Drupal is one of the most popular content management systems on the web. It forms the backbone of hundreds of thousands of websites, including many that we’ve built at Bluecadet. Like any software, Drupal gets regular updates for bug fixes and new features. Some updates are incremental, and others are more significant. If your Drupal website is more than a year old, it’s important to know: Drupal 9 is here (and 10 is around the corner).
What should I know about Drupal 9?
At Bluecadet we typically take a measured approach to new Drupal releases, because they have historically been pretty complicated. When a client is on the verge of updating to the next major version, it’s usually time to rethink and improve their content strategy and design too. Instead of doing an in-place upgrade, we build a new site in the latest version and migrate content appropriately.
Why is Drupal 9 different? For starters, it’s not a dramatic overhaul of Drupal. If there’s one single repeated theme from our recent conversations with clients, it’s this: Drupal 9 is like tidying up Drupal 8, with a few interesting feature additions.
Drupal 9 has been described as the “last big migration”. The goal is for the upgrade path between major versions to become as straightforward as possible. It’s a shift from big, breaking changes to steady, incremental ones. In fact, Drupal 10 is already on the roadmap for Summer 2022, with the expectation of an even smoother update.
Most of the updates in Drupal 9 are focused on removing old and deprecated dependencies. For non-developers, these backend changes are not going to be noticeable day to day. However, they will make future upgrades easier.
Themes and Media
Drupal 9 also has a few new bells and whistles that the typical user will appreciate.
Claro, a new admin theme, is clean, has good contrast, and is mobile-friendly. Overall, it’s a user-friendly upgrade to the admin themes Drupal users are accustomed to.