Drupal 9 Is Coming...
We know that many of our Drupal clients are still running Drupal 7
If we haven't had the conversation, it's time to start thinking about an upgrade to Drupal 8. Drupal 7 has an end of life set for November of 2021, whereas Drupal 8 will go all of the way to.....November 2021.
That's right- Drupal 7 AND 8 will be deprecated on the same day in favor of Drupal 9, which is set for initial release in June of 2020.
According to Drupal founder Dries Buytaert, this transition shouldn’t be too disruptive. Instead of working on Drupal 9 in a separate codebase, it will be built directly within the framework of Drupal 8. In fact, the first release of Drupal 9 will be very similar to the last minor release of Drupal 8, as the primary goal of the Drupal 9 release will be to remove deprecated code and update third-party dependencies. For a smooth transition between versions, he recommends simply keeping up with the updates for Drupal 8. This will make the upgrade experience relatively smooth.
For folks still using Drupal 7, migrating to 8 before the release of version 9 is advantageous for a few reasons (and highly recommended). Not only will the soon-to-be-necessary upgrade to Drupal 9 be much easier, Drupal 8 has increased security, better performance, and a more user-friendly experience.
A question many users have asked is why the Drupal 9 upgrade is necessary so soon when the periodic releases of updates seems to be working just fine. The primary issue is that Drupal relies on a few third party libraries and programs, most notably the PHP framework Symfony. Symfony 3 will become obsolete after November 2021. After this date, security bugs in Symfony 3 will not get fixed. In order to keep Drupal a dynamic, robust, and safe program, Drupal 9 will be re-written to no longer rely on Symfony 3.
Upgrades are often thought of as inconvenient, but it can be a great time to take a look at your website and assess its functionality. Things change so quickly in the world of online marketing, SEO, security, accessibility, and design, and over time even the core audience and focus of your site can change dramatically. Drupal 8 and eventually Drupal 9 have built-in features to make this process easier and more effective.
Running Drupal 8?
If you're already running Drupal 8 - great! As the upgrade to 9 draws near, we will run automated tests for deprecated code / things that will need to be addressed as a part of the upgrade, and you can rest easy while your platform is upgraded to the latest and greatest.
For the rest of you...
If you're still on Drupal 7 (or by some odd chance, Drupal 6!) now is the time to start making a game plan for a rebuild by Fall of 2021. We'd love to help you with that transition, drop us a line and we can get the ball rolling!