Seven months ago, Matthew Grasmick published an article describing how hard it is to install Drupal. His article included the following measurements for creating a new application on his local machine, across four different PHP frameworks:

Platform Clicks Time
Drupal 20+ 15:00+
Symfony 3 1:55
WordPress 7 7:51
Laravel 3 17:28

The results from Matthew's blog were clear: Drupal is too hard to install. It required more than 15 minutes and 20 clicks to create a simple site.




Seeing these results prompted me to launch a number of initiatives to improve the evaluator experience at DrupalCon Nashville. Here is the slide from my DrupalCon Nashville presentation:

Improve technical evaluator experience

A lot has happened between then and now:

  • We improved the download page to improve the discovery experience on drupal.org
  • We added an Evaluator Guide to Drupal.org
  • We added a quick-start command to Drupal 8.6
  • We added the Umami demo profile to Drupal 8.6
  • We started working on a more modern administration experience (in progress)

You can see the result of that work in this video:




Thanks to this progress, here is the updated table:

Platform Clicks Time
Drupal 3 1:27
Symfony 3 1:55
WordPress 7 7:51
Laravel 3 17:28

Drupal now requires the least time and is tied for least clicks! You can now install Drupal in less than two minutes. Moreover, the Drupal site that gets created isn't an "empty canvas" anymore; it's a beautifully designed and fully functional application with demo content.

Copy-paste the following commands in a terminal window if you want to try it yourself:

mkdir drupal && cd drupal && curl -sSL https://www.drupal.org/download-latest/tar.gz | tar -xz --strip-components=1
php core/scripts/drupal quick-start demo_umami

For more detailed information on how we achieved these improvements, read Matthew's latest blog post: The New Drupal Evaluator Experience, by the numbers.

A big thank you to Matthew Grasmick (Acquia) for spearheading this initiative!

Comments

Taco (not verified):

Would be great if Drupal distributions, as for example our Open Social project (https://www.drupal.org/project/social) could also be supported in this way. As Open Social, Drupal Commerce and many more also ship with their own theme, demo content and onboarding we could show evaluators the versatility of Drupal and it's many out-of-the-box use cases :)

effulgentsia (not verified):

Hi Taco,

Thank you for maintaining a great distribution!

The quick-start command supports any profile, so all that's needed to support Open Social and other distributions is:

1. Release a tag of your distribution that works on Drupal 8.6 or higher. (Your 3.0 version predates the 8.6 release and has a composer.json entry of "drupal/core": "~8.5.6").

2. Replace the command in this blog post that downloads the tarball to instead run the composer command that's needed. Alternatively, if you want to support evaluators who don't want to use composer, then check if the tarball provided by drupal.org works well enough for evaluation purposes, and if not, publish a working tarball somewhere.

3. Provide an evaluation profile in your distribution, with the desired demo content, etc., and replace the "demo_umami" argument that's in this blog post with the name of your evaluation profile.

Please try it and if you run into problems or have ideas for improvements to the quick-start command, please file an issue. Thanks!

Jana Tate (not verified):

WOW! I just did the terminal install, and I'm simply amazed. IT *JUST* WORKED! Been working with Drupal since v6 in 2010 as a Site Builder and UX advocate, meaning I don't write code and avoid the command line as much as possible. Guessing I'm the target audience, and I've got 1 word for the team that made this happen: BULLSEYE!

Matthew Grasmick (not verified):

If your distribution provides a Composer "project" package, you can achieve this just as easily with only a few commands. For instance, Acquia Lightning provides an acquia/lightning-project package that enables on to execute:

composer create-project acquia/lightning-project MY_PROJECT
cd MY_PROJECT/docroot
php core/scripts/drupal quick-start lightning

to spin up a demo Lightning site. Similarly, you can do this with the Commerce distro:

composer create-project drupalcommerce/project-base mystore --stability dev
cd mystore/web
php core/scripts/drupal quick-start commerce_base

droplet (not verified):

I think it makes your own-self feel good rather than improvement. You're a learned Drupal developer but the guide should focus on beginners for websites (not only Drupal).

1. In this case, you created another page rather than improve the main installation page. No one search "Drupal evaluate" but they searched "Drupal install"

2. Even said, in https://www.drupal.org/download, you still have 2 links pointed to 2 different installation guide.

3. Full of commands in this page: https://www.drupal.org/docs/official_docs/en/_evaluator_guide.html . I really doubt a user able to run these commands unable to install Drupal WITHOUT a guide. (doesn't it really taking 10 mins?)

4. It should be a single recommended way for the common cases rather than mixed Drush / Web / Command line ...etc

5. And on the "Evaluator Guide". It need not separated Windows to other systems. It should recommend the Windows way first. Then telling the command line way to advanced users. MacOS user doesn't understand Command line will ask you HOW!

6. I think it made a slow Drupal site at the beginning. So I'm tried in Windows. It's no response for any clicks on the demo site. (building caches I bet, I hope this only me.)
(my Mac also stop working after a few quick clicks, I have to restart PHP server)

7. After "Evaluation", then? Re-learning every step for a normal installation again?

8. BTW, installation section should be first in this page. https://www.drupal.org/docs/user_guide/en/index.html

Matthew Grasmick (not verified):

Thanks for your feedback. I agree that things are still far from perfect! It takes a long time to make these types of changes, but we have a infrastructure in place now that should allow us to move more quickly on docs and landing pages. I'd welcome your contribution if you'd like to review or submit documentation or wireframes. It's a good deal of work and there's a very small group of contributors at the moment.

It may interest you to know that we are working on drafting a "Getting Started" guide that is intended to provide a single recommended path for users to create a new Drupal application for development purposes (not for evaluation). Users will be clearly steered toward that guide once it exists. I think this addresses some of your concerns, like " It should be a single recommended way" and "After 'Evaluation', then?" and "BTW, installation section should be first" and "improve the main installation page."

It's true that we're targeting two different audiences on the /download page: evaluators and developers. This is a common and often successful approach, given that the two audiences have different goals and different skillsets. But it's still more complex than one option. I wish that we could focus on a single audience and I'm open to ideas about how to resolve this challenge.

I encourage you to file issues to address a couple of your comments:

* "BTW, installation section should be first in this page" should be posted as an issue to https://www.drupal.org/node/add/project-issue/user_guide
* "I think it made a slow Drupal site at the beginning." should be a core issue.

Thanks for taking the time to check out the new features and docs and provide feedback.

Marcel Epp (not verified):

Hi,
it's great that Drupal 8 is easier to install. I choosed the composer way two days ago. Because without that, your are not able to update Drupal 8 very quick. I think this is a problem, for those that are new to Drupal 8. Maybe you could work also on the update mechanism.

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