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Everything you need to know about Drupal 7 & 9 End-of-Life

Have you been keeping up with the latest Drupal news?

If not, we don't blame you! There have been a lot of changes. Particularly when it comes to the scheduled end-of-life date for Drupal 7.

This blog post outlines how Drupal 7’s scheduled end-of-life date impacts you, summarizes the latest changes and identifies your essential next steps.

If you're not familiar already, Drupal is a free, open-source web CMS. It enables you to build customized tools to structure and manage your content - from flexible content publishing workflows and beyond.

To get a clear snapshot of Drupal’s breadth, in their latest Drupal 7 update the team notes their role in powering government installations, educational institutions and many businesses and non-profit organizations.

Not only will the retirement of Drupal 7 impact the organizations that use it to develop and run their digital platforms, it can impact the users who rely on these digital experiences.

If your organization uses Drupal 7 and doesn’t upgrade to a newer version before this deadline, your platforms are left vulnerable - risking outages and downtime that will impact their user experience.

In summary, here are the latest updates:

  • A widely used version of Drupal (simply called Drupal 7) has had an end-of-life date on the horizon for over a year now. In fact, three end-of-life deadlines have been scheduled and canceled so far.

  • We can confirm that the new end-of-life date for Drupal 7 is November 1st, 2023.

  • The suggested substitute, Drupal 9, was released in June 2020, and is well-maintained, secure, stable and feature-rich. Further, Drupal 10 was released on December 14th, 2022 and is similarly reliable.

Why the setback?

In a company statement, Drupal noted that “a majority of all sites in the Drupal project are still on Drupal 7,” so it was imperative that they provide additional support to Drupal users by way of an extension.

The company notes that the previous deadlines have been pushed back due to “a moral imperative” to keep the sites that have yet to upgrade in time as secure as they can.

Not only will the retirement of Drupal 7 and 9 impact the organizations that use it to develop and run their digital platforms, it can impact the users who rely on these digital experiences.

So what does this mean for you and your company?

If you use Drupal to run any of your customers’ digital experiences, you need to ensure that you’re using an updated version as soon as possible. Having a retired version of Drupal will inflict costs and risks that could otherwise be easily avoided.

What you need to do:

The size of this type of upgrade varies from one site to the next. It’s best to get the ball rolling as soon as possible and to have the right team in your corner. Providing a realistic runway and enlisting a team with the right insight and experience is the best way to make this transition seamless.

And better yet - it presents a wonderful opportunity to make other adjustments and upgrades that may have slipped through the cracks in the past few years.

In summary:

  • Get started as soon as possible

  • Assess the size of the project

  • Enlist a team with the right experience

  • Identify other upgrades and customizations that can be looped into the process

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If you want insight into your next steps, book a free consultation with our experts here.