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Transitioning From Drupal 8 to Drupal 9

The era of Drupal 9 is finally here, and it’s time to make the jump. Transitioning from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is an easy progression for websites that have been maintaining minor updates. Whether you’re running your site on Drupal 7 or 8, there’s a lot that you will experience from this change, including functionality, interface, accessibility, increased security measures – packing in some pretty impressive features. This way, it becomes much easier than having a complete site change over with everything new again, including branding elements like logos and layouts that might not fit anymore after multiple development rounds. 

This blog sets out how we made these transitions seamless for our clients to benefit from all new functionality & benefits with ease during their upgrade process. Follow these 9 critical points if you are thinking of making an upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.

1. Define Clear Goals

When making the transition Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, consider what your organization’s goals and preferences are. You should be able to identify how your website will measurably support these goals before implementing any changes to it. This way, you will attain a successful transition in minimal time and money spent. Outlining these types of metrics at an early stage ensures only the most essential things are focused upon. 

2. Conduct Research For User Experience (UX)

To create a successful user experience, your questions should be designed with your users in mind. The best way to do this is by getting feedback from them. Ask what they need and how it can make their lives easier; better yet, engage directly through surveys or other means of communication like a chat on websites—the critical factor here is remaining agnostic about any solution so as not to bias internal preference towards one path over another.

3. Perform a Content Audit 

The content you currently have on your site may be outdated and does not reflect the voice or style of marketing that has changed since it was first published. Before moving forward, we recommend completing a Redundant, Outdated Trivial (ROT) analysis to better prepare for our following step-defining content types. How do we assess quickly? Remember it is all about being: Timely-Relevant-Understandable-Significant-Targeted.

  • Timely: Is the information up-to-date and current? Is there anything you can do to make it more engaging for the audience or clients?
  • Relevant: Do the audience still find your information relevant? 
  • Understandable: It’s essential to make your content as easy-to-read and engaging for the average reader. A dense text might be a challenge, primarily online, where people have shorter attention spans than they did even five years ago.
  • Significant: Page view statistics provide a detailed breakdown of your site’s traffic. Suppose there is not as much interest in certain pages. In that case, it may be due to poor content quality and language used on those specific pages, which needs some reworking before any more harm occurs from lackluster readership stats.
  • Targeted: Put content that targets your audiences’ interests.

4. Know Your Content Types

The perfect structure for your content types and fields is crucial to a successful site. It’s also vital that you have separate, reusable pieces of content on the same topic and taxonomies with terms attached so they can be imported into other pages or used as categories in line items. The relationships between these parts will dictate how quickly indexing happens when building up from an existing database.

5. Work Alongside Drupal Professionals

With a partnership from an outside Drupal development firm, you’ll be able to achieve your organization’s goals. An ideal team understands what makes yours unique. It can help execute its vision while providing the best value for money in terms of price tag and quality deliverables.

6. Consider Routine Maintenance

The best way to prepare for a transition from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is by auditing your site and completing a module audit. You will need to make sure that all of the modules are compatible with this version, as any disabled or deprecated ones won’t work anymore. We recommend giving the following options a look before diving right into updating everything.

  • Check for existing patches on your current Drupal version, then go ahead and try them out. If they work well enough (or at all), make your own patch or comment about how successful it was in the available discussion forums – who knows? Maybe someone else will find this helpful too.
  • If you’re unable to find a patch, consider creating an issue and then commenting on how helpful it was when the module gets closer to Drupal 9.
  • Sometimes, you may want or need to swap modules for newer ones with more features.

7. Speak In The Manner That Connects With Your Audience

Organizations often develop their own language that becomes disconnected from how customers talk and what they offer. It’s important to always use the same terms on a public website, rather than high-level mission statement terminology or other jargon in your values statements.

8. Sequence Your Backlog

Many organizations have a list of improvements they would like to see on their site. Still, it can be difficult for them and the people in charge if there is no clear idea of what needs changing. A good way around this problem could be collecting information from stakeholders about significant changes or updates that need implementing, so all parties are satisfied with the outcome.

9. Ready Your Drupal 8 Website For The Future

To upgrade your Drupal site for the current latest version, i.e., migrate from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, here’s a list of boilerplate stuff that you need to keep in mind: 

  • When upgrading to Drupal 9, make sure the host you choose has been updated with new requirements.
  • Upgrades are supported from Drupal 8.8 and 8.9, but the latest version available is not enough for a smooth upgrade process; you’ll need to update your theme as well (or use the Update Status module).
  • Keep projects up-to-date with gradual support on new features as well as keep old ones running smoothly.
  • Rector is the best way to remove old, deprecated APIs from your custom code. It can even make some of them disappear for you automatically.


Drupal 10 is due for release in the coming years, so there’s no time like the present to prepare for migrating your Drupal website. The gap between versions will only widen from here on out and with each passing day. It becomes more challenging to keep track of all the changes in addition to whatever features are being added or changed without notice by developers at various companies who work on different parts independently (and sometimes even against one another).

At Mpire Solutions, we can help make this transition possible. Get in touch with us, and let’s work together to take your website on the latest version of Drupal.  

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