5 Things You Should Know About DrupalCon 2014
Here at Moore-Wilson, we are big fans of Drupal and most of the websites we build use the open-source platform.
After a successful visit to DrupalCon in Prague last year, it seemed a logical step to pack two of our web developers off to the Netherlands to visit DrupalCon Amsterdam for five days of Drupal-related educational sessions, keynote presentations, networking opportunities and exhibitions. They returned to the office earlier this week bearing armfuls of Drupal swag for everyone and some of the finest Dutch cheeses. More importantly, however, they also came back from DrupalCon brimming with the latest Drupal news and knowledge. Here are 5 things you should know about DrupalCon.
1. Drupal 8 is here (almost)!
The beta version of Drupal 8 was released during the event and while the announcement of a new version may be met with trepidation from some, architecturally Drupal 8 is not hugely different. There are, however, many improvements. Drupal 8 includes versionable configuration – which allows configuration changes to be transferred and rolled-back easily – and the use of Symfony Components, which are used in many other PHP projects such as Laravel and Silex.
2. Drupal’s power is from the community, not the code
The Drupal community is one of the largest open-source communities in the world. Not only is the community large, but it is also filled with enthusiastic people who are passionate about collaboration and open-source software. The ‘Core Conversations’ sessions that took place at DrupalCon, where community members discuss issues with key Drupal figures, revealed how much thought actually goes into the end product.
3. A fast site makes more money
One thing you will often hear when exploring DrupalCon and talking to exhibitors is how much of an impact site speed can have on your customers. E-commerce sites can see improvements in revenue and the number of pages viewed, even when page load is improved by seconds. Many hosting companies exhibiting at DrupalCon will use examples of this as justification for new hosting plans, but you should remember that while having good hosting is a major factor, it isn’t the only way to make a site faster.
4. Site security is about layers
At DrupalCon you can learn a lot about Drupal security: how there is a team of people who investigate and fix any reported security bugs or problems and how you should keep up-to-date on security updates for both core and contributed modules. What you shouldn’t forget, in the midst of all the Drupal talk, is that site security is only as strong as its weakest link. You should make sure that the rest of your setup is as secure as possible. Having different layers of security will help protect your site much more effectively than if you just concentrate on one aspect.
5. ‘Drupalers’ are a data-hungry bunch
DrupalCon this year played host to 2,300 attendees, making it the biggest DrupalCon Europe ever. Visitors descended on DrupalCon from 64 different countries, with the majority coming from the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and the USA. Over the course of DrupalCon, attendees downloaded 1.8TB of data. To put this into perspective, the Hubble Space Telescope has collected more than 100TB of data in the 24 years it has been active, but DrupalCon attendees downloaded 1.8TB in just 5 days!
The next European DrupalCon will be held in Barcelona and members of the Moore-Wilson team are undoubtedly already brushing up on their Spanish in anticipation.
You can listen to the speeches given at this year’s DrupalCon on the Drupal Association’s YouTube channel.