Navigating the Drupal Transition: Common Pitfalls in Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 

In the ever-evolving landscape of the Drupal ecosystem, staying up to date with the latest technologies is crucial to maintaining a robust and secure online presence. For many organizations, this means migrating from Drupal 7 to newer versions like Drupal 10. While this transition promises enhanced features and improved performance, it’s not without its challenges. As you are already this far, we understand you are ready for the transition. Here are the top 5 pitfalls to watch out for when migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 and how to overcome them.  

Insufficient Planning

One of the most significant pitfalls in any migration process is rushing into it without a comprehensive plan. Migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 involves a myriad of technical and logistical considerations. Failing to create a detailed roadmap can lead to confusion, errors, and unexpected roadblocks. Start by conducting a thorough assessment of your current Drupal 7 site, identifying key functionalities, content types, and customizations that need to be migrated.  

Neglecting Compatibility Testing

Drupal 10 may offer advanced features, but it also involves substantial changes under the hood. Third-party modules, themes, and custom code that worked seamlessly on Drupal 7 might not function correctly on Drupal 10 without modifications. Neglecting compatibility testing can result in broken functionality or security vulnerabilities. Prioritize testing all modules and themes for compatibility and plan for necessary updates or replacements.  

Underestimating Data Migration

Content is the lifeblood of any website. Migrating content from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 requires careful attention to detail (See our complete Drupal Migration Checklist). Overlooking data migration can result in data loss, formatting issues, or broken links. Create a detailed content migration strategy that includes mapping content types, fields, and taxonomies between the two versions. Utilize migration tools or scripts to automate the process and ensure data integrity.  

Overlooking User Training

Transitioning to a new CMS version means changes in user interfaces, workflows, and functionalities. Failing to provide adequate training for content editors, administrators, and other stakeholders can lead to confusion and decreased efficiency. Offer training sessions or documentation to familiarize users with the new Drupal 10 interface, highlighting any changes in content creation, management, and administrative tasks.  

Not Factoring in Custom Code

Custom code and modules developed for Drupal 7 might not be directly compatible with Drupal 10. Ignoring this aspect can result in errors, performance issues, or security vulnerabilities. Assess the custom code and modules used in your Drupal 7 site and determine whether they can be upgraded, replaced, or rewritten for Drupal 10. Collaborate with experienced developers to ensure a smooth transition.   

In Closing

Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 is a journey that offers great potential, but it’s not without its challenges. By avoiding common pitfalls and approaching the migration process with careful planning, thorough testing, and a focus on user training, you can navigate this transition successfully. Remember, a successful migration isn’t just about preserving your existing website – it’s an opportunity to embrace the advancements and innovations that Drupal 10 brings to the table. If you are ready to start your journey, you can schedule a call with our Drupal migration consultant here.

Drupal 10 Migration: Here’s What You Need to Know 

Just how popular is Drupal these days? According to one recent study, Drupal provides the foundation for at least 14% of the top 10,000 most popular websites around the world. This is in addition to powering 1.2% of the top 10 million sites globally. When you also consider that it had a community of nearly 1.4 million people as of 2022, with over 120,000 of them actively contributing to its open-source framework, it is easy to see how Drupal has become something of a force to be reckoned with over the years. 

That is also part of the reason it is so exciting that Drupal 10 has finally arrived. Released on December 15, 2022, it supplants the last major release of 8.9.20 that was released in December 2021 and will replace Drupal 9, which will meet its end-of-life in November 2023. But why is Drupal 10 so notable and is it worth the effort to upgrade your own system? The answers to questions like these and more require you to keep a few key things in mind. 


What’s New in Drupal 10? 

To say that Drupal 10 represents a major upgrade compared to what had come before it is, at this point, a bit of an understatement. All told, Drupal 10 offers several key features, including but not limited to ones like: 

  • A new Claro administration theme has been made available, replacing the previous Seven theme. 
  • There is a new Olivero default theme, replacing the previous Bartik theme. 
  • Drupal 10 also introduces CKEditor 5, which promises to yield a better authoring experience across the board thanks to an interface that is optimized with modern editing techniques in mind. Note that this replaces CKEditor 4 entirely. 
  • Modern JavaScript components are now being used across Drupal, in large part to replace some uses of jQuery. 
  • Theme Starterkit tools were added to help facilitate effective theme creation for as many people as possible. 
  • Symfony 6 has been added under the hood, which replaces the previous Symfony 4 release. 
  • PHP version 8.1 is now required to keep your Drupal system and anything you create with it as secure as possible. 

In addition to new features, there have been many removals with this latest version of Drupal, although developers say much of this will not impact development. In terms of frontend dependency changes, for example, the public Backbone and Underscore core libraries have been eliminated. They are only for internal use moving forward. 

There have also been a wide range of PHP dependencies removed, including certain versions of Diactoros, Laminas Feed, EasyRDF, and others. 

To find out more about absolutely everything that has changed in this version of Drupal 10 (and to stay up to date with what will be added to minor releases in the coming weeks and months), view the release notes here. 


Drupal 10 Migration Instructions 

One of the most important things to understand about the Drupal 10 migration process is that, once deployed, you must keep up with minor core releases. Developers have stated that this is the best way to prepare for any major upgrade, but especially true which Drupal 10. 

According to Drupal’s own website, upgrades to Drupal 10 are possible from Drupal 9.4 or later. To get started, you will want to use one of the available deprecations checking and correction tools to prepare for moving from one version of Drupal to the next. These will help you identify and address any deprecations that have occurred in your code base over time. 

Then, if you are not currently running Drupal 9.4, you will need to follow that upgrade path first. There are several ways to go about this depending on which version you are coming from: 

Again, all of this is essential to help make sure that your site or project is already compatible with Drupal 9. At that point, little effort is required to move from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10. 

Thankfully, the actual upgrade process is simple. To get to the latest version from an existing deployment, simply open the Composer and use the following command: 

  • composer update “Drupal/core-*” –with-all-dependencies 

Then, all you must do is wait for the process to complete, and you will be ready to take advantage of all the new features and functionality that Drupal 10 brings with it. 

Note that if you want to start a new project using Drupal 10 as your foundation, you will open the Composer and use the following command: 

  • Composer create-project Drupal/recommended-project:10.0.0 “install-dir” 

This, too, is a viable solution.  

While it is recommended that you use the Composer to perform this migration, you can also do so manually if you so choose. This is for people who are unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with command lines and who are not interested in learning the finer workings of the Composer. This is also a way for someone without shell access to perform the upgrade. 


Additional Considerations About Drupal 10 

It is important to note that Drupal 10 was released at the same time as Drupal 9.5.0. While the latter release has most of the changes and features that the former does, it also maintains true backwards compatibility with certain previous versions. As a Drupal development company, we recommend that you always pick Drupal 10 if you have the option. It will help make sure that any new project you create today will always be compatible with future versions. However, there may be certain scenarios where this is impossible and if that is the case, Drupal 9.5.0 still represents a significant upgrade over its previous versions.  

In the end, Drupal 10 continues its long tradition of delivering state-of-the-art capabilities including account registration and maintenance, RSS feeds, the ability to customize page layouts, system administration and much, much more. When you consider what a major leap forward Drupal 10 represents to what originally began as a straightforward open-source project all the way back in 2001, it truly is exciting to think about the possibilities that future releases will bring to us all.