Upgrade to Drupal 9: Best CMS for Evolving Business

| | 4 min read

Released on 3rd June 2020, Drupal 9 is the easiest upgrade this decade. Drupal 9 had piqued the interest of all community members much before its release date. This unique next generation of Drupal is considered the most flexible content management system in the market. Drupal 9 offers intuitive solutions for enterprise owners and is focused on continuous innovation by delivering:

  • Enhanced web and data security
  • Faster and scalable web framework
  • Accessible content for a wider audience reach.
  • Translation and localization
  • Easy content authoring and editing

Drupal powers more than 40% of the world’s ‘Fortune 1000 enterprise websites’. Some of Drupal’s marquee clients are NASA, TESLA, The Australian Government, The Emmy Awards, etc. 

Out of 1,738,458 websites hosted on Drupal, 300,625 websites use Drupal 7, and 267,934 websites use Drupal 8.  

As of January 2021, Drupal 9 is used by 13,746 websites such as FBI Jobs, Working Wales, The Prince of Wales, The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, etc.

What Will Happen to D7 and D8 Now That Drupal 9 Is out?

With most Drupal websites using Drupal 7, the community has extended its end of life to November 2021 and the community support to November 2022. Drupal 8 reached its end of life in November 2021, a year before Drupal 7. That’s because of D8’s dependency on Symfony 3, which is retiring simultaneously. 

The community has also announced the release of Drupal 10 in June 2022.



What Differentiates Drupal 9 from Drupal 8?

In simple terms, think of Drupal 9 as the reliable, faster, and easy-to-use version.

In Drupal 9’s upgrade, there are not many significant schema changes that require a complicated upgrade. All Drupal modules use object-oriented programming and YAML, including Drupal 9. As long as all the project components use the updated code, the transition phase from Drupal 8.9 to Drupal 9 is not complex.

The core dependencies that run on Drupal 9 are:

  • PHP 7.3 as a minimum version
  • MySQL 5.7
  • Drush 10
  • Symfony 4

Why Migrate to Drupal 9?

With D7 reaching the end of life soon (D8 already ended), the website data and content will become prone to security threats, and outdated features will affect the website’s performance. 

Drupal 9 is more usable, accessible, inclusive, flexible, and scalable compared to its previous versions. Enterprises must migrate to Drupal 9 as early as possible for its powerful new features.

What Are the Reasons for Upgrading Drupal 9?

The Drupal security team will soon cease to provide security advisories, wavering the websites and cyber security.

The D7 and D8 versions will get flagged as insecure in the 3rd party scans. D8 already ended in November 2021. D7 will stop providing support from next year.

Leading service providers will also withdraw their support from D7 and D8.

Here are some other reasons.

Let’s have a look!



1. Rich Media Management for Ingenious Content

Drupal 9 allows the embedding of generic media files supporting audio, video, images, etc. With Drupal 9, site owners have the power to embed content from various platforms such as youtube and Vimeo. Drupal 9 features a Media Library Module for content-heavy websites that enhance the media list with additional features to easily find and use existing media items on the web page.

2. Symfony and Twig

With Drupal 9, you get the newer versions of Symfony and Twig. Get enabled with Symfony 4 or 5 instead of Symfony 3 and get Twig 2.0. Your developers will experience improvement in the system, and you will get ensured security and better performance with these updated versions.

3. Powerful Visual Design for Impactful Landing Pages

Drupal 9 enhanced content layout capabilities through its core module - Layout Builder. It offers flexible visual design tools that enable content creators and site admins to customize the layout of a page via a powerful drag-and-drop user interface. 

4. Decoupled Architecture

Drupal 9 offers a decoupled website development approach that serves as the backend content repository. In this approach, Drupal is decoupled from the front-end technology and only communicates with it through an API. Decoupling empowers the front-end team to structure and display the data independently. There are two approaches for decoupling Drupal: 

  • Progressive Decoupling allows the front-end team to continue using Drupal’s rendering system while using another framework to build an interactive user experience.
  • Fully Decoupling where the backend and front-end technologies are segregated completely.

5. Cleaner Code Base

Drupal 9 comes with the elimination of deprecated Drupal 8 code to improve your website performance. It provides you with a clear and cleaner version of Drupal. Those who want to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 need to remove the deprecated code because the code marked deprecated is no longer supported by Drupal.


So, Drupal 9 brings no dramatically disruptive changes, but changes indeed! And these changes are improving the CMS performance as well as boosting development efficiency.

If your website is running on Drupal 7, it’s wise to upgrade to Drupal 9 as early as possible, as Drupal 8 has ended in Nov 2021. If your website is on Drupal 8 already, the upgrade to Drupal 9 is likely to be relatively simpler, and better do it quickly.