For those who are using Drupal 7 will get some more breathing time to plan for their Drupal 9 upgrade. The Drupal security team announced (on 2020-June-24) that they are extending the End of Life of Drupal 7 until November 28, 2022. This means that the standard security process for Drupal 7 core and contributed modules will be followed for an additional year. Drupal 8’s end of life will be the same as earlier announced which is November 2021.
This decision has been made in response to the current Covid-19 situation which impacted budgets and businesses. This community effort will give site owners more time while budgets recover, but on the other side, it demands more effort from the Drupal community at large and security team in particular to review security reports, create patches, and release security advisories for Drupal 7. Everyone who is benefited from Drupal is requested to support the Drupal community in this special situation by generously donating to the Drupal association’s security fund.
If you are a Drupal 7 site owner
If you already have plans for a Drupal 9 upgrade, this is the right time to do it as Drupal 9 comes with a lot of features and benefits that accelerate your organization's digital transformation initiatives. Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration is fully supported by Drupal 9 Migration API system and associated contributed modules.
If you have a budget constraint or have larger plans in your roadmap which require more time to start working on a Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration, you get time till November 2022. Your Drupal 7 core and contributed modules will be constantly under the radar of Drupal Security Team and you will get regular security patches and updates till the end of 2022. As long as you keep updating your PHP versions to the latest one that is supported by Drupal 7 and apply security patches to your core and contributed modules you are safe.
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 theme when you are ready for Drupal 9.
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 upgrade path
- Create custom modules in such a way that it can be easily ported to Drupal 9.
If you are a Drupal 8 site owner
Since Drupal 9 is built on top of Drupal 8 code base, there is a well established upgrade path from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 and the process is much easier than the Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 upgrade. If your code base does not have any deprecated functions and all the modules you use in Drupal 8 is compatible with Drupal 9, you can move to Drupal 9 as you do a minor security update in Drupal 8.
- Do generously support the Drupal Security Team by donating to the Drupal Association Security Fund
- Drupal 7 site owners get an additional year to plan for their Drupal 9 migrations. When you plan for any major new features in your Drupal 7 websites, think of it in such a way that it can be ported to Drupal 9 easily when you are ready for Drupal 9 before the end of 2022
- There is no change in Drupal 8 EOL - which will happen at the end of 2021. Drupal 8 site owners need not worry about this much, you can migrate to Drupal 9 as easy as you do a minor update in your current Drupal 8 version