The IT ecosystem evolves at a blistering pace, with new developments appearing and older versions of software being replaced by more advanced ones day by day. Software upgrades come with enhanced features, better performance, greater security, and higher efficiency, just to name a few benefits. If you're using Drupal 7 or 8 for your website, consider using Drupal migration services to make the most of your CMS.

We asked Drupal experts from AnyforSoft to explain to our readers why it's important to migrate to Drupal 9 and how to prepare for the upgrade. Let's dive in.

Why Migrate to Drupal 9?

First and foremost, migrating to Drupal 9 is imperative to ensure your website's security. In addition, migrating to a newer version of your CMS means getting regular updates. Upgrading to Drupal 9 is critical if your site runs on Drupal 7 since support for Drupal 7 ends in November 2023. And if you're still using Drupal 8, you should upgrade as soon as possible — this version hasn't been supported since November 2021.

Source: Unsplash

Key Benefits of Drupal 9 Migration

Upgrading to Drupal 9 has many indisputable benefits that will help you strengthen your online presence and boost user experience.

Stronger Security

One of the primary reasons for using Drupal is that it is renowned as one of the most secure content management systems. As it's already been mentioned, if a secure website is your priority, you should start planning your Drupal 9 migration right away. Drupal 9 relies on Symfony 4 and calls for at least PHP 7.3, which translates into enhanced security.

Faster Speed

Next, Drupal 9 allows for directly integrating JavaScript frameworks, meaning more robust computing power and quicker response times for your website users.

Improved Performance

In essence, Drupal 9 is a cleaner version of Drupal 8, with each and every obsolete or inessential feature removed. Less code equals higher-performance code, meaning that a Drupal 9-powered website is destined to perform better.

Source: Unsplash

Backward Compatibility

If you hesitate about migrating to Drupal 9 because of the fear of losing your modules, configurations, and data of your existing version of Drupal, this is not the case. Drupal 9 was made to be backward compatible.

Enhanced Editorial Experience

Drupal 9 comes with a Layout builder module, which allows for quickly building customized pages. It has a user-friendly drag-and-drop user interface for a rewarding editorial experience. Moreover, you can leverage Drupal 9's Media module to bring your media management to a new level.

Easy Integrations

Starting from its 8th version, Drupal has been using the API-first approach. This provides website owners with the ultimate flexibility of integrating any third-party system into the site. As a more advanced version of the Drupal CMS, Drupal 9 delivers improved integration experiences.

How To Prepare for the Upgrade

Great news: it's possible to directly migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. For a smooth upgrade, make sure your site is updated to the latest version of Drupal 7. Likewise, to shift to Drupal 9 from Drupal 8, make sure your website runs on the latest Drupal 8 version.

Now, let's take a look at the steps to prepare your site for Drupal 9 migration.

  1. Back up your current Drupal site.
  2. Make a content structure checklist. Include content types, taxonomy, views, blocks, etc.
  3. Draw up a list of modules that you're using. For this, go to admin/module/uninstall to see the list of enabled modules. Your Drupal developers will need this information to properly plan your migration: some modules have a straight upgrade path to Drupal 9, while others need rebuilding.
  4. If you're using custom modules, list them, including their descriptions and functionality.
  5. Create a list of user roles and permissions.
  6. If you're using a custom theme for your Drupal website, make sure you can provide your migration partner with details on its structure.

Source: pexels

Of course, you can always entrust these steps to your chosen Drupal partner. Experienced Drupal developers know all the ins and outs of Drupal upgrades and will ensure nothing is missed in the migration process. To help them achieve the best results and speed up the process, make sure you provide the team with the following:

  • Admin access to the development/staging server to let them get the list of modules, taxonomies, content types, etc.
  • A description of all custom functionalities of your website.
  • An outline of new features and functionalities you want to include in the new version of your website.
  • A description of the design and theme if you're going to change them in the new version.

Final Thoughts

Upgrading your CMS to the most recent version will provide you with peace of mind that your website is safe and secure. Moreover, upgrading to Drupal 9 is associated with multiple benefits to help you boost your site performance and enhance user experience. Turn to Drupal experts today to start fully leveraging the impressive potential of Drupal.