Well, actually, Drupal 10 was released in December 2022. That is only a few months ago now though, and Drupal 10 really is showing what a great content management system it is.
I have been working with Drupal since 2009. I first started using it when I was looking for a content management system where it would be possible to build websites rapidly to meet varying client requirements. Like many others, when I first started building websites, I created my own bespoke CMS systems to meet the client requirements. I began using the coding system provided by Microsoft for websites, ASP (Active Server Pages). However, when Microsoft switched to using .NET, I found the system much too complicated and switched over to using PHP, which was open source, and the other big coding platform for used for building websites.
Then, one day, when I was bidding for some work, I found my competitors were able to offer much cheaper solutions than I could. It was at that point I realised I needed to start looking at using existing content management systems to meet client requirements. This meant I didn't have to reinvent the wheel each time and could draw on expertise from a community of developers. I did some research and found two potential options of WordPress or Drupal. Both of these were open source CMSs. I made the decision to use Drupal, as in my research I found that Drupal had more flexibility and functionality compared to WordPress. In other words I could do more with it.
Since then I have (more or less) never looked back.
A little Drupal history
I first started working with Drupal 6 which was the current system back then. Drupal 7 was released in 2011 and was a really wonderful system to work with. It had masses of additional functionality that could be added on to suit almost any purpose. It also had a clean user interface which made it very intuitive to use. Drupal 7 has been the most popular release ever and hundreds of thousands of websites were built using it. It was certainly my favourite for a long time.
At the end of 2015 Drupal 8 was released. Drupal 8 was a huge change from Drupal 7. It was very complicated to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Basically, the whole site has to be re-written and then the data imported from the old site to the new site. Drupal 8 was also quite problematic to use at first. Many of the additional modules would cause errors that crashed the site because many of them still had teething problems. When the site crashed, normally the only way to fix it would be to restore from a backup. Also, many of the underlying systems had been changed so there was a steep learning curve getting to know Drupal 8.
Drupal 9 was released in 2020. It was much more straight forward to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 and many of the initial teething problems with Drupal 8 had been resolved. Because Drupal 9 was very similar to Drupal 8, most of the additional modules worked without any issues and were much easier to upgrade. The user interface had also become more user friendly. It was also easier to handle media items, which is always a key requirement in practically all websites.
Since Drupal 8, Drupal could be installed and upgraded using composer. Once you are used to using composer, this actually makes the process of upgrading Drupal a lot easier and faster.
Drupal 10 has really built on the improvements in Drupal 9. It is intuitive and straight forward to use. It has very good media handling so it is possible to have a library of media. It has improved features for handling different types of content and having custom fields. Many of the additional modules that are available are mature and work seemlessly with Drupal 10. It is really a powerful tool to build all kinds of websites. It also comes with a new modern theme called Olivero that replaces the Bartik theme which is now more than 10 years old and came with Drupal 7. There are also new admin themes for the administrators, that provide a very clean interface.
Drupal 10, like its predecessors, comes with many things that are ready to go straight away such as:
- creating user accounts
- easy ability for administrators to edit existing and create new content
- flexible permissions for users
- ability to create custom content types such as events or slideshows, and to add custom fields like dates or media fields
- a range of extra modules to provide all kinds of functionality including mass mailing, and too many more to list
- great search engine optimisation
- excellent security and backup facilities
Drupal 10 is really a great choice for building new websites. It allows for rapid development and is completely versatile in meeting the type of requirements needed and the look and feel of the website.
If you are in need of a new website then you may well find that Drupal is the perfect solution for you. I also have a page on the Drupal development work I do. Please contact me if you would like to find out more.