by Elliot Christenson on September 30, 2020 - 9:04pm

Two years ago, we had a blog post with the same title: So, When Do I REALLY Need to Upgrade From Drupal 7? A lot has changed in the past two years. In the world, of course, but also in Drupal.

Drupal 7 was released on January 5, 2011. It's nearly 10 years old and going strong!
Drupal 8 was released on November 19, 2015 which itself is nearly 5 years old!

Where do our legacy and most used Drupals stand? Read on...

I'm On Drupal 7, So I Have to Upgrade to Drupal 9 by November 2021 2022?

Due to the COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, Drupal 7's End-of-Life has been changed from November 2021 to November 2022. Drupal 8's End-of-Life remains unchanged at November 2021.

If you get support from a vendor providing Extended Support, then you will have service for several years beyond the 2022 cut-off.

Without an Extended Support vendor, you really should look to upgrade to Drupal 9 - or move off Drupal entirely. Maybe all you really need is a static website?

The good news is that you do have that extra time to get thnigs figured out - whether that is securing a partner to help with long-term support or getting an upgrade project underway.

Contact Us Today for a Free Drupal 7 Site Audit

So If I am on Drupal 8 Today, I Have to Upgrade to Drupal 9 by November 2021?

Maybe, but that's not nearly as bad as it sounds. :)

The secret of D9 is that it's really just the next iteration of D8 - it's not going to be a complete rewrite like D8 or D7 or earlier major versions were.

Drupal 9 simply drops deprecated APIs, and updates 3rd party dependencies (like Symfony) - and not much else. In fact, the goal is to allow contrib modules that don't use any deprecated API to be compatible with both D8 and D9, without needing to have two separate versions of the contrib module (like we have always done in the past).

Upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be more like upgrading from Drupal 8.5 to 8.6.

If you are uneasy about an update to Drupal 9 from Drupal 8, feel free to let us know!

Contact Us Today for a Free Drupal 8 Site Audit

So If I Get Your Service, I Never Have to Upgrade to Drupal 9?

Well...

We've been providing Drupal 6 Long-Term support for over 4 years, and I think we've proven that commercial Long-Term Support (or as it's called now "Extended Support") works! We've made dozens of security releases, and kept hundreds of sites supported and maintained, and plan to continue to do so for a while.

We've even gotten Drupal 6 core and popular contrib modules updated to run on PHP 7.2.

So, if you don't update to Drupal 9, we're going to provide Drupal 7 Extended Support - just like we've been doing for Drupal 6 - for a long, long time!

But if you don't plan to purchase Long-Term Support from us or another vendor, then you really should plan your upgrade by November 2022 for Drupal 7 or by November 2021 for Drupal 8!

Isn't Drupal 7 Dead Already? Be Honest!

The Drupal Community has committed to getting Drupal 7 to work on the newer versions of PHP through November 2022. Drupal 7 needs adjustments to completely work with PHP 7.2. Since the earlier versions of PHP are all being "End of Life" as well, this is a necessary step to keep your Drupal 7 site safe and secure. PHP is the programming language Drupal is built on, so changes in PHP have massive effects on what happens with Drupal! If all of that sounds a little familiar, it's because myDropWizard announced recently that we would update Drupal 6 to make it compatible with PHP 7!

There are hundreds of thousands - if not over a million - Drupal 7 websites still in operation providing all sorts of critical services.

Drupal 7 is far from dead.

How Hard Is it Move to Drupal 9 (from Drupal 6, 7, or 8)?

As mentioned above, as long as you are updated to the latest version of Drupal 8, and your modules and themes are compatible: it should be relatively simple to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9!

Since Drupal 9 is going to be so similar to Drupal 8, moving to Drupal 9 (from Drupal 6 or 7) should be pretty much the exactly same as upgrading to Drupal 8. That might be good news - or disheartening.

You have Drupal 6/7/8 and Want Some Guidance? Please feel free to contact us for a free site-audit today!

OK, So How Hard Is It to Move to Drupal 9?

  • Many of the best modules have gotten incorporated into Drupal Core!
  • Still others have been obsoleted by new and better ways of doing things!
  • Many others have largely gotten updates to Drupal 9 compatibility!
  • Simple sites can be relatively easily updated to Drupal 9 from older Drupals!

That said, upgrading for most older Drupal 6, 7 or even 8 sites can still a big investment of time and money. Especially with the events of the past year, we fully understand that some organizations would prefer to just sit tight!

That's what our Extended Support is all about.

D6LTS D7ES (Early Sign-Up)

What's the Short Answer? When Should I Upgrade?

  • Drupal 6? You should already upgrade if you don't have D6LTS. We've been providing Drupal 6 Long-Term Support (and will continue to do so for the forseeable future :-)
  • Drupal 7? You should make plans to upgrade by November 2022 - or make sure you have D7ES engaged before then.
  • Drupal 8? You should make plans to upgrade by November 2021 - but that should be relatively straightforward if you've been keeping pace with updates.

There are all sorts of reasons why organizations don't update to the latest software - most of it boils down to budget. Small organizations with simple sites can't afford thousands of dollars to upgrade to the latest version of Drupal. Large organizations with comparatively complex sites can't always afford the expense of every upgrade either.

myDropWizard has plans to accomodate the needs of all sorts of organizations.

Want to read more articles like this?

myDropWizard.com blog Subscribe to the myDropWizard.com blog and recieve e-mail updates when new articles are published!

Comments

Thanks for sharing such a useful article. Great article each and every point is very well explained.

Add comment

o