Should I upgrade to Drupal 10?

Drupal 10

Drupal 10, the latest release in the world of content management systems (CMS), has been making waves since its arrival just a few months ago. But should you upgrade your existing Drupal installation to this shiny new version? Let’s dive into the benefits, challenges, and a real-life story to help you make an informed decision.

The Perks of Upgrading to Drupal 10

Compared to its predecessor, Drupal 9, Drupal 10 brings numerous enhancements to the table:

  • CKEditor 5: The introduction of CKEditor 5 elevates the authoring experience with a modern editing environment, replacing the older CKEditor 4.
  • Symfony 6 and PHP 8.1: By adopting Symfony 6 (replacing Symfony 4) and requiring PHP 8.1, Drupal 10 ensures better security and performance for your website.
  • Theme Starterkit: This new toolkit allows for bespoke theme creation, utilising pre-defined “recipes” that assemble Drupal functionality to cater to specific needs.
  • Olivero default theme: Olivero replaces Bartik as the default front-end theme, offering a fresh, modern look and feel. It’s WCAG AA conformant, making it accessible and packed with features.
  • Claro administration theme: Claro replaces Seven, offering a sleek and accessible admin experience as part of the Admin UI and JS modernization initiative.
  • Modern JavaScript components: jQuery is being replaced by modern JavaScript components, offering better performance and compatibility.
  • [Coming Soon] Automatic Updates: This upcoming module will apply patch-level updates to Drupal core in a sandboxed copy of your site, ensuring a seamless update experience with minimal downtime.
  • [Coming Soon] Project Browser: This in-built browser will make it easy for site builders to find and install modules and themes without leaving the Drupal site.

Why Upgrade Sooner Rather Than Later?

While Drupal 10 is still fresh, upgrading now can save you from the imminent costs and challenges of migrating at a later stage. Besides, Drupal 8 has already reached its end of life, and Drupal 7 (the most widely adopted version) will follow suit by November 2023. By upgrading now, you’ll stay ahead of the curve, enjoying better security, performance, and features.

The Challenges of Upgrading

However, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges that come with upgrading to a newly released version:

  • Limited support: Being new to the market, Drupal 10 may not have extensive support from the developer community.
  • Scarce documentation: With limited documentation available, finding solutions to issues might be more difficult.
  • Backwards compatibility: Some modules, themes, and custom projects may not be compatible with Drupal 10, which could cause potential disruptions to your website.

A Real-Life Story: A Public Sector Organization and Drupal 9

Recently, I worked with a public sector organisation that uses Drupal 9 for their website. They rely on several contributed modules that haven’t been updated for Drupal 10 yet. As such, we recommended that they hold off on upgrading for the time being. However, once these modules are compatible with Drupal 10, we’ll assist them in making a smooth transition to benefit from the enhancements that the new version offers.

The Bottom Line

Upgrading to Drupal 10 comes with its share of benefits and challenges. If your organisation is in a position to make the move, it’s worth considering the upgrade sooner rather than later to stay ahead of the game. However, keep in mind the potential compatibility issues and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

If you’re using Drupal 7 or Drupal 8, it’s essential to start planning your migration, as their end of life is approaching fast. For those using Drupal 9, assess the compatibility of your current modules, themes, and custom projects with Drupal 10 before making the leap.

In any case, staying informed and keeping an eye on the Drupal community’s progress will be crucial in determining the right time for your organisation to upgrade. By partnering with experienced professionals who understand the nuances of Drupal migrations, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of the exciting features and benefits that Drupal 10 has to offer. So, are you ready to elevate your organisation’s digital presence?