Why upgrade to Drupal 9: guide for Drupal 7 website owners
New versions of tech products make them safer, more efficient, more feature-rich, and more in line with the latest trends. This is especially impactful in the context of websites. Indeed, sites are complex mechanisms responsible for expanding our reach and bringing us new customers, so we really need them to work at their full capacity.
If your site is on Drupal, what is the latest version it can have? The newest one — fresh from the oven — is Drupal 9, which was released this June. Many businesses started planning for Drupal 9 a long time ago, many are just beginning. What about you?
Today, we will be discussing why you should upgrade to Drupal 9. A special focus will be on Drupal 7 websites and what’s important for their owners to know.
The current state of Drupal 7: how is it going?
Today, D7 is used by 730,000+ websites across the globe (is yours one of them?) The version is not new but a stable one officially supported by the Drupal team. I It will be officially supported until November 2022.
This support was going to stop in 2021, but the Drupal creators decided that because of the impact of the pandemic they would extend the support by one year.
What will the end of support mean?
- Security considerations. Keeping your website’s and customers’ data safe is vital for any business. One of the golden rules for safety is to regularly apply security updates in Drupal. After the end of support, no more security updates will be released. This means more vulnerabilities to cyber attacks.
- Less smooth website’s work. No official support also means no bug fixes or improvements. As a result, some things on your website may not be working properly. This pushes away potential customers.
- No further development. After the end of support, you cannot expect any nice features created for your Drupal version.
However, despite the fact that Drupal 7 is still supported, we should note that the developers’ focus has significantly shifted towards D8/D9. This makes Drupal 7 lag behind without getting cool features for the core or contributed modules.
In addition, many developers of D7 contributed modules have no more inspiration to support them, so websites using them may get some unstable work.
When it comes to security, D7 sites today often run on outdated and insecure versions of PHP (sometimes even as old as PHP 5.3).
Why upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
After D7, Drupal has almost been rewritten from scratch according to the new technological trends. Drupal 9 is very close to Drupal 8 — in fact, D9.0 is almost like the latest minor D8 version, but cleaned up from deprecated code, equipped with the latest libraries, and headed for future long-term growth. D8 sites upgrade to Drupal 9 in a snap of a finger by just meeting a few requirements.
All this means that if you upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, you get all the Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 benefits in one. Let’s take a look:
Easy upgrades ever after
Long upgrades are gone into the past. All you need now is one big move forward from the 7th version — and all future upgrades will be very quick. This is thanks to D9’s backward compatibility with Drupal 8. It’s the Drupal team’s priority to make upgrades easy forever.
One of the benefits of long-term official support of Drupal 9 are security releases that help protect your website from various vulnerabilities. D9 is also clean from outdated code and uses the new version of PHP, which is important in terms of security.
Accessible to all audiences
The 9th version continues the accessibility-oriented path started by the 8th version. It has a focus on being accessible to audiences with disabilities. Drupal 9’s new front-end theme Olivero alone is an accessibility masterpiece.
More open to integration
Drupal 9’s strategic priority is to keep getting more and more ready for integrations with new devices and applications. For example, just imagine having your content on both your website and your mobile app.
Smooth editorial experiences
D8 started, and D9 will continue, to focus on making content editors love their admin dashboard. It’s difficult even to compare it to the old D7’s one. This is thanks to the Media Library, CKEditor for post creation, configurable toolbar, the quick edit feature, Layout Builder, content moderation options, modern Claro admin theme, and much more.
You Drupal 7 website cannot even imagine the multilingual capabilities that Drupal 8 has out-of-box. Adding languages is now a breeze and most of the interfaces are already translated.
Another great tradition started in D8 that will continue through 9 is a mobile-first approach. It ensures your website works seamlessly across all devices.
Upgrade to Drupal 9 with us
The most recommended way to upgrade to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 is to upgrade to Drupal 8 first. We will upgrade you to the latest version of D8 and make sure your code is clean, without outdated elements. Fulfilling these requirements will allow us to instantly transfer your site to D9.