Drupal is today a very good choice to start a new project, because you have certainty about the smooth upgrade possibilities. The upgrade path you need to take depends very much on your active version of Drupal.
Choosing a good Drupal partner is even more important today than it used to be, because you need to be able to rely on a party that makes the best choice between Drupal modules, writes maintainable code and also ensures that your website will be easy to update in the future. In any case, there is a bright future ahead for Drupal!
Drupal 7 was launched on 5 January 2011. Normally the End Of Life (EOL) was scheduled for 2021, but on June 24, 2020 it was announced that support for Drupal 7 would be extended until November 28, 2022. Drupal 7 will therefore continue to receive strictly necessary security updates until then. Finally, there will be two years left to upgrade or migrate. Of course it's time to start planning how to deal with this.
If you're still using Drupal 7 and you're wondering what to do, you currently have two options:
- Stay on Drupal 7 while updating your PHP version. If you stay on Drupal 7 until after 2021, you can hire a vendor for a long-term support contract, or you can migrate to Drupal 9;
- Migrate to Drupal 8 to make it easier to update to Drupal 9.
Drupal 8 was released on 19 November 2015 and is the first version with a different update pattern. Rather than just releasing repair updates and saving the new functionality for the next Drupal version, the updates for Drupal 8 bring not only minor improvements but also new functionality.
Drupal 8 will no longer be supported from 21 November 2021. This means that no bug fixes or security updates will be made by the Drupal core team. It is therefore recommended to switch to Drupal 9 before that date.
Calibrate's security and safety team is monitoring this closely and mapping which updates need to be performed to switch to Drupal 9 in one-two-three. All you need to do is make sure your Drupal 8 installation is always up to date with the very latest version offered by the Drupal community.
This version was launched on June 3, 2020 and with Drupal 9.0, we can blow out code that is no longer used.
Drupal 9 is equated with Drupal 8.9 by the Drupal community, so upgrading from 8.8 to 8.9 can be done without any problems. Good news for website owners who already own a Drupal 8 website.
It all seems a long way away, but you can start planning already.
Do you have any questions about upgrading your Drupal website?