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By oshi bohra | 21 Jan 2022

Drupal 9 has elevated usability and customer experience to new heights. It is the most innovative and user-friendly version of Drupal to date. It's not just a high-quality option for building integrated digital frameworks; it's also a stripped-down version of Drupal 8.9.0 with updated third-party dependencies.

Let us take a look at Drupal 9 features and capabilities -

Faster & Better Performance - The new version gets an upgrade from the previous one. It has a powerful system of image style and responsive images. The new upgrade load proper image sizes for all types of screens and best display size mobile images.

Backward Compatible - Upgrading to Drupal 9 does not block the use of modules, configurations and data of Drupal 8. Drupal 9 will be able to use the modules, configurations and data created on Drupal 8 unlike Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

Cleaner Code Base - Drupal 9 do not carry the deprecated codes from Drupal 8.  Less deprecated code means better performance and cleaner codebase.

Symfony and Twig Updates - with upgrade to Drupal 9 the third party dependencies such as Symfony and Twig get major upgrades with the latest versions. The upgrades provide advanced performance, better developer experience and strengthened security.

Headless CMS - The latest Drupal version continues building on the API-first approach similar to Drupal 8. Drupal 9 is a leader in headless and decoupled solutions. Being a headless CMS gives it the flexibility to continue building the back-end content repository using Drupal and implement different framework or technologies to the front-end. This helps to enhance suer experience.

Why Should you consider Upgrading to Drupal 9

Drupal will soon stop providing the support and security advisories leaving websites and its user's cybersecurity at risk. Earlier versions Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will no longer receive any security updates making it vulnerable when integrating with any other third party tools. Leading service providers such as Acquia will no longer provide support for D7.

Upgrading to Drupal 9 will help website owners to get continuous support and security updates. The most recent version can successfully complete all aspects of your high-stakes website development projects. So, do you want to give it a shot? The key to a successful move to Drupal 9.1.0 is to stick to your migration plan's deadlines and avoid unnecessary complications.

Environment

The upgrade must be compatible with the hosting environment. It should be double-checked that all of the essential adjustments for the hosting site in Drupal 9 are in place to ensure a smooth transition with no downtime.

Deprecated Libraries

While updating, you may come across some deprecated libraries in custom modules, similar to deprecated codes. It's a good idea to check over all of the custom modules and make sure there aren't any deprecated libraries.

Planned Release

Drupal 8 was promised a planned release by the company. The fresh patches will be delivered on a regular basis, with minor version upgrades every six months. With the introduction of Drupal 9, it is clear that they are following through and will be releasing the next versions of Drupal 9 soon. Drupal 9.1 was published in December 2020, as expected, and the next version. As a result, site owners and developers must prepare for future changes.

Drupal 8 for Migration

Migrating from Drupal 7 or earlier versions of Drupal 8 necessitates a significant codebase upgrade. However, upgrading to the latest versions of Drupal 9 is recommended for a seamless and quick transfer. This would speed up the migration process and make it appear as if it were a minor version upgrade

Developer Skills

Because most developers have been accustomed to working with Drupal 7, more than 70% of sites are still using the previous version Drupal 7. Developers must study and adopt the skills required to embrace Drupal 9 before transitioning to the next version. For example, they may need to learn Composer in order to properly handle dependencies. In Drupal 9, the way current core code is implemented has changed, and developers must be aware of this. In reality, before upgrading the site, developers must master new tools and tactics.

Migrating to Drupal 9

Drupal 9 comes with scheduled updates. Support for Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will end by November 2022. This means that the websites on previous versions will require to be migrated to Drupal 9.

Migrate from D7 to D9

You can directly migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. Migrating to Drupal 9 will ensure continuous benefit of innovation life cycle delivering regular capabilities. The support for D7 will end in November 2022. So site owners have time to migrate to the latest version of Drupal.

For the migration process to run smooth make sure -

Your website is updated to the latest version of Drupal 7.

To ensure that the update is as Drupal 9 compatible as feasible, incorporate deprecation checking tools into the migration process.

All modules used in Drupal 7 and their purposes should be mapped to their Drupal 9 counterparts. Once you've got that in place, you may retool key features to use D9 core instead of contributed modules.

To transfer your content and site setup from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, use the Core Migrate Module Suite. To relocate content, you may also use the Migration module to create a custom migration setup.

How different APIs are mapped to different modules in D7, whether those exist in D9, or if the integrations must be done in a different way now.

Migrate from D8 to D9

If you've already upgraded to Drupal 8, there's not much else you need to do.

The following are the primary considerations while migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 -

Ascertain that your site is running on the most recent version of Drupal 8, i.e. Drupal 8.8 or Drupal 8.9.

Before moving, make sure the hosting environment has the minimal system requirements, such as the supported PHP version, PHP extensions, database extensions, image library, and cURL extension.

Check and fix any deprecated code that was deleted after the upgrade to Drupal 8.

Ensure that all hosting tools are compatible with Drupal 9 and have been updated to meet the current system requirements.

During the next few steps, put your site in maintenance mode.

Reapply the changes or updates to different files after applying the new codes and patches. The core dependencies should be updated.

Remove your site from maintenance mode and update its database.

Next Steps

Do you want to upgrade to Drupal 9 from your current Drupal 7 or Drupal 8? CIGNEX team of Drupal experts can help you with your migration because they have extensive Drupal knowledge and experience implementing Drupal-based enterprise solutions across a variety of industries. Take a look at our Drupal services.

Would you like to discuss your D9 requirements or just see how D9 fits into your digital transformation plan? Please contact one of our professionals.