Extending the Drupal 7 End of Life and What Drupal 7 and 8 Site Owners Need to Know About It
Those who are using Drupal 7 will get some more breathing time to plan for their Drupal 9 or 10 upgrade. The Drupal security team announced (on 2022-February-23) that they are extending the End of Life of Drupal 7 until November 1, 2023. This means that the standard security process for Drupal 7 core and contributed modules will be followed for an additional year. If you are using Drupal 8, it already reached its end of life and is not supported any more.
As per the announcement, the scheduled date will be re-evaluated annually and as per the information available to date (March 3, 2023), the scheduled Drupal 7 end-of-life date is November 1, 2023.
If you are a Drupal 7 Site Owner
If you already have plans for a Drupal 9 or 10 upgrade, this is time to accelerate it as it is hardly 8 months to the EOL. Also now Drupal 10 got released, with lots of features including CKEditor5, improved performance and lots more features and benefits that can accelerate your organization's digital transformation initiatives. Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 and 10 migration is fully supported by the Drupal Migration API system and associated contributed modules.
Your Drupal 7 core and contributed modules will be constantly under the radar of the Drupal Security Team and you will get regular security patches and updates till Nov 2023. You should make sure to update your PHP versions to the latest one that is supported by Drupal 7 and apply security patches to your core and contributed modules to get your website to perform better and keep it secure.
If you are planning a major revamp in the UI, make sure that you invest in implementing a living style guide using Pattern lab or KSS or any similar systems so that you can easily convert that to a twig-based Drupal 9/10 theme when you are ready for the latest version of Drupal.
If you are planning a major functionality implementation in your Drupal 7 website,
- Make sure that the contributed modules you use have a Drupal 9 or 10 upgrade path
- Create custom modules in such a way that they can be easily ported to Drupal 9/10.
- If some of your contributed modules are yet to support Drupal 10, then you can migrate your Drupal 7 website to Drupal 9.5, which will have support till 2023 November. By that time the modules will be ready for Drupal 10 and you can easily switch to D10.
If you are a Drupal 8 Site Owner
Drupal 8 site owners are in a big risk as Drupal 8 is not supported any more. You need to immediately upgrade to Drupal 10 or Drupal 9 if you still have modules that do not support Drupal 10.
Drupal site owners can check your site's Drupal 9 or 10 compatibility with Drupal Check, and if there are any deprecated functions, use Drupal Rector to fix those issues automatically.
If you are a Drupal 9 Site Owner
Drupal 9 site owners should make sure, that the website is in the latest release of 9.x - which is 9.5. Drupal 9.5 is supported till Nov 2023. You can use the upgrade status to check for Drupal 10 compatibility and do the upgrade by Nov 2023. You should any case maintain your codebase to make sure that you replaced all deprecated functions. Here is a list of functions that will be deprecated in Drupal 9.
If you are confused about whether to upgrade directly to Drupal 10 or upgrade to Drupal 9, our suggestion is to pick Drupal 10 if you have not yet started the migration process. You can go with Drupal 10 and test the latest features like CKEditor5 to get a feel of Drupal 10. Drupal 10.1 will come with more features like the decoupled menu. So by the time you are ready to launch the website, Drupal 10.1 will be available and you can go for that.
- Do generously support the Drupal Security Team by donating to the Drupal Association Security Fund
- Drupal 7 site owners only have time till Nov 2023 to complete the upgrade. So start immediately. You can check out D7Upgrade for more information and a module to check on how complex your Drupal 7 website is.
- Drupal 8 reached EOL. Drupal 8 site owners should upgrade to Drupal 9 or 10 immediately.