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The number ten

Are you thinking about migration to Drupal 10 yet? That may seem like an odd question given that Drupal 9 only launched fairly recently, but it's never too early to start planning your migration journey. Particularly now since we know Drupal 10 will be released next year and even more so if you think you might need the help of a web developer.

Obviously, this is a significant difference from 5 years between D8 and 9, but it’s been a steep learning curve while developing Drupal 9 and the community is optimistic that the migration will be painless.

The Drupal community already has developed the tools and procedures needed to make the transition from D8 to 9 the simplest yet, and we will continue to use this approach with later versions.

Are you concerned that the update would be too quick? 
Trust in the awesome Drupal community. The Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative launched during this year's DrupalCon Global the plan has already started to unfold nicely.

Here is that plan for Drupal 10

  • Third-Party Dependencies Upgrade: Symfony 5/6, Ckeditor 5 - Amongst other things
  • Symfony 3 will retire in November of this year. Meaning, everyone who is presently using Drupal 8 will no longer have security updates and upgrades after November. With this date in mind, the release of D9 was scheduled for mid-2020, giving everyone who is presently using Drupal 7 or 8 a comfortable 18 months transition to the next version.
  • D9, which was released in June last year, is reliant on Symfony 4, which doesn’t have an end-of-life date until November 2023. Other significant dependencies such as CKEditor 4 also will be phased out in 2023. Organisations should have at least 12 months to prepare their Drupal websites for the migration to Drupal 10. As a result, this is why Drupal 10 is scheduled for release when it is. Method behind the madness!

The Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative focuses on upgrading the following important third-party components from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10:

  • Symfony 4 to 5/6 
  • CKEditor 4 to 5
  • PHP Composer 1 to 2 
  • PHP 7 to 8

All of these changes will enhance Drupal by improving support, increasing site performance, and delivering an easier user experience for developers and non-coders. And, happily, because we're no longer beginning from zero, there’s time to update without a rush.

Drupal 9 will be used to build Drupal 10

Drupal 10 has the same relaxed attitude as D9. Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, Drupal 10 is created under D9, with new features introduced to successive D9 releases.

All modifications will be backwards compatible with each minor D9 version until Drupal 9.4.0 in mid-2022. This allows developers enough time to keep up with potential API updates. With this strategy, Drupal will provide new value every 6 months while causing minimal disturbance to your existing sites. Any outdated code will be removed, and update our dependencies only when Drupal 10 is released in 2022.

For example, D9 will have CKEditor 5 as an add-on whilst retaining CKEditor 4. So come Drupal 10, CKEditor 4 will be removed, leaving just version 5 in place.

This is the same technique used to upgrade Drupal 8 to D9. That strategy was a massive achievement, resulting in donated modules and extensions being D9 compliant very quickly.

What is Drupal 10 going to be like?

Dries addressed the Drupal 10 Readiness Initiative as one of five major goals for Drupal 10 in his Driesnote last year.

Other major areas of attention included:

  • Improving the user experience of out-of-the-box Drupal
  • Making the new Olivero front-end theme the default in Drupal core
  • Putting in place automated updates
  • Begin by introducing JavaScript components

What need I do to be ready for my migration to Drupal 10?

Users of Drupal 9

If you're on Drupal 9, the greatest thing you can do right now is help automate the migration to Drupal 10. To assist, donate to drupal-rector. There are currently a number of APIs that might be included. On your Drupal 9 site, you may currently utilise Upgrade Status to obtain an estimate of the work required, but additional deprecated APIs will continue to be introduced until Drupal 9.3.0.

Users of Drupal 8

In November 2021, Drupal 8 will be retired! To upgrade to Drupal 10, you must first update to Drupal 9. Analyze your site using Upgrade Status. There are over 6,000 contributed Drupal 9 projects available. Work with contributors to update any projects that aren't ready yet. Most code changes may be done automatically using drupal-rector; you can use it for your own code as well.

Users of Drupal 7

In November 2022, Drupal 7 will be retired. Yes, this is after Drupal 10's scheduled release. However, there are no assurances that the earliest delivery date of June 2022 will be met. Also, although Drupal 10 will have migration tools from Drupal 7, the contributed projects you use are far more likely to be available for Drupal 9 now, and may not be ready soon after Drupal 10 is released. As a result, it is strongly advised that you begin upgrading to Drupal 9 as soon as possible rather than waiting to move to Drupal 10. Moving from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 will be a lot simpler.


All of these objectives aim to make Drupal more user-friendly, ease maintenance and development for developers, and enable the development of new and versatile digital experiences. Whereas the Readiness Initiative concentrates on platform components and stability. So Drupal 10 should expand on all of D9's advancements and incorporate enhancements beyond those efforts offered by the community.

Whether you're still using D7 or 8, or have just moved to D9, you'll have plenty of time to make the transition. The Drupal Project has extended the end-of-life date for D7 to November 2022 in response to the effects of the pandemic on many organisations' budgets and resources (with even longer support from commercial vendors). Furthermore, Drupal 8 will hang up its dancing shoes too, in November 2021.

If you haven't already, we strongly recommend upgrading to Drupal 9 quickly to ensure the quickest and easiest migration to future Drupal releases. Why not check out our web development services to see how we can help you?

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