by Elliot Christenson on December 6, 2016 - 6:35pm

Do you still operate a Drupal 6 website? Are you getting questions from your management team, technical teams or even board of directors on pending upgrades? Are they afraid of the Drupal 6 "End of Life"? What should you do? What should you tell them?

We've covered some aspects of this question before.

Today, though, we received an email similar to the following today:

Our Board of Directors really wants to upgrade our organization's Drupal 6 website  because of the concerns that we have to because Drupal 6 is End of Life. 

Now that you are providing Drupal 6 LTS support for our organization, do you see any urgency, how long do you think we could leave it until we needed to move off Drupal 6?

Every organization is obviously a little different. Knowing that we're coming towards the end of the calendar year 2016, some organizations have to have their budgets prepared for the upcoming year.

So, in many ways, in this case: the question boils down to timing.

Do we need to upgrade immediatey?

In my opinion: NO. myDropWizard has guaranteed that we will offer support through February of 2018. So, even though - as mentioned above - Drupal 6 was "End of Life" in February of 2016, we feel the best course of action is usually to keep your Drupal 6 website status quo until you can upgrade directly to Drupal 8.

Should we upgrade in 2017?

Probably. Drupal 8 provides so much capability "out of the box" and most critical modules are in the process of getting stable Drupal 8 versions if they haven't already. Obviously, depending on your feature set, budget, and willingness to change, waiting as long as possible may still be lucrative.

Should we upgrade in 2018?

Personally, I think end of 2017 to early 2018 is probably the optimal time to finish migrating from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8. If you're willing to go through the effort and expense of re-engineering the website to take advantage of Drupal 8's new technology, this will give you ample time to both plan and allow for more features to be ported, enhanced, or created!

What about Drupal 7?

Even at the time of this writing, I think it's short-sighted (or short-sited if you allow for the pun) to go to Drupal 7 or another platform. Drupal 8 is bursting at the seams with great features and allows for new ones to be more smoothly integrated into the "Drupal Core".

Drupal 7 was a great upgrade from Drupal 6, but it was an evolutionary refinement more than a revolutionary re-engineering like Drupal 8. Even seemingly surface features like mobile responsive adimistration are better thought through.

I've done a handful of upgrades to Drupal 8, and I've found core by itself to be often adequate! Drupal 6 sites - even simple ones - often have dozens of contrib modules.

Of course, I'm not referring to the simplest of Drupal 6 websites, It's the moderately complicated websites with the always not quite adequate budgets that are the struggle.

If you're worried, I think you can make it up to another year without sweating too much!

Until that time, I of course am going to recommend our excellent Drupal 6 Long-Term Support (LTS) service. We'll give you a free site audit on your Drupal 6 to help you gauge your site's security and other best-practices!

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