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Why Should You Upgrade to Drupal 9?

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Strategy, Tech
Wondering what does it take to upgrade to Drupal 9 and when should you do it? We got you covered.
Sam Harper 3

Sam Harper

Chief Customer Experience Officer
As the Chief Customer Experience Officer, Sam makes sure our team delivers incredible work, provides first-class customer service, and meets our budget and timeline commitments.  Sam is focused on using…

Drupal 9, the newest version of Drupal, has been released and the Drupal community also announced the timing for the end-of-life for Drupal 7 and 8. This means now is the right time to start planning an upgrade for your website, particularly if it is in Drupal 7 or Drupal 8. Moving a site to Drupal 9 now will make the upgrade smooth and allow you to have access to all Drupal 9 features and security updates as they are available. At Taoti, we have experience auditing Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 websites and have completed one of the first large-scale Drupal 9 upgrades to date. We are ready to help upgrade your website as well!

Drupal 7 and 8 End-of-Life  

The Drupal community outlined its plans for ending support of the Drupal 7 and 8 platforms. Unfortunately, it is a bit confusing. Drupal 8 will be supported by the Drupal community until November 2, 2021 while, Drupal 7 will be supported by the Drupal community until November 28, 2022. There are some complex technical reasons for Drupal 7 being available longer than Drupal 8 that Taoti’s VP of Technology, Bree Benesh wrote about in a blog post on the subject.  

The long and the short of it is that now is the time to start planning for either a D7 upgrade, that will likely be a more complex, timeconsuming and expensive project and for much simpler D8 upgrade. 

Why Should We Upgrade? 

The Drupal Community provides a tremendous value to people using the platform, including a robust full feature content management system (with no license fee), feature upgrades through their modules and security updates. 

This system can only be maintained for two versions at a time and to have the most up-to-date features and security updates, you need to be on the fully supported versions, which will be Drupal 9 moving forward.  

What’s the Process for a Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 Upgrade? 

  • We put together a formal process for Drupal 9 upgrades, audited more than a dozen sites and completed our first upgrade. Here are the steps that Taoti will take to audit your website:  
  • Update Drupal and the modules used by the website, so they are fully up to date. 
  • Disable any unused modules and check for redundant or unused code to make for a cleaner Drupal 9 codebase. 
  • Audit all modules using the Drupal-Check module to scan and identify deprecated code in your codebase.
  • Install and run the Upgrade Status module, a GUI based module used to check your existing modules compatibility with Drupal 9.  
  • Make sure the hosting infrastructure meets Drupal 9’s requirements. 
  • Create an audit report detailing:
    • Status of deprecated custom code  
    • Module upgrade status  
    • Evaluate integrations or other unique site features 
    • Create a go-forward plan with estimates for site upgrade
  • Begin site upgrade

What’s the Process for a Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 Upgrade? 

The process to upgrade from D7 to D9 is more complex, but our team at Taoti is well prepared to guide you through that challenge. Because many D7 sites will be 7 or more years old when the new site is launched, we encourage those clients to do a careful evaluation of whether now is a good time to explore a full site redesign or at the minimum, conduct user testing of the existing site and verify brand and messaging consistency between the site and the current state of the company or organization. The steps are a bit more general: 

  • Audit site structure and technology. 
  • Evaluate custom integrations and functionality. 
  • Create a site audit report and recommendations and estimations. 

How can we help? 

After completing a dozen or more audits and our first round of Drupal 9 upgrades, we have the experience needed for a painless Drupal upgrade. Reach out here or send an email to hello@taoti.com to find out more about an audit and upgrade.