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What You Need to Know about the Drupal 9 to 10 Migration

If you’re current on your Drupal news, you’re probably aware that Drupal 10 was released in December 2022. As a current Drupal 9 user, you may be strategizing your website’s Drupal 9 to 10 migration. 

Luckily, the Drupal 9 to 10 migration is being heralded as the easiest upgrade in Drupal’s history. That’s because Drupal 10 is backward-compatible with Drupal 9, and it’s not a major overhaul of the core system. But the planning and development process will still require time and attention to ensure the migration goes smoothly. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the Drupal migration process and how your organization’s marketing team can provide support along the way. 

Fast Facts about the Drupal 9 to 10 Migration

Brush up on your Drupal release history with these fast facts: 

  • Drupal 9 was released in June 2020. At the time of its release, Drupal 9 offered an easier upgrade than ever before as it built on features released for Drupal 8. 
  • Support for Drupal 9 will end in November 2023. That means after this time, there won’t be many new security releases, and no new functionality will be added. 
  • Drupal 10 was released on December 14, 2022. New features will only be added to Drupal 10 from now on, so if you’re looking to start using Drupal for the first time, it’s recommended to start with Drupal 10
This timeline shows relevant dates related to the Drupal 9 to 10 migration process.

What’s New in Drupal 10?

As mentioned, Drupal 10 builds on innovations released as part of Drupal 9. When switching to Drupal 10, you won’t be confronted with an entirely new structure and system to get used to. 

That being said, Drupal 10 offers the following updated features to improve the user experience:

  • A new default administrative theme and frontend theme. The default Claro administration theme and the Olivero frontend theme offer an accessible, user-friendly, modern experience for website administrators and visitors alike. 
  • Updates to CKEditor from V4 to V5. This change facilitates a more modern editing experience and more intuitive authoring.
  • Upgrade from Symfony 4 to Symfony 6. Symfony 6 and the switch to PHP 8.1 as the minimum version result in a more secure, performant PHP framework.  
  • Modernization of JavaScript. Drupal 10 switches out the large JQuery library with smaller, better-performing solutions.

Drupal 10 is focused on accessibility, modernization, and user-friendliness for website visitors and editors alike.

Steps to Upgrade From Drupal 9 to 10

If you upgraded your site from Drupal 7 to 9 in the past, you know that migration required transferring all of your data to a brand new Drupal 9 website. The Drupal 9 to 10 migration is similar to the upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9, so it won’t be such a significant undertaking. 

However, you can still take a few measures to set your website up for success. Follow these steps to prepare your Drupal 9 site for the migration: 

  • Upgrade to at least Drupal 9.4.4 or later. Core updates made before 9.4 have been eliminated, so you must be on at least Drupal 9.4.4 to use the data upgrade path from CKEditor 4 to CKEditor 5.
  • Run Drupal Rector on custom modules and themes. Drupal Rector scans code to look for deprecated functions and helps guide developers to upgrade them.
  • Upgrade to CKEditor 5. CKEditor 4 will reach its end-of-life at the end of 2023. Check out Drupal’s step-by-step instructions for upgrading to CKEditor 5 to stay up to date. 
  • Check your version of PHP. Drupal 10 requires PHP 8.1 or higher. Log into your website’s hosting account and check the settings in your control panel to verify which version of PHP you’re using. 
  • Check your modules and themes. Not all modules and themes from Drupal 9 will be compatible with Drupal 10. If your site uses a module or theme that was removed from Drupal core, download the contributed project version before migrating to Drupal 10.
  • Update to Drupal 10 and test your site. Run automated code tests using tools like Drupal Rector or PHPStan. Also, conduct manual testing to ensure that everything is working as expected. Check your forms, links, page navigation, and other site elements to note any user-experience issues. 

You can either take these steps yourself if you have a web developer on your team, or work with an external Drupal developer. 

Working with a Drupal Development Expert

Although the Drupal 9 to 10 migration is a more straightforward upgrade, it’s still typically recommended to work with a Drupal web developer to help oversee the process. This can ensure a smooth transition and help maintain data integrity and security. 

Look for a Drupal web development firm that offers services such as: 

  • Overseeing the migration process from start to finish 
  • Custom module development depending on your organization’s needs
  • An accessibility-focused approach to ensure your website is usable for all audiences
  • Third-party and custom API integrations to integrate tools like your payment gateway or security portal seamlessly with your Drupal website
  • Mobile responsive design to create a positive mobile user experience
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) recommendations to maintain or enhance your website’s search results rankings
  • Ongoing support to implement module upgrades and security patches as needed and to help with other aspects like content strategy and performance enhancements

If you’re looking for an experienced Drupal partner, Kanopi Studios is a great choice. Our Drupal team members have an average of 11 years of Drupal experience each. We are also a supporting partner to the Drupal Association, a founding sponsor of Discover Drupal, and regular contributors to the Drupal Project.

Upgrading your website from Drupal 9 to 10 shouldn’t be a hassle. With these tips, you can make the already simple process even easier.

Looking for more Drupal tips and resources? Start here: