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 Drupal.org

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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Comments

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 https://www.drupal.org/project/drupal/issues/2959509 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

I realize this post is almost a year old so I hope you've changed your opinion on Drupal 8.

The clock moves in one direction and that is forwards. I've been developing in Drupal for 12 years, since the end of D4 and beginning of D5. I've been through upgrade paths where shops were still churning out D6 sites when D7 was already finally stable (when views and date became stable in about July of 2012) and I could see how that limits a client's ROI. I still support three D6 sites which will be D8 later this year which means that they got 10+ years of ROI for their sites. Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is promised to be as simple as a minor update and Drupal 8 follows standard OOP software psr4 practices. For that reason, when Drupal 8 was released in November of 2015, my team jumped onto it. All new development we undertook was Drupal 8 and yes it was not fully baked and yes, we had to learn new recipes to make things happen but on the upside, a lot of capability is built into Drupal 8 and we need far fewer contrib or custom modules to develop sites in Drupal 8.

I still support D7 plus a few D6 sites and it's comfortable like putting on an old sweater but whenever I add a new feature to a D7 site, I wish it had the flexibility and simplicity of Drupal 8 development. Yes, I said simplicity of Drupal 8 development because once you understand how Drupal 8 works, and because it is built on a decent API, you can spin up new components for your site very quickly, you can preprocess views fields within the views UI using twig and the various contextual view features, you can control when and where your custom module loads and what assets it requires. Drupal 7 loads everything including the kitchen sink. With Drupal 8 caching is king.

Anyway, I suppose my point is that the clock goes in one direction and Drupal 8 is leaps ahead of Drupal 7 in all areas. I would suggest if the site is simple you might want to try something simpler but for sites with complex content types, custom entities and a variety of view conditions, Drupal is the only solution I'll use. When Drupal 9 arrives, I'll be using it too.

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 d.org 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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