Drupal 8 to Drupal 9: The easiest major upgrade in a decade
Upgrading between all minor versions of Drupal, including the jump to version 9 is advised, but is a much simpler process than version upgrades have been in the past. See what Drupal.org has to say about it here. However, if your website was recently created or released since 2016, it’s likely that you’re on Drupal 8, and the upgrade should be extremely straightforward and relatively painless.
If you find yourself on version 7 of Drupal, you can absolutely upgrade straight to D9 and skip D8 altogether. The rebuild would likely take the form of an entirely new website, but the benefits of going right to D9 are two-fold: avoiding end of life issues for D8 in 2022 and jumping on a platform that will enable to you go headless, adopt the best media, personalization, translation, and content creation tool that open source has to offer.
Why migrate to Drupal 9?
Running end-of-life platforms come with a set of problems that over time, will end up costing your company time and money. When official support for D7 runs out in 2022 (the same time as D8), security updates, bug fixes and the creation of new modules for those versions will also go away. This opens your system to be more vulnerable to cyber attacks, potential downtime and a lack of up-to-date features that your customers would expect from your web presence.
Jumping right into a new build with D9, you benefit from having long-term official support from the Drupal community including security releases that help protect your website from various vulnerabilities. D9 also removes outdated code and uses the new version of PHP, which is important in terms of security.
Other reasons to upgrade to D9, from Drupal.org:
- Easiest upgrade in a decade, and a commitment to easy upgrades in the future. Never replatform again.
- Continuous innovation, cutting-edge new features, reaching new digital channels while strengthening our foundation in content management.
- Dramatically easier tools, intuitive solutions that empower business users to take advantage of the power of Drupal.
Currently, we are on the cusp of the first minor release of Drupal 9, which is planned before the end of the year. Most large ecosystem modules in Drupal have complete support for Drupal 9, including Drupal Commerce version 2.
Tips for Upgrading to Drupal 9
- Make sure your version of Drupal is up-to-date.
- Use Upgrade Status to see if your website is ready for upgrading (this module will flag modules that need to be upgraded to Drupal 9).
- If you have custom code, you can use Drupal Rector to identify code that needs to be updated and, in many cases, can be automatically upgraded.
Still not sure that the upgrade to Drupal 9 is right for your organization? Have questions about the best way to handle upgrading your Drupal site? Our team is here to help you answer those kinds of questions. Check out our Drupal and Drupal Commerce Development page for more details on our services, or contact our experts to get started on your Drupal upgrade today.
Josh has been creating websites since 2000, has been a Drupal community member since 2008, and is a valued Acro Media Alumni. He spends most of his free time playing board games and yelling at his cat with his wife.