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You’ve got a great site. It’s user friendly, rates high on searches, and is safe from many of the security risks other websites are privy to. So when you hear about the latest Drupal upgrade, you think “no sweat,” and read up on all the FAQs of drupal upgrades on the interweb. You feel prepared to turn your drupal upgrade into a huge growth opportunity. But then it hits you – what about the rarely asked questions? The ones other businesses may not think to ask. 

We’ve got you covered. Read on to learn the answers to some of the rarely asked questions that can put your website ahead of the pack.

Why is this D8 to D9 so much easier than past major upgrades?

In the past, the Drupal project maintainers have been responsible for all of the code that runs Drupal. They use major version upgrades to make substantive changes to how the core of Drupal works, which makes it easier to fix issues and add more features. However, it usually means a lot of work to upgrade a site. Typically these upgrades would require a site to be rebuilt, and content and custom features to be migrated over or completely rewritten for the newer version of Drupal.

Starting with Drupal 8 and beyond, the Drupal project maintainers decided it would be best to “get off the island.” In other words, behind Drupal, they’ll use a new open source framework for a lot of the internal mechanics of the site. This means the entire core of Drupal no longer needs to be rewritten between major version updates. Some updates are still needed as some internal features become obsolete and need to be replaced, but the work would be much less.

I’ve heard the term “Symfony” associated with Drupal 8. What is it?

Symfony is the framework “behind the scenes” in Drupal. It was decided it was better to rely on a good framework that is well-tested & maintained from outside the Drupal world, instead of reinventing the wheel when it comes to common problems for websites. It also makes development for Drupal much more friendly to coders as it now adheres better to industry standards and best practices. Yay!

How long will Drupal 9 be good for?

Drupal 9’s end-of-life (when it will no longer be supported by the community) is November 2023. While D9’s lifespan is much shorter than, say, D7 (which was around over 10 years and is still supported!) the transition to Drupal 10 is slated to be even easier than Drupal 8 to 9. Drupal 7’s end-of-life is November 2022, which has created some interesting situations for web developers, especially since Drupal 8’s end-of-life is November of this year (2021). Drupal 10 will be available June 2022, only a few months after D8 end-of-life, and a few months before D7 end-of-life. So should a developer using Drupal 7 wait to upgrade to Drupal 10 – skipping Drupal 9 altogether? Maybe not. The release date for Drupal 10 isn’t finalized yet, and there is a possibility that Drupal 10 won’t be released until after the end-of-life for Drupal 7. Since the upgrade from D9 to D10 will be an easy process, there is no harm in going from D7 to D9 to ensure your site is never at risk.