Drupal Updates

partITech has been developing Drupal projects since 2015. But that's only the first step in an application's life. That's why we also handle the Drupal project maintenance.

One of the recurring tasks during the maintenance phase is the update of the application.

The aim is to guarantee the optimum operating conditions of our clients' applications.

Why update your Drupal application?

It is essential to regularly update your Drupal project for several reasons.

  • Drupal updates often include bug fixes, security improvements and additional features. By not updating your Drupal project, you may miss these improvements, which can affect the security and performance of your website.
  • Drupal updates can also include important security fixes. If you do not update your website, you risk being vulnerable to known security attacks.
  • Updating your Drupal project allows you to benefit from technical support and long-term updates for your website. Outdated versions of Drupal do not benefit from the same support and stability as the newer versions.

What is the latest version of Drupal?

The latest stable version is Drupal 10. It was released on December 15, 2022, succeeding Drupal 9. Drupal 10 brings improvements in performance, security, and features, while offering a smoother upgrade experience for Drupal 9 users. Drupal 10 also comes with updated third-party libraries and frameworks, such as Symfony 6.2 and Twig 3, to provide a modern development experience and compatibility with the latest web technology versions.

Drupal 10 uses PHP 8. Therefore, it is necessary to update the server hosting your application.

What are the versions that require the most work during a Drupal update?

In general, major updates to Drupal, such as the update from version 7 to version 8 or from version 8 to version 9, can require the most work during an update. This is due to significant changes in the architecture of Drupal, which can affect features, themes, modules, and code customizations.

For example, updating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 requires a complete rewrite of custom code due to fundamental changes in the Drupal architecture, such as the transition from Drupal's template library to Twig. Similarly, updating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 requires prior updating of third-party modules to versions compatible with Drupal 9.

However, even minor updates to Drupal can present challenges in terms of third-party module and theme compatibility, data migration, and testing. Therefore, it's important to prepare the update carefully, regardless of the version concerned.

What are the essential steps of a Drupal version upgrade?

A Drupal version upgrade can be a complex and critical operation for a web project. Here are some of the critical points to consider when upgrading a Drupal version:

  • Third-party modules: When you upgrade Drupal, some third-party modules you have used may no longer be compatible with the new Drupal version. It is therefore important to check the compatibility of these modules before performing the update and to update third-party modules to the most recent versions.
  • Theme compatibility: Just like for third-party modules, Drupal themes may not be compatible with the new Drupal version. It is therefore important to check theme compatibility before the update and to update themes to the most recent versions.
  • Data migration: Upgrading a Drupal version may require migrating website data to a new database structure. Therefore, it's important to plan data migration carefully and ensure that all data is successfully migrated.
  • Code customizations: If you have customized your website code, it's important to check these customizations' compatibility with the new Drupal version and update the custom code if necessary.
  • Tests: It's important to test the new Drupal version to ensure that all website features work properly. Testing should be conducted at each stage of the update process to avoid problems and errors.
  • Data backup: It's important to backup all website data before performing a Drupal version upgrade to avoid data loss in case of errors or problems.

Drupal release schedule and their support:

  • Drupal 7 released in January 2011, support is planned until January 2025.
  • Drupal 8 released in November 2015, support ended in November 2021.
  • Drupal 9 released in June 2020, it comes with security support until November 2023.

It's important to note that Drupal follows a Long-Term Support (LTS) model for its major releases. This means that each major release of Drupal is supported for about three years after the release of the next version. Therefore, users have enough time to plan their upgrade to the next version while still receiving security support for their current version. It is highly recommended to follow the support schedule and regularly update your Drupal site to avoid security vulnerabilities and compatibility issues.

php.net: schedule of maintained PHP versions

list of maintained Drupal versions

We have updated dozens of Drupal applications since 2015.

We also update the servers hosting our clients' applications when we have the management.

Finally, we update applications that we did not develop.

Don't wait to update your Drupal application!