I have a client with a Drupal 7 website. They're an organisation with a committee who make the decisions regarding the website, etc. I'm trying to convince them to migrate their site to Backdrop, and would like some help in knowing how best to recommend Backdrop and allay their concerns...
I originally told them about Drupal's EOL and pointed them to my blog post for more information about their options. They understand the need to move away from Drupal 7, but had some questions about Backdrop. Specifically, they asked me:
As a contributor to [Backdrop] development, are you able to give any idea of the number of users and the number of developers using the platform? A developer we have been in touch with said “having security updates is very important”; in your opinion is there any basis for that and, if so, is it being addressed? [We] would hope that Backdrop is as secure as Drupal 7.
It can be tricky to determine the number of users/developers, but see if this helps:
- The number of websites using Backdrop is around 1,000 (https://backdropcms.org/project/usage/backdrop)
Note that this figure is taken from the number of websites that have a certain core module enabled and, as such, should be viewed as a minimum number of sites. There are likely quite a few sites that have disabled this module and therefore aren't included in this figure.
- There are 6 project management committee members and 3 core committers (https://backdropcms.org/leadership)
- There are 130 individuals, companies and organisations that choose to support Backdrop (https://backdropcms.org/support/supporters)
- There are over 2,000 registered users on BackdropCMS.org
- There are over 100 GitHub users in the Backdrop core organisation (only 25 of whom have public profiles however: https://github.com/orgs/backdrop/people)
- There are over 80 GitHub users in the Backdrop contrib organisation (responsible for writing additional modules, themes, etc.) (only 38 of whom have public profiles however: https://github.com/orgs/backdrop-contrib/people)
- And finally, you can consider any Drupal 7 developer to be a Backdrop developer, based on the code similarity and upgradability
I agree [that] having security updates is very important. Backdrop also agrees. Here is their Security page (https://backdropcms.org/security) which provides details about their security team, how to receive updates, report issues, etc., and it also lists security advisories Backdrop has previously issued. As Drupal 7 and Backdrop are very similar in terms of their code base, most Drupal 7 security advisories apply to Backdrop as well, though Backdrop has released some advisories in the past that were unique to Backdrop.
So yes, Backdrop is just as secure as Drupal 7.
They've now gotten back to me, saying:
The committee members of our group are nervous about migrating to Backdrop for various reasons, mainly to do with the low take-up and lack of features we may or may not need further down the track.
I understand their concerns - they don't want to commit to a system that might not be popular, have much activity, might disappear in future, etc. So how do I convince them that Backdrop isn't going anywhere, that it's growing, that new features can and are being added, etc.? They haven't told me who else they've been in touch with, but I imagine it'll have been a Wordpress developer, so how do we complete with Wordpress' popularity and feature-set?
This is all very specific to my client's situation, but we can use this discussion to better promote and recommend Backdrop to Drupal 7 clients in general too.
I'm committing to exploring BackDrop as a better alternative, and I'm liking what I'm seeing thus far. I don't have to sell to my current clients as they'll just follow my lead when D7 is extinguished, but for new clients I'll need a pitch.
I been trying to work with Drupal 8. I'm giving up. Its the same complaint as others have made - D8 was made by and for people with sites that see more traffic in 5 minutes than my clients see all year. As a user D8 has a lot of familiarity, but I can't run composer in a shared environment (maybe I'm outing myself as insufficiently techie) and my clients don't need more powerful hosting.
While concerns about the size of the community, support, security, etc are totally valid concerns I think organizations that find me are more interested in a solution that fits. I'm settling on a kitchen analogy: WP is an easy bake oven, D8 is a big commercial kitchen, BD feels like a well-equipped home kitchen (just like Mom's D7 Kitchen - only without the funny orange colors).
You can have fun with your own analogies! Bears and Porridge comes to mind, as well as cars, boats, computers.