My first Drupal 8 Website

Submitted by nigel on Wednesday 23rd March 2016

Drupal 8 was released on November 18th 2015 and represented a stop-change for Drupal developers. It moved towards OOP and MVC with the suggestion that it will be less accessible for the hobbyist end of the market and more attractive for enterprise solutions.

For Drupal devs it's imperative to get to grips with this new technology asap, and I took a few weeks off over Xmas for familiarisation and building my first D8 site which launched over the weekend.

I wanted to build a portfolio piece that would be more than a brochure site, and would require touching most aspects of the new technology, but still accomplishable in the time I had. satisfied the criteria, and required significant custom coding to achieve my goals. Furthermore, it lends itself to affiliate marketing and can thus be monetised by carrying click-through advertising, so it can earn its keep. Win/win!

The build experience was at times chastening but ultimately rewarding. D8 has evolved through its long gestation period and many of the online blogs designed to help have been obsoleted. For constructing landing pages there are controllers and routing yml files, with hook_menu removed. Blocks are now mini-content types and fieldable, output is now exclusively through render arrays using Twig templates. Contributed modules one would expect simply haven't been ported yet to D8 - expect to have to programmatically create your own xml sitemap!

There is a rule of thumb when selecting a Drupal version for a new build - never touch a new major release of Drupal until a year has passed and it has reached maturity. My feeling is this maxim has itself become obsoleted. A D8 build will certainly take longer to develop right now than D7, but that will improve over the coming months and I would expect any major investor in the Drupal technology to be seriously considering D8 right now, initially on smaller projects to gain experience, and ramping up as the year progresses.

blog terms
Drupal Drupal 8