By Michaël
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Why is the Drupal 9 upgrade important?

If your site is running Drupal 8, you should know that this version will no longer be supported by the community as of November 2, 2021. In practice, this means that from this date, there will be no more evolution or security updates. It is therefore imperative to upgrade.

An evolution rather than a revolution

No need to panic! Unlike the transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, the transition from Drupal 8 to the latest version is relatively simple because Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 were developed on the same foundations. It is not a revolution of technical layers as it was the case for the two previous version changes.

This means that all Drupal 8 components will still work with this new version. The most used communitary modules already have a Drupal 9 compatible version. By the way, at Webstanz we always make sure that the installed modules are up to date and still maintained by the community and the Drupal security teams.

In terms of development, Drupal 9 comes with support for new PHP libraries, including the latest versions of Symfony and Twig, which are popular with developers. This is the reason why Drupal 8 will no longer be supported. Indeed, version 3 of Symphony, the PHP framework used in Drupal 8 will not be supported.

If any of your site's key features were custom developed, upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 means that the deprecated code snippets will need to be replaced.

Designed for the future

Drupal 8 was designed with a mobile-first approach. Drupal 9 goes even further by supporting responsive images so that mobiles display images at the best size and thus require less data.

And that's not all! Both versions have adopted an API-first and Headless CMS approach. It is now possible to completely decouple the back office from the front end. Allowing creative approaches to interfaces, including with Javascript frameworks like React or Angular.

Drupal can also easily integrate a PIM system (Product Information Management) and a DAM solution (Digital Asset Management). This makes it possible to place Drupal at the center of your digital ecosystem, at the heart of your business, and to become the single reference source for your content.


For marketeers

With built-in personalization modules or any other third-party personalization engine, Drupal allows you to offer a personalized experience to your users, segment visitors regardless of the terminals used, track and generate user tests (A/B tests and Multivariants).

To deliver a consistent and personalized experience across all channels, Drupal can easily integrate with all your external analytics, CDP, DMP, CRM or other data platforms.
Drupal 9 also allows you to interface with eCommerce solutions that can be synchronized as Drupal entities on Drupal sites to deliver content-driven commerce experiences to support your inbound marketing strategy.

For content contributors

No major changes. The administration console is constantly being improved and already integrates the new Claro theme which is more modern and even more intuitive than its forerunner. The cherry on top: the administration interface has also been designed with a mobile-first approach. From now on, you will be able to manage content, taxonomy, users, blocks and themes on the go, on your smartphone.


What about older versions of Drupal?

Moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 or 9 requires a complete redesign.The work to be done will therefore be much more consequent.

In order not to put many companies in trouble, the Drupal community has decided to extend support and security updates for Drupal 7 until November 28th 2022. After this date, Drupal 7 will be a risk for your company and it will be imperative to rebuild the foundations in Drupal 9.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

What's next?

Future releases will follow the life cycle as planned in the Drupal Roadmap. Future upgrades will be easier to achieve thanks to Composer, a tool that allows you to manage the different versions of Drupal and its community modules.

 

Editor's note: This article is freely inspired by https://dri.es/state-of-drupal-presentation-april-2021

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