An ASAP Guide to Drupal 10
With Drupal 9 slated for end of life within a matter of weeks, the time to jump on the Drupal 10 upgrade fast track is now.
The November 1 scheduled end of life for Drupal 9 signals a true hard stop, with no possibility of extended commercial support or off-grid security and bug fixes.
At issue is the November 2023 decommissioning of Symfony 4.
Drupal versions beginning with Drupal 8 are now built on top of the Symfony open source PHP web application framework. As such, the decommissioning of a Symfony version sparks end of life for the Drupal version upon which it was built.
Upgrade vs. Migration
Fortunately, the upgrade from Drupal 9 to 10, and even Drupal 8 to 10 is a relatively straightforward process, bearing little resemblance to the architectural restructuring that accompanied migrations from Drupal 7 to current versions.
But despite Drupal 9’s impending hard stop, the Drupal community’s appetite for another upgrade appears a bit lacking at the moment. As of mid-September, only 2.2 percent of Drupal sites have upgraded to version 10. While that small percentage might appear as an indicator that far to many of the 104,795 sites that are currently on Drupal 9 are headed for security vulnerabilities and a lack of support after Drupal 9’s November 2023 end-of-life date, there are actually two great reasons for optimism.
Advantages of upgrading to Drupal 10 are huge and the Drupal 9 to 10 upgrade process can be amazingly fast and value-added.
Drupal 10 Advantages
The Drupal Community has enthusiastically greeted Drupal 10 as the best-ever version of the CMS, and the June 2023 release of Drupal 10.1 raised the bar even higher with a host of new benefits for site builders.
Here are some essential benefits that are built into Drupal 10.
Drupal 10 introduces important new security features, the most significant being advanced password hashing, improved cross-site scripting (XSS) protection, and fortified session management. While these security enhancements are designed to further reign in platform vulnerabilities, the more significant security motivating a Drupal 10 upgrade is actually the impact of not upgrading, as Drupal 9 sites will no longer receive security support following the November 2023 end of life.
There is less code to maintain with Drupal 10, resulting in a faster, more efficient and easier to maintain CMS.
Drupal 10 provides a more marketer friendly CMS that has an intuitive and user-friendly interface for content editors and administrators. An enhanced and modernized backend, delivers better authoring, editing, and support.
Built-in Mobile Responsiveness
Drupal 10 comes with built-in responsive design capabilities, ensuring that websites will seamlessly adapt to different screen sizes and devices for consistent and optimized user experience.
A Move toward Automatic Updates
The Automatic Updates module is designed to simplify the process of keeping Drupal Core up to date. Automatic Updates requires Composer 2.3.5 or later, and for the module to work, Drupal must be able change its own code base and not all hosting environments allow for this. When Automatic Updates is not compatible with the hosting environment, it is recommended that Automatic Updates be leveraged in a local development environment, and the changes then being pushed to the host.
Continued Community Support
An overarching benefit of Drupal is the professional community of dedicated developers and contributors who work collaboratively and continuously improve and extend the platform. Upgrading to Drupal 10 ensures continued alignment with the community and unbroken access to the monitoring and expertise of Drupal's vast, global brainpower.
Extensibility and Scalability
Drupal 10 offers greater flexibility within its architecture that allows for easier customization and scalability to accommodate evolving needs of organizations of all sizes.
Drupal 10 integrates seamlessly with other systems, applications, and third-party services including CRM platforms, marketing automation tools, and social media platforms, for enhanced integration within specific digital ecosystems.
Streamlined Migration Processes
Drupal 10 offers a streamlined migration path from previous versions, excluding Drupal 7. The robust Drupal community has developed tools and resources to facilitate a smooth transition, minimizing disruption and downtime during the upgrade process.
As specialists in Drupal migrations, Promet Source is adept at thoroughly auditing a site in preparation for a straightforward migration. We have the tools, the team, and the systems in place to ensure a streamlined and value-added migration that positions you to benefit from Drupal 10 ASAP.
Start with a Site Audit
The best and most efficient place to start a migration from Drupal 7 or an upgrade from subsequent versions, is an audit of the current site with the objective of inventorying, categorizing, and rationalizing all content. Whether you're performing a migration from one CMS to another or a Drupal upgrade, this is where we begin.
Dividing the migration process into the following six sequential steps creates a framework for avoiding shortcuts that lead to pitfalls, while ensuring a consistent path forward.
- Audit the existing content.
- Consider the design.
- Plan the migration
- Build a new content model.
- Map the content.
- Execute the migration .
Often, tough choices surrounding what content to keep and what to let go of.
Fact is, organizations are constantly evolving and the content on a site too often lags behind. Here are some questions to ask for evaluating the relative value of various pages and the content that’s on them:
- How old is the content?
- How does it rank for page visits?
- How integrated is the content to your messaging?
- Are there redundancies?
- How does it rank on the spectrum of trivial to essential?
- Does the content drive engagement? Revenue? SEO?
- Are there regulatory considerations that require the content remain?
- Are there roles and permissions concerning content governance and workflows?
- Is this documented?
Migration is the ideal time to redesign a website, or at least to define and determine essential design issues. To cite a few:
- Is structured content in place?
- Is CSS used to indicate heading styles, fonts, the color palette, quote style, ordered and unordered lists, buttons, hover states, etc. Does the design reflect the brand?
- Is the UX aligned with current expectations and best practices?
- Would a modern refresh help to engage constituents and clients?
Thorough time and attention to these initial steps will serve to lay the groundwork for a streamlined website migration that stays on course without pitfalls and unwanted surprises.
Never before has it been more essential for websites to ensure user experiences that offer a straightforward path to desired objectives, compelling content, engaging visuals, and added value.
Looking for more insights into wrangling your content, redesigning your site, or mapping out a migration to Drupal 10? That's what we do! Sign up for a free Drupal upgrade consultation.