Upgraded duvien.com to Drupal 8

It has taken a few of weeks of hard work upgrading duvien.com from Drupal 7.

I was very delighted to have upgraded the site as this is the best Drupal version to date. However,  a lot of pains in upgrading due to lack of documentation and also badly organised information. 

The administration panel hasn't changed much from Drupal 7 though a lot more polished. It's the little fine details of improvement in UX and inclusion of popular modules into core that makes it a joy to use.

The pain part was under the hood were you start to noticed the directory layout and code has been completely overhauled and this has introduced another steep learning curve as it's moved to a more Object Oriented PHP. This is when you realise Drupal 8 is so different from previous major versions.

However, i was able to accomplish most of the work just from site building and little time spent in code. So this makes me realise, with the better user experience and a lot of the tools out of the box, it is actually easier to build your website on Drupal 8 with little contrib modules so long as you have a good understanding of Entities, Bundles, Content Types and Views. 

The inline editing is a welcome new feature, it makes updating content on the fly a breeze without jumping back and forth between front and backend.

Site migration was a pain but this was expected when a system has been completely revamped. Drupal 8 comes with a set of migrate tools in core and that is what i used. 

Before the migration process, i had to prepare the old site by creating a new content type for core blog module and moving the blog posts over because blog module has been dropped in Drupal 8 and the migrate tools seems to have issues on my first few runs to migrate the blog posts as standard content type. After some more tries, I was still only able to get halfway through the migration process before i ran into errors and the process halted. Other content like taxonomies didn't go so well but basic pages completed ok.

Thankfully, this turns out not to be such a big issue since it was time to clean up my blog anyway as i discovered a lot of my blogs posts had many broken links and missing media embedded content. So it was time to manually clean up what i can and remove these offending pages for better SEO. 

A lot of the contrib modules had to be written off since there were no upgraded version. Other modules had find it's way into Drupal 8.

Speaking of modules, Drupal 8 has built it's own BigPipe (which was developed by Facebook) and is part of core. From what i have read, it's sounds amazing but i don't dear to use it yet on a production site since it is still an experimental module. Another module to keep an eye on is Refreshless, it makes navigating your web site faster by only loading the parts that change between pages. This is based on the ideas behind Turbolinks technique (pioneered by Rails). The only problem with this module at this time is that you need to apply a patch to core, this is completely against Drupal best practices so i didn't want to use it. However, the good news is that, this module will be added to core once completed. Running BigPipe along with Refreshless will be a game changer and a boost to your site.

The theme took quite some time as i had to learn Twig and it's a completely new theme based on Bootstrap 3 framework.

If the documentation at https://www.drupal.org/documentation wasn't lacking for Drupal 8 and more organised (and laid out) it would have made things a lot easier. A big part of the development was spent searching on Google and hoping some answers or hints will popup.

What about the forum you asked? well! questions don't really get answered and i'm guessing Drupalers are still using Drupal 7 as it's still a more mature product to date (not surprised, as it's been around since early 2011). But expect Drupal 8 to pick up momentum this year...

As a Drupal expert that have been using Drupal since version 6, Drupal 8 does feel more polished, modern and certainly more highly professional.

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