Be prepared; Drupal 9 is coming.

What you need to know.

Jan 30, 2019

Following the earlier announcement at Drupal Europe, in December the plan and timeline for Drupal 9 were confirmed on Dries Buytaert’s blog (https://dri.es/plan-for-drupal-9.) But what does this mean for your website, if you are on Drupal 8, 7 or 6? Or even just considering a move to Drupal?

Put simply, there is no need to panic.

The ImageX team breaks down what you need to be aware of and what should be considered ahead of the change.

What is happening?

It was announced that Drupal 9 will be released on June 3rd, 2020. Drupal 8 will no longer be supported past November 2021 with Symfony 3 reaching its end of life.

My website is currently on Drupal 8, what should I do?
If your website is currently on Drupal 8 it’s great news as Drupal 9 is being built in Drupal 8 rather than within a separate codebase, as has previously been used:

Instead of working on Drupal 9 in a separate codebase, we are building Drupal 9 in Drupal 8. This means that we are adding new functionality as backward-compatible code and experimental features. Once the code becomes stable, we deprecate any old functionality.”

This means that once the updated code is stable, you’ll organically move over to Drupal 9.

In order for your migration to be seamless, you will need to keep up with all Drupal 8 updates, ensuring that you are updated to Symfony 4 or 5 ahead of June 3rd, 2020.  This is due to sites on D8 will not be supported past Nov 2021 with the end of Symfony 3, therefore, you should look at upgrading to Symfony 4 or 5 as early as available so that the D9 functionality is adopted well within time.

My website is currently on Drupal 7, what should I do?

There is no need to do anything immediately unless you are currently planning a new site if so, make the move to D8 until D9 is released then upgrade.  D7’s end of life is being extended out, in line with that of D8, to 2021 so you can make a direct move to D9 once it’s released, just be aware of the timelines.

That said, as more of the development community moves to D8 sites the innovation and new development will continue to move away from D7. We recommend sites move onto the latest version of Drupal as a general best practice with some situations having a higher need than others.

My website is currently on Drupal 6, what should I do?

It is very important to note that as Drupal 6 reached its end of life in February 2016, the core is no longer supported by the Drupal community.  This means that contributed modules have stopped receiving regular updates and the security team will no longer be providing support or security advisories for Drupal 6.  Therefore, as time goes on, it is increasingly less secure to stay on an outdated Drupal core version.

We would recommend that if you are still on Drupal 6, you update your site as soon as possible onto Drupal 8, then, provided you keep on top of the updates, you will be able to migrate to D9 in 2020 seamlessly.

Our site is not yet on Drupal but we’re planning a move on or before June 3, 2020
If you are looking to move before the D9 release, it will be perfectly fine to build in D8, just be aware of your timelines.  Read above ‘My website is currently on Drupal 8, what should I do?’

In conclusion, there is no need to panic, but you should speak with your development team to ensure that they are aware of the impending changes and that your site is as up to date as possible.

Our team of experts loves talking about all things Drupal; if you would like to discuss your website move or simply what this announcement means for you, contact info@imagexmedia.com