by Elliot Christenson on August 8, 2016 - 4:55pm

No, that's not a typo. No, I'm not typing from the future. This is just a little bit of a look forward.

Since myDropWizard announced that we will be extending our Drupal 6 Long-Term Support into 2018, we fully anticipate having this discussion a year from now. Here’s a top ten list of your options and why it is fine to wait until 2017 to make your upgrade decisions!

Is Drupal 8 Ready Yet?

In 2017, Drupal 8 may be in a state where you feel comfortable moving on from your current, complex Drupal 6 installation. That’s our hope - and probably yours! At this writing (in August 2016) many, many, many Drupal modules are not converted properly to Drupal 8. Many need small fixes yet, and some others need some major changes. A year from now many - if not most - of these issues will be worked out. This is the ideal. Drupal 8 is a huge leap forward!

What's a Backdrop?

Another option that Drupal 6 site owners are evaluating is a project called Backdrop CMS. Backdrop CMS started out as a “fork” of Drupal 7 that is quickly adding features in popular modules right into its core. While Backdrop CMS is further along in some respects then Drupal 8, it also has a ways to go in terms of getting supported modules functioning in a fashion that would make a complex migration from Drupal 6 possible. They have some excited options in terms of Drupal 6 upgrades, and it would be great to see them pull it off!

Seriously? WordPress?

There is an elephant in the room of web development: WordPress. WordPress is, of course, the most popular CMS in the world. Some users feel their needs are smaller and are convinced Wordpress might be a good fit. While that may be true I think waiting a year to see how things shake out is prudent before abandoning the Drupal community entirely. Such a dramatic shift - even with a simple site - will take longer than you think.

Hosted? Commercial?

Perhaps your organization has had enough of open source? You don't want to move to Drupal 8. you don't want to move to Backdrop CMS, and you don't want to move to WordPress. My answer to this option is similar to #3 above. Before completely abandoning the Drupal ecosystem, you should give it a year to see whether Drupal 8 or Backdrop CMS are your best options first!

D7 in 2017?

The final option is to “punt”. This would be an upgrade to Drupal 7. So, you gave it a year. You still feel like Drupal 7 is a good strategy for another year or two - GREAT! While I expect development to slow down for Drupal 7 modules, there are over a million sites on Drupal 7 right now. They aren’t going to all switch overnight. 

Lose Your Dynamic Personality.

I guess there is another option too. If you hit February 24, 2018, and myDropWizard has not announced another “stay of execution” on Drupal 6, there is always the option to create a static version of your website - taking out the content management system altogether. I’ll have a future post on some options for that!

What Do You Think?

In a nutshell, there is nobody - myself included - that can give you a 100% certain answer on what you should plan for in your organization. Even aside from the costs, benefits, pains, and gains of all of the choices - every organization is a little different. Some of you may have the budget and flexibility to choose any of the options. Some may have simple enough needs where any of the options are equally viable.

Regardless, we are offering support until February 24, 2018, so you don’t have to cancel your August 2017 vacation plans. We have your back.

I'd love to hear what you think.

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