Firstly, do I have to upgrade from Drupal 7?

The short answer is yes, because Drupal 7 is reaching end-of-life in early 2025. Some vendors are offering extended security support at a cost, which may allow you to delay the process somewhat, but sooner or later the risk of sticking with Drupal 7 will far outweigh the cost of upgrading to a newer version. 

The biggest risk of remaining on Drupal 7 is that regular security maintenance will come to an end.  Some contrib modules are already not receiving any further updates. Your site functionality will also be at risk as well as integration of your site with other platforms.  

“Our goal at Circle is to provide the latest and greatest version of Drupal to ensure you gain all the latest benefits, with security being at the forefront.” 

What are the benefits of migrating to Drupal 10?

Drupal 10 represents a significant step forward for the platform, delivering a host of new features, improvements, and enhancements that empower developers, site builders, and content authors alike. In a nutshell:

Simplicity for editors

  • Better previews and drag-and-drop image uploads.
  • Quicker in-context editing with an improved layout builder. 
  • Unified media management.
  • An enhanced user-friendly interface, with improved accessibility.

Power for administrators

  • Easier to customise components.
  • More field types to structure content.
  • SEO-friendly features with native markup.

Accessibility for everyone

  • Semantic HTML5
  • More WAI-ARIA practices
  • Mobile responsive out of the box

The first thing you’ll notice is a real improvement in the user interface. This offers administrators more flexibility when building layouts. The publishing workflows are also much improved. Content editors will benefit from new improved content management, enabling you to reuse uploaded media in different ways.

Drupal 10 reinforces the Drupal community’s commitment to accessibility. Semantic HTML 5 improves navigation and increases functionality for screen readers and other web access tools. This can be further enhanced by adding ARIA attributes. These features benefit not only individuals with disabilities but also make Drupal 10 websites more usable and inclusive for all users. 

Improvements under the hood 

The new Drupal 10 architecture has major upgrades to  security and configuration management as well as improved APIs. This enables our developers to work more efficiently and reduce the costs to you. 
These aren’t the things that you’ll necessarily notice but our developers love the improved configuration management and our sysadmins appreciate the improved performance.

How does the migration work?

Basically, the migration process starts with a new blank Drupal 10 site. The migration tools then push your users, configuration and content into the new site. Your theme will be upgraded for Drupal 10 and some elements of the site may need some further tweaking - especially block placements and some webforms. We’ll work this out with you.

How long will it take, and how much will it cost?

Each site is different and we’re working to offer the best value based on site functions and business needs whilst also trying to automate as much of our processes as possible. Small sites are likely to start at about 3-4 days work with large & complex sites taking many times longer. Speak to one of our account managers about likely costs for your site.

Could we move to Wordpress instead?

Absolutely and we will happily assist in that. However, bear in mind that for most sites this will be a much more substantial piece of work and you may lose some functionality. The tools available for automating content migration from Drupal to Wordpress won’t give as good results as migrating content from D7 to D10.

Drupal 11 is coming, will that mean another migration?

No it won’t be another migration project. A major aim during the development of Drupal 8 was to maintain a smoother future upgrade path for the future. The move from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 or 10 to 11 is easy, with only minor additional effort over e.g. 9.3 to 9.4. Or 10.5 to 10.6. This is because all new functionality for Drupal 10 is already added to Drupal 9 releases and is being tested on live sites. We expect future major version releases of Drupal (11, 12, etc) to become even easier to implement.

Will my site have all the same functionality?

Yes, although some of it will be even better. It should be possible to build the same functionality for the user. It might be that some of the contrib modules you are currently using will have been replaced by new versions with improved features.  An audit of your processes and workflows is the best first step to determine this.

What can I do to reduce the costs?

Review the current state of your system with your users and consider how it fulfills your aims, objectives and overall mission. If your current website is built on Drupal 7 then it's likely that there will have been big changes in your organisation since the last rebuild. 

Work with your team to determine which areas you want to keep much as they are, which to improve and what to leave behind. Maybe you want to take this opportunity to modernise your UX design or improve editorial workflows. Basing your decisions about your new Drupal 10 site on your current and anticipated needs will most likely reduce your project costs and future proof your system. 

Talk to us. 

We're here to help. We can make some recommendations based on a review or your current website and we are happy to facilitate discovery sessions too. Get in touch with us to start your Drupal10 migration journey.