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5 Benefits of Drupal 9

by Stuart Hinkley

4-minute read

5 Benefits Of Drupal 9

If you’re still using Drupal 7, it’s time to think about migrating to Drupal 9. While this might seem like a daunting task, the benefits of Drupal 9 are well worth it.

Although Drupal 7 end of life has been postponed to 2023, it’s not too early to migrate to Drupal 9. If you’re still on the fence about upgrading, let us walk you through five key benefits of the Drupal 9 update.

Why use Drupal as your CMS?

Firstly, why use Drupal at all? Drupal is open source and as a result of its open ethos, the growing Drupal community has created countless contributed module plugins. These are easy for developers to download and configure, leading to highly customisable and unique platforms.

With its API first architecture and ease of third party integrations, Drupal is also renowned for technical innovation, which attracts and nurtures newcomers to the ecosystem and reinforces its position as a global market leader in the CMS space.

A couple of drawbacks

That’s some high praise indeed! But what can’t it do?

Although Drupal is highly customisable and scalable, here are two criticisms for balance:

  • It’s hard for non developers to manage and manipulate
  • It requires full website rebuilds to upgrade between major version updates

“The Drupal project has a history of being on the leading edge of technical innovation, but at the cost of being difficult for editorial users to manage. With Drupal 9 and beyond, the project is focusing on empowering those users to access the full power of what Drupal offers.” - Tim Lehnen, Drupal Association

Overarchingly, users love Drupal, so let’s take a look at some of the changes within Drupal 9 and how they benefit customers and users alike.

Benefits of Drupal 9

1. It’s faster

In addition to the latest updates to third party components, JavaScript frameworks can now be directly integrated, resulting in more efficient computing power and quicker response times for end users of your sites. Drupal 9 also brings responsive images into core, which improves performance by using the most suitably sized image, depending on the device being used.

2. It’s much easier to manage content across your platform

Drupal 9 has many tools to help content editors focus on managing the content, and not the platform itself. These include the visual layout builder, intuitive media handling, customisable content moderation workflows and intuitive admin themes to name but a few.

3. It’s easier (and cheaper) to upgrade

Drupal 9 is the first major upgrade of the Drupal ecosystem that will be wholly backwards compatible. In practice, this means that upgrading to the next major release (i.e. Drupal 10) will not require a full site rebuild.

4. It’s even more accessible

Drupal 9’s new default theme, Olivero, was developed with compliance with the WCAG AA accessibility standard in mind. In fact, in 2022 on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), the whole Drupal project pledged to make accessibility a core value and part of their coding standards.

5. It’s becoming even more future proof

As part of their “API first” philosophy, the Drupal community has developed a built in JSON API (which facilitates the export of structured data) that allows your engineering team to either develop a traditional (coupled) CMS for the web or take a “publish once and use anywhere” approach with a headless front end. This opens up new limitless use cases to reuse your content, such as emerging technologies like wearables and augmented reality.

Switching to Drupal 9

All in all, Drupal 9 offers some fantastic benefits, and we can all but guarantee:

  • Your engineers will love working with it
  • Your users will love interacting with it
  • Your investment will be sound for years to come
  • You can service new channels and take your content beyond your website

manifesto is a certified Drupal development agency, and we can help you make the most of the Drupal 9 upgrade. If you’d like more information, contact us.