by Elliot Christenson on April 11, 2018 - 9:24pm

You may already know that we've been providing Drupal 6 Long-Term Support (D6LTS) for over two years.

What we have been hearing over and over lately - especially at Drupalcon - is "what about Drupal 7?"

Typically, only two major versions of Drupal are supported at once: the latest version, and the previous one. Right now, that means Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

We don't know when the community's support for Drupal 7 will end or if the community itself will do some kind of LTS. But we do know that community support will come to end at some point. While the details will depend on what the community does, we just wanted to let everyone know...

We intend to provide Long-Term Support for Drupal 7, in order to keep your site going long after the end of official support!

Read more to learn more about our plans for D7LTS...

When will Drupal 7 support end?

We don't know. But probably not before 2020.

Beyond that, there's been a number of proposals. Some have suggested not End-of-Life'ing Drupal 7 until it's usage falls below a certain level. Or when the migration plan reaches a certain level of maturity.

We don't have to end community support when Drupal 9 is released - the community could provide it's own Long-Term Support too!

However, the community support will end at some point!

Maybe there will be an official D7LTS program (like D6LTS) or maybe not. If so, we'll participate.

But no matter what happens, we're going to do our best to take care of the needs of those still using Drupal 7 when it's End-of-Lifed, just like we have for Drupal 6.

Based on our experience with Drupal 6 - and the thousands of sites still using Drupal 7 - we expect to be supporting Drupal 7 for a long time.

Don't worry, we've got you!

We know a lot of people are feeling a little anxious about this. Drupal 8 has been out for a long time, but there's still many times more Drupal 7 sites than Drupal 8.

Drupal Core Statistics from

But don't worry!

If you have a Drupal 7 site and haven't been able to upgrade, no matter what, we've got you :-)

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Would you EOL 80% of your market?

Drupal 7 is still king and I bet new sites will be launched on it even beyond the community support EOL.

The currently official maintainers of the semi-supported Drupal 7 just lost a soldier - David Rothstein went Automattic (WordPress) earlier this month and will be ex D7 maintainer past May 2018 per a big downer.

The recent Views module releases been quite bumpy - 7.x-3.19 broke lots of sites and related modules due to regressions and the gang cut 7.x-3.20, 3 days latter ... which fixed some of the issues but not all - still php warnings a plenty and only a downgrade to 7.x-3.18 saved the day.

Entity API and Entity Reference modules been quite abandoned and with serious performance sinkholes for years.

The above is also true about Drupal 7 and yet, patched along, it seems like a walk in the part... compared to the mega-disaster called Drupal 8.

The d.o. issue linked by Elliot above, got a funny comment by xjm, saying “....we should EOL both D7 and D8 at the same time....”.

Drupal 7 became usable a year after it's release in 2011 - modules a plenty and pretty much smooth sailing with a buncha core patches and spit.

Unlike Drupal 8.

It's 2018 and Drupal 8 is barely usable for mere mortals - 3 years after officially being released in 2015...

Given that Drupal 8 is more or less tied to the Symfony 3 LTS security support EOL November 2021, I see it as a big win for Drupal 7 and big fail for Drupal 8... because the current 8.x updates every 6 months are regularly breaking BC (that's hardly SemVer but alas) so how smooth the update from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 e.g. Symfony 3 to 4 (or 5) ought to be.

The numbers from d.o. agree:..
Drupal 8 - 223,777
Drupal 7 - 908,781

When EOL time comes around, most of these Drupal 7 will go BackdropCMS or elsewhere but Drupal 8.

Last but not least, the recent Drupalgeddon 2 is gaining strength and there might be a substantial number of sites without backups and plan B in place, ending as scrap, rebuild anew with another CMS, go SAAS, etc.

2018 been quite ominous year for Drupal.

We feel your pain. Although, I'm a little more optimistic that Drupal 8's problems CAN be worked out (see my Drupalcon presentation). It's just going to take some time, and hopefully the community's EOL plans will allow Drupal 7 to remain supported until working with Drupal 8 is more comparable to D7, but if not, we're ready to provide some kind of LTS. :-)

I have to agree. The future of most of Drupal is not Drupal 8. Backdrop or some other thing yet to be launched will likely be the direction forward for the hundreds of thousands of sites that don't have the resources to rebuild on D8

It's been clear for a while that Dries' decisions about the direction of D8 were essentially a de-facto forking of the community. The numbers are pretty clear. D7 has a life of its own and D8 can go on its merry way (and I wish it the best)

I strongly urge you to give Backdrop CMS a go. It already has an upgrade path from D7 (as opposed to the D7 to D8 move, which is a complete migration if you ask me), hundreds of contrib modules already either ported or merged to the core CMS, and countless of usability fixes. I like to call it "D7 on steroids" :)

Another "bonus" is the community spirit, which feels like in the "good ol'" D7 days. I know first-hand; I've been a member of the Backdrop community since almost day 1.

...we have a fresh release coming out on the 15th, so please give it a go if you have not done so already. I am 100% confident it will be worth your while.

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