Over 1 million websites around the world run on Drupal, from high tech companies, to government, NGO’s, and higher education institutions.
So now that Drupal 9 has been released, and Drupal 10 will be released - should you upgrade directly from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, and bypass Drupal 8? In most cases, the answer is yes. This will also prepare your site for the later upgrade to Drupal 10, and give your site the maximum expected life.
Alternately, you can upgrade to Drupal 8 first, but the Drupal 8 end of life is the same as Drupal 7, meaning you would eventually have to upgrade to Drupal 9 anyway. The only reasons to first upgrade to Drupal 8 depends on your site requirements, and modules that are available in Drupal 8 but not yet in a Drupal 9 compatible release.
Drupal 9 is identical to the final Drupal 8 release, but with deprecated code removed and third party dependencies updated. Upgrading to Drupal 8 first in some cases will make the eventual upgrade to Drupal 9 far easier. If you are unsure, it would be best to contact Drupal.org, or a trusted partner for a code review.
Upgrading to Drupal 9 from 8 is simply a matter of running update.php as long as your codebase does not use deprecated APIs. There are tools available that will identify and fix deprecated APIs in your codebase
As Drupal 9 was released in June 2020: and both Drupal 7 and 8 are reaching end of life, its time to plan your transition to Drupal 9. Some of the new functionalities in Drupal 9 are:
Drupal 9 comes with even more powerful performance results, including:
Yet, most of the code interfaces remained untouched, which means that the developers won’t have any problem when it comes to migration and support.
One of the main Drupal 9 benefits is its easy migration process. If migrating your website from Drupal 7 to 8 an entire rebuild is required, but Drupal 9 is backward compatible and many Drupal 8 modules are compatible with Drupal 9.
These updates make Drupal even more user-friendly, making it possible for marketers and developers to set it up easily. Usability improvements include:
An additional advantage is the code clean-up, which improves the:
E-commerce is front and center in Drupal 9, including some interesting modules for integration with e-commerce platforms like Elastic Path, Shopify, Magento, and BigCommerce, and the e-commerce sites’ products can be synced as Drupal entities to deliver content-driven commerce experiences.
Moreover, the new release offers an API-first architecture, including the JSON:API, which enables building robust decoupled and headless applications, easily integrating with DAM and PIM, by optimizing key digital assets and product information.
Besides, the above-mentioned built-in JSON:API offers Drupal 9 a seamless integration with:
This will help you deliver a consistent experience across all channels, offering considerable savings and secured integration.
In conclusion, upgrading your website to Drupal 9 will make it more usable, accessible, inclusive, flexible, and scalable than Drupal 8:
But What About Drupal 10?
Drupal 10 will be released in June 2022, in one year.
Why is Drupal 10 being released in June 2022? It’s about security. Security bugs will no longer get fixed in Symfony 4 from November 2023, and Drupal 9 depends on Symfony 4. Drupal is giving site owners operating on Drupal 9 a year to move to Drupal 10, adopting Symfony 5 to ensure continued site security.
Drupal has reassured site owners that the move from D9 to D10 will be as easy as the move from D8 to D9 was. This is because the same backwards compatibility that exists in D9 with D8 will exist in D10 for D9.
Dries Buytaert, Project Lead at Drupal explains how it will work:
‘New functionality for Drupal 10 is actually added to Drupal 9 releases. This means module developers can start adopting any new APIs right away.
Along the way, we deprecate old functionality but keep backwards compatibility. Once we are ready to release Drupal 10, we remove all deprecated code.
Removing deprecated code breaks backwards compatibility, but because module developers had a chance to stay up to date with API changes, the upgrade to Drupal 10 should be easy.’
It’s important to include these dates in your Drupal roadmap. You’ll want to note when Drupal 9’s end of life is — November 2023 — as this is when you’ll need to migrate to Drupal 10 for security reasons.
If you need some help with your website transition from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?
Independent and International