Drupal 7’s End of Life Extended: What’s Next?

Alliance  ·  May 19, 2021

The Drupal platform is a reliable CMS known for fast performance, great security features, and the ability to customize content for a dynamic and engaging visitor experience. However, if your business’s website currently runs on an older version of Drupal, you will want to prepare to update to the newer versions of the platform as the older versions will have reached their end of life stage. In this article, we will discuss the end of life dates for Drupal 7, 8, and 9 and the projected release date of Drupal 10.

What does Drupal end of life mean?

Drupal end of life (EOL) basically means that a particular version of the platform is no longer supported by the Drupal community. This means that the community will no longer be making updates, fixing security bugs, supporting or providing assistance on projects, or producing new themes or templates. Any businesses using these outdated platforms will potentially risk their website security, and ability to easily make updates on the site. Drupal 6 has reached its end of life stage, and while Drupal 7 and 8 are still supported, they will eventually be phased out as well. 

Projected EOL Dates for Drupal 7 and 8:

Drupal 7 EOL: November 2022
Drupal 8 EOL: November 2nd, 2021 

Drupal 8 Features:

Drupal 8 brought some amazing new features for content presentation, such as built-in themes and responsive design. For editors, it offered client side editing and drag and drop features and built-in themes.

Drupal 9 Features:

Drupal 9 was released in June 2020. Drupal 9 was built within Drupal 8, making migration a fairly smooth process for those currently using Drupal 8. Drupal 9 also included faster and better performance features through BigPipe, the ability to define multiple content workflows, multilingual capabilities,  a cleaner code base and headless CMS, and updated versions of Symfony and Twig for an improved development experience.

Projected EOL Date for Drupal 9 and Projected Release of Drupal 10:

  • Drupal 9 EOL: November 2023
  • Drupal 10 Release projected June 2022

Drupal 10 Features:

Drupal 10 is projected to be released a little more than a year from now in June 2022. Drupal 10 will require an update from CKEditor 4 to CKEditor 5, as well as from Symfony 4.4 to Symfony 5.4, and will include a new version of  jQuery UI. Drupal 10 will not include a ton of new features besides the updates to the new CKEditor. It will also include a new Olivero front end theme that includes modern design elements such as drop shadows, new typography, animation, and new color palettes. The new theme will also include improved functionality such as embedded media and new layout builders. Finally, Drupal 10 will include improvements to the Claro admin theme to better modernize administration capabilities.

Preparation for Migration

If you are considering an update to the latter versions of the platform, there are a few key areas to look at to help make your Drupal migration a smoother process. Migrating is not a simple, quick update, so this is a good time to take a look at all aspects that make up your business website. You may also want to consider a content audit. Take a look at any areas where content can be removed prior to the migration or coding that needs to be updated for a smoother transition. Since larger updates (such as from Drupal 7 to 8) essentially require a rebuild of the website, you may also want to consider updating some of the designs, developing a new theme for the site, and evaluating the current back-end structure and other areas that could make content management easier.

You should also make sure all code considered to be “depreciated” is removed from the site prior to any migration. Code is considered depreciated when there is a better code option available to be used. There are ways to generate reports that will evaluate the code on your site, as well as modules available that give information on what code will be considered depreciated. There is also a current module in the works that will scan your site and create a “readiness assessment” so you know exactly what updates to make.

Need Help Upgrading Your Drupal Website?

Upgrading to the latest version of Drupal will allow your business to remain supported by the Drupal community, as well as take advantage of new content flexibility, responsive design, and improved performance. Alliance Interactive is a Washington, DC Drupal Company that offers a full service team for assistance with Drupal website support, design, and development.