Upgrade Your Drupal 8 Site to Drupal 9
With Drupal 8 reaching its end-of-life on Nov 2, 2021, you must upgrade to Drupal 9 before November to keep your site secure. Let's have a look why migrating now is best option for your web platform.
Drupal is among the most robust CMS that is seeing increased use in complex websites. Like most CMSs, Drupal is upgraded regularly to add new features for a holistic visitor experience and added security features. Therefore, it is always helpful to have the CMS upgraded to the latest version. However, the impending end of support of Drupal 8 on 2nd November 2021 requires you to go for a Drupal 8 to 9 upgrade quickly.
Why must you Upgrade to Drupal 9?
Drupal 8 is Nearing the End-Of-Life
One of the prime reasons you need this upgrade is that Symfony 3 and Drupal 8 reach the end of life. It is happening even before Drupal 9.3.0 is released. It is also essential to know that the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is more straightforward than the earlier versions. Once the support is lifted, there will be no bug fixes, security updates, or creation of new features or modules. It will be challenging to protect the website from cyberattacks or stay ahead of the competition. The Drupal 9 upgrade will provide you with support from the Drupal community.
(Source: Drupal.org - How to prepare for Drupal 9)
Few Unique Features in Drupal 9
Let us learn about some of the critical features of Drupal 9 that will provide an impetus for a quick upgrade.
- It is Backward Compatible
Drupal 9 is compatible with its predecessor and can use the modules and configurations used in Drupal 8. It will ensure that the performance of the system will not be affected. Your website will operate faster and with clutter-free technology.
- No Deprecated Code
One of the issues of migration projects is the need for a cleaner codebase. No deprecated code will be supported and used in the Drupal setup. When you upgrade to Drupal 9, there will be a cleaner codebase and improved site performance.
- New Versions of Symfony and Twig
The older versions of these platforms will be removed, and you must upgrade to the newer versions. It helps to enhance website security and enhances the developer experience. For example, there will be an upgrade to Symfony 4 or 5, while there could be an upgrade to Twig 2.0.
- Multi-Lingual Support
Global corporations have websites in the language of the country where they are operating. It helps them to talk in the language of the audience. Drupal 9 allows multi-lingual support, and the editors can manage language versions conveniently.
Tips for Upgrading to Drupal 9
When you upgrade to Drupal 9, you must ensure that the version is updated. Are you aware that the upgrade from Drupal 8.9.0 to Drupal 9 would involve updating Symfony and Twig? It will also include the removal of the deprecated libraries and code.
As a first step, you must ensure that the site runs on a stable version of Drupal 8. The Upgrade Status module can help check the contributed module's compatibility and assess the system requirements. The custom modules must be checked for the use of APIs or deprecated libraries.
While you are still on Drupal 8, you must upgrade the contributed modules and the themes to the Drupal 9 compatible versions. You can use the Upgrade Status module to generate a report on the readiness of the modules for the proposed upgrade to Drupal 9.
If you are using custom themes or modules, always check if they are compatible with the new version of Drupal. You can scan using the Upgrade Status module and remove any deprecated APIs that may be present. Moreover, you must also check whether the PHP, MySQL, and the web server are running on compatible versions.
How can you upgrade to Drupal 9 from Drupal 8.7 or earlier?
You must migrate the Drupal 8 site to Drupal 9 to see the end of life in November this year. When you have decided to relocate, you must first update the Drupal 8 site with the most recent version of both the contributed and core themes and modules. In addition, the site must be upgraded to at least Drupal 8.8.0 as earlier modules are unlikely to be compatible with Drupal 9.
Before you plan the upgrade to Drupal 9, you must have an inventory of the contributed modules, custom modules, and themes.
Custom modules: You can install drupal-check running as a part of CI workflow or running on the development environment. You will understand the activities to be performed to have the custom code compatible with Drupal 9. You can note down the modules which have a compatibility issue. Check whether you need them anymore.
Contributed modules: The contributed modules can be segregated into groups that will show the amount of effort needed. First, check the modules that have a Drupal 9 release. Also, check whether these would be significant updates or would they be minor ones.
The latest releases of the contributed module can often support both the versions of Drupal 8 and 9. Thus, the effort needed will be the least, and you can start from here.
You must update to the latest version of the core to allow the database to be ready for migration. The contributed modules will also be prepared for the Drupal 9 upgrade. Once all the components are compatible, you must update the core to Drupal 9 and run the update.php program.
How can you upgrade from Drupal 8.8 or later?
The themes and the contributed modules must be updated. You can use the Update Status module to check the compatibility with the Drupal 8.8 site. You can check the module’s project pages for the Drupal 9 upgrade. If the website has themes or custom code, always ensure they are not using any code that was deprecated in 8.8 and must be removed. When all the components are compatible, you can update the core to Drupal 9 and run the update.php.
Drupal is increasingly getting popular with heavier and more complex websites. In keeping with the trend of periodically upgrading Drupal, the advent of upgrade to Drupal 9 comes with several benefits. You must upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 as Drupal 8 will see the end of life by November this year.