Drupal 7 support & upgrade
At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the Drupal community made a bold choice: the Drupal 7 End Of Life was extended by the Drupal community. Meanwhile, Drupal 7's EOL has once again been postponed to November 2023. So Drupal 7 will still receive strictly necessary security updates until then. Of course, no other updates will come out for D7, which will be the case for Drupal 9.
So that sounds pretty reassuring. Finally, that means there is still until November 2023 to upgrade or migrate. Of course, it is time to start planning how to deal with this. We briefly list the options for you.
Frequently asked questions
Not updating, is that wise?
The short answer: no. The long answer is a little more nuanced.
Drupal 7 is old software; it was launched back in 2011. New developments are no longer happening and the opportunities to fit a Drupal 7 into a modern digital ecosystem are getting smaller every day. The number of developers still able and willing to support Drupal 7 is also scarce.
On the other hand, since Drupal 7 has been around for a while, you might expect it to be mature, stable software. That could mean that it cannot contain any major new leaks or problems. However, this is not at all certain, because of course it is always possible that the software still contains bugs or problems that are unknown at this day.
Should I upgrade to Drupal 9 right away?
Yes. After all, Drupal 8 itself is already End of Life, and that's because Drupal 8 does offer smooth upgradeability to Drupal 9.
Drupal 9 offers even more modern features and is also smoothly upgradeable in the future to version 10. So upgrading to Drupal 9 today is a great option to give your website a bright future.
Is there no longer a compelling reason to update then?
Possibly yes. Many Drupal 7 contributed modules do not support new versions of PHP. Version 7.2 of PHP was already EOL in November 2020 and version 7.3 is End Of Life in 2021, i.e. 6 December 2021.
Since almost all Drupal websites consist of core + contrib modules, chances are very high that your website is not compatible with any supported version of PHP. The commonly used module Panels is an example of this.
Want to know if this is the case with you? Book a digital scan and we'll check it for you.
What exactly does an update from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 entail?
Drupal 7 has a number of upgrade-paths to Drupal 9.
A very powerful and extensive data migration is possible. The "Migrate" module is used for this, to import old content into the new Drupal website. There are also upgrade paths to take over configuration. Thus, the Drupal 7 configuration can be partially mirrored in the new website.
In addition, there is no automatic update from Drupal 7 to a higher version. The rest of the work consists of checking whether "contributed modules" used in the Drupal 7 website are compatible with Drupal 9. If not, an alternative is provided. After this exercise, the new Drupal website is configured and the data migration can be completed.
Questions about your Drupal 7 installation? Calibrate is happy to advise you on your options. Every situation is different and appropriate advice is a necessity. Get in touch and talk to the experts!
Renew your growth strategy
Is your website delivering what you want? An upgrade of your Drupal website is the ideal time to reflect on your digital strategy and take a closer look at a number of issues.
We will help you with a concrete digital scan to make your website work better for you.