how do you start upgrading to drupal 9?

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Drupal 7 was released on January 5, 2011. On November 28, 2022, more than 10 years after the original release, Drupal 7 will become end-of-life. From that moment on, Drupal 7 will no longer be supported by the Drupal community and your Drupal 7 website will no longer be safe.

But the D7 end-of-life has other consequences as well.

  • Drupal 7 will no longer get new code. This obviously means that no new functionalities will be made available. What’s more, there won’t be any more bug fixes either and newer versions of underlying components (for example PHP) will no longer be supported.
     
  • The Drupal Security Team will no longer provide support for Drupal 7 core, Drupal 7 contributed modules, Drupal 7 contributed themes or any other Drupal 7 project. The publication of security advisories will stop.
     
  • Drupal.org will mark Drupal 7 and all its modules as insecure. On the website itself, Drupal 7 will also be marked as insecure.
     
  • Automatic third-party scans can also mark Drupal 7 as insecure.

Does your website still use Drupal 7? Then it’s probably time to start thinking about an upgrade! Not only to keep your website safe, but also to enjoy Drupal 9’s modern technology. It has many advantages for the content editors as well as the visitors and developers of your site. Curious? So are we!

from drupal 7 to drupal 8, or immediately to drupal 9?

Before we answer this question, it’s good to get some background on Drupal 8 and 9.

In the past, every new major Drupal version was a big upgrade, and there was no compatibility between these major versions. Where new major Drupal versions used to be entirely new code bases that were completely rewritten, now they are derived from the original version.

In fact, Drupal 9 is nothing more than the latest release of Drupal 8 (8.9.0), but without outdated code and including the newest versions of the frameworks and libraries that Drupal uses.

It’s best to update your Drupal 7 website to Drupal 9. Upgrading to Drupal 8 first does not have any added value and will not make the process go any faster. What’s more, Drupal 8 is also end-of-life.

2 men sitting at a desk.
2 men sitting at a desk.

more than just drupal.

When upgrading your Drupal version, the focus mostly goes to the Drupal upgrade process and the developments that are necessary. However, there are some more issues that you should address: 

  • Together with Drupal 9, some new technologies will be introduced that didn’t exist in Drupal 7: the Symfony framework, package management through Composer …
     
  • Don’t forget to adapt the deployment tooling either (think for example of Bitbucket pipelines or Jenkins).
     
  • The hosting environment should be adapted based on the Drupal 9 requirements. Think of the modern versions of PHP and MySQL. Keep in mind that you’ll probably need 2 hosting environments while upgrading: 1 for your new website and 1 for the old one.
     
  • Information architecture and content migration: this is the perfect time to adapt the content of your website. Don’t forget to create a clear plan to migrate the content from the old website to the new one.
     
  • Design: if you’re still working with Drupal 7, there’s a very real possibility that your website’s design is outdated and could use some updates. Don’t forget to keep the mobile-friendly principles and accessibility in mind.

how do I make sure the transition from drupal 7 to drupal 9 goes smoothly?

So, how do you start upgrading to Drupal 9? What should you definitely keep in mind, and how can you keep your costs as low as possible? You’ll find some great tips in our roadmap!

If you have more questions for us, or if you’re looking for a partner that can unburden you from this upgrade, don’t hesitate to contact mathias.henderick@ausy.be. We’ll see what we can do for you!

about the author
picture of Mathias Henderick
picture of Mathias Henderick

mathias henderick

business director it project services & outsourcing

Together with my team of IT experts, I will help you conceive, develop and implement the right future proof technological solution.