The only universal truth in life is “Change.” Everything, in the end, evolves for betterment. And Drupal is no different. Like all things in the world, Drupal versions evolve, and older versions reach their end of life.
Yes, you guessed it right! We’re talking about Drupal 8. Drupal 8 is used by 25.8% of websites using Drupal, and roughly 0.3% of all websites are powered by various versions of Drupal 8.
It has helped website owners in various ways, but Drupal 8 is now not going to get security updates, support from the Drupal development community, or updates about fashionable features because it has already reached EOL on 2nd November 2021. In this scenario, Drupal 9 or later versions are the only options for the existing site owners to move on. Many long-time users using Drupal 8 for their Drupal development are concerned about whether they’re ready for Drupal 9 migration services or not.
Why does November 2nd, 2021 mark the end of life for Drupal 8?
It is interesting to know that Drupal has announced Drupal 8 EOL before Drupal 7. After November 2nd, 2021, the sites running on Drupal 8 will not get any security patches and vendor extended support programs. The ultimate reason is that websites running on Drupal 8 can be easily transitioned to Drupal 9. This is because Drupal 9 mainly focuses on updated dependencies and deprecating APIs instead of other fancy things.
Another reason for Drupal 8's end of life is Symfony 3's end of life. Yes, you have heard it right. Symfony 3 is approaching its end of life in November. Drupal 8 heavily relies on Symfony 3, and if it is approaching its EOL, Drupal 8 will be in a precarious position. The longer it exists, the more difficult it will be to manage.
The drupal community has supported Drupal 8.9 for a longer time, but considering the above dependencies, now it is time to move on.
Related Read: Why should you upgrade to Drupal 9? What’s new in Drupal 9?
Is it still safe to stay on Drupal 8 even if the end of life?
The straightforward answer to this is a big NO. Considering the third-party dependencies of Drupal 8, if you decide to stick to it even after its EOL, you will surely face a lot of difficulties.
The first thing you will be facing is security. Your website will be highly fragile in terms of security as you will not get support from the community. You will have to spend money getting extended support. Also, the community will not invest much time enhancing Drupal 8 modules. This means any modules used in your site will never get frequent updates.
Moreover, since Drupal 9 is already there in the market and even Drupal 10 is planned soon. Most of the Drupal development services providers will not offer maintenance and support for Drupal 8. Therefore, the best option is to go for Drupal 8 to 9 migration.
How do I upgrade my Drupal 8 site?
Well, it is a million-dollar question! Drupal 8 to 9 migration is a step-by-step process, which involves:
- Step 1 – Make your Drupal site compatible with Drupal 9. This means you will have to install the minor Drupal 8 upgrade and transit to version 8.8 or 8.9. The reason is that Drupal 8.8 or 8.9 are directly compatible with Drupal 9.
- Step 2 – You have to update your themes, third-party integrations, and modules to make them compatible with Drupal 9.
- Step 3 – After you upgrade to Drupal 8.8/8.9 and update all your integrations, themes, and modules, the next thing you have to do is identify deprecated codes.
- Step 4 – Once you discover and remove the deprecated code, you are all set for Drupal 8 to 9 migration. Hola!
What benefits will I get after upgrading/migrating to Drupal9?
With improved performance, a cleaner code, and security improvements, there is a lot to love about Drupal 9. Here are a few benefits you will get from Drupal 9 migration services:
Empowers us to use intuitive tools. One of the major improvements considered in Drupal 9 is the ease of use. Drupal 9 comes up with various tools to ease the use of Drupal 9. Starting from automatic updates and decoupled menus to Drupal 10 readiness, there are a lot of tools available to use to simplify your work.
Smoother upgrades. Drupal 9 focuses more on smoother upgrades as you don’t have to reinvent the wheel all over again, and any need to re-platform new versions gets released.
Helps you innovate more often. You never get restricted when it comes to using advanced features. You can easily access the latest features to innovate in your business site.
Brings flexibility when it comes to front-end facilities. Drupal 9 has adopted an API-first approach, which helps you make your site more versatile. This allows better integrations, which aids flexibility in the front-end.
Ease of managing richer media. You can easily embed remote content like YouTube and Vimeo on your website. Moreover, with a richer media library module, Drupal development agencies can easily add existing media assets.
Enhanced layout builder. It is possible to use visual design tools to design layouts for template content, customize layout templates, or even add custom pages to the website.
Is migrating to Drupal 9 difficult?
Okay, we’ve gone through the steps of Drupal 8 to 9 migration and the benefits of Drupal 9. This must be something running back of your mind, right? Drupal 9 is built on Drupal 8, so technically, the upgrade will be quite easy. But is it a walk-on cake? There are very limited activities any Drupal development agency will have to take care of.
The first thing that you can notice is that the Drupal team has ensured that they remove all the dependencies with the latest version, either by removing the deprecated functionality or dependencies of Symfony. This means you don’t have to worry about Symfony or the deprecated functionality of Drupal 8.
Another thing that eases Drupal 9 migration services is that most of the modules are already compatible. There won’t be any major change in building Drupal 9. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about backward compatibility APIs.
Do you need some help?
Going to Drupal 9 is the best thing that can happen for your Drupal site. Whether you are on Drupal 7 or Drupal 8, the AddWeb Solution team is happy to help you with Drupal 9 migration services. We have done this for numerous clients of ours and can do this for you too! Click here to check out the Drupal development services we offer.