Why Update to Drupal 10
Drupal 10 was released to much fanfare in December, 2022. As one of the most popular and powerful web content management systems available today, it’s no surprise that the latest version of Drupal has updates to impress content creators and developers alike.
Along with those new features, however, this version also starts the upgrade clock: Drupal 9 will be deprecated at the end of November 2023. This relatively short time between Drupal 10’s release and 9’s end of life means it is even more important than ever to check in with your web developer and make sure your Drupal site is scheduled to be upgraded. Here's what’s new in Drupal 10:
Improved Site Building Experience
Claro - Drupal 10 introduces a new admin theme called “Claro”. The Claro administrative interface is visually appealing and more user-friendly, in particular in the area of accessibility. Developers with disabilities will have an easier time navigating and using the Claro interface.
Theme Starterkit – The Theme Starterkit is a new tool that provides a set of templates to use as a starting point for developing custom themes. Not only does this streamline the development of new sites, it also implements a more robust maintenance method, improving your site’s stability as base themes and customizations are updated.
Improved Multilingual Support – Developers can more easily translate content and manage translation workflows. This is especially anticipated by organizations that create and manage websites that serve visitors in multiple languages.
Updated Dependencies – Drupal 10 is built to take advantage of the latest version of Symfony, the PHP web application framework that Drupal uses to turn content into web pages. Features like Recipes will allow developers to quickly launch websites with similar sets of plugins and settings. Automatic updates will improve security and performance. Drupal 10 ensures that sites are compatible with the latest technologies and able to integrate with the latest platforms and tools.
Improved Content Creation
CKEditor 5 – Drupal 10 now includes CKEditor 5 with core distribution. This represents a significant improvement to the editing experience, making it easier for editors to create and edit content. A user-friendly WYSIWYG editor, enhanced media embedding tools, and content preview feature brings content creation even closer to a convenient and familiar “word processor” experience.
Modernized and Accessible Theme Defaults – The Olivero theme replaces Bartik as the new front-end default theme. Olivero features a simple and modern design that also puts accessibility front and center: it is WCAG AA compliant from the start. It’s an excellent option if not taking advantage of the theme starterkit.
Improved Content Management – Drupal 10 offers better tools for managing media – including images and videos – and streamlines the content creation and management process. New collaboration features such as simultaneous editing, change tracking, comments, and reviewing & approving will make it easier to develop content in team settings.
Improved Security and Performance
Faster Sites – Drupal 10 has improved both caching mechanisms and improved database performance so that high-traffic sites can deliver content quickly and reliably.
Improved Security – Drupal 10 includes several security enhancements such as requiring users to select more secure passwords by default and better security for third-party modules such as two-factor authentication and CAPTCHA. Up to date dependencies and Automatic Updates, mentioned earlier, are also a key strategy in protecting sites by ensuring that vulnerabilities are fixed before being abused, since security patches are automatically installed.
Don’t Wait to Migrate
Because of the upgrade demands of Drupal’s underlying dependencies, Drupal 10 represents a major update with some urgency. Drupal 7 and 9 will become unsupported as of November 2023, leaving those sites susceptible to downtime and potential security vulnerabilities. In most cases, the transition from Drupal 9 to 10 should be relatively easy as they share the same architectures. Sites built on older versions will likely require additional development and transition time, so it’s important to start planning that transition as soon as possible.
The good news is that Drupal 10 comes with more than just obligatory behind-the-scenes patches. Drupal 10 offers many exciting new features and a fresh, efficient user interface that is sure to make this maintenance investment worth it!