Drupal 9 features are quite ahead than its previous versions. The makers have kept the current trend in mind. If you have been using Drupal, the leading CMS platform, then you are certainly be waiting for its latest version. Drupal 9, which was released recently, has brought excitement among developers to use it for their project. Similar to Drupal 8, the line of new versions, 9.1, 9.2 and others will add new backwards compatible features. One of the key benefits of Drupal 9 over previous version is the platform will be supported with security fixes after November 2021.
Before we get into details of the latest version, let us first check some general information-
What is Drupal?
Drupal is a content management software and is the major framework tool used for the designing and developing websites and applications. The Drupal framework carries standard features, like easy content authoring, reliable performance, and excellent security. The tool is also great for creating integrated digital framework.
Why use Drupal?
There are three major reasons on using Drupal
Drupal enables the user to engage in continuous innovation to build a quality product at the end. Top innovative organization like Weather.com and NBCUniversal. Using Drupal can allow marketers and web developers to create an appealing website that can work best in all platforms. When you hand over the job to professional developers, they will work on innovation and ideas.
2. Customizable with Large Module Library
Sites developed using Drupal framework are highly customizable, because it features Lego framework helping to build site exactas the specification. There are different modules for different website features including- ShareThis for social media, image effects, CAPTCHA, Google Analytics, etc. In the recent Drupal 9 version, there are new additions to make the process of website development easy.
3. Mobile Friendly
Drupal allows developers to build a responsive website for seamless content viewing. More than 77% of Americans use smartphones, so the website needs to be designed mobile friendly to get better traffic. With Drupal, the developer builds the website that can work seamlessly on any number of devices.
4. No Technical Background Needed
One of the best things about Drupal framework is you do not need to carry any technical knowledge to use it. Therefore, from content managers to editor and company leaders, they can use this framework and work as a backend team.
5. Flexible Content Architecture
Drupal has many navigation and menu modules helping to create flexible content architecture. This further allows the developers to organize a content-heavy website. Professional web developers use Drupal to create flexible layouts while providing complex integrations and custom search solutions.
Introducing Drupal 9
Drupal 9, the latest version was shipped in by mid- June 2020 and is the first major release for the CMS with built-in backward compatibility. If you have been already using Drupal 8, then the newly upgraded 9th version will offer a smooth flow of the use.
Drupal 9 is built on the current trending architecture. The new version will have some minor updated making the CMS work handy.
Key Difference between Drupal 8 and 9
There are certain things involved in using the latest version.
1) Using of migration module to move data and content from old version to the new one.
2) To check if the latest modules supported Drupal 8
3) Going through the source files to find the deprecated code needed to update.
One of the reasons why Drupal 9 will work is because of the backward compatibility. This means, all the components of Drupal 8 will work on the latest version. Furthermore, the latest version will support new PHP libraries like Symfony and Twig.
Some of the Drupal 9 features in the latest version are-
- Backwards Compatible
In the initial release of Drupal, the creator Dries Buytaret was not in the favor of keeping the Backward Compatibility. However, the latest version of the framework comes with the backward compatibility feature. However, the key features completely depend on the modules. Therefore, the latest version will be able to use data, modules and configurations.
- Faster and Better Performance
Drupal 9 is designed to offer faster and better performance, especially if the site is designed for mobile users. The latest version is designed for mobile users and supports responsive images to be crisp. For better performance, Drupal 9 features are-
- BigPipe to increase the page view performance
- Content workflow to allow multiple workflows
- Structure content with wide range of available fields.
- No More Depreciation
Another major feature you will see in the latest version is the lifting depreciated codes, which were available in earlier version. In Drupal, deprecated code marked as deprecated will support no more. This is for a better alternative while building the website.
The main agenda behind the release of Drupal 9 is to have some cleanup work and bring some new features to make the process of developing site handy.
- Headless CMS
- Front-End Freedom
- Create Once, Publish Anywhere
- API-First Approach
- Easier Resourcing
When you must upgrade to Drupal 9?
If your website has up-to-date modules, then it can be easy for you to upgrade your site with Drupal 9. The best you can do is install the Upgrade Status Module, which will help in creating and displaying a report. It will also scan your custom modules and report that may carry deprecated code needed to be replaced.
There are certain core dependencies it needs to run seamlessly-
- PHP 7.3 as a minimum version
- MySQL 5.7
- Drush 10 (Drupal 9 will not work on lower versions)
- Symfony 4
How to prepare your website to work smoothly for Drupal 9?
In case, if you are using Drupal 7 or 8, then you can continue as it will support until 2021. However, if you want to upgrade your website from 8 to 9, then the migration process will take time. Below are the steps you need to follow to prepare your website for Drupal 9-
- Update the latest minor versions before the full version
- Keep all the modules updates
- Check the website deprecated codes
Who should consider Drupal 9 over WordPress?
Although both are CMS, they are used for building complex websites with large libraries, but web developers prefer WordPress to Drupal. If you have been using Drupal since long for your site, then you will not need any hold for navigation purpose. However, the upgrade process in WordPress is easy compared to Drupal. The best you can do is hand over the job to a professional web development company.
Drupal 9 features and other update are quite exciting. The new version has good security and critical patches. If your website still runs on Drupal 7, then upgrade it with version 9.