by David Snopek on April 2, 2019 - 11:59am

When we originally announced that we'd be providing Drupal 6 Long-Term Support, we committed to supporting our customers until at least February 2017.

Each year in the spring, we've taken a look at the state of Drupal 6 and decided whether we'll extend support for another year, and if we need to make any changes to our offering. Here's the articles from 20162017, and 2018 where we announced an additional year each time and any new concerns (for example, PHP 7 support).

Today, we're announcing that we'll be extending our Drupal 6 Long-Term Support two more years until at least February 2022!

I'm sure there will come a time, when it no longer makes business sense to pour resources into Drupal 6 for the few remaining sites, however, it's already clear to us that there's enough demand for a couple more years.

Also, now that we know when Drupal 7 will reach it's End-of-Life, we've started to plan for that, and decided that we'd like D6LTS to last at least until then (which is why we're announcing an additional 2 years this time, rather than just 1).

Regarding Drupal 7: we've officially applied to be a Drupal 7 Extended Support vendor and have been accepted. :-)

Read on to find out more!

Why February 24th, 2022?

Well, we've been using the February 24th date, because Drupal 6 orginally reached it's End-of-Life on February 24th, 2016, and we've been taking it one year at a time.

We recently learned that Drupal 7's End-of-Life will be in November 2021.

We want Drupal 6 LTS to continue at least through Drupal 7's community support so... the following February 24th it is!

Since we've been able to extend so many times it's entirely possible we'll extend it again past 2022, but no promises at this point. (See the last section in this article for our reasons why...)

There's still TONS to do Drupal 6

While it can be a little hard to predict the challenges that Drupal 6 site owners will face in the future, don't worry - I'm sure there will be plenty to do. :-)

This past year included a focus on adding PHP 7.2 support. Given that 7.2 will reach it's End-of-Life in November 2020, we'll certainly be adding support for PHP 7.3 and 7.4.

Also, hosting providers and Linux distributions have started bundling MySQL 8, which also requires updates to Drupal 6 core and contrib modules. A community contributor has been leading the effort on that.

And, of course, we'll continue doing security releases and the occasional bug fix. :-)

A couple months ago, I wrote that we'd made 99 D6LTS releases up until that point - we're already up to 113.

In fact, rather than dwindling away with time, there's more to do for Drupal 6 than ever!

What are your plans for Drupal 7?

Recently, things have been coming into focus for Drupal 7's End-of-Life and the Drupal 7 Extended Support (D7ES) program.

Compared with the Drupal 6 Long-Term Support (D6LTS) program, there's a lot more information that's known further in advance, as well as quite a few more rules and requirements for vendors looking to participate in the program.

You can see the full details of the D7ES program in this PSA from the Drupal Security Team.

We still don't know the full details of our offering, but we can say this:

  • It will be very similar to our D6LTS offer
  • We'll be providing Drupal 7 support until at least November 2024, because vendors are required to participate for at least 3 years

More details will come as we get closer to Drupal 7's EOL!

Will you support Drupal 6 forever?

While some of customers would love if we'd support Drupal 6 forever, the answer is "no."

Our service is billed at a relatively low fixed monthly fee, so it depends on a certain amount of scale and overlap between our customers needs in order to be profitable.

This is great for our customers because they pay less than they'd probably pay hourly for individual services just for their site, by "sharing the load" with other customers with similar needs! But it also means that when enough of our customers quit or upgrade to being Drupal 7 or 8 maintenance and support customers, providing Drupal 6 LTS will be a loss for us.

When that happens (and it inevitably will), then we'll have to either (a) charge higher prices to make up the difference or (b) stop providing Drupal 6 LTS.

But don't worry - we'll let you know long in advance of when that is coming!

In the spring of 2021, we'll be announcing any changes to our Drupal 6 LTS offering, including:

  • Whether or not we'll be extending Drupal 6 support,
  • If there will be any changes to the price or service offered,
  • And if we have any special offers to help upgrade the remaining Drupal 6 sites

But for the time-being, you can expect our Drupal 6 LTS to last until February 24th, 2022!

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