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 7: End-of-Life Migration Solutions [2023-2025]

Drupal site publishers earned a reprieve when it was announced that the “end of life” for Drupal 7 has been extended from November 1, 2023 to January 5, 2025. There are many reasons that organizations are still running old code. This decision gives teams another year to migrate sites. The peak developer activity for the open-source Drupal content management system (CMS) was in the early days of Web 2.0 and versions 5 to 7 of the platform. Acquia management made a decision to abandon backward compatibility with the Drupal 8 release. This left many businesses stranded. Even worse, many companies who invested early in Drupal development with custom PHP solutions find their projects stuck maintaining legacy code that cannot be upgraded easily to new standards. Many modules and themes that provide functionality for D7 sites are not maintained or available. This document seeks to advise business and nonprofit organizations still running Drupal 7 on the best way forward. The good news is due to the new decision by the Drupal governing committee, developers will have another calendar year to work on building their code for website migrations.  

Drupal 7 End of Life – What to Do?

In the Drupal 6.x-7.x era, the CMS competed head-to-head with WordPress as an open-source PHP web development solution. After the release of Drupal 8, the lack of backward compatibility and the abandonment of the small business market led to WordPress surging in popularity over Drupal. WordPress is now estimated to run over 40% of all websites globally. Drupal has slipped to less than 1% globally with the latest release of version 10. Many organizations are left maintaining legacy code that needs to be migrated, refactored, and modernized before the D7 EoL deadline in 2025. The major problem facing organizations with Drupal 7 websites is the lack of backward compatibility for important modules and themes. Other organizations have invested in custom code that cannot be easily upgraded from PHP 5 to PHP 8 standards lacking proper documentation or change of staff. Pumex is a professional Drupal development agency with 15+ years of experience in custom PHP, JavaScript, and MySQL database solutions. We recommend that organizations migrating Drupal 7 sites to new solutions consider the following points before making the final decisions on the platform.  

1. Take Responsibility for Open Source Code

The lack of backward compatibility between D7 & D8 modules and themes led to open-source developer flight from the CMS community. Many programmers simply abandoned their modules and moved on to other projects. Drupal 8 introduced Twig & Symfony over the PHPtemplate system. One advantage of the PHPtemplate system is that it allowed coders to add functions to Drupal as requested by site owners or management without creating new modules. The general lack of documentation and inability to upgrade this type of code keeps many sites forced to run on D7. Similarly, there are thousands of D6-D7 modules that provided important functionality that were never upgraded to D8 versions. How websites that rely on outdated functionality can upgrade remains a major problem. Many themes need to be completely rewritten for the upgrade to occur. Acquia recommends that organizations take responsibility for older modules and themes to invest in the production of D8-compatible upgrades. The D8 to D10 update path is generally smooth, but the lack of availability of important modules from D7 is the biggest hindrance to project update goals.  

2. Migrate Modules & Themes to Drupal 10

If your Drupal 7 site relies on modules or themes that are not compatible with D8 and have not been upgraded by Acquia, consider taking over maintainership for these projects and modernizing the code. Pumex developers specialize in debugging D7 theme problems and updating old modules. The extension of the End of Life date for Drupal 7 establishes a minimum runtime standard of PHP 5.5, whereas Drupal 10 already supports the features of PHP 8 (Read our blog on Drupal 10 Migration). Site owners with spaghetti code are locked into compatibility with older versions of PHP that are outdated with potential security issues. On a technical level, there are only two differences between Drupal 8.9 and 9.1, which have to do with dependencies and depreciated code. Once a module or theme has become compliant with the Drupal 9.x version standards, it will also be able to be published as compatible with the 10.x release. Making the update to a Drupal 10 site re-establishes your apps with PHP 8 runtime ability as well as many other new feature upgrades of the platform. JSON API & GraphQL options now allow Drupal to run as a headless CMS with React, Vue, Gatsby, and other modern frameworks for mobile apps. According to developer John Faber of Chapter Three, the Next-Drupal distro “allows us to create these frontends that are production-level frontends on a very lightweight React framework.” Drupal site owners should make a decision now on whether or not to adopt headless CMS architecture.  

3. Standardize Functionality with New Solutions

IT departments must deal with cycles of hardware and software development that are industry standards. There have been significant advances in web development since Drupal 7 was a popular choice for publishers. When upgrading your D7 site, make sure to adopt the best of new practices. Running Drupal 8-10 websites as a decoupled or headless CMS option with React, Vue, Gatsby, and other frameworks allows legacy content to be refactored for native display across multiple device types. The JSON API and GraphQL options for Drupal are world-class and support enterprise scale. Still, many companies choose to migrate from Drupal 7 to WordPress or another decoupled CMS solution due to the ease of use in administration or access to more open-source plugins & themes. Pumex managers can help you decide and build a custom programming team for new solutions. Integrating a PHP-based CMS like Drupal with data analytics and machine learning for content recommendation involves adopting a microservices approach vs. the traditional monolithic installation of code. Pumex helps Drupal site owners transition to API-first approaches for content delivery.  

4. Build a Stable Production Site on Drupal 9

The minimum goal of a Drupal 7 upgrade should be a fully functioning Drupal 9 site running on the latest version of PHP 8. Drupal 9 sites and modules operate with near equivalency to D10. Acquia is now providing for backward compatibility between versions to avoid the problems of D7 upgrades. PHP 8 support in Drupal begins with version D 9.1. The database requirements are: 
  • MySQL or Percona: Version 5.7.8 or greater
  • MariaDB: Version 10.3.7+ or higher
  • SQLite: Version 3.26 or above
Pumex engineers refactor legacy Drupal 7 code to make it consistent with the Drupal 9 runtime requirements. In instances where PHP code was written using the PHPtemplate system, we update and transition the code to new modules compatible with Drupal 8-10 as a required solution. With Drupal 7 theme updates, the standards for the templates used to display custom content types also need to change. Building a secure and fully functioning Drupal 9 website from the D7 upgrade is a prerequisite for introducing the new features of the D10 distribution meant for DXP usage. Views became a core Drupal CMS module with the D8 release. Since then, the use of Panels as a design tool has become depreciated. Drupal 7 publishers that relied extensively on Panels for landing pages and other displays will need to implement other solutions for the dynamic content. As the developer of the module states: “Panels is an API in Drupal 8. In order to use panels, you must use an implementing module. Currently, Page Manager and Panelizer implement panels.” Solutions like DXPR Builder are working with D9 and have been adopted widely by the NGO community. Pumex specializes in the unique requirements of NGOs, Healthcare, and Government groups. We assist NGOs to upgrade D7 with cloud compliance for HIPAA and GDPR standards.  

5. Transition to Drupal 10 with Platform Compatibility

The Drupal 10 release includes major updates to the CKEditor, Symfony, and Twig components that are used to build Drupal themes. Drupal 10 is made to highlight the capacity of the CMS to function as a Digital Experience Platform (DXP). The main features are available on Acquia Cloud. Acquia Cloud is arguably the most advanced distribution of Drupal available to publishers, as it represents the fusion with Mautic marketing analytics for major brands with Drupal Commerce. Pantheon maintains the most development options for independent Drupal design teams. Both platforms focus on the maintenance of staging environments that can be used for testing Drupal 7 upgrades before going live with updates or new features. Acquia Cloud competes in enterprise markets with Adobe Experience Cloud and Salesforce Lightning frameworks. Acquia is promoting a Next.js starter kit for headless Drupal projects. Buytaert has described the solution as similar to the Faust.js framework developed by WP Engine. Pumex developers will support both monolithic and headless Drupal CMS development for DXP usage requirements.  

6. Migrate D7 Sites to Other Platform Solutions

The fusion of Drupal for content management, Mautic for marketing analytics, and managed cloud services from Acquia transforms the CMS into a powerful DXP that competes with Adobe, Hubspot, & Salesforce, assisted by the acquisition of the company by Vista Equity Partners for $1 billion USD. Many independent Drupal developers have transitioned their sites to WordPress or SSG options based on JAMstack development techniques to avoid the problems with monolithic CMS apps. WordPress has many similar problems to Drupal, but is much easier to maintain and upgrade. The difficulty of the Drupal 7 upgrade process for complex websites running custom code has been noted, where the introduction of PHPComposer and Drush requirements in the CMS has made it more difficult to maintain over time. This has led many Drupal users to migrate to other platforms. Pumex has over 15 years of experience developing for monolithic CMS systems like Drupal, WordPress, Magento, and Joomla. This includes custom PHP, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS solutions for building new modules, plugins, and themes. We also support Acquia Managed Cloud migrations.  

7. Upgrade Cloud Hosting & Datacenter Architecture

If your legacy Drupal 7 website is still running on shared hosting, it may be beneficial to upgrade to a VPS plan with more resources for the CMS. A shared plan will only allocate around 1 GB or less of RAM. Migrating to a VPS or VM platform with 4 GB RAM and multiple vCPUs will improve speeds. Google PageSpeed now depends on Core Web Vitals for a significant portion of the calculation of their PageRank algorithm. Drupal sites depend on web page caching for performance. It helps to find a web hosting provider with managed NGINX, Redis, and Varnish Cache admin support. The advantages of a managed cloud approach like Acquia’s are significant when compared to a developer-centric hosting platform like Pantheon. The cost of Acquia’s managed cloud services is targeted to enterprise brands with high rates of scalability and large catalogs of consumer products. Pumex works with organizations of all sizes to determine what level of cloud hosting and datacenter support is required for each project. We make suggestions for improvement of Drupal CMS performance based on datacenter hardware specifications, web caching, and CDN services. Most Drupal 7 upgrades will require the installation of a staging environment for the testing of new code and debugging issues for relaunch. While this can be done easily on a subdomain, we recommend to also upgrade the web server resources when relaunching sites for page speed.
   Read more about what makes Drupal so great.

Summary: Trust Pumex for Drupal 7 to 10 Upgrades

If your organization is stuck managing a Drupal 7 website with custom code that has lost its original development team or cannot be upgraded to D8+ due to theme rewrite issues and missing modules, consider Pumex staff augmentation services for professional Drupal development. Pumex programmers can perform a site audit on your Drupal 7 installation to determine where the bottlenecks and outdated code snippets are found. We then begin the process of re-writing the theme and custom module requirements in PHP, JavaScript, and CSS for a clean Drupal 8 upgrade. The goal of a Pumex Drupal 7 upgrade project is swift and secure transformation to the latest platform standards. Drupal 10 was released in December of 2022. Resources for the use of Drupal as a decoupled CMS have expanded. The code can also be transformed into a DXP application. DXP apps, like AEP & Salesforce, personalize content to create unique journeys for users based on their specific roles, interests, browsing history, etc. Acquia merged with Mautic to add data-driven platform analytics to Drupal websites running ecommerce stores for major global brands. Drupal site owners should consider the advantages of headless or decoupled CMS operations over a monolithic installation when upgrading a D7 CMS website. Upgrade your datacenter architecture for better performance. Pumex supports Drupal 7 upgrades and migration of content to WordPress.

Drupal 7 Migration Checklist 

Are you prepared to take a significant step forward in shaping your digital presence? If your website currently operates on Drupal 7, you’re likely aware that it’s time to contemplate transitioning to a more robust and contemporary iteration of Drupal. The clock is ticking, with Drupal 7’s extended end-of-life deadline set for January 5, 2025, ushering in both promising opportunities and a series of challenges.

Within this blog post, we are here to serve as your trusted companion, guiding you through the essential Drupal 7 migration checklist. We comprehend that the notion of migrating a website can seem intimidating, but armed with the right approach and a meticulously crafted plan, the process can unfold with far greater ease than you might imagine. Whether you’re a business proprietor, a developer, or simply passionate about the digital landscape, this checklist will serve as a priceless resource, ensuring that your migration journey is a triumphant one.



Website Assessment and Pre-Migration Planning:  


1. Conduct a Website Audit:

Begin by performing a comprehensive audit of your current Drupal 7 website. Identify all the components, including modules, themes, content types, and configurations. This audit will give you a clear picture of the complexity of the migration and help you prioritize critical tasks.   


2. Identify Necessary Upgrades:

Check if the modules and themes used in your Drupal 7 website have compatible versions for Drupal 8, 9 or 10. If not, look for alternatives or consider custom development to replicate the functionality.  


3. Assess Custom Code:

If you have custom code or contributed modules that are not available for Drupal 8, 9 or 10, evaluate the feasibility of updating or re-implementing the functionalities in the newer versions. Custom code may require more effort to adapt, so plan accordingly.   


4. Estimate Migration Timeline and Resources:

Create a realistic timeline for the migration process, taking into account the complexity of your website and the availability of resources. Assign responsibilities to team members and communicate the plan to stakeholders.  


5. Analyze User Behavior and Feedback:

Analyze user behavior on your current Drupal 7 website using tools like Google Analytics. Identify popular pages, frequently accessed content, and user feedback to inform your content strategy and ensure that essential elements are prioritized during migration. 


6. Allocate Sufficient Resources:

Migrating to a new Drupal version requires time, effort, and resources. Allocate sufficient budget and team resources to avoid rushing the migration and ensure a thorough and successful transition. 


7. Prepare a Data Migration Plan:

Create a detailed plan for data migration, including the transfer of users, user profiles, content, media files, and configurations. A well-thought-out data migration strategy reduces the risk of data loss and ensures a seamless transition. 


8. Create a Rollback Plan:

Despite careful planning, unexpected issues can arise during migration. Prepare a rollback plan that outlines how to revert to the previous version in case of severe problems. This plan provides an added layer of security during the migration process. 


9. Plan for Mobile Responsiveness:

Verify that your new Drupal version and theme are mobile-responsive. Mobile devices account for a significant portion of website traffic, so it’s crucial to deliver an optimal user experience on all devices. 


10. Develop a Backup and Recovery Plan:

Design a comprehensive backup and recovery plan to safeguard your website’s data and configurations. Regularly back up your website data and ensure backups are accessible and secure. Before starting the migration, create a full backup of your Drupal 7 website, including files and the database. This ensures that you have a safety net in case any issues arise during the migration process. 


11. Set Up Quality Assurance Processes:

Develop a quality assurance process to review the new Drupal version thoroughly before deploying it to the live website. Conduct multiple rounds of testing to catch any issues early on. 


12. Create a Rollout Plan:

Plan the rollout of the new Drupal version in stages or phases, especially for larger websites or complex migrations. Gradual implementation can minimize disruptions and facilitate troubleshooting. 


13. Create a Customization Strategy:

If your Drupal 7 website includes extensive customizations, strategize how to replicate or improve them on the new Drupal version. Customizations can enhance user experiences, so consider ways to incorporate them effectively. 


14. Review Third-Party Integrations:

If your Drupal 7 website has integrations with third-party services or APIs, ensure that these integrations are compatible with your chosen Drupal version. Make necessary updates or find alternative solutions if needed. 


15. Plan for Multilingual Content:

If your website supports multiple languages, plan the migration of multilingual content carefully. Ensure that translation modules and language settings are correctly configured in the new Drupal version. 


16. Address Performance Bottlenecks:

Identify and address performance bottlenecks during the planning phase. Perform load testing to determine if your website can handle increased traffic and adjust server resources as needed.  


17. Implement Content Freeze:

Establish a content freeze period during the migration to avoid changes to the live Drupal 7 website while the migration is in progress. This ensures that no new content is lost during the transition. 


18. Plan for User Training and Onboarding:

Prepare training materials and conduct sessions for content editors, administrators, and other users who will work with the new Drupal version. Ensure they are familiar with the updated interface, features, and functionalities. 


19. Evaluate Theme Compatibility:

If your current Drupal 7 website has a custom or contributed theme, assess its compatibility with the new Drupal version. Determine whether the theme can be upgraded, requires adjustments, or if it’s more practical to choose a new theme altogether. 


20. Prepare for Downtime:

Depending on the size and complexity of your website, there might be some downtime during the migration process. Inform your users and stakeholders about the expected downtime and schedule the migration during low-traffic periods if possible. 


21. Consider Multisite or Multilingual Migration:

If you manage multiple sites under a single Drupal installation or maintain multilingual websites, plan how to migrate and configure these sites in the new Drupal version. Implementing multisite or multilingual setups efficiently can save time and resources. 


22. Address Database and Content Size:

For websites with substantial amounts of data, evaluate the database and content size to ensure that the new Drupal version can handle the volume efficiently. 



Testing and Quality Assurance: 


1. Test on a Staging Environment:

Set up a staging environment to test the migration process before applying changes to your live website. Conduct thorough testing to identify and fix any issues that may arise during the migration. 


2. Test Cross-Browser Compatibility:

Test your new Drupal version across different browsers and devices to ensure consistent rendering and functionality. Cross-browser compatibility testing is crucial to deliver a seamless experience to users on various platforms.


3. Test Compatibility with Third-Party Services:

If your website relies on external services or APIs, such as payment gateways or marketing automation tools, ensure they are compatible with your new Drupal version. Test these integrations on your staging environment to ensure seamless functionality. 





1. Update Documentation:

Document the entire migration process, including the steps taken, issues encountered, and solutions implemented. This documentation will be valuable for future reference and help streamline any future updates or migrations.  


2. Communicate with Users:

Inform your website users and stakeholders about the upcoming migration and any potential downtime or changes in functionality. Keeping them informed will minimize surprises and ensure a positive user experience during and after the migration.  


3. Review User Roles and Permissions:

Evaluate the user roles and permissions on your Drupal 7 website and plan how to replicate or improve them on the new version. This step is crucial, especially for websites with complex user access requirements.


4. Involve Stakeholders:

Engage stakeholders throughout the planning process, including content owners, department heads, and management. Their input and feedback are valuable for creating a migration plan that aligns with business goals. 



Post Migration


1. Set Up Error Monitoring and Alerts:

Implement error monitoring and alert systems on the new Drupal version to detect and respond to any issues promptly. Proactive monitoring can help prevent potential disruptions.


2. Monitor Performance after Migration:

After migrating to the new Drupal version, closely monitor your website’s performance and user feedback. Address any post-migration issues promptly to ensure a smooth and stable experience for users. 


3. Plan for Post-Migration Support:

Have a plan in place for post-migration support and maintenance. Be prepared to address any unforeseen issues and provide assistance to users and stakeholders as they adapt to the changes.


4. Monitor Performance after Migration:

After migrating to the new Drupal version, closely monitor your website’s performance and user feedback. Address any post-migration issues promptly to ensure a smooth and stable experience for users.


5. Monitor Server Performance:

Monitor server performance during the migration process to identify potential issues with server resources or configuration. Optimize server settings to ensure smooth operations after migration.

6. Plan for Post-Migration Testing:

Allocate time for post-migration testing to catch any issues that might not have surfaced during the initial testing phases. This phase ensures that the new Drupal version performs optimally in the live environment. 



Website Performance and SEO


1. Prioritize Content Cleanup and SEO:

Take this opportunity to review and clean up your content. Remove outdated or irrelevant content, update and optimize images, and ensure that all content follows the latest SEO best practices including setting up proper 301 redirects for changed URLs update meta tags. This will not only streamline the migration process but also improve the overall user experience on your new Drupal version.  


2. Implement Performance Optimization:

Use the migration process as an opportunity to optimize your website’s performance. Review and improve database queries, enable caching mechanisms, and utilize other performance optimization techniques to enhance website speed and responsiveness.  


3. Optimize Media and Files:

Optimize media files, such as images and videos, to reduce their size and improve page loading speed. Use appropriate file formats and compression techniques while migrating media to the new version.  


4. Review Content Types and Taxonomy:

Examine your existing content types and taxonomy structure in Drupal 7 and assess how they will be migrated to the new version. Ensure that the content types align with your content strategy and website goals for the future.  


5. Prepare for Search Reindexing:

After migration, your website’s search functionality might require reindexing to ensure accurate and relevant search results. Plan for this process and communicate to users if there might be a temporary impact on search performance. 


6. Set Up Analytics and Tracking:

Configure website analytics and tracking tools on the new Drupal version to monitor user behavior, track conversions, and measure the success of your website’s performance post-migration.  


Legal & Compliance 


1. Validate Legal and Compliance Requirements:

If your website has specific legal or compliance requirements, such as GDPR or accessibility regulations, ensure that the new Drupal version adheres to these standards.  


2. Consider Accessibility Compliance:

Ensure that your new Drupal version adheres to accessibility guidelines, such as WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines). Make necessary adjustments to guarantee your website is accessible to all users, including those with disabilities. 


Ask For Help 


1. Engage with the Drupal Community:

Leverage the Drupal community for guidance and support during the migration. Participate in forums, attend meetups, and seek advice from experienced Drupal developers who have gone through similar migrations.  


2. Consider Hiring Drupal Migration Experts:

If your migration involves complex customizations or you lack the necessary expertise in-house, consider hiring Drupal migration experts or agencies with a proven track record in successful migrations. 



As we draw the curtain on our exploration of the essential Drupal 7 migration checklist, one key takeaway stands out: the extended end-of-life date for Drupal 7 has opened a doorway to a realm of innovation, function enhancement, and the fortification of our digital platforms. The steps laid out in this checklist aren’t just a roadmap for a technological update; they’re a powerful toolkit that empowers us with the knowledge and resources necessary to skillfully navigate this transition.

However, let’s not lose sight of the bigger picture. This journey is about more than mere technological shifts. It’s about shaping remarkable user experiences, streamlining content management, and ensuring our websites are ready to thrive in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

What we do today lays the groundwork for our digital presence in the days, months, and even years ahead. The preparation we invest now has the potential to make our platforms resilient, adaptable, and competitive in the dynamic digital arena.

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. 

What Makes Drupal So Great

Drupal is an open-source content management system that provides the framework for developers to build websites. Like WordPress, Drupal, is a free open-source CMS and has grown to one of the more popular CMS’s for web developers.

Just like any CMS, there are positives and negatives when choosing to build with Drupal. We decided to break down when and why you should build with Drupal.

Open Source

Drupal is an open source CMS. This means that it is free to download, install, and make further modifications to. Like WordPress, this has made it popular with web developers. It has also allowed for a forum within the Drupal community that helps with the growth and development of the platform.

The community is not as big as WordPress’s; however, it is made up of over 38,000 active developers. Drupal’s slogan is “Come for the software, stay for the community.” This is surely the reason why many have adopted the CMS and has led to a ton of resources and learning material for novice developers to learn and implement Drupal.


Drupal is known to be one of the most secure CMS’s available. It’s trusted by the U.S. Government at the state and federal level. Unlike WordPress, Drupal doesn’t rely as much on third-party plug-ins for integration and development. This creates a more secure product. Third-party plug-ins open the gate for a website to be hacked if the proper security measures aren’t in place.

Drupal developers tend to be more experienced when it comes to web development due to the higher skill level required to create customizations within Drupal. Since WordPress is easy for novice developers to pick up there can be a greater chance of poor coding practice during the development process that can lead to gaps in security. The idea is that a more experienced developer increases the chance that best practices are followed and therefore making your site more secure.

Data Management

Drupal is the favorite of government agencies, education institutions, and large corporations for a reason; it is extremely adept at handling mass amounts of data and information.

Drupal allows the developer to custom tailor it’s back-end to handle mass amounts of data with ease. This makes it a favorite for major agencies, institutions, and corporations due to the amount of data that they are required to manage.

Learning Curve

Drupal requires a higher skill level than WordPress to develop a successful website. However, because of the size of the community and popularity of Drupal, there is an unlimited amount of resources to learn from. Though it may be a little more complex to develop a high-end website with Drupal, the CMS is still open source, which allows for you to set the bar of how complex you want your website to be.


As with any software solution, the decision comes down to your specific needs. Drupal is an open source CMS, but you will still spend money to hire a skilled developer to efficiently get the most out of the CMS. If you’re looking for a secure website that can handle a large amount of complexity and data; then Drupal is the right CMS for you. It may take more time to develop a Drupal website but in the end, the benefits speak for themselves.