Understanding the Costs of Upgrading from Drupal 8/9 to Drupal 10

A Guide for Website Owners

John Doyle
John Doyle
CEO, Technical Architect, Drupal SME, Open Source Champion
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Upgrading to Drupal 10 is a significant step for any organization committed to maintaining a robust digital presence. However, navigating the intricacies of such an upgrade doesn't have to be daunting. At Digital Polygon, we leverage our WebOps mindset to streamlining the upgrade process to ensure your website transitions smoothly to Drupal 10. This guide will provide an in-depth look at the costs associated with upgrading from Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 to Drupal 10, helping you plan and budget effectively.

Understanding the Costs Involved in Upgrading to Drupal 10

1. General Drupal Upgrade Costs Overview

The journey to Drupal 10 can vary significantly in cost depending on your starting point:

  • From Drupal 8 to Drupal 10: Enterprises can expect to invest between $15,000 and $20,000. This estimate accounts for the complexity typical of sites running on Drupal 8, which will need a two-phase upgrade — first to Drupal 9 and then to Drupal 10.
  • From Drupal 9 to Drupal 10: The upgrade is generally more straightforward and less costly, ranging from $5,000 to $10,000, reflecting the fewer changes and updates needed compared to a Drupal 8 upgrade.

These figures are based on extensive experience with enterprises of varying sizes and complexities, providing a reliable benchmark for budgeting purposes.

Are you looking to put your Drupal upgrade on the fast track? Contact us for a free consultation or visit our Drupal Upgrades Made Easy page to learn more about how we can help.

2. Factors Influencing Drupal Upgrade Costs

Several factors can influence the cost of upgrading to Drupal 10. Understanding these can help you anticipate variations in the standard cost range:

  1. Number of Contributed and Custom Modules: The more modules your site uses, the more work it takes to ensure they are compatible with Drupal 10. Contributed modules may need updates or replacements, while custom modules might require significant reworking or even complete redevelopment (though this is rare).
  2. Hosting Environment and Server Configurations: Your current hosting platform and the specifics of your server setup can affect the upgrade process. For instance, server configurations that support older PHP versions might need adjustments or upgrades.
  3. Use of Profiles and Custom Tooling: Sites utilizing Drupal install profiles such as Lightning, or those with custom tooling like Acquia BLT, often require additional work to ensure compatibility with new Drupal core updates and dependency chains.

For a step by step guide to what goes into your Drupal 10 upgrade, check out your Drupal 10 upgrade guide here.

3. Timeline and Effort for Upgrading your Drupal Website

The upgrade process from Drupal 8 to Drupal 10 involves multiple phases and your estimates will vary based on the information above. To give you a high level example, here is an estimate we recently did for an enterprise client with > 200 contributed and 50 custom modules:

  1. Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.5: Required between 180 to 250 hours of development, translating into an estimated timeline of 4 to 5 weeks.
  2. Drupal 9 to Drupal 10: Required between 80 to 100 hours of development, with a timeline of approximately 2 to 3 weeks.

The total estimated time from Drupal 8 to Drupal 10 can span from 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the complexity and readiness of your site. This timeline ensures that each phase is thoroughly tested and optimized, minimizing disruptions to your ongoing operations.

Planning for a Drupal 10 upgrade requires a comprehensive understanding of both direct and indirect costs. By anticipating these expenses and understanding the scope of work involved, you can ensure that your upgrade process is smooth and successful. Remember, investing in a Drupal 10 upgrade is not just a cost—it's an investment in your website's future security, performance, and scalability.

Ready to start your upgrade to Drupal 10 or need more detailed information tailored to your specific needs? Contact us today for a Drupal Upgrade Audit and ensure your site remains competitive and secure. 

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