involved with the technical aspects may be tempted to blame any shortfalls of your current site on the Drupal platform itself, and convincing them otherwise will be impossible without a side-by-side comparison of features.
You’ll need to remind them Drupal 7 was first launched in 2011. Once Drupal 8 launched in 2015, all the innovation and updates went to the new version, not Drupal 7. In other words, there is a good reason why your Drupal 7 interface looks comparatively outdated.
Another thing—and this is important—Drupal 7 runs on PHP 7 which will also sunsets in November of 2023. Drupal has no control over that. Staying on Drupal 7 isn’t even an option unless you’re going to pay for third-party PHP security support.
What I’m getting at is, the shortcomings of your current Drupal 7 site are related to the version of Drupal, not the Drupal platform. Make sure you’re comparing the new features of any non-Drupal solution to the new and improved features of Drupal 9 and 10 before making a final decision.
Analytics integration, content moderation, publishing workflows, SEO, accessibility tools and API integration with third-party services (Mailchimp, for example) are all available for Drupal 9 and 10 via well-supported, contributed (free) modules if they aren’t already in Drupal core.
Keep in mind the operational upheaval that results from moving to an entirely new platform. You may be asked to justify why you’re going to force maintainers to relearn how to do their jobs. Are you really making things better overall, or just different?