How CoLab Can Help You Upgrade to Drupal 9

If your organization uses Drupal for your websites, you have probably heard that Drupal 9 is coming this summer. Here’s information about Drupal 9 and how CoLab can help you upgrade your Drupal 7 or 8 sites to Drupal 9.

Most importantly: Drupal 9 is the only version that will continue to be supported in the long term.

We are thrilled with our new website, and the care Colab put in both on design and implementation to build us a content platform that doesn’t get in our way, and that is designed to scale intelligently as our work accelerates.

Jon Duda
Communications Director, Democracy Collaborative

What does Drupal 9 have to offer?

Drupal is a content management system (CMS) that makes it easy for organizations to create and maintain large, complex websites with workflows, public and private sections, e-commerce, internationalization, and other advanced features. This widely-used, well-supported open source software has a large development community and works with hundreds of contributed add-on modules and integrations.

Drupal 9 is an evolution of Drupal 8 -- it is essentially Drupal 8 with major dependencies (Symfony) updated and deprecated code removed. The transition from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be much simpler than the reimplementation required in the move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

Many major new features were introduced in Drupal 8 and 9:

Version Comparison

Features Drupal 7 Drupal 8 Drupal 9
Moderation Workbench Moderation contrib module Replaced by Content Moderation, which enables Drupal sites to use editorial workflows. Because it’s now part of Drupal core, other modules like Groups and Views are fully compatible. Included
Media and Media Library modules Media contrib module Now built-in, providing functionality for managing media assets (images, audio, and video) used on the site. Built-in
Layout Builder The drag-and-drop page editor that Drupal content creators have been waiting for. Drag-and-draop page editor included.
Configuration management Features contrib module Added to Drupal 8 core, allowing developers to sync changes to your site's configuration from a development environment into your production site. Included
Internationalization Included in Drupal 9 code, with multilingual capabilities in over 100 languages.
Accessibility Improved accessibility, including for your content authors, addressing the needs of those with visual, auditory, and mobility issues.
JSON:API supports Included in Drupal 9 for decoupled applications, so you can use Drupal as the back-end for a wide variety of front-ends.
BigPipe Support Included in Drupal 9

Why upgrade to Drupal 9?

SCHEDULE A SITE REVIEW

Drupal 8 Upgrade FAQ

How long will Drupal 8 be supported?

The Drupal community plans to release Drupal 9 on June 3, 2020, alongside a long-term-support (LTS) minor release of Drupal 8. Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will be supported until November 2021; after that, security updates may not be provided by the Drupal community.

What is involved in upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

Moving from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be a much simpler process. After checking that your Drupal 8 code doesn’t use any deprecated APIs (for which there’s an automated tool), CoLab can help you to run a version update process and test!

Likely there will be small fixes needed or possibly some programming work to complete if you are using custom modules, but the path forward and investment should be modest.

How can CoLab help upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

As soon as Drupal 9 is released (scheduled for June 3, 2020), we’ll test the tools for upgrading from Drupal 8, document the best process, and be ready to help you with your Drupal 8-to-9 upgrade.

Drupal 7 Upgrade FAQ

How long will Drupal 7 be supported?

The Drupal community plans to release Drupal 9 on June 3, 2020, alongside a long-term-support (LTS) minor release of Drupal 8. Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will be supported until November 2021; after that, security updates may not be provided by the Drupal community.

What is involved in upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9?

The Drupal community recommends moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 as soon as possible, to prepare for the much simpler transition to Drupal 9. There is a stable migration path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, using the core Migration module to import your data into your new site.

However, there are a lot of differences between Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 (or 9), and you’ll need to map out a re-implementation of your site using the new set of core and contrib modules. Many community contributed modules are in active development for Drupal 9 compatibility. Moving from D7 to D8 can be a heavy lift, but it sets you up for the future.

How can CoLab help upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9?

CoLab has re-implemented many Drupal 7 sites in Drupal 8, with a dedicated Drupal Migration Team. We have an established process for Drupal migrations, including users, documents, images, nodes, workflows, roles, permissions, and redirects. We can recommend replacements for deprecated Drupal 7 modules. Our Migration Planning team can work with you to determine what to migrate into Drupal 9 and what to leave behind, including incorporating content clean-up in the process.

We’ve implemented these sites in Drupal 8:

  • Vermont Law School
  • Seventh Generation
  • The Next System

Planning and implementing your upgrade

CoLab can help with all phases of your upgrade project, including:

Reach out to schedule a review of your site needs and upgrade path.

For more information about Drupal 9

Here are links to the documentation on Drupal.org: