The long-awaited Drupal 9 is here! Last year, we got the announcement that Drupal 7’s end of life is November 2021, and that is still true. November 2021 is over a year away, but it will be here sooner than you know it, which is why you should be thinking about how Drupal 9 affects your website and whether or not you should make the switch.
What’s New With Drupal 9
As Drupal.org explains, “Drupal 9 is a cleaned-up version of Drupal 8.” Any deprecated code has been removed and all third-party dependencies have been updated. Drupal 9 has much of the same features as Drupal 8.9, the main feature being that it “provides improvements without breaking backward compatibility for public APIs.” In fact, Drupal 9.1 and 9.2 will “add new backwards-compatible features to Drupal 9 every six months after Drupal 9.0.”
Making the Switch to Drupal 9
If you’re still on Drupal 7, you can certainly upgrade directly to Drupal 9. However, it is recommended that you first upgrade to Drupal 8.9. This will ensure that your site is compatible with the Drupal 9 updates. For example, your site may include functionalities provided by modules that are compatible with Drupal 8 but not yet with Drupal 9. One of the biggest benefits of Drupal 9 is the ease of upgrading from Drupal 8, and doing the upgrades in order will be a lot more efficient.
Drupal 7 > Drupal 8 > Drupal 9
If you are looking to make the switch from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, Sevaa Group can help. We use best practices when migrating websites and follow Drupal documentation. As detailed on Drupal.org, there are three key tools to migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9:
- The migrate module suite is used to migration data and content from Drupal 7. We can use this tool to ensure your content goes to the right place.
- We can use the Drupal 7 version of the Upgrade Status module to reference modules that are compatible with Drupal 8 or Drupal 9.
- Last, Drupal Module Upgrader is a command-line script that finds any code that requires updating to be compatible with Drupal 8 or 9. In fact, this script will attempt to covert any Drupal 7 code accordingly. In addition, “Drupal Module Upgrader has been updated to not use deprecated APIs.”
Drupal 10 is estimated to be released in 2022. It will be release before Drupal 9’s end of life. Next steps are to get your Drupal site updated. Whether it’s still in Drupal 7 or has recently been updated to Drupal 8, now is the time to start planning for the next big Drupal release.
EDIT: According to a blog posted by Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, on June 25, 2020, the end of life for Drupal 7 has been extended a year! This means community support and security updates will be available for Drupal 7 until November 2022.