Drupal 9 upgrade and  migration

Drupal 7 to 9 or Drupal 7 to 8 to 9 Upgrade? What to choose?

Authored by Ameex Technologies on 10 Mar 2021

As Drupal 9 is here, the major question among the millions of Drupal 7 users is should we switch to Drupal 9 straight away or upgrade to Drupal 8 and then move to Drupal 9?

Since the announcements, our Drupal consultants also faced with similar queries from users who are on Drupal 7. So, we decided to write this blog where we address the pros and cons of both the Drupal upgrade ideas.

Why Upgrade to Drupal 9?

Drupal 9 gives better website performance, user experience and security. It’s easy to upgrade, more flexible (open to integration) and offers smoother content editing experience.

The graph below shows the timeline for the release of different Drupal versions. While Drupal 7 security and bug fix support will end by Q4 2022 and Drupal 8 by Q4 2021, Drupal 9 being the latest release will continue to provide security and bug fix support after that. So, opt for Drupal 9 upgrade right away.

Drupal 9 migration

Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9

With Drupal 7 holding the majority of the Drupal users, would want to directly upgrade from Drupal 7 to 9? But the answer cannot be binary! But here are some facts for you.

Upgrading from Drupal 7 to 9 will cost you the same as upgrading from Drupal 7 to 8 to 9. Yes! You read that right. The reason is that Drupal 9 is a minor upgrade in terms of functionalities from Drupal 8 while Drupal 7 to 9 is a whole different thing.

Second, backward compatibility. Since Drupal is backed by the vast Drupal community, it might take some time for the marketplace to create enough modules that are compatible with the Drupal 9 version. Any error post, Drupal 9 upgrade from Drupal 7 cannot help you date back to Drupal 7, whereas with Drupal 8 the same is possible.

Upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9

"The big deal about Drupal 9 is … that it should not be a big deal. The best way to be ready for Drupal 9 is to keep up with Drupal 8 updates." This was from the official release that pretty much tells you about the way to go. IF you are on Drupal 8, upgrading to Drupal 9 will be seamless and not a big deal.

In addition to the core upgrades, Drupal 8 gets a Symphony 4 and Symphony 5 upgrade. Ideally, Drupal 9 comes with Symphony 4 or Symphony 5. This will further reduce your time and effort when you upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.

The only check with Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 upgrade would be the removal of Deprecated codes. Codes which has a better alternative and cannot be used further are marked as deprecated by Drupal. You can find their usage in modules integrated with the site.

At Ameex, with the list of deprecated codes in place our team helps remove the same for existing clients and create new modules with such deprecated code in mind for new clients. Thus, we help them surpass the only time check while upgrading from Drupal 8 to 9.

Additionally, Drupal 8 is nearing its end of life (November 2021). So, you have to plan your upgrade within a span of 8 months! else, your website can be vulnerable to security threats. But the good news is, since the Drupal 9 is built on top of Drupal 8, you can upgrade your platform fast and easy.

Are you using Drupal? Do you have similar confusion about the upgrade? Book a free consultation with your Drupal Solutions consultant today.