Should you migrate to Drupal 8 or wait for Drupal 9?
A website upgrade is a beneficial investment. This is especially true for upgrades to Drupal 8 — the latest and greatest version of Drupal. The numerous benefits of Drupal 8 for business are undoubtable. However some website owners doubt whether this investment makes sense long term. There is already the “phantom” of Drupal 9 looming ahead. Let’s see how real or shadowy it is, and analyze whether you should upgrade to Drupal 8 or wait for Drupal 9.
Upgrade to Drupal 8 vs. waiting for Drupal 9
Drupal and its traditional upgrades
Drupal 8 was released on November 19, 2015 after almost five years of work. Thousands of developers invested their time and effort into it. And the result is stunning — the brand-new Drupal differs significantly from its predecessors. It is almost entirely rewritten from scratch.
Innovation has the other side of the medal — upgrades to Drupal 8 from Drupal 7 (and even more so from Drupal 6) sometimes present a steep curve. The migration time and costs depend on the website complexity and scope, as well as the number of custom features.
So some website owners ask themselves whether there will be something completely new in another 5 years or so, when they will need another migration. Once upgraded to Drupal 8, they are on top of the world — but what about when the ninth version comes out?
To answer this question, it is important to note that Drupal 8 is probably the last version that is so different from its predecessors. See why.
New approaches to Drupal releases
With Drupal 8 comes new approaches to Drupal releases. There is no longer a need to wait years for another big release.
According to the principle of continuous innovation, every half a year there is a minor Drupal 8 version with lots of top-notch updates. Between the versions, seamless upgrade processes are provided. So websites get attractive novelties very easily, with no fuss.
For example, recently Drupal 8.5.0 has come out with awesome opportunities for creating layouts, working with media, configuring blocks, performing migrations, creating content workflows, connecting third-party apps, and much more.
Drupal upgrades getting “easy forever”
Moreover, beginning with Drupal 8, upgrades become “easy forever.” That’s what Drupal founder Dries Buytaert wrote in his blog post, which created a big splash.
According to him, Drupal 9 will be almost the same as the latest version of Drupal 8.x, but without the features that get deprecated.
As a result, migrations from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be as easy as updates between minor versions. Drupal 8 contributed, and even custom, modules that are created according to the rules will work smoothly in Drupal 9.
This means you will not need another big migration, once you are up to date with Drupal 8. Isn’t that awesome?
“Will there be a Drupal 9?”
As to the “phantom” of Drupal 9, there is even a debate as to whether the ninth version will be released at all. Famous drupaler Steve Burge once wrote an article with a very provocative title “Will there ever be a Drupal 9?”.
According to him, big releases are probably history. Everyone is comfortable with the minor release model, so we should expect to see Drupal 8.9 or something like that before Drupal 9 arrives. And if the ninth version does come out, it will be a much smaller update.
“This is just my personal opinion, but I think an investment in Drupal 8 will last a long, long time”, he wrote.
That being said, the picture becomes pretty clear. Do not wait — let’s upgrade to Drupal 8! We have Drupal experts who will perform the migration seamlessly. You will appreciate everything that the “great eight” can do for your website!