There are a lot of reasons why I love working in sales at Duo, where I get to tell clients — and potential clients — about the benefits of Drupal. I’ll be honest, though, there are definitely some challenges that come with the territory. Arguably the biggest obstacle I face is convincing a potential client why it’s worth spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to build a new website or digital platform with Drupal.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that challenge. And now, thanks to Drupal 8, I think it’s a little easier to be convincing.
Photo by James McKinven
One of the common comments I hear when I tell potential clients the cost of a website rebuild is, “OK, I can wrap my head around paying that much money now, but there’s no way my boss will agree to that if we have to rebuild it again in three to five years.”
I get that. In the past, when you had to upgrade to a new version of Drupal or you were working with Drupal for the first time, it essentially required a full-on rebuild of your site. Drupal would develop a collection of new features and then roll them out all at once as part of a new version.
But that was the past.
Now, thanks to Drupal’s new migration plan, a rebuild with Drupal 8 could easily be the last full rebuild you’d need for years, if ever. How could that be, you ask? Let me tell you.
Instead of deploying new features and updates all at once, Drupal has adopted a new distribution schedule that allows the platform to deploy monthly security fixes and semi-annual updates to Drupal core.
So, when Drupal 9 is released, there won’t be the same level of new features and updates in the past. You won’t need to have a rebuild because you’ll already be working on the most recent version of the platform.
That being said, I understand it’s still a large cost up-front, but think of it as a long-term investment. You’re essentially insulating yourself from having to do this in the future, whether you upgrade from D8 to D9 or D9 to D10, or something even further down the road. Plus, think of all the other benefits that come with having a site built on D8.
One benefit I like to mention in sales talks is that your site will be mobile friendly — guaranteed. Now look, it’s 2018, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that your website needs be mobile friendly. But there are more reasons to have a mobile-friendly site than just to have it be easy for your customers to use (although that certainly is important!). Think about any online advertising you do, such as Google Ads. If you post a pay-per-click ad, one factor of how much you pay for your ad is based on the overall performance of your site. Part of that performance measurement includes whether or not your website is mobile friendly. If it’s not, well, you probably will be paying more for your ads.
If your site is mobile friendly, like it would be with Drupal 8, than you will be able to see a tangible return on your advertising budget.
There are lots of other reasons why it’s worth it to upgrade to D8, like ease of use and future-proofing your content. That being said, I understand if you don’t think now is the right time for you to upgrade. Just don’t let the fear of multiple rebuilds be one of them.