Upgrade to Drupal 9: what, how and why?

Date
6 January 2022

An up-to-date system is a safe system. Whatever technology you use, a good maintenance policy is always vital to ensure smooth operation and a secure website. And this is no different for a CMS like Drupal. This article tells you all about upgrading to Drupal 9, the latest and most secure platform from Drupal.

drupal | iO

Why upgrade?

Upgrading to Drupal 9 is a necessary step to keep your website secure. But the upgrade also ensures you’ll get the regular, smaller updates. That way, your site is always running on the latest software. And the active Drupal community? Keep counting on them, too!

When to upgrade?

Is your website still running on Drupal 7? Then it's a good idea to upgrade to Drupal 9. Support for Drupal 7 will end in November 2023. Is it running on Drupal 8, though? Then you really should upgrade right now! Support for this version of Drupal already ended in November 2021.

Why Drupal 9?

The open-source software of Drupal is a good choice for many organisations. But besides the general benefits of Drupal as a CMS, there are also many specific benefits to the latest Drupal 9.

  • Your website performs better
    Drupal 9 is basically a cleaner version of Drupal 8. All the obsolete and redundant features contained in older versions of Drupal are removed in Drupal 9. Less code means higher-performance code. A website running on Drupal 9 simply performs better.

  • Components remain up-to-date
    An open source CMS like Drupal leans on third-party components, like Symfony or Twig. These components are also updated to their latest versions, and thus more secure and better performing.

  • Long-term support
    Drupal 8 is no longer supported and support for Drupal 7 is also nearing its end. Drupal 9, on the other hand, will be supported for years to come. Want to continue enjoying security updates? Then upgrade to Drupal 9!

  • Access to new features
    New features will be added with each subsequent version of Drupal, starting with Drupal 9.1. In other words: Drupal 9 keeps evolving, while Drupal 7 and 8 won’t evolve anymore.

Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9

Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is quite a big step. But if your website is still running on Drupal 7, it will soon be unsupported. That's why it's a good idea to start the upgrade process as soon as possible.

Not sure where to start or need expert advice? Feel free to contact our Drupal experts. Together we will determine the optimal upgrade path for your website.

Upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9

The step from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is rather small - unlike the transition from Drupal 7. If you've always followed the updates of Drupal 8, this upgrade certainly shouldn’t be a problem.

As said, websites running on Drupal 8 are no longer supported. That's why we advise you to take the step as soon as possible.

Looking for more information on how to upgrade to Drupal 9 with ease?

Download our whitepaper now!

Drupal 9 | iO

What about extensions and custom work?

Drupal is a modular CMS. You can therefore use extensions and customisations developed by third parties. This way, Drupal websites can be adapted (e.g. with headless) to the needs and wishes of your organisation.

But this means that you need to go the extra mile when it comes to updates: you need to check whether your extensions and customised products are compatible with the latest version of Drupal. If that’s not the case, you cannot upgrade yet. As Drupal 9 continues to be developed and updates are released, the differences with previous versions will increase.

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