I attended DrupalCon in Seattle last month, and one of the interesting things I came away from the conference with, was a sense that Drupal hasn’t completely abandoned smaller organizations and projects in favor of the Enterprise.
There has been a sense since Drupal 8 came out that Drupal was moving towards the Enterprise and that it wasn’t viable for smaller orgs and non-profits, but as we look at where Drupal development has gone and the road ahead, we see a different picture. The flagship feature in the recently released Drupal 8.7 is Layout Builder. A very powerful tool for allowing content creators to build interesting page layouts, and arguably a feature that helps smaller organizations as much or more than it aids Enterprise clients.
During his keynote, Dries also pushed heavily the idea of “Automatic Updates” as the next big initiative for Drupal Core. This feature would be a big deal for smaller organizations who may not have the time or resources to manage security updates or deployments.
Finally, we have the upgrade path. One of the largest pain points with Drupal in the past for smaller organizations was the cost of major version upgrades. Often these were multi-thousand dollar projects that really put a squeeze on budgets and patience. As we get closer to the release of Drupal 9 next summer, we’re finally seeing the promise of Drupal 8 being realized. Given that your site isn’t using any deprecated code, the upgraded from Drupal 8.8 to Drupal 9 should be as easy as any other Drupal 8 update to date. This is huge. And efforts are already underway to ensure the top Drupal 8 contrib modules are ready to go on the day Drupal 9 is released.
I left the conference encouraged that Drupal hasn’t abandoned the smaller end of the market, and in fact has some really strong stories to tell going forward, especially for small business and non-profits.