Drupal 8 or 9 - which should you upgrade to?
Successful and agile businesses are continually evaluating their technology platforms and tools, including their website and content management system (CMS).
If you're currently using, or are thinking of using Drupal as your CMS of choice, you might be confused right now.
Drupal 7 enters "end of life" status in November 2021 (now extended to November 2022 as a result of COVID-19), at which point it won't receive any more official support. Drupal 8 is already available and widely used, but it enters "end of life" in November 2021. Drupal 9 was officially released in June 2020, but you might be fearful of buying into brand new technology before it's proven.
A major upgrade to your web platform can cost as much as 50-75% of the original website cost, so you will want to be sure you are spending wisely and getting great long-term value.
The good news
So, what should you do? The good news is that innovations in the Drupal community over the past few years mean that there's no need to put your plans on hold. It's safe and wise to keep on investing in your website technology, and Versantus can guide you through the version number confusion.
The Drupal community has been working hard on the product roadmap for the platform, and whereas the upgrade from version 7 can be significant, the changes from version 8 to 9 will be a much more straightforward evolution. A common set of technical components and a much simpler process means that moving from Drupal 8 to 9 should be as easy as applying a regular security upgrade. Indeed many of our customers will find that there is no extra cost at all to upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9.
This means that you can invest in Drupal technology with peace of mind, knowing that it will not only enable you to deliver fantastic, rich online digital experiences but that your investment in the platform is a safe one.
Take the opportunity to review
As well as benefiting from new features, improved performance (suggested read: Is a slow website killing your business?), more editorial control and greater integration capabilities in Drupal 8 and 9, you might also want to consider other elements. Trends are always evolving and your customers and prospects will demand new and improved online experiences. You should take the opportunity during the upgrade to review your website design and UX (User eXperience), check your website audiences and personas, and consider current design trends to make sure you continue to meet your users' needs.
Take a look at some of our work, and look out for future articles where will cover the Drupal roadmap in more detail and delve further into the benefits of Drupal 8/9.