Navigating the Transition: Upgrading to Drupal 10

By Ben

Android phone displaying Drupal 10 Screen. Laptop keyboard in the background.

The platforms that power our websites are ever-evolving, and our clients who use Drupal know that to be true more than anyone. Although Drupal 9 reached end-of-life late last year, many are still weighing their options. At ThinkShout, we’re nearly done with this upgrade for our support clients (having upgraded about 20 of them with only a couple still in QA). Here’s some context we think may be helpful for those who want to know a bit more. 

But wait, didn’t we just upgrade? 

After the jump from D7 -> D8, the Drupal Association recognized that this upgrade was too big of a lift for site owners, so they shifted their approach. So, yes, now upgrades are more frequent, but they’re a much smaller investment in terms of developer time and cost. 

Why is upgrading important?

With every Drupal upgrade, older versions will lose support once they reach their end-of-life date. (For Drupal 9, that was November 1, 2023; Drupal 10 is slated to stay supported longer: until mid-2026.) Continuing to operate on this version leaves your website vulnerable without the security patches and updates that come with ongoing support. 

What does upgrading look like?

In ThinkShout’s process, a developer first assesses the time they expect the work to take, which varies with the complexity of the Drupal 9 site in question. With an estimate in place (and signed off on), they follow a step-by-step checklist we’ve developed over the course of many upgrades. They post the results to a test environment for the client to review. When all remaining issues are resolved, they deploy! The entire scope can be handled by one developer, and we usually get it done within a week.

What can I expect with Drupal 10?

Honestly, not a ton will change. But it’s marginal by design: shorter release cycles mean fewer huge changes per release, which (again) makes upgrades far less painful and lets users gradually receive big wins over time.

Still, Drupal 10 introduces a few changes worth noting. 

Your Options Beyond Drupal

While Drupal remains a powerful and flexible platform, we understand that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all platform. If you’re feeling stuck or uncertain, our team can provide technical planning and evaluation to explore choices that better align with your goals and requirements.

If you need help with a Drupal upgrade, get in touch!

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