Drupal 9 Vs. Drupal 10: Comprehensive Difference & Upgrade Tips

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Welcome to our expert comparison between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10, complete with essential upgrade tips! As a premier Drupal web development company, we recognize the significance of staying updated with the platform’s latest features and enhancements. In this blog post, we’ll meticulously dissect the nuances between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10, equipping you with the knowledge to make an informed decision regarding your website’s upgrade. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or a business owner venturing into Drupal development, this guide promises valuable insights and actionable recommendations for a seamless transition and optimized performance. Let’s embark on this journey of understanding Drupal 9 versus Drupal 10 and unlock the potential of your web presence!

What is Drupal 9?

Drupal 9 is the latest version of the popular open-source content management system (CMS) called Drupal. It’s like a powerful toolbox for building and managing websites without needing to know a lot of technical coding.

Let’s break down some of its key features in simple terms:

  • Easy Content Management: Drupal 9 makes it simple to create, edit, and organize content on your website. You can add text, images, videos, and more with just a few clicks.
  • Flexible Design: With Drupal 9, you have the freedom to customize the look and feel of your website. Choose from a wide range of themes and layouts to create a unique and appealing design.
  • Mobile-Responsive: In today’s digital age, people use all sorts of devices to browse the internet. Drupal 9 ensures that your website looks great and functions well on smartphones, tablets, and desktops.
  • Powerful Security: Keeping your website safe from hackers and cyber threats is crucial. Drupal 9 comes with robust security features to protect your site and data.
  • SEO-Friendly: Want your website to rank high on search engines like Google? Drupal 9 is built with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind, helping your site get noticed by more people.
  • Scalability: Whether you’re starting small or planning for massive growth, Drupal 9 can handle it. It scales effortlessly to accommodate your website’s needs as your business or audience expands.
  • Community Support: Drupal has a vast community of developers and users who contribute to plugins, modules, and support. This means you’ll always have access to the latest tools and assistance when needed.

What is Drupal 10? 

Drupal 10 is the latest and most advanced version of the Drupal content management system, designed to make building and managing websites easier and more efficient. Let’s explore its key features in simple terms:

  • Streamlined User Experience: Drupal 10 comes with an improved user interface, making it easier for website owners and administrators to navigate and manage their content.
  • Enhanced Performance: With Drupal 10, websites load faster and perform better, providing a seamless experience for visitors across all devices.
  • Accessibility: Drupal 10 prioritizes accessibility, ensuring that websites built on the platform are usable and navigable for all users, including those with disabilities.
  • Modern Technologies: Drupal 10 integrates the latest technologies and frameworks, allowing developers to create cutting-edge websites with advanced functionalities and features.
  • Security Updates: Security is a top priority in Drupal 10, with regular updates and patches to protect websites from vulnerabilities and cyber threats.
  • Improved Multilingual Support: For websites catering to a global audience, Drupal 10 offers enhanced multilingual capabilities, allowing content to be translated and localized easily.
  • Flexible Content Modeling: Drupal 10 allows for flexible content modeling, making it simple to create and manage different types of content, such as articles, blogs, products, and more.
  • API-First Approach: Drupal 10 adopts an API-first approach, making it easier to integrate with third-party services, apps, and platforms, enhancing the overall functionality and user experience.
  • Scalability: Whether you’re managing a small website or a large-scale enterprise platform, Drupal 10 scales effortlessly to accommodate your needs and growth.

What is the Difference Between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10?

Underlying Technology

  • Drupal 9: Drupal 9 is built on Symfony 4, which is a PHP framework. Think of Symfony as the sturdy structure that supports and organizes all the functionalities and features of Drupal 9. Symfony 4 provided the necessary tools and structure for Drupal 9 to function efficiently.
  • Drupal 10: On the other hand, Drupal 10 is built on Symfony 5. This is an upgrade from Symfony 4, bringing improvements in performance, security, and developer experience. Symfony 5 is like an upgraded version of the framework, offering better tools and capabilities for building and managing websites.

End-of-Life and Support

  • Drupal 9: This version is built on Symfony 4, which is a PHP framework. Symfony 4 provides the essential tools and structure for Drupal 9 to operate smoothly. It’s like the engine that powers the functionalities and features of the Drupal 9 platform.
  • Drupal 10: On the other hand, Drupal 10 is built on Symfony 5, an upgraded version of the Symfony framework. Symfony 5 brings improvements in performance, security, and developer experience compared to Symfony 4. This upgrade enhances the capabilities of Drupal 10 and makes it more efficient and powerful.

Deprecated Code

  • Drupal 9: In Drupal 9, some deprecated code was marked for removal. This means that while this code still works, it’s not recommended to use it for new projects because it’s outdated and will be removed in future updates. Developers need to be aware of this deprecated code and start using the newer alternatives provided.
  • Drupal 10: Drupal 10 takes it a step further by removing all the deprecated code from Drupal 9. This means Drupal 10 only includes the latest and most efficient code, ensuring a cleaner and more streamlined codebase. By eliminating deprecated code, Drupal 10 offers better performance, security, and ease of maintenance.

System Requirements

  • Drupal 9: To run Drupal 9, you need a server with PHP 7.3 or higher. It also requires a compatible database like MySQL, MariaDB, or PostgreSQL. These requirements ensure that Drupal 9 runs smoothly and securely on your web server.
  • Drupal 10: Drupal 10, being the newer version, comes with updated system requirements. It typically requires PHP 8.0 or higher. This means that your server needs to be running this newer version of PHP to take advantage of the latest features and improvements. The database requirements remain similar, but the overall server configuration may need to be slightly updated to meet the new standards.

New Features and Improvements

Modernized Backend:

  • Drupal 9: While Drupal 9 brought significant improvements over its predecessors, its backend interface remained largely the same.
  • Drupal 10: Drupal 10 introduces a more modern and user-friendly backend interface. This means it’s easier for site administrators and content editors to navigate, manage content, and perform their tasks efficiently.

Claro Admin Theme:

  • Drupal 9: The administrative theme in Drupal 9 was Seven, which, although functional, started to show its age.
  • Drupal 10: Drupal 10 features the new Claro admin theme, offering a more modern, accessible, and visually appealing interface for site administrators.

Olivero Frontend Theme:

  • Drupal 9: The default theme in Drupal 9 was Bartik, which had a traditional look and feel.

  • Drupal 10: Drupal 10 introduces the Olivero theme as the new default frontend theme. Olivero is designed to be modern, flexible, and accessible, providing a fresh and attractive look for new Drupal sites.

Improved Editor Experience:

  • Drupal 9: Provided a solid content editing experience with CKEditor 4.
  • Drupal 10: Enhances this experience by upgrading to CKEditor 5, which offers a more intuitive and powerful content editing interface, making it easier to create and format content.

Enhanced Security and Performance:

  • Drupal 9: Focused on maintaining robust security and performance.
  • Drupal 10: Builds on this foundation with even better security practices and performance optimizations, ensuring your website is faster and more secure than ever.

New Development Tools:

  • Drupal 9: Supported a range of development tools and APIs.
  • Drupal 10: Introduces updated and new development tools that streamline the process of building and customizing websites. This includes more modern APIs and improved development workflows.

Better Third-Party Integration:

  • Drupal 9: Allowed for integration with various third-party services.
  • Drupal 10: Enhances the ease and efficiency of integrating with external services and platforms, making it simpler to expand your site’s functionality.

Ease of Upgrade

One of the best things about moving from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 is how much easier the upgrade process is compared to past major version upgrades. Here’s why upgrading to Drupal 10 is more straightforward:

  • Similar Foundations: Drupal 9 and Drupal 10 are built on similar structures, so the core of your website doesn’t need to change drastically. This makes the transition smoother and less time-consuming.
  • Proactive Cleanup: During the Drupal 9 lifecycle, developers were encouraged to clean up deprecated code, which are parts of the software marked as outdated. By the time you’re ready to upgrade to Drupal 10, this old code has already been addressed, making your site cleaner and the upgrade simpler.
  • Helpful Tools and Guides: The Drupal community has developed tools that automatically check your site for any issues that need fixing before upgrading. These tools provide clear instructions and help make the process less intimidating.
  • Module and Theme Compatibility: Many of the modules and themes you use in Drupal 9 are already compatible with Drupal 10 or have easy updates available. This means you can keep using your favorite tools without starting from scratch.

Future Compatibility

When it comes to technology, staying up-to-date is crucial for security, performance, and taking advantage of new features. This is where future compatibility comes into play, especially when comparing Drupal 9 and Drupal 10.

  • Longer Support Lifecycle: Drupal 10 is the latest version and will receive updates and support for a longer period than Drupal 9, which will reach its end-of-life in November 2023. This means that choosing Drupal 10 ensures your website remains secure and up-to-date with the latest improvements for a longer time.
  • Cutting-Edge Features: Drupal 10 includes the latest advancements and tools. By using Drupal 10, you’re better positioned to integrate future innovations and updates. This keeps your website modern and competitive.
  • Backward Compatibility: Drupal 10 has been designed to be as compatible as possible with modules and themes from Drupal 9. This backward compatibility means that the transition to future versions of Drupal will likely be smoother if you are already on Drupal 10.
  • Ongoing Community Support: The Drupal community focuses its efforts on the latest version, which means more resources, documentation, and community support for Drupal 10. This makes it easier to find help and ensure your site stays current with best practices.
  • Prepared for Future Upgrades: Moving to Drupal 10 now prepares you for future upgrades. Each new version of Drupal builds on the previous one, so being on Drupal 10 puts you in a better position when Drupal 11 and beyond are released.

Advantages of Upgrading from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10

Upgrading your website from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 comes with several significant benefits that can enhance your site’s performance, security, and user experience. Here are the key advantages:

Modern and User-Friendly Interface

  • New Admin Theme: Drupal 10 introduces the Claro admin theme, which offers a cleaner, more intuitive, and accessible interface for site administrators. This makes managing your site easier and more efficient.
  • Improved Frontend Theme: The Olivero theme is the new default frontend theme in Drupal 10, providing a modern, attractive, and responsive design that enhances the user experience for your visitors.

Enhanced Content Editing

  • CKEditor 5: Drupal 10 upgrades to CKEditor 5, offering a more powerful and user-friendly content editing experience. This modern editor includes improved tools for formatting, media embedding, and collaborative editing, making content creation more seamless.

Better Performance and Security

  • Updated Frameworks: Drupal 10 is built on Symfony 5, which brings performance improvements and enhanced security features compared to Symfony 4 used in Drupal 9. This means your website will run faster and be better protected against vulnerabilities.
  • Regular Security Updates: As the latest version, Drupal 10 will receive ongoing security updates, ensuring your site remains secure against the latest threats.

Cleaner Codebase

  • Removal of Deprecated Code: Drupal 10 eliminates deprecated code that was present in Drupal 9. This results in a cleaner, more efficient codebase, making your site easier to maintain and reducing the risk of bugs and issues.

Future-Proofing Your Website

  • Longer Support Lifecycle: Drupal 10 will be supported for a longer period than Drupal 9, which reaches its end-of-life in November 2023. Upgrading ensures you continue to receive updates, support, and new features.
  • Prepared for Future Upgrades: By moving to Drupal 10, you’re positioning your site for smoother future upgrades. Each new version of Drupal builds on the latest version, so being on the latest version makes it easier to adopt upcoming releases.

Improved Development Tools

  • Modern APIs and Tools: Drupal 10 introduces new development tools and APIs that streamline the process of building and customizing websites. This makes it easier for developers to implement advanced functionalities and integrations.

Enhanced Accessibility

  • Focus on Accessibility: Drupal 10 continues to prioritize web accessibility, ensuring that your site is usable by people with disabilities. This not only broadens your audience but also helps in meeting legal and regulatory standards.

Better Multilingual Support

  • Improved Translation Capabilities: Drupal 10 enhances multilingual support, making it easier to create and manage content in multiple languages. This is particularly beneficial for global businesses and organizations.

Conclusion

The transition from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 brings a host of improvements and new features that enhance your website’s performance, security, and usability. Drupal 10 introduces a modern admin and frontend theme, upgrades to CKEditor 5 for a better content editing experience, and leverages Symfony 5 for enhanced performance and security. The removal of deprecated code ensures a cleaner, more maintainable codebase, while the extended support lifecycle and improved development tools future-proof your site.

Upgrading to Drupal 10 is a strategic move to keep your website up-to-date with the latest technological advancements. For a seamless transition and to fully leverage the new capabilities of Drupal 10, it’s highly recommended to hire a Drupal web developer. An experienced developer can ensure that your upgrade process is smooth, your website remains fully functional, and you can take full advantage of all the new features and improvements Drupal 10 offers.

Investing in a skilled Drupal web developer not only simplifies the upgrade process but also maximizes the benefits of moving to Drupal 10, positioning your website for success in the digital landscape.