After, five years of development, Drupal 8.0.0-rc1 was released on October 7th 2015. Drupal 8 makes the content management system more powerful, flexible and maintainable than it has ever been before. Here’s some of our favourite new features; let us know what’s got you excited about Drupal 8 in the comments below:

Configuration Management

In Drupal 7, configuration settings for the software were stored in the database. User data was also stored in the database. It was really hard to move configuration from development sites to production ones, because moving the development configuration to production would mean overriding the production database with the live data (not an option) or manually adjusting the configuration on the live site.

The features module provided an effective means of storing many items of cinfiguration as code to move it across, but now configuration management is built into Drupal core, which should be more reliable and easier to manage. Win!

Twig for Theming

Theming Drupal 7 websites was made awkward by the slightly verbose Drupal templating language. Drupal 8 uses a templating system called twig instead, which is much simpler, and by default Drupal’s templates pour out less, better-quality HTML than they used to. That will make Drupal sites perform better and be easier to style.

Better Content Editing Experience

Drupal 8 comes with a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) editor as standard, and offers in place editing of content. Drupal 7 had a reputation for being difficult for content editors with limited technical knowledge to use, and these advances should go part of the way to improving that, although, as Dries admitted in his Barcelona Drupalcon keynote, we’re not there yet.

We invest significantly in providing a great user experience for our clients’ site admins and content editors, and it’s good to know that Drupal 8 places the same emphasis that we do on UX. As Dries says in his speech, UX is the one area in which Wordpress really outstrips Drupal at the moment, and we’re looking forward to seeing that change as Drupal 8 matures.