As a website development and full-service creative agency with 25 years of experience, we know a thing or two about Drupal. Over the past decade, our developers have created hundreds of websites on Drupal. Everyone who currently uses Drupal 8 as their CMS will need to upgrade to Drupal 9 by November 2021.
We surveyed 13 of our Drupal developers, who have over 120 years of collective development experience, about all things Drupal. The best part? We’re sharing all their insightful responses with you in a series of blogs, so make sure you follow along.
Here we discuss the four best under-the-hood Drupal 9 features that make users’ lives easier.
1. Clean Upgrade Path and Ease of Future Upgrades
When planned and executed correctly, the upgrade to Drupal 9 (D9) can be a seamless process, leading to a future-friendly codebase that makes subsequent updates easy, provides cleaner upgrade paths, and enforces best practices and strict Object-Oriented Programming coding standards. The upgrade to Drupal 9 is a far cry from the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 upgrade. Previously, you had to wait for all the modules used on your website to be ready before starting the upgrade process -there were no ready-made guidelines about server requirements and module compatibility checks to guide you. With the D9 upgrade process, there are now modules that allow you to run Drupal 9 compatibility checks on your hosting environments, contributed and custom modules and provide recommendations to update deprecated codes, create patches, and remove unsupported modules.
2. Cleaner Code Base
Drupal 9 is compatible with most modules, configurations, and data from Drupal 8. BigPipe will increase page load performance and support faster initial page loading. In the end, we are going to enjoy a cleaner codebase, which improves everyone’s experience, from developers to content creators.
3. Layout Builder Improvements
Layout Builder already exists in Drupal 8. Still, the ongoing improvements to Layout Builder in Drupal 9 should make this feature more visible and continue to provide more flexibility and better UX for content editors.
4. New and Easier to Use Admin Theme
The Gin admin theme in Drupal 9 provides a cleaner UI layout paired with goodies like a Darkmode. It also offers various customization options that can be used to personalize and incorporate a client’s brand. Site managers and content creators will also appreciate the minimal layout focused on improving the content management experience.
Whether or not you think legacy code is a concern for your project, Drupal 8 end-of-life date is November 2, 2021. Your site is, of course, not going to self-destruct, but there are certainly security implications.
Just like tax season, upgrade season is upon us. But Drupal 9 has been out long enough to instill confidence – now is the best possible time to get the ball rolling.
Oh, and our team presented at DrupalCon 2021. Rolando Scott, director of Drupal development, and Scott Spector, director of accessibility and quality, and Kennedy Bahlow, event producer, but don’t worry if you missed it. We did a round-up of everything that happened at DrupalCon 2021.