Upgrade to Drupal 9 before Drupal 7 goes end-of-life
It's time to upgrade your Drupal 7 sites - here's how (and why)
If your websites still use Drupal 7, you should be planning to upgrade to Drupal 9 as the end of life for Drupal 7 is drawing near.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us via our contact page (systemseed.com/contact) for help with your Drupal migration.
The Drupal community will formally end support for Drupal 7 on November 1, 2023.
According to Drupal.org, when Drupal 7 officially comes to end-of-life, the following will affect your projects:
- The Drupal 7 community as a whole will no longer develop new projects, solve bugs in current projects, produce documentation, etc.
- There won't be any more Drupal 7 core commits.
- For Drupal 7 core and any contributed modules, themes, or other projects, the Drupal Security Team will no longer offer assistance or security advisories.
- Drupal 7 vulnerability reports may become public, resulting in zero-day exploits
- All Drupal 7 versions will be marked as unsupported on all project websites.
- Due to the lack of support, Drupal 7 could be identified as unsafe by third parties.
Although you might not notice these changes immediately, they will significantly influence your capacity to expand and manage your site. Ultimately, it will result in your site lagging behind in terms of technology. The good news is that there is a clear way forward.
Drupal 9: The New Wave
This is not an exaggeration; the most recent Drupal 8 and 9 releases are revolutionary for Drupal users and the open-source community.
As you would anticipate with any critical content management system (CMS) update, Drupal 8 brought several significant changes and enhancements. New workflows, workspaces, a layout builder, streamlined installations, improved speed, and increased security are a few examples of these advancements.
The two most significant changes in Drupal 8 have also benefitted Drupal 9.
- Major In-Release Improvements: Drupal 8 came with a new release strategy that enables Drupal to include significant upgrades in the current release rather than delaying them until a major release.
- Smooth Transitions: When migrating a website to a new Drupal CMS release, Drupal 8 adopted an in-place upgrade strategy to reduce code rebuild requirements.
Drupal 8 was discontinued in November 2021, and replaced by Drupal 9 preceding Drupal 7's impending end-of-life in November 2023. Because of this, we advise a direct update to Drupal 9 when planning your upgrade because it will save you money and time.
7 Important reasons why you should migrate to Drupal 9
Let's discuss Drupal 9's enormous advancements and all of its benefits. You'll need to convince Drupal 7 site owners to upgrade as soon as possible.
Most people believe there is still plenty of time until November 2023. However, rebuilding a site takes time - especially if you want to use the opportunity to optimize the UX or update the visual design.
These reasons make the migration even more worthwhile, which is why we advise doing so as soon as possible:
1. A futuristic platform
The most cost-effective way to transform your ordinary site into a supercharged user experience is to upgrade to a new and current platform.
To fulfill the demands of any expanding organization's digital experience, Drupal 9 has been designed to fulfill the demands of any organization’s CMS requirements. Utilizing a modern, creative, resilient platform like Drupal 9 makes complete sense.
2. Effortless Editorial Processes
The focus of Drupal 9 is to make content editors enjoy their admin dashboards.
We like the CKEditor for creating posts, the Media Library, the customizable toolbar, the rapid edit function, the layout builder, endless possibilities for content moderation, the contemporary Claro admin theme, and much more.
It is difficult to compare Drupal 9 to Drupal 7 because improvements in Drupal 9 make the admin interface of D7 feel quite out of date.
3. Constantly Changing
Having a seamless continuous change was Drupal 8s main focus, and we see the same in Drupal 9.
When Drupal adopted Guzzle, Symfony, and Twig into their libraries, it allowed the creation of high-performing apps and enabled developers to create highly-advanced and pioneering applications.
Additionally, it enables consistent content delivery across various platforms, channels, and devices.
The addition of technologies like Composer has made it easy to handle dependencies and conflicts, adding considerable functionality without the need to start from scratch.
This makes Drupal efficient and long-lasting enough to power enterprise-level websites.
4. Simple upgrades indefinitely
Given the significant upgrade from Drupal 7, it's understandable to assume that after migrating to Drupal 9, updating to the newest Drupal release would be time-consuming which is not usually the case.
Once you're on Drupal 9, upgrades will always be simple! Since Drupal 8 introduced the new semantic versioning, new features are now delivered with both minor and major version updates.
You can innovate more quickly, and the learning curve is smoother. You won't ever need to re-platform once you move to Drupal 9.
Once you're on Drupal 9, upgrades will always be simple. You won't ever need to re-platform once you move to Drupal 9.
5. Improved Security
There will be fewer security issues with Drupal 9 because all outdated code with Drupal 7 has either been deleted or replaced. The dependencies on outside parties have also been modified.
Regarding compatibility, most code interfaces weren't altered, so developers won't experience migration problems and could continue supporting current addons.
6. Quick and improved performance
By showing images that utilize less data, Drupal 9's expanded support for responsive images ensures a fantastic user experience on mobile devices.
Drupal 9’s content workflow feature enables developers to specify several workflows that in turn enable the creation of high-performance websites.
7. It has multilingual capabilities
Drupal 9 has greater multilingual capabilities for a wider audience. It has navigation bars, buttons, and even admin screens that can be translated into more than 100 languages. We’ve used this capability very successfully with our recent work for the World Health Organisation, and it’s been extremely useful for them in managing multiple translators on the same project.
Not upgrading from Drupal 7 can lead to issues with security, third-party API functionality, and ongoing support & maintenance.
The dangers of not moving to Drupal 9
There are risks associated with not updating to Drupal 9 as Drupal 7’s end-of-life approaches.
Drupal 7 will need to be regularly checked and monitored to ensure no vulnerabilities for exploitation occur once Drupal 7 goes end-of-life, unauthorized people could gain access to your data, and there is the danger of information being disclosed, and even cookies being leaked (which can lead to hacking). You don’t want any of this to happen to your organization as it could affect you, your clients, and your perception of your brand.
B. Third-party API (Application Programming Interface) functionality
Some APIs (the software bridges that enable two apps to communicate) will stop functioning when Drupal 7 becomes outdated. Organizations might suffer significantly if a website has a broken cart API or subscription system API. If site users can’t easily complete a task, they tend to give up and leave the site, which would mean a loss of engagement or revenue for you.
C. Ongoing Support and Maintenance
Over time, it will become increasingly challenging to find developers who are able and ready to maintain an old version of Drupal. The most talented developers leave outdated software behind for the newest platforms, making it more challenging and undoubtedly more expensive to recruit engineers to work on obsolete versions of websites.
Are you ready to get started?
A sophisticated Drupal 7 website with a lot of customization will require more time and development work to migrate to Drupal 9. And, indeed, a total reconstruction will be needed.
The risks alone of not upgrading make it essential to take this journey with a trusted digital partner.
Don’t end up in a last-minute rush. It is advisable to take time to find the right Drupal development digital partner for you, as there will be fewer choices as the deadline approaches.
SystemSeed is your trusted digital partner.
These are some of two critical things to do before migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9:
- Search for a Drupal development partner that can make even the most challenging Drupal 9 conversion easier and more understandable.
- Get the Drupal partner of your choice to conduct a migration audit. You should understand what needs to be done as part of an upgrade, and that includes integrated services. This will ensure that your digital partner plans for a migration strategy that works within your budget and resources to achieve your goals.
For advice on how we can take the stress out of your Drupal 7 upgrade, get in touch with us here: systemseed.com/contact.