Moving to Drupal 10
Dan Frost

The latest major version of the Drupal platform, Drupal 10, is now fully established and being used for all new Drupal projects that Adaptive are currently delivering.

Drupal 10 is the most powerful, flexible and user-friendly version of the Drupal CMS to date and focuses on new user features, greatly-improved content creation tools, enhanced developer tools and further improved integration with third-party services and systems. Crucially, Drupal 10 is much easier to upgrade to from its predecessors, Drupal 8 & 9, and continues the previous pledge from Drupal that all future major releases of the platform will be equally straightforward to upgrade to.

Drupal 8 has already reached End of Life (EOL), meaning the end of official support and security updates for tnat version of the platform. Its predecessor, Drupal 7, has continued to be supported though and will finally reach its own EOL date in January 2025 after a number of previous extensions to this date. Drupal 9 reaches its own End of Life date in November 2023

In this blog post, we look at what each of these End of Life dates mean for the respective versions of the Drupal platform and what you should be planning to do if you have a website still on one of these older versions. 

So what does “end of life” actually mean for Drupal 7, 8 & 9?

End of Life (EOL) means that those versions of the platform will no longer be officially supported from the dates above. There will be no further security updates, enhancements or improvements released for each version from those dates.

Of course, remaining Drupal 7, 8 and 9 sites will still continue to work beyond their end of life dates. However, the risk of security or performance issues creeping into those sites in the future is heavily increased beyond this date.

If you currently have a Drupal 8 or 9 website…

Let’s tackle the easiest scenario first! The good news is that if you’re currently using Drupal 8 or 9, then the move to Drupal 10 should be a reasonably straight-forward one. This is why Drupal 8 and 9 have/are reaching End of Life earlier than Drupal 7.

Drupal 10 has effectively been built on top of Drupal 8 and 9, allowing for a much more direct upgrade to it from the latest version of Drupal 9. Drupal 8 sites need to ideally be first updated to Drupal 9 and then on to Drupal 10, so there is more work and complexity involved in those cases. Still though, they should be upgradeable without the need for full rebuilds.

There are a number of checks and considerations to be made before performing the update to Drupal 10, including ensuring that all available core and module updates for your current Drupal version have been applied to your website. Any custom modules and other custom code will also need reviewing to ensure the coding within them is compatible with newer versions of the latest Drupal code bases. Once these initial pieces of work have been completed, the upgrade to Drupal 10 should then be no more complex than applying any other regular Drupal update to your website.

We’ll be discussing the upgrade plan to Drupal 10 with all our Drupal 8 and 9 clients very soon.

If you currently have a Drupal 7 website…

While Drupal 10 has a direct upgrade path from Drupal 8 and 9, sadly this isn't be the case for Drupal 7 sites as the technical structure of Drupal 7 versus Drupal 10 is too significantly different to enable this.

The process of moving on from Drupal 7 therefore requires a full rebuild of the website in Drupal 10 and so will require much more planning in advance, not least to secure suitable budget for such a project.

We know that many businesses and organisations tend to plan and budget well in advance so this is something that should be given consideration at the earliest opportunity to enable you to be able to progress with a new website build, ideally ahead of Drupal 7 reaching end-of-life at the beginning of 2025.

For organisations that are likely to have budget available and be ready to look at a new website build sooner rather than later, other factors to consider may include the availability of relevant people within the organisation who will need to be involved in some way in the project.

Here at Adaptive, we still currently support more than 30 Drupal 7 websites for our clients so we ourselves are already planning a number of Drupal 10 rebuilds and working to ensure we have enough resources and suitable scheduling in place over the next year or so to be able to successfully deliver these rebuild projects for our clients as required.

In short, if you’re looking to move to Drupal 10, it’s better to start talking to us about it sooner rather than later!

We have also put together a FAQs guide to the questions most commonly asked when discussing a move from Drupal 7 to 10. This can be found here.

Durations and costs for rebuilds in Drupal 10 will obviously vary depending on your requirements, current site complexity and numerous other factors. However, for an idea of how we normally go about delivering new development projects for clients, see here.

What are the next steps?

Our Drupal 7 end-of-life FAQs page may well answer some of your initial questions. If you’d like to know more about the move towards Drupal 109, or want to discuss initial planning for a rebuild of your current Drupal 7 website, please contact us for further advice or speak to directly to your Adaptive account manager for more information.

(This article is a rewritten update to a previous article about moving from Drupal 9. This new update reflects Drupal 10 now being the latest version of the platform and the extension of Drupal 7 End of Life until January 2025.)