by Elliot Christenson on March 3, 2021 - 10:56pm

As we get closer to the November 2022 "End-Of-Life" date for Drupal 7, I've noticed a lot of the same questions coming up. So, I'm going to try to make this blog post a bit of an "FAQ" that you can refer to with questions - and if any are missing, please add a comment at the bottom of the post. To start with, I'm going to break it into two sections: working vs. not-working sites.

My Drupal 7 Site is Working Fine. What Should I Do?

Part of your decision-making process when choosing Drupal was that it is Open Source. So, the short answer is: WHATEVER YOU WANT.

To many people, like me, who are paralyzed by the overwhelming choices at the drive-through window, sometimes you just want someone to give you a few clear-cut answers. So, understanding that everyone has an individual, unique situation, I'll try to give the most brief, most clear guidance that I can.

Scenario 1: I use ZERO modules!

Short Answer: You should upgrade immediately.

Depending on the complexity of your theme, an upgrade to Drupal 9 could take as little as a few hours to complete.

If you truly aren't using any "contrib" or "custom" Drupal modules, then I actually think Drupal might be overkill. Since you are reading this, and you found an upgrade daunting, you might actually be better off with a simpler platform - maybe even a hosted service.

Scenario 2: I have a "pretty normal" Drupal 7 Site!

Short Answer: No need to upgrade.

Obviously, I'm a bit biased since we provide paid support services for these very types of sites, but to be honest Drupal 7 is great software. It's going to continue to receive security updates until November, 2022. So, there is certainly no reason to have an upgrade completed before then. Unless there is some killer feature that you know you can only get in Drupal 9, I'd stay put.

In fact, if you're at all like me, you'd move all of the sites you manage to get automatic security updates with myDropWizard immediately. If you struggle to keep up with all of the security updates for your site, you can offload that responsibility to us.

In 2022, if it looks like you're still satisfied with your current site, you can even check into getting extended support.

Scenario 3: I have a "complex" Drupal 7 Site!

Short Answer: Probably even less of a need to upgrade.

Every situation is different, so it depends what is complex about the site. If it is integration with other services, it is entirely possible that this sort of integration might be better in Drupal 9. However, if it's not broken, and it's a mission critical system that needs to just keep working, then I'd follow the same advice as Scenario 2 - but I'd make sure to be at our Full Service support tier.

Drupal 9 is great, but there are possibly millions of lines of custom code written for Drupal 7 that are in production, and it would be prohibitvely expensive to upgrade many of them. If they were built for a specific purpose, and those needs are being met fine, I'd like to see those sites running as long as possible.

I have a couple of these Drupal 7 sites myself. They aren't "huge" sites, but they are too complicated for me to move to Drupal 9 in any reasonable way. The sites are working, and they need to keep working without spending thousands of dollars on costly development, migration and debugging.

My Drupal 7 Site is Already Broken. What Should I Do?

This may seem crazy to any experts reading this, but the fact is that most people have other jobs to do besides keeping their website up-to-date. Whether it's complex or simple, getting even the security only pieces of Drupal updated can hit some snags. So, "broken" can mean:

  • security updates installed but "broke" something
  • security updates were avoided but owner is on "borrowed time"
  • or the worst: security updates were avoided, so the site got "hacked"

No Scenarios.

1. If your site is broken or hacked, get it fixed.

There are thousands of Drupal 7 developers around the globe! You can work with our team at myDropWizard to get your site back to 100%, your original developer, or thousands of other great choices.

2. After it's secured, I recommend contracting with myDropWizard for security updates!

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