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Start Preparing now for Drupal 7 AND 8 End-of-Life

Introduction

The timer above shows the time left until Drupal 7 and 8 end-of-life (EOL). Drupal 9 is expected to be released on June 3, 2020, but delays can be expected. 

If your website is running Drupal 7 or older, it's a very good time to consider upgrading to Drupal 8 now because upgrading from 8 to 9 will be more seamless and far easier than previous upgrades. If you'd like to learn about the new features in Drupal 8, our blog post provides 16 reasons to upgrade to Drupal 8

Regardless of the version of Drupal your site is running now, we can help you plan and execute a migration with zero downtime. We understand that planning can take time and due diligence, depending on the size and complexity of your website. Our experts at Webdrips provide a complimentary consultation to help you set expectations for timing and cost. If you haven't worked with Drupal 8, our Drupal 8 demo site allows you test drive the authoring environment with click-through tours of powerful new built-in features. 

Drupal 8.6.0 was recently released, and Drupal 8.7.0 is due on May 1st. Drupal 8.8.x will likely be the last major release of Drupal 8.x, and is due on December 4, 2019.

What to Expect From Drupal 9

Drupal 9 will be Drupal 8 without the depreciated code that builds up over time. Drupal 9 will be backward-compatible with Drupal 8 contributed modules for the most part, which is a first for Drupal. Because of this compatibility, a Drupal 9 upgrade from Drupal 8 will be simple and painless once Drupal 9 is released in 2020. If your website runs on Drupal 7 or older, we recommend about one year to properly plan and execute an upgrade to Drupal 8.    

Another reason to prioritize upgrading to Drupal 8 soon is, according to Symfony's release roadmap, Symfony 3 will be end-of-life status in November, 2021. EOL means security bugs are generally not fixed after the EOL date has passed.  Drupal 9 will "ship" with Symfony 4 (or possibly Symfony 5).

Drupal 8 and 7 end-of-life and Drupal 9 release date
Image by Dries Buytaert 


Drupal 9 will be an Easy Upgrade from Drupal 8

As mentioned above, Drupal 8 users will have about a year window to upgrade to Drupal 9 after the Drupal 9 release, and before the Drupal 8 EOL. 

Learn more about how easy Drupal will be to upgrade in the future by reading Making Drupal upgrades easy forever.

What about Drupal 9 Contributed Modules?

There's no guarantee that contributed modules will be made available in time to upgrade Drupal, however the module maintainers will only need to rework depreciated code. This is a major step forward from any previous version of Drupal. As long as the Drupal 8 module doesn't use depreciated API functions, they will work with Drupal 9 out-of-box. For the Drupal community, this is a significant improvement over all previous versions of Drupal.

Drupal 7 will be EOL Status November, 2021

It's not a simple process to upgrade Drupal 7 or Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 or 9. Instead, those sites must be migrated. Although this process has been drastically improved with recent releases of Drupal 8, we highly recommend you work with us to plan and execute your site's migration now, given how easy it will be to upgrade moving forward. The more complex your site, the more planning and time will be needed. Contact us to get a free estimate. 

Drupal 8 and 7 end-of-life roadmap and Drupal 9 release window
Image by Dries Buytaert 

 

Notes on PHP Version Compatibility with Drupal 7 Going Forward

  • As of December 31st, 2018 PHP 5.x is no longer supported on Drupal 7 (with a minimum of 7.1 being required)

  • As of December 1st, 2019, PHP 7.2 will be the minimum

Conclusion

If your site is using Drupal 8, continue to maintain your Drupal 8 updates, and you'll be ready for Drupal 9 when it and your site's contributed modules are updated. If you currently don't have a trusted Drupal agency maintaining your Drupal 8 (or earlier version) site, we're happy to help with one of our maintenance options.

If you are still using Drupal 7 or earlier, consider planning a migration today. Webdrips offers a complimentary migration consultation. Schedule a call using the button below, or contact us using the form below that.

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