Why Upgrade to Drupal 9? A Guide for Drupal 7 and 8 Users

Drupal 9 was launched on June 3rd, 2020. For those who already chose the Drupal website to represent their business, it means they’ll have to upgrade to D9 at some point. For those who are looking at Drupal as a potential framework for their website, it means improved functionality options. And at last, for those who have never considered this technology, it means there is still a chance you’ll choose it for your next product.

So buckle up, and let’s see what’s new in the Drupal world.

Spoiler alert: Drupal founder and project lead himself promised that Drupal 9 is the most powerful version of the platform to date. So let’s see.

Few Words About Drupal CMS

Drupal is one of the most used CMS in the world. It allows you to build websites of a different scale: from small corporate websites to large complex systems, and it’s a completely free open-source platform! Other perks of the Drupal framework are:

  • Its reliability. Drupal CMS has a longstanding history and a large community.
  • The extensive functionality. Drupal modules, add-ons and widgets are endless as the community constantly contributes the updates to the platform.
  • Community and support. The Drupal has a large and dynamic community that has functioned well since 2001.
  • High quality of code. Due to a large and supportive community, Drupal’s source code quality is one of the best on the market.
  • Flexibility. Drupal templates are highly customizable. You can create any functionality without extensive custom programming.
  • Scalability. You scale up your Drupal-built website to be a SaaS product, due to a variety of Drupal modules.
  • Security. Again, thanks to multiple Drupal experts providing their support, Drupal security is very strong. It’s so secure, that even government organizations trust this open-source. Like, the US border protection (https://www.cbp.gov/) or Defense Nuclear Facility board (https://www.dnfsb.gov/) chose Drupal for their websites. Imagine, how safe it is!

The perks above apply to all Drupal versions. However, if your website is built either on Drupal 7 or Drupal 8, at some point you will need to upgrade it to Drupal 9, the latest version of the CMS. So let’s talk about why moving on to Drupal 9 would be a better choice.

Why Should You Upgrade Drupal 7 and Drupal 8?

As Drupal 9 was launched on June 3rd this year, most of the Drupal-built websites around the globe are built using older versions. Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 are slightly different and we believe we should review each one of them separately. So…

Why should you upgrade your Drupal 7 website?

The most important reason would be the changes the platform went through between D7 and D9 versions. Since the launch of Drupal 7, the framework was completely rewritten. In fact, Drupal 9 is more like a cleaner and improved Drupal 8 version. And as it’s extremely easy to upgrade your D8 website to D9, by upgrading your D7 website to Drupal 9, you are getting all of the gains of these two latest versions as well as the benefits below:

  • Quick and easy updates from now on

The Drupal team made sure that after the D9, upgrades are easy forever. They assure that it will be seamless to migrate Drupal 9 to further versions.

  • Better Drupal security

Drupal 7 migration will decrease your website vulnerability. D9 is crafted with up-to-date PHP code that in itself is a safety boost.

  • Speed increase

Drupal 9 includes the latest versions such as third-party libraries and components like Symfony, Twig and others that significantly improve your website’s performance.

  • Accessibility to all audiences

The 9th version of Drupal CMS focuses on being accessible to audiences with disabilities.

  • It’s integration-friendly

Every Drupal developer out there admires Drupal for its endless integration options. For instance, the updated framework allows you to simultaneously post content both on your website and mobile app, which saves a lot of time.

  • Great editing experience

Started with the D8 version, creators are focusing on making as user-friendly admin dashboard as possible. The Drupal 9 features include an extensive Media Library, improved CKEditor, configurable toolbar, Layout Builder, multiple content moderation options, and a lot more!

  • It’s mobile-first

Drupal 9 continues the Drupal 8 tradition and offers a mobile-first approach and, as a result, ensures your website’s seamless operation across all devices.

Though the only way to get to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 is to upgrade to Drupal 8 first. And as two latest versions are quite similar, Drupal 8 to 9 integration wouldn’t be as complicated. But you probably are asking us now – why would you want to upgrade the D8-written website to the latest version (since we keep repeating they are very similar!). So let’s discuss it.

Why should you upgrade Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

Because there isn’t a reason not to! Even though these two versions are quite similar, Drupal 8 won’t be supported after the last update that is scheduled for November 2021. And that’s it – after that, you will eventually need to move to Drupal 9, so might as well begin getting ready for this change now.

In general, Drupal 9.0 core code matches the Drupal 8.9 core. The main differences between Drupal 9.0 and Drupal 8.8 or 8.9 are:

  1.  the removal of deprecated code;
  2.  required upgrades to third-party dependencies.

So to sum up, you should start migrating your website because it will be painless and it will increase the overall quality of your product both for you and for the users. And there are literally zero reasons not to do it.

In Conclusion

We believe that anyone out there either using Drupal 7 or 8 will benefit from the upgrade to Drupal 9. We also recommend starting upgrading as soon as possible to not compromise your website safety and functionality.

If you aren’t familiar with Drupal console and you have no idea how to install Drupal, we recommend you hire a specialist – someone like us. We can consult you on how to upgrade your website to the latest option or we can do it for you. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.