Everything you need to know about the Drupal 9 update

High Score Labs News   •  Nov 24, 2021

On June 3rd, 2020, the dev world welcomed the new Drupal 9 and many are still unbothered to make the upgrade. This article was prepared to answer your questions about the update and help you make the transition.

What’s new in Drupal 9?

In terms of features, there isn’t much to get excited about with Drupal 9. Most of the improvements are under the hood and in the ease with which you can now transition to Drupal 9. The latter is most welcomed as anyone who upgraded from Drupal 7 to 8 would tell you how much of a chore it was, almost like you were building your site over again. Now, you don’t have to worry about that as most, if not all, of the most important modules from Drupal 8 are Drupal 9 compatible.

The other improvements to former Drupal versions are the leaner base code. Much of the superfluous and bulky stuff have been deleted, leaving a leaner, cleaner base code that makes Drupal 9 a much more efficient CMS. Besides these, you can expect new features to come with the promised bi-annual version updates.

When should I upgrade to Drupal 9?

Drupal 9 released in June 2020 and Drupal promised continued support for version 8 until November 2021. So, the short answer – Now. From November 2, Drupal 8 will no longer be officially supported and will not receive any security updates, support services or code adjustments. Continued use of Drupal 8 past this date will mean your site will be very vulnerable to hacking with time. So, the ideal time to upgrade to Drupal 9 is now.

How to Upgrade to Drupal 9

Drupal 9 has been designed so that the task of upgrading to it is smooth and not as maddening as Drupal 8. More than 50% of the modules you already use in version 8 are ready to use in 9. Those that aren’t can be seen on the module page and easily worked around.

To do the upgrade, you’ll need to be using the latest version of Drupal 8 to get your database ready for the upgrade. Then, check any contributing modules and themes you’re using against the list of approved modules and themes for Drupal 9. You can find the list of approved modules in the Upgrade Status module on your site or on the Acquia website.

Custom templates should continue us to work normally, but custom modules and may need minor changes to get rid of deprecated code. Drupal Reactor can automatically check and make the needed adjustments, or you can choose to review the requirements online yourself and make the needed changes.

Finally, download Drupal 9 from the website and run update.php. Be sure to run the upgrade on a test copy of your site before trying on the real thing. The upgrade may take some time, but you can be sure it’ll be smooth and easy.


Taking action to upgrade now will provide a greater security guarantee and reduce the likelihood of your site being hacked. You’ll also be in a better position to embark on future updates although you don’t have to worry about that for a while – the next update isn’t expected to arrive any time before November 2023.

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