Like last year around this date, it is the time of year where we predict what the future wil bring for Drupal. Will decoupled Drupal get a head start? Wil chatbots be written in Drupal, will our tool fuel the Internet of Things, will the Whitehouse still run Drupal and will there be an IPO of a Drupal company?

Time to put your predictions, deep thoughts and even deeper thoughts online, and post them as a comment here. And in case you lack inspiration, see the previous predictions for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.


giorgio79’s picture

Drupal 8 could stagnate due to:

  • the increased OO complexity and harder to read OO code favoring paid contrib over free enthusiasts (some more food for thought and here, hint it has to do with the rise of Javascript :P )
  • lack of inflow of free enthusiasts who are in it purely for honor and glory when they see their contrib is milked by larger companies
  • a lot changed in the world since D7, these days tons of hosted services offer free CMS sites where you can put up a simple website for free
  • D7 migration to D8 is still incomplete further slowing adoption and D8 is missing out on the crowds that were / are enamored with D7

Most changes were under the hood, but I have not seen a lot of features that D7 could not do with some contrib modules. Some rockstar modules like Rules are still alpha or beta.

Charles Belov’s picture

The downside of contrib modules is that some key functionality is not considered standard, and therefore there are incompatibilities across modules. For example, conflicts of various modules with Workbench Moderation, i18n. Bringing node moderation and internationalization into core in D8 standardizes these functions.

The replacement of the Features Module with YAML for configuration backup is also a major enhancement.

Charles Belov
SFMTA Webmaster

timmillwood’s picture

I predict Drupal 8.3 and 8.4 in 2017.

Anonymous’s picture

In increasing numbers, developers will come to understand the opportunities afforded by the new architecture. A new way of thinking about modules and modularity will eclipse the old D6 and D7 practice of creating monolithic modules. It will become easier and easier for site builders to use a subset of functionality from a module suite without having to commit to installing the entire thing. This will enable Drupal 8 to satisfy a wider set of requirements. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that my prediction, if true, will lead to Drupal reentering the market for small and intermediate sized websites.

artis’s picture

I can't agree enough with these predictions. We are already seeing this. Now that we're getting a handle on config management and the new Features module, build times for small & med sites are dropping to days from months (including the custom theming). There is still a lot time invested in discovery, design, account management, and testing, but those are platform agnostic activities.

Smaller modules and the ease of creating custom modules for small feature sets means less and less contrib needed, especially things like Rules. We've launched 8 D8 sites so far, include 1 Drupal Commerce without Rules. That would have been unheard of when we were building D7. Not to pick on Rules, it's just the first thing that came to mind.

ressa’s picture

In increasing numbers, developers will come to understand the opportunities afforded by the new architecture.

I second that, having just witnessed the transformation of the YAML Form module into Webform for Drupal 8, where the already available subset of functionality Drupal 8 offers were used to leapfrog development, and not having to "Invent the wheel".

Try Drupal 8 at
Anonymous’s picture

Most of the optimistic predictions will not come to fruition, as usual.

Drupal 8 will categorically enforce the push back from the long tail, the small projects - the core of the open web - or what's left of it.

About 80% of the current D7 site runners will take a serious look at D8 around 2020, when the majority will leave Drupal for greener pastures.

shobhit_juyal’s picture

I predict Drupal 8 will be more light weight and fast in its upcoming releases and will also have Angular js features. :)

endorn’s picture

man I hope not... Angular is terrible.

They should really be focusing on React.

Do, or do not... there is no try.

GiorgosK’s picture

Wow so much pessimism in lots of threads above ...
- drupal will attract developers from the Symfony stratosphere
- seasoned drupal users will LEARN to create modules with OO
- unfortunatelly some that don't want to adapt with the way things are going will probably drop out and look for easier CMS's
- a full fledged solution will be create in the form of module/profile that uses a FRONT END javascript framework/library and drupal's backend
- all main drupal contrib modules will get out of ALPHA

mgifford’s picture

I do think this year we'll see a rise in adoption in the Government & Educational sectors. Work done on Drupal 8 will attract more institutions to this platform. Work done within these sectors on collaboration with outside organizations will begin to pay off. Institutions like the Georgia Technology Authority & University of Iowa who have won national awards by leveraging Drupal will further encourage adoption.

We will see further adoption of Drupal 8, because it makes it easier for content authors to produce accessible content. Producing accessible content is still a major paint point for any mid-to-large sized organization.

You can stop reading now if you don't want to see political reflections.


There is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen with open-source adoption in the federal government in the USA. I wasn't sure what Trump's team would re-launch the White House with, but seeing that it is still Drupal, I predict it will stay that way. I also do not see his administration radically changing the policies that have allowed for a more open & transparent approach to government. I think we'll see less activity, but the initiatives like 18F aren't going to disappear.


I think we will also see a rise in the use of Drupal for online advocacy. Tools like NationBuilder have captured a lot of this market over the last few years, but many non-profits are reconsidering this because it has been used to promote fear and hatred over the election.


I also think that more people will be coming to Drupal for security reasons. Drupal 8 provides a robust framework and the community has a great reputation of addressing issues promptly. Security is always a concern, but knowing that Trump will be peeking on your online data may make people more concerned than they were under Obama.

ok_lyndsey’s picture

I hope to see a rise in website as tools that expand and adapt to need and message and action rather than communication and branding. If this is the case then Drupal is well placed to lead this. People are wanting to be active and create change and they will be looking closer and experimenting with ways of doing this.

How well Drupal can hold the door open to new people and to support new projects and ideas from people that are testing the waters or moving from alternate platforms will be key. It's an opportunity to bring fresh blood and a new generation of users and builders and therefore carry forward the legacy and innovation.

I predict women will be key to this movement as we move to act and collaborate. Using tools we feel confident in and can test and bend and add to will be important; as will the extended community supporting and sharing expertise. People learn by doing, providing project opportunities for new people to get involved and test would server the Drupal community well. So too would ensuring not for profits and community activists and organisations are well supported; even if it means a conscious effort/resources to do this.

Drupal front end robustness and theming will be put under the spotlight. Pretty vs function is no longer a logical compromise, people want, expect and can get both.

2017 will likely be make or break for D8 and thus dictate future upgrade paths.

deepalim13’s picture

Drupal team could get rid of redundancy and obsolete features. Fit into the mobile perspective easily and exhibit leadership in the content universe by doing so.

Jon Pollard’s picture

Drupal 8 seems to have addressed must of the problems of Drupal 7, at least from where I am sitting. I am surprised at how beta a lot of modules still are a year after launch, quite a bit of patching needed to get things working. Having said that, 8 looks to be just what we need for the future. One big problem we have though is prospects wanting a WordPress site because they think that will be easier for them to manage. Does Drupal need to put more energy into PR? The new Drupal.Org site is an improvement but the logo is still a bit of an issue for me. A bit too whimsical.

My prediction is that Drupal 8 will be the best platform for complex websites but it will be eclipsed by the ubiquity of WordPress. Betamax v VHS anybody?

Turtlereality web design

Anonymous’s picture

I've always been a big fan of industry-specific distros so in the same way Linux has distros for different uses, Drupal with out-of-the-box functionality such as for a hair salon, a life coach, etc. is a huge opportunity IMHO. It's been hard to build and maintain distros until Drupal8 however that's improved now you can actually test stuff properly and have things like composer to manage dependencies. Currently this market is served mostly by 'themes' which have a little functionality but imagine something which actually has your business model (because they're all pretty similar) - the value is far greater and the business model can be OpenSAAS. I believe we'll see these begin to appear in 2017 and once the model is proved more will be built in 2018 and beyond. The barriers I see at the moment are sharing information and collaborating at the business level due to the current agency model of selling time - why be forward-thinking when you're raking it in selling your team's hours? There's a few examples out there at the moment - e.g. Rooms for hotels/b&b's but they're for massive, already flooded markets. The wise entrepreneur will go for a currently underserved market, dominate that with a product, prove the model, then move onto another.

That's my 2p.

snehi’s picture

In 2016 we had drupal 8 but with very less modules of D8.
This year i can predict more D7 to D8 porting of modules and theme.

Enhancement will be robust, fast and light weight conversion of Drupal 8.

mitpatoliya’s picture

Surly think there will be hint of IOT in one or the other way in upcoming contrib modules of Drupal. Lot of modules are still not compatible with v8 they will gradually be upgraded to v8. With the increase in surface computing may be some modules related to that capability which could connect dots and create something which can be leveraged for those new generation devices. Whitehouse may continue to run Drupal because I think these may be least priority item for them at this stage.

akaash19’s picture

I have been into drupal development from past 10 years. Never till today i saw so much decline in drupal. Drupal 8 is made over complicated. First Symfony and on top we have drupal framework. Isnt it stupidity.  Drupal 7 was a hit because it was simple and attracted many developers who created thousands of contrib modules. Now see drupal8, almost no contrib modules.Many projects are abandoned. Drupal8 is a classic example of how corporate greed can end up the best open source. I feel utterly disgusted and sad about the fate of drupal in the hand of stupid decision makers.  
Still there is time. Lets support drupal 7 and build it better, secure and let the ecosystem thrive. I dont understand how founder of drupal can be soooooo stupid and dumb.

GiorgosK’s picture

Don't agree with you, 

we were competing with wordpress and people were getting into wordpress anyway and I think that is where we lost most audience ... I don't think we wanted to be another wordpress ... drupal is better suited was always better suited for bigger projects but it can still do smaller sites 

A site builder that was using no coding skills can do same things and more with drupal 8 (compared to 7) and a builder/programmer can still do more by reading a little on what things changed or how things are done or find the answers in here or stackexchange.  Even though its gotten harder for the coder/developer its a lot more powerful once you get a hang of it.  

Decision makers have taken a fine decision on better positioning drupal for the future.  Personal I like drupal on every new release and that is why I am still here.

akaash19’s picture

Then why developers abandoning drupal8, why less contrib modules. Why drupal developers loosing jobs and now moving to different technologies. 
Its not a matter to Debate but realize that sooner or later being stubborn on wrong decisions will cost drupal community very heavily.
Open source has to be simpler to develop and contribute. Lets understand that thousands of devs spend their time to code and contribute, not to learn utterly complicated and less useful stuff And by the way Drupal 8 still has more load time, is more complex and companies have abandoned it.