Drupal 8 has brought various innovations in the way content and configuration are stored in a database. However, Drupal 8’s end of life is scheduled for November 2, 2021, and the time has come to migrate to Drupal 9 to avoid any surprises.
In this article, our experts explain how to make a smooth transition to Drupal 9.
What does the end of life of a Drupal version mean?
The end of life of a Drupal version means that its core code will no longer be updated or bug-fixed. The Drupal team will therefore no longer propose any evolutions or patches related to this version. As for the security team working on the core and community modules related to this version, they will no longer modify the source code.
What impact will this have on your Drupal 8 site?
The end of life of Drupal 8 does not mean that existing sites based on this version will no longer function, but rather that their maintenance in terms of operation and security can no longer be guaranteed. As of November 2, 2021, your site will thus no longer benefit from the protection offered by the Drupal security team. This team ensures that the themes, distributions, and core of Drupal are secure so that you can easily update your sites.
How do you prepare your site for Drupal 9 migration?
Upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is a relatively simple process as the two versions are very similar.
First, you need to check and fix any outdated APIs in your website code. To do this, you can use Drupal’s check and fix deprecation tools. Once your site is free of deprecated code, simply update the Drupal core, then run update.php to update the database.
What if you have a Drupal 7 site?
Drupal 7 support was also scheduled to end in November 2021, but this has been extended to November 2022. Drupal decided to keep Drupal 7 longer because of the impact of Covid-19, and the fact that it is much more complicated to move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9.
Even if you still have time, it is worth starting to prepare your Drupal 7 site for next year’s end of life. Note that to upgrade to Drupal 9, you will need to migrate your entire site. You can use the migrate module suite to rebuild your site and import content. The Drupal module upgrader tool is also useful for locating and converting code that needs updating.
The improvements brought by Drupal 9
Drupal 9 brings many improvements for front-end developers with:
• HTML5 support
• Additional helper libraries to help you set up your site easily
• Improved accessibility
• Improved base themes
• Improved performance
And for backend developers with:
• Object-oriented programming
• Improved caching
• Ease of integration with third-party services
Developers have the opportunity to improve the performance of their sites through well-designed interface contracts and APIs that make it easier to extend and maintain the solution. This will allow them to work faster, with a generic deployment process that can be easily integrated into continuous integration chains.
Whether you want to upgrade to Drupal 9, add new features, fix a problem, or optimize your site’s security, our experts at Eminence can guide you. Contact us for more information.