Can’t wait for the latest version of your favorite CMS? Drupal 10 premieres in June 2022. This article is going to inform you what’s going to change, and if it’s worth the wait.
Recently Drupal has changed its release cycle. Instead of every few years, nowadays we get updates for this popular software bi-annually. This schedule stems mostly from Drupal's dependency on subsequent releases of the PHP Symfony framework. Drupal 8 depends on Symfony 3, while Drupal 9 on Symfony 4.
Drupal's “EOL”, which is the date of the end of official support, has been set for November 2023. This ensures users upgrade to Symfony 5. That is how Drupal 10 is going to use Symfony 5!
These are all just numbers, you might say, what does this change mean in practice? It means that if you care about the security and stability of your website you’re going to need to update it to Drupal 10 by November 10th, 2023. You have at least a year for that. We advise you not to wait and get on with it as soon as possible.
Bi-annual release cycles have their pros and cons. You constantly have to implement updates and patches. In return, however, you receive new capabilities and improvements faster. We wrote about the change in Drupal’s release cycle philosophy in our article about Drupal 9’s premiere.
A worthy successor
Dries Buytaert, Drupal’s creator has recently admitted during his speech at DrupalCon North America, that work on the recent release was preceded by meticulous market and client analysis. So what has changed?
Drupal 10 is supposed to be a continuation of its predecessor. You could think of it as an upgraded version of Drupal 9, with multiple functionality upgrades and without all its cons.
Here are the most important changes:
- Claro - new administration motive which is going to replace the current theme “Seven”. Previously it was available from version 8.8.x, as an experimental theme.
- Olivero- new default theme (Bartik’s replacement)
- End of CKEditor 4- it’s been in use since 2012, and it’s earned its retirement fully. The current version will lose support in 2023. New Drupal means an upgrade to CKEditor 5.
- Further improvements to Layout Builder - editing layout and content are getting simplified.
- Starterkit- a new tool for creating sub-themes, which is going to replace the popular Classy. Now, instead of being limited to a single motive, you can copy it and use it as a starting point for creating another. You can read more about this here
- PHP 8 - Drupal 10 will require using the latest version of this coding language.
How to prepare for Drupal 10?
If you’re still using Drupal 9, everything should be simple. You can utilize the Upgrade Status tool to estimate how much work there will be with the upgrade. In general, the method is identical to upgrading from 8 to 9.
Is your website still based on Drupal 8? It’s time for an upgrade. Drupal’s “end of life” date was November 8th, 2021. Since then, this older version has lost official support and it does not receive any security patches. That is dangerous, and it could lead to stability issues with your website or application.
You have to upgrade everything to Drupal 9 first to update to Drupal 10. Use Upgrade Status to analyze your website and fix or remove out-of-date code. Drupal-rector might come in handy as well.
The hardest challenge, however, awaits those who are still using Drupal 7. We’ve discussed the internal details of the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade in our recent blog post. The most important information is that the end-of-life date for Drupal 7 has been postponed to November 2022, a year after the scheduled departure. The reason? Upgrading from this version requires much more effort, often as much as rewriting big parts of code. What is more, although a direct migration tool has been promised, not every part of your website or application might be supported. At the moment there are several unknowns, which in the eyes of a developer, translates to risk.
It’s a much better idea to go ahead with the update right away instead of waiting for the 10 to quickly jump from 9 to 10.
As you can see - Drupal 10 is going to be a step in the right direction. The scheduled changes will push this already popular CMS into even wider adoption. For you and your company, this means pure profit. If you would like to update your website or create a new Drupal project, and you’re looking for a contractor - contact us. Build your digital product with us.