How Popular is Drupal, D8 onward...

Atul Sharma

How useful is Drupal?
How much is it used in the Industry?
How sustainable this platform is? etc. etc.

Being part of Drupal as a developer, using it day in and out, for quite many years now, these questions hardly ever came to me, but if you are some one how sits at other end of the table and is thinking of a solution/software to use then I am very sure that these questions in some form must surely have crossed your mind...

Ever since D8 (a major and bold release) was released Drupal has grown a lot in terms of what it has to offer and functionally but we of-course will not be discussing that :)

Instead we will try to see how the Drupal's industry acceptance since release of D8 has been, we will pull out some Industry data to see how its doing compared to what the previous versions had done.

Drupal 8.x and onward, What I feel is that Drupal is continually on the run to keep pace with the ever changing stack it is piled upon.

8.0.0 was released on 19 Nov 2015 - and it was almost 6 years after 7.0 was released of 5 Jan 2011
9.0.0 was released on 3 June 2020 - around 4.5 years after 8.0
10.0.0 is planned for June 2022 - in 2 years from when 9.0 was released

Drupal lately looks to be in some hurry to revive itself and is running a race with itself ... like the competition is with oneself...

Drupal is not that class of product which has small shelf life and are fast moving products, instead its a software product used to built value based applications for the end users, its not finding inroads into the market as effectively as its previous versions did.
This is the reason D8 & D9 combined usage is still significantly less than D7.

The model is something like - B 2 B 2 C and because its a knowledge based industry, the knowledge pool is to be upgraded accordingly, though Drupal has focused a lot on making the Drupal contemporary to all major applications/software's in use to allow for easy transition of resources from 1 software to another without much of ado.

In the B-B-C model given Drupal's stand, the B-B part still cope as they have to, the problem start coming from the C component of this entire model. the Usage data of various versions of Drupal will help clear this:

Version 7 63.4%
Version 8 28.9%
Version 6 4.6%
Version 9 2.8%
Version 5 0.3%
Version 4 less than 0.1%
(as on June 2021)

10 years after its first release D7 is still by far the most used/popular version.
Same way in 2016, 5yrs after D7 release D7 was having more that 70% of the share compared to around 30% share of the D6 and a very meager share of D8 that time.

Whereas even after 6 years D8 is struggling to catch 30% of the market share.

The fast release cycle for Drupal is anything but a choice.

Our technology stack has grown so much since 8.0 that we are always in race against time to keep with changes, result is we are seeing Major releases this fast, we may have every reason with us to favor the shorter version release cycle but but the point of concern however is that the industry is not accepting this yet or has not yet came to terms with this much fast turnaround.
Which is evident from the industry usage of various versions.

This brings me to think of the following concerns as a customer:
Stability and longevity, these are very important factor for any software to be in the market, as ROI is directly impacted/linked to it. Unfortunately this is where Drupal has fared not so well and one prime reason for this is the shorter release cycle for Major releases.

Note: Data will be added to support this.

D10 will be out by June 2022 which I believe is a decision not by choice but out of obligation... before D9 all release were a choice but D9 onward its has been a race against time.

A lot happens under the ground when a new major release is made, the eco system that revolves around Drupal has to be updated too and it take its sweet time, as its this eco system that provides Drupal its flexibility strength and usability (the contributed modules).

Its very simple economics If you are a car maker you release a product but before you also ensure that the product is available to meet the requirement, the service network is ready in time the parts are made available etc. etc. all these factors contribute to success of the product, you miss place either of the functionary and the model will collapse sooner or later.

This symptom is evident in Drupal at present and it needs a major and bold overhaul.
No one would have believed in the 1980's that Kodak will be history soon...

Note: Few graphs and charts will be added to depict the info.


clients & industry experiences


sustainability / sdgs

When & Where

Thursday, 7 October, 2021 - 09:30 to 09:50
Hopin - Room 2