As the digital world continues to evolve rapidly, content management systems must adapt to stay relevant and meet the changing needs of businesses and users alike. In the open-source content management system world, Drupal has been a popular choice for many years, and with each new version, it has continued to evolve and improve.

With the release of Drupal 9 and the upcoming release of Drupal 10, many businesses are wondering what the key differences are and which version they should be using. In this article, we'll explore the differences between Drupal 8, 9, and 10 and help you understand which version is right for your organization.

So whether you're a seasoned Drupal user or just getting started, let's dive in and discover the key differences you need to know.

1.1 Drupal:  Introduction

Drupal is a powerful open-source content management system that has been used to build some of the world's most complex and feature-rich websites. Over the years, Drupal has continued to evolve and improve, with each new version introducing new features and capabilities. Let's look at the key differences between Drupal 8, 9, and 10.

1.2 Drupal 8 Vs. Drupal 9 Vs. Drupal10

Difference Between Drupal8 vs Drupal9 vs Drupal10 | Exdera


Drupal 8

Drupal 9

Drupal 10

Release Date

November 2015

June 2020

June 2022

Supported until

November 2021

November 2023

November 2025


Symfony 3, Twig 1

Symfony 4, Twig 2

Symfony 5, Twig 3


PHP Version

PHP 7.0

PHP 7.3 (Drupal 9.5.3 Requires PHP 8.1)

PHP 8.1 or higher

Third-party Libraries

Migrate API, BigPipe, CKEditor



Layout Builder




Media Management

Requires contributed modules

Requires contributed modules


Olivero theme

Not available

Not available

Default theme

Improved Migration Limited




Automated Updates

Not available



Composer-based Updates




1.2.1. Drupal 8:

Drupal 8 was a major overhaul of the platform, with a focus on improving the user experience and making it easier to build responsive and mobile-friendly websites. Some key improvements in Drupal 8 included a new theme system, improved support for responsive design, and better integration with third-party libraries and tools. Additionally, Drupal 8 introduced a more modular architecture, making extending and customizing the platform to meet specific business needs easier.

1.2.2. Drupal 9:

Drupal 9 was released in June 2020, and its primary focus was updating the platform's underlying infrastructure. This meant that many key improvements in Drupal 9 were "under the hood," such as upgrading to the latest versions of Symfony, Twig, and other dependencies. However, Drupal 9 also introduced some important new features, such as better support for media management and improved accessibility.

1.2.3. Drupal 10:

The latest version of Drupal is Drupal 10, which was released in December 2022. The primary focus of Drupal 10 is to continue the work that began in Drupal 9, with an emphasis on updating the underlying infrastructure of the platform. However, Drupal 10 will also introduce important new features, such as better support for headless and decoupled architectures, improved performance, and improved developer experience.

1.3 Drupal: Features

Features of Drupal | Exdera

Drupal is a highly technical and robust content management system (CMS) that offers a wide range of features to website developers. In this response, we will discuss Drupal's features related to Compatibility, User Experience, Accessibility, Security, Performance, and Third-party Services.


Drupal is highly compatible with different operating systems, web servers, and databases, making it a highly flexible CMS. It supports all major operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and MacOS, as well as web servers such as Apache, Nginx, and IIS. Drupal also supports multiple databases, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and Microsoft SQL Server, making it a highly compatible CMS.  Drupal 8 and 9 are built on the same architecture, but Drupal 9 has some new features and improvements. Drupal 10 got released on Dec 2022 and it will be fully compatible with Drupal 9.

1.3.2. User Experience:

Drupal provides an exceptional user experience with its highly flexible and customizable interface. The platform offers a wide range of modules and themes that allow developers to create unique and engaging websites. Additionally, Drupal's user interface is highly intuitive and easy to navigate, making it easy for users to manage and update their websites. Drupal 8 introduced a new administrative interface, which is more intuitive and user-friendly than previous versions. Drupal 9 builds on this interface, with improvements to the media library and a new layout builder. Drupal 10 is expected to continue to improve the user experience by streamlining workflows and making it easier to manage content.

1.3.3. Accessibility:

Drupal is highly accessible and provides support for WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) compliance. The platform includes built-in accessibility features, such as the ability to provide alternative text for images, and the ability to create semantic HTML code. This ensures that websites built on Drupal are accessible to users with disabilities. Drupal 9 includes many accessibility improvements, such as improved keyboard navigation and semantic markup. Drupal 10 is expected to build on this, with further improvements to accessibility and usability.

1.3.4. Security:

Drupal is highly secure and provides a range of security features to protect websites from potential threats. The platform offers built-in security features, such as user authentication, password policies, and access control, as well as third-party security modules. Additionally, Drupal provides regular security updates to ensure that websites are protected from the latest threats.  Drupal 9 includes many security improvements, such as support for the latest versions of PHP and improved security for configuration files. Drupal 10 is expected to continue to prioritize security by incorporating the latest security best practices.

1.3.5. Performance:

Drupal is highly optimized for performance and provides a range of performance features to ensure fast and responsive websites. The platform includes a built-in caching system that minimizes server load and reduces page load times. Additionally, Drupal provides support for content delivery networks (CDNs) that can improve website performance by distributing content across multiple servers. Drupal 9 includes many improvements, such as better caching and database performance. Drupal 10 is expected to continue to optimize performance by improving caching and reducing page load times.

1.3.6. Third-party services:

Drupal provides integration with a wide range of third-party services, including social media platforms, email marketing tools, and payment gateways. The platform provides a range of modules and plugins that make it easy to integrate with third-party services and extend website functionality. Additionally, Drupal provides support for web services such as REST and SOAP, making it easy to integrate with other web-based applications and services. Drupal 9 includes support for the latest versions of many popular third-party integrations, such as PHP, Symfony, and Twig. Drupal 10 is expected to continue supporting the latest versions of these integrations and introducing new integrations to enhance functionality.

1.4 Conclusion

Drupal's list of upgraded features is constantly growing; each upgrade comes with several user-friendly features. The latest version of Drupal is no exception, with enhanced functionality that makes it even more accessible to users. While upgrading to Drupal 9 is crucial, sticking with Drupal 8 is still viable if contributed modules still need to be available. Ultimately, Drupal's commitment to improving its features ensures that users always have a reliable and efficient CMS.

1.5 Let’s Talk Solution

If you need more confidence with the upgrade process of your existing Drupal version, hire a proficient Drupal development company. At Exdera, we have experience delivering various Drupal development services. You can rely on us to upgrade your existing Drupal version to the latest one without hassle. Get in touch with us to get started.