One question we frequently hear from new and potential clients is: “Should I wait and upgrade to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 site? Should we skip Drupal 8 entirely?”
There can be a lot of confusion about whether it’s worth it to upgrade to Drupal 8 now, or to wait and upgrade Drupal 9 directly. However, it may surprise you to know that functionally, Drupal 9 has already been released, and that if you switch to Drupal 8 now, you’ll have the same experience as if you skip Drupal 8 and hop straight to Drupal 9 this summer.
Getting ready to upgrade to Drupal 9
Given the difficulty of upgrading sites from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, it’s understandable that organizations would be leery of having to undertake that large amount of work, only to do it again once Drupal 9 is released and stable.
But migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not the same as migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9. That’s because Drupal 8 was a complete re-envisioning of the way the Drupal platform is put together, and an upgrade to Drupal 9 is a natural next step for the software. As long as your code is in order, upgrading a site from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will feel like upgrading from one version of Drupal 8— for example, Drupal 8.2.2, to its next version, Drupal 8.2.3.
Additionally, Drupal web agencies like FFW are already aware of what code is going to be deprecated in Drupal 9, and what will change. That means that we’ve already begun tweaking our clients’ Drupal 8 websites to align with any specific Drupal 9 upgrade requirements.
Building a Drupal 8 website right now is perfectly safe: since we know exactly what is and isn’t staying in core, we’ve been building and updating all of our clients’ sites so that the platforms point only to the code that isn’t going to be deprecated. This is an important consideration for anyone who’s running a custom or contributed module on their site— however, an alternative way of looking at it is that organizations that start preparing their platforms now will be much more ready to enjoy a seamless upgrade when Drupal 9 rolls out this summer.
Drupal 7, Drupal 8, Drupal 9
Ultimately, for organizations asking whether it makes sense to wait to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, the choice is yours. However, if you make the switch to Drupal 8 today with FFW, you’ll get ahead of the project, and be able to upgrade to Drupal 9 seamlessly as soon as the project has launched and your team is ready.
Want to get started on your Drupal 7, 8, or 9 upgrade? Contact the FFW team to learn how we can get started updating your site today.