Drupal 9 launches on 3rd June 2020 and marks an exciting new chapter in the Drupal story. Unlike previous versions, which have required labour intensive upgrade paths, Drupal 9 is a natural evolution of all of the features from Drupal 8 but on a leaner codebase.
The upgrade path from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is the easiest major version upgrade in a decade, with many Drupal 8 modules already compatible with Drupal 9.
So now, rather than the notion of 'minor' releases (e.g. 8.*) and 'major' releases (e.g. Drupal 7 to 8), Drupal 9 will continue Drupal 8's cycle of continuous innovation with new features being released every six months.
So what is new in Drupal 9?
Well, the big deal about upgrading from the latest minor version of Drupal 8 (8.9) and Drupal 9 is that its not a big deal! Between Drupal 8.6 and Drupal 8.9 a variety of new features were added like:
- improvements to the migration API
- enabling easier migration from Drupal 7
- Layout Builder
- Media Library.
So, Drupal 9 picks up seamlessly from 8.9 (remember, no painful major release) and will continue to release new improvements including a new Administrative UI, a new default theme, a focus on automatic updates, and loads more.
Will all the modules my sites uses still work with Drupal 9?
Unlike the previous versions of Drupal, updating modules and themes from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is super easy. In fact, a vast majority of the most commonly used Drupal contrib modules are already full compatible with Drupal 9.
Wait.. but I am still on Drupal 7 - is my website still going to be secure?
If you are still on Drupal 7, don't panic - you are not alone. There are still hundreds of thousands of large scale, high profile Drupal 7 websites out there. Drupal 7 will continue to receive full community support until November 2021, including security coverage. Even after that, you will have the option to participate in the Drupal 7 Extended Support program, which offers extended support through 2024.