Drupal 8 is the most popular Drupal version. A great number of documentation and articles is available to facilitate the Drupal configuration. Drupal 9 is the most expected version since the lack of information and practice leads to even more interest. What's new? What're the capabilities that open its release? To check this, you can install and try Drupal 9 since the dev version is already available for download. The Drupal guru Dries Buytaert announced Plan for Drupal 9 that briefly and clearly explains what we all should expect. Despite this, our proven Drupal services are ready to satisfy any kind of business and site owners’ expectation and develop a new project on fantastic Drupal 9.
What's new with Drupal 9?
Drupal development keeps getting the best recommendations. Visit https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/releases to install a 9.x version. There you'll see a list of Drupal core releases available for download. Otherwise, to download the Drupal 9 project directly, use the following link https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/releases/9.x-dev.
Another useful fact is that Drupal 9.0.0 API is compatible with Drupal 8.9.0. The main difference between these versions is that Drupal 9.0.0 does not contain the code, marked in Drupal 8.9.0. as @deprecated. The changes in the new version are minimal because they are implemented simultaneously with Drupal 9. The developers direct all efforts to clean the outdated Drupal 8 code. However, the community is going to add the new functionality starting with Drupal 9.1.0. Note, Drupal 8.8.0 is the minimum version to upgrade to Drupal 9. It’s due to all update hooks to 8.8.0-rc1 deleted from Drupal 9. In other words, the new version does not contain updates for the database that earlier versions have and that causes lots of problems while updating.
Drupal 9 features
Along with the new release, the Drupal community is willing to proceed with the following strategic tasks to make Drupal 9 more convenient: 1. Facilitate the content creating and site-building (Media, Administration UI, Layout, Workflow). 2. Facilitate the process of the assessment and Drupal integration (Out-of-box, Migration). 3. Support of Drupal relevant and impactful: API/Decoupled/Headless (Six-month feature releases) 4. Reduce the total budget needed for site development both for owners and developers (Configuration management, easy upgrade to Drupal 9, Extended security support, Automatic updates, composer).
JQuery UI source code added to the Drupal core
Introduced a new “stable” theme especially for Drupal 9 - Stable 9
Drupal 9 bot, something new?
Currently, developers are testing a new and simultaneously cool feature - Project Update Bot. This bot helps to quickly update modules for D9. The maintainers haven’t decided yet if the new bot would be useful for everyone. But they are willing to keep this tool up-to-date. ProjectUpdateBotD9 checks if there are available new patches for the existing modules and respectively commits them. You may remove the Bot tab and it will no longer post any updates. Otherwise, the maintainers' team is open to get any feedback or remarks. Issue them on the corresponding chapter here. Unfortunately, there is no information on how fast the bot finishes parsing and creating issues for all the contribs modules.
Drupal 9 migration
That’s not a secret that the benefits of migration are beyond comparison. Security, flexibility, and fast work - is a cherry on a cake. Please read our recommendations to make sure you are on the right way:
- It’s better to keep the site up-to-date rather than restlessly start preparing for migration. Regular checks and removing of the deprecated code is a golden rule of the Drupal site support. Someone, who is not involved in the developers' terminology may ask: “How to get to know if the site code is deprecated?”. Fortunately, the Drupal community came up with a decent solution. It's drupal-check utility. It’s kind of PHP static analysis tool that respectively checks the site codebase to detect the deprecated code. Our team would recommend developers do not ignore this rule and run the utility automatically throughout developing the projects. Also, there is another method to check the site readiness - try to use module Upgrade Status. Thanks to the user interface, it's easy to check the preparedness of migrating the site to D9.
- Picture this, you support or work with a couple of projects on Drupal.org. Enable the Drupal.org test to detect the deprecated code. There are two complementary methods: you can run static code analysis or add crash when calling deprecated code to existing tests. You can configure both options the drupalci.yml configuration file. Some pieces of code require deep refactoring, but most - can be fixed by a simple search and replace.
- Referring to our previous argument - we recommend you to start the preparation for your site migration immediately. Sounds weird, but it will save your budget and time. Moreover, the latest Drupal 8 API has lots of benefits, placing in the modules and themes. It’s not necessary to wait for the release of Drupal 9. The release of Drupal 8.8.0 will be the last before the release of Drupal 9. But at the moment, the list of all deprecations has not yet been determined.
Drupal 7 and Drupal 8
Everyone is talking about Drupal 9, but there are still a lot of Drupal 7 site owners. Don’t forget that Drupal 7was released in January 2011, and in 10 years, in November 2021, its support is going to end. Very soon, the Drupal security team will no longer release updates. Accordingly, the Drupal Association will stop their support on Drupal.org. As a result, the automated testing services for Drupal 7 will be closed.
A wide range of outdated CMS owners and users will no longer be able to apply the new features and security updates (except for selected commercial vendors, who can take paid advantage support).
We still have two years left until the end of the D7 support. Site owners should start planning the upgrade now. That’s the good news for CMS developers since the migration from D8 to D9 is much easier than from D7 to D8. The first release of D9 will be identical to the latest release of D8, except for removing legacy code and updating dependencies to newer versions.
Just a quick note why you must stay with Drupal
Quite possibly, having Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 site, someone can confuse in choosing between Drupal and other CMS. We prepared the top 4 reasons why we recommend staying with Drupal:
- Reduce cost and effort. Drupal is cheaper and simpler to build and maintain the websites.
- Prioritize the beginner experience. Drupal is loved by beginners as well as by experts.
- Drive the open web. Drupal is an open-source platform that can be used by any people, all around the world.
- The best structure data engine. Drupal is ready for a future where content and data is the heart of every digital experience.
Drupal 9 is a philosophy of high performance, caching, and usability. Our team recommends migration to the new version as a step forward for site owners, managers, and developers.
Three reasons why you shouldn’t wait with Drupal migration:
✅ D7 End-Of-Life Is Around the Corner
✅ Smooth Migration to D9
✅ Power Your Digital Business
✅ One of the best CMS continues hardworking on D9 release to get you unbelievable benefits of improving your business.
Feel free to ask our technical team any questions! Let’s make our lives easier!