Drupal core uses a regular release cycle to introduce new features and security updates. Contributed modules and contributed themes also have periodic updates to address security issues, add new features, and fix bugs. Updating is the process of moving from one version of a project to another, within the same major release.
- Perform security updates to Drupal core and contributed modules
- Update Drupal core for a patch version, e.g. from Drupal 8.3.1 to 8.3.2
- Update Drupal core for a minor version, e.g. from Drupal 8.3.5 to 8.4.0
- Update a contributed module to a new version, e.g. Pathauto 8.x-3.0 to 8.x-3.1
The best-practice for Drupal 8 right now is to use Composer. There is ongoing work to provide alternatives, but none of those have come to fruition yet. We have high confidence that the information on Drupal.org and in the Drupal 8 User Guide will be updated with current best practices as they evolve. Simply put, this process involves updating the code in your project with the latest code from Drupal.org, so any process that facilitates doing that will continue to work.
For Drupal 7: