Preparing for Drupal 9

Design & Development

There’s a lot of hype in the right now about the upcoming release of Drupal 9 in 2020. With any major Drupal update, there come questions and concerns about how challenging the upgrade process will be, and how it will affect businesses around the world. But there is no need for panic if you’re in the beginning stages of getting ready for Drupal 9.

What Is Drupal 9?

Code clean-up is one of the driving reasons for a major update. With Drupal 8, minor releases were occurring every six months, and in turn was accelerating the number of new features being added to Drupal. As features are added, new and improved ways to solve problems are being implemented and code is marked deprecated (eventually to be removed from Drupal). The deprecated code is needed for backward compatibility but a major release of Drupal 9 provides an opportunity to remove this code and anything else that is no longer needed. Drupal 9 will be a cleaned-up version of Drupal 8, without deprecated code, and adding third-party dependencies.

The second factor in the major release relates to third-party dependencies. Drupal 9 will now have supported versions of software that will be around for a long time.

This major update is mostly built within Drupal 8. With new Drupal 9 code being deployed on Drupal 8 sites before Drupal 9 is even released, issues can still be worked out in Drupal 8.

When Will Drupal 9 Be Released?

  • Drupal 8.8 was released in December 2019
  • Drupal 9 is set to be released on June 3, 2020
  • Drupal 7 and 8 will reach end of life in November of 2021
  • Existing Drupal 8 sites will have until December, 2021 to upgrade to Drupal 9

What Does This Mean for Your Business?

Basically, Drupal 9 is a direct upgrade from Drupal 8 (in the same way that WordPress major versions can be upgraded too) without having to rebuild your entire site. Before Drupal 8, major versions required a complete rebuild or migration of the site. There’s no need to wait until Drupal 9 comes out to consider a rebuild. You can start rebuilding your site in Drupal 8, and then just upgrade to 9 when it comes out.

How to Prepare for Drupal 9

  1. Keep Drupal core up to date. Drupal 8’s last minor release will become Drupal 9.
  2. Keep modules up to date. Most modules will improve Drupal 9 compatibility as the release of Drupal 9 comes closer.
  3. For any custom code on your Drupal 8 site, use the deprecation checking and correction tools to ensure the code is Drupal 9 compatible.
  4. Talk with one of our website developers. They are are up-to-date on the latest Drupal changes and are getting ready for Drupal 9.


Let’s Continue the Conversation

If you still have questions about what is Drupal 9, or next steps you should be taking to ensure your website is ready for the update, give us a shout. Our expert website developers are happy to talk you through the process, in a language that everyone can easily understand.