Drupal 7 was first released back in January of 2011, since then it has provided an outstanding content management system (CMS) and proven to be highly successful. This is illustrated by its prolific user base which can be found widely across the internet and includes official government websites, leading educational establishments, NGOs and many other organisations both large and small.
The Drupal framework is built and maintained by the Drupal Community – collaborators and contributors from all over the world, making it one of the largest open-source communities in the world that is available for anyone to use. Drupal 7 has always offered a range of excellent standard features built on a modular system, with reliable performance and outstanding security. However, Drupal 7 is now approaching its end of life (EOL) – this is when the Drupal Community stops supporting this version of Drupal and it is time to take action.
EOL was originally planned for November 2020 – it was initially extended for one year until November 2021 to provide its vast user base with additional time to upgrade or find an alternative platform. A further extension was issued in November 2021 as a result of the global pandemic; when this deadline was reached, the Drupal Association came to the decision of implementing yet another extension to help all Drupal 7 users navigate through the difficult times of the global pandemic, until the end of 2023. This deadline will then be reassessed annually. By July 2023 the Drupal Association will announce whether further support will be continued into 2024.
Why The Delays?
The delay gives Drupal 7 users more time to plan and budget without significant time pressures – the added difficulties during covid-19 have meant that many organisations simply do not have the budget for a full website migration amidst the economic turmoil of the last couple of years.
What Happens When Drupal 7 Reaches EOL?
When Drupal 7 reaches EOL, there will be no further core updates after this time, meaning that the website will become more vulnerable to security risks. As time passes, it is likely that users will see an increasing number of contributed modules also becoming unsupported – any unsupported modules will be clearly marked by the Drupal security team if they become impacted by a vulnerability. If a contributed module is not properly supported and maintained, it is possible to request ownership to become the new maintainer - taking over support and development, or to request a D7ES (Drupal 7 Vendor Extended Support).
When Drupal 7 Reaches EOL, What Are The Options For My Website?
If Drupal 7 is your current CMS, the following options are available; migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, migration to another platform such as WordPress, or remaining on Drupal 7. We can help and advise on the best migration path for your use case and budget.
Migration From Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
The current recommendation for Drupal 7 users is a direct migration to Drupal 9. Drupal 8 reached end of life in November 2021 – this was not extended because the platform was built on the Symfony 3 framework, and this had already reached EOL.
We Can Help
The upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 or another framework brings with it the opportunity for a number of positive changes. The Siruss web development team are Drupal experts with over a decade of experience in building Drupal websites as well as having specialist developers for other platforms, such as WordPress. Siruss can offer advice and guidance on the next steps for your organisation, helping to plan ahead for the future and to deliver a website that suits your unique requirements.