How to plan and perform upgrade to Drupal 9?

Jun 11, 2020
By Alex Schedrov

Drupal 9 has been released on June 3rd of 2020, and it is a significant milestone for the developers and users. The Drupal community has been working hard on Drupal 9 for almost five years.

What are the new features in Drupal 9?

Drupal 9.0.0 has been released altogether with Drupal 8.9.0. The release of Drupal 8.9 is a long-term support release, and it will be supported until November 2021, without new feature development (Drupal 9 development and support will continue beyond named date).

Drupal 8.9.0 has most of the changes that Drupal 9 does but retains backward compatibility layers added through Drupal 8's release. It is recommended to update your website to Drupal 8.9 if you have an existing Drupal site. It allows us to have the smallest necessary changes for the Drupal 9 update and ensure maximum compatibility.

How to upgrade Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 9?

It's well known that in Drupal 8 the way content and configuration is stored in the database has been significantly changed. The upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 cannot be applied to the Drupal 6/7 website. The content and configuration data from the Drupal 6/7 site must be migrated to a new Drupal 8/9 site. You can learn more about the upgrade from Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 9 on

How to upgrade Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

Unlike previous new major Drupal versions, Drupal 9 is not a reinvention of Drupal. It was built in Drupal 8 through updated dependencies and deprecating APIs. Recently released Drupal 9.0.0 is the same as Drupal 8.9, the last Drupal 8 minor release, other than these two changes. You can learn more about the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 on

How much time do I have to upgrade the Drupal website?

Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will reach their end-of-life in November of 2021, and there's still time to use your Drupal 7 website as it remains secure for more than one year.

If you have Drupal 7 website, you need to upgrade to Drupal 9 throughout the rest of 2020 or in Q1 - Q2 of 2021. Since the upgrade from Drupal 6/7 is more complicated, you have to make sure you have a budget and team's capacity to perform the update.

If you have the Drupal 8 website, you need to plan the upgrade to Drupal 9 as an ongoing maintenance task and perform as soon as you're comfortable throughout 2020.

Drupal releases timeline

Drupal team has published dozens of great resources that will allow you to find answers to frequently asked questions about Drupal 9 or learn more about migration security and other essential aspects of Drupal 9.

If you need assistance with migration from Drupal 6/7/8 to Drupal 9, reach out to our team as we have vast experience in that.

Alex Schedrov
CEO with 13 years of experience in delivering digital solutions to global institutions such as Stanford University, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has a keen eye for strategy and can address challenges from both the business and tech sides.

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