Drupal 9 vs Drupal 10: Comprehensive Comparison and Upgrade Guide

The web development industry thrives on constant evolution. New features, improved security patches, and even better user experience are all in focus in every new version of a CMS. Drupal is no exception. With each new release, Drupal brings a wave of innovation, keeping your site secure, scalable, and at the forefront of functionality.

But with the recent release of Drupal 10, developers and website owners are asking a few crucial queries. What are the key differences between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10. And should you upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10?

Well, we are a professional Drupal development company, and our experts have tested both versions comprehensively. This blog is to show you what we have found.

Overview of Drupal 9

Unlike previous major version jumps, Drupal 9 wasn’t a complete overhaul. It was rather a streamlined and modernized version of its predecessor, Drupal 8. This highly-anticipated version focused on stability to offer a smoother upgrade path for the Drupal 8-based websites.

Drupal 9 prioritizes a user-friendly experience for both content creators and website visitors. The administrative interface is streamlined, making content management tasks more intuitive. Additionally, Drupal 9 offers improved accessibility features, ensuring a broader reach for your website.

Drupal 9 boasts an updated core codebase. It removes deprecated functionalities and incorporates the latest stable versions of third-party libraries. This translates to a more efficient and secure environment for your website.

By choosing from Drupal themes and using SEO modules you can create a safe and reliable website for your business needs. Now, let’s check on the key features it provides.

Key Features of Drupal 9

  • Enhanced Performance and Security: Drupal 9 leverages advancements in technologies like PHP 7.3 and higher, Symfony 4.4, and Twig 2. This translates to faster loading times, improved code maintainability, and adherence to stricter security practices.
  • Streamlined User Interface: The Claro admin theme introduces a clean and modern design for the administrative interface. This, coupled with improved accessibility features, makes managing content in Drupal 9 a more intuitive experience.
  • Improved Media Management: The built-in Media Library in Drupal 9 provides a centralized location for storing, managing, and organizing all your website’s media assets, including images, videos, and documents.
  • Multilingual Capabilities: Drupal 9’s robust multilingual support allows you to create and manage content in multiple languages, making your website accessible to a global audience.

With these features, Drupal 9 provides a robust solution for your website. But the dedicated Drupal experts still suggest upgrading from Drupal 9 to 10. Let’s see why.

Overview of Drupal 10

Released in December 2022, Drupal 10 maintains a backwards-compatible upgrade path from Drupal 9, making it a natural progression for existing websites. It builds upon the stability and security focus of its predecessor while introducing some exciting new features.

Version 10 incorporates the latest iterations of the Drupal development tools and frameworks for a more efficient and streamlined development experience. This version also introduces enhancements to the content creation experience, such as in-line editing capabilities. So you can make changes directly on the front-end without navigating to the back-end interface. Let’s see what’s new in Drupal 10.

Key Features of Drupal 10

  • Claro Administration Theme: The Claro administration theme is a modern and user-friendly interface for managing Drupal sites. Claro replaces the outdated Seven theme, offering improved usability and a cleaner design.
  • Olivero Default Theme: Drupal 10 sets Olivero as the default theme, replacing Bartik. Olivero is a responsive and accessible theme that provides a fresh look and fees for Drupal sites. It is designed to be easily customizable and provides a great starting point for site theming.
  • CKEditor 5: CKEditor 5 is the default rich text editor, replacing CKEditor 4. It offers a modern and flexible editing experience, with features like inline editing and collaborative editing. Not only that, its modular architecture allows for easier customization and integration with other tools.
  • Modern JavaScript Components: This version adapts with modern JavaScript components to replace the uses of jQuery. This shift improves performance by following best web development practices. The use of modern JavaScript frameworks and libraries also makes it easier for developers to build even more interactive and dynamic sites.
  • Theme Starterkit Tools: Drupal 10 includes Starterkit theme tools, which provide a set of tools and best practices for creating custom themes. These tools simplify the process of theme development, making it easier for developers to create visually appealing themes for Drupal sites.
  • Symfony 6: Drupal 10 is built on Symfony 6, the latest version of the Symfony PHP framework. Symfony 6 brings improvements in performance and security and adds new features to its framework. This upgrade ensures that Drupal remains a robust and modern platform for building websites and web applications.

Through these features, we can clearly see the improvements Drupal 10 has brought from its previous version, Drupal 9. So, migrating from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 is advisable for creating more dynamic and intrinsic sites.

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Drupal 9 vs Drupal 10

FactorDrupal 9Drupal 10
Core FunctionalityImproved media library, layout builderStreamlined content creation (inline editing), collaboration features
Administration ThemeSeven (default), Claro (available)Claro (default)
Default ThemeBartikOlivero
Content EditorCKEditor 4CKEditor 5
JavaScript LibraryPrimarily jQueryModern JavaScript components replacing some jQuery usage
Theme DevelopmentLimited toolsTheme Starterkit tools for easier theme creation
PerformanceGoodImproved performance with modernization
UsabilityGenerally user-friendlyEnhanced usability and modern interface
SecuritySecure, but updates required for vulnerabilitiesEnhanced security features
API SupportAdvanced API support (RESTful, JSON:API)Continued advanced API support
Backward CompatibilityCompatible with Drupal 8 modules and themesRequires updates for deprecated features
Long-term SupportUntil November 2023Expected similar support timeline as Drupal 9

Difference between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10

Although Drupal 9 and 10 are just different versions of the same Drupal core, they can vary in various aspects. Before choosing between the two, let’s compare the two to clear your understanding.


Drupal 9 is a secure platform with a strong track record of regular security updates addressing vulnerabilities. The Drupal security team is highly regarded for its commitment to keeping the platform safe.

While both versions are secure, Drupal 10 has enhanced security features that may not be present in Drupal 9. These enhancements include improved controls, more robust encryption methods, or additional security modules in the core. However, it’s important to maintain and follow best security practices to ensure a secure website. 

Verdict: Drupal 10 is slightly better in security due to potential enhancements, but both versions can be highly secure when properly maintained.


Drupal 9 has good performance and can handle a wide range of websites, from small blogs to large enterprise sites. However, performance may vary depending on factors such as the hosting environment and site complexity.

Drupal 10 aims to improve performance through regular updates. This includes optimizations to core code, improvements in caching mechanisms, and better utilization of web technologies.

Verdict: Drupal 10 is expected to offer better performance than Drupal 9, but the extent of the improvement may vary depending on specific use cases.


Drupal 9 offers a user-friendly interface with a focus on core functionalities. It’s not the best, but it provides a clear and functional workspace for content management.

Drupal 10: Drupal 10 aims to enhance usability by providing a more modern and intuitive user interface. This may include improvements in areas such as content editing, site administration, and configuration management.

Verdict: Drupal 10 is expected to offer better usability than Drupal 9, but the choice can depend on individual preferences and use cases.

Default Theme

Drupal 9: It uses the Bartik theme as its default theme, which is a functional and customizable theme but may not offer the best modern design.

Drupal 10: Drupal 10 introduces the Olivero theme as its default theme, which is designed to be modern, responsive, and visually appealing.

Verdict: Drupal 10’s Olivero theme provides a more contemporary default look compared to Drupal 9’s Bartik theme.

Underlying Framework

Drupal 9 is built on Symfony 4, a PHP framework that provides a solid foundation for web development. Symfony 4 offers good performance and a wide range of features for building web applications.

Drupal 10 upgrades to Symfony 6, the latest version of the Symfony framework. Symfony 6 brings performance improvements, security enhancements, and new features to Drupal’s underlying framework.

Verdict: Drupal 10’s upgrade to Symfony 6 offers improved performance and features compared to Drupal 9’s Symfony 4 foundation.

API Support

Drupal 9 offers robust API support, including RESTful and JSON:API functionalities. This allows developers to integrate external applications and services seamlessly, extending the website’s functionalities.

Drupal 10 leverages newer versions of frameworks and libraries that are likely to support evolving API standards. That increases the potential compatibility with newer tools and services.

Verdict: Both versions offer strong API support. While Drupal 9 provides a solid foundation, Drupal 10 positions itself for future compatibility with evolving API standards.

Final Verdict

While both of these have their pros and cons, the optimal choice depends on your project requirements. So, you can consider the below option to help you make an informed decision.

Choose Drupal 9 if:

  • You have an existing Drupal 8 website and want a seamless upgrade process.
  • You prefer a stable and well-tested platform over the latest features.
  • You are satisfied with the current functionality and performance of your Drupal 9 website.
  • You have concerns about the compatibility of your existing modules with Drupal 10.

Choose Drupal 10 if:

  • You want to leverage the latest features and improvements in Drupal.
  • You prioritize performance enhancements and modernization efforts.
  • You are starting a new project and want to future-proof your website.
  • You are willing to invest in updating your modules and themes to be compatible with Drupal 10.
  • You want to take advantage of the improved security features in Drupal 10.

The best version is the one that fulfills your requirements and helps you achieve your goals. Still confused about which version to choose? You can opt for our Drupal consulting services to make a more informed decision.

Benefits of Upgrading from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10

Drupal 9 is largely used and provides a smooth experience to the users, but using Drupal 10 brings some more perks. With this, let’s see the benefits of upgrading to Drupal 10.

  • Enhanced Security: While both versions are secure, Drupal 10 may include additional security features or use more robust security practices. This can protect your site from potential vulnerabilities keeping your website safe.
  • Improved Performance: Optimizations within the core code and added functionality in the same framework bring better performance in Drupal 10. This results in a faster website experience for both visitors and administrators.
  • Effortless Content Creation: Drupal 10 introduces features like inline editing, allowing content creators to make changes directly on the front end. This removes the need to switch between editing and preview modes, making the content creation process easier.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Team-based content creation is made easier with Drupal 10’s collaboration features. These include improved commenting systems and real-time editing capabilities, allowing teams to work together more efficiently.
  • Modern Interface: Drupal 10’s Claro theme provides a cleaner administration interface compared to the Seven theme used in Drupal 9. This can make managing your website more easy and user-friendly.
  • Future-proof Technology: Drupal 10 uses the latest versions of frameworks, ensuring your website benefits from the latest advancements and security improvements. This can also help reduce compatibility issues when using the latest technologies.
  • Long-term Support: It has a longer support cycle compared to Drupal 9. That means more ongoing security updates and maintenance for a longer period, ensuring a bug-free website.

Using Drupal 10 can benefit users and administrators on multiple levels. The benefits increase security for the users and also the user-friendliness. So if you are considering a shift to Drupal 10, you can contact professional Drupal development services to help you out.

FAQs About Drupal 9 vs Drupal 10

Can I still use Drupal 9 modules and themes on Drupal 10?
Yes, most modules and themes that are compatible with Drupal 9 will also work on Drupal 10. But, it is always best to check with the module or theme developer to ensure compatibility.
Do I need to rebuild my website if I upgrade to Drupal 10?
No, your website does not need to be rebuilt if you upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10. You can directly migrate your website from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 without affecting your previous version. However, it is recommended to backup your website before any major updates.
Which version of Drupal is more secure for my website?
Both have the same level of security as they are built on the same codebase. But Drupal 10 offers more security updates and improvements, making it the more secure option for your website.


The choice between Drupal 9 and Drupal 10 depends on your website’s specific needs. Drupal 9 is a robust and secure platform, but Drupal 10 can offer better features and workflow for long-term support.

With features like the Claro administration theme, the Olivero default theme, and CKEditor 5, Drupal 10 offers a feature-rich experience.

If you’re still not sure or need guidance with the upgrade process, consider hiring dedicated Drupal developers. Their expertise can ensure a smooth transition enabling you to get the full potential of your website.

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Jigar Shah is the Founder of WPWeb Infotech - a leading Web Development Company in India, USA. Being the founder of the company, he takes care of business development activities and handles the execution of the projects. He is Enthusiastic about producing quality content on challenging technical subjects.

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