Over 1 million websites around the world run on Drupal, from high tech companies to government, NGOs, the medical sector and higher education institutions.
So now that Drupal 9 has been released, Drupal 8 reached its end of life and Drupal 10 is planned for December 2022, should you upgrade directly from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 and bypass Drupal 8? In most cases, the answer is yes. It 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 Drupal 8 has reached its end of life, meaning there wouldn’t be any more support from the core developers or the community at large. It includes missing the newest security updates. As Drupal 7 will also reach End-of-Life by November 2023, you would eventually have to upgrade to Drupal 9.
The only reasons to first upgrade to Drupal 8 depend on your site requirements and modules available in Drupal 8 but not yet in a Drupal 9 compatible release. But with the new approach to the development of this CMS/CXP, this is most unlikely. An update from the last minor release of Drupal 8.x and the first minor version of Drupal 9.x is almost seamless without many complexities.
Drupal 9.0 is identical to the final Drupal 8 release which is Drupal 8.9 but with deprecated code removed and third party dependencies updated.
Upgrading to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 is simply a matter of running update.php as long as your codebase does not use deprecated APIs. Tools available will identify and fix deprecated APIs in your codebase.
Drupal 9 was released in June 2020 and is stable enough for enterprise customers. Drupal 8 breathed dust, and Drupal 7 will reach the end of life by year-end. So it’s time to plan your transition to Drupal 9.
There are various functionalities added to Drupal 9. Some of the new functionalities in Drupal 9 are:
- A simple set-up and migration process
- An enhanced user experience and intuitive content management;
- Better accessibility;
- A focus on automatic updates
Significant Benefits of Upgrading Your Site to Drupal 9
1. Enhanced Security
All old code was removed or replaced, which means there would be much fewer security problems. The third-party dependencies have also been updated. As for compatibility, most of the code interfaces remained untouched, which means that developers will not have migration issues and support existing addons.
2. Fast and Better Performance
Drupal 9 offers extended support for responsive images, ensuring a great user experience on mobile devices by displaying images that consume fewer amounts of data. High-performance websites can be created with Drupal 9 as content workflow allows the developers to define multiple workflows. It offers multilingual properties for a wider reach.
3. Backward Compatible
Drupal 9 is backwards compatible. It means it is consistent with its predecessor Drupal 8. Drupal 9 can use modules, data, and configurations created on Drupal 8. With Drupal 7 or 8 to Drupal 9 migration, there would be no historical baggage so you can expect enhanced performance. Website owners can expect a fast, clutter-free, and future-ready website with Drupal 9.
4. More Open to Integration
Drupal 9’s strategic priority is to keep getting more and more ready for integrations with new devices and applications. For example, imagine having your content on your website and your mobile app.
5. Smooth Editorial Experiences
Drupal 9 focuses on making content editors love their admin dashboard. Thanks to the Media Library, CKEditor for post creation, configurable toolbar, the quick edit feature, Layout Builder, content moderation options, modern Claro admin theme, and much more. It isn’t easy to compare it to the old Drupal 7’s admin interface.
Drupal 9 marks a transformation in the methods applied by the core team when handling releases. The upgrade comes with built-in backward compatibility, whose primary purpose is to ensure a seamless process. The next iteration changes the way things used to be, making the experience on par with other website updates. Contact us for guidelines on how to upgrade seamlessly.