Get Rid Of Your Drupal 7 End Of Life Woes: FAQs Sorted

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By Ashish Goyal Mar 30, 2022
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All good things must come to an end - Geoffrey Chaucer

And this holds true for software too. Drupal 7 (D7) was launched about a decade ago and as of March 2022 supports 502,412 websites. This open source platform has been the propeller of growth for many organizations and powered exceptional experiences on account of its extensive contributed modules, themes, distributions, and active support community. 

Our digital space continues to evolve dynamically at an unprecedented rate. Although D7 is a remarkable platform, it falls short in enabling a quick transformation that matches this speed. Hence, the call for D7’s retirement. 

Originally, Drupal 7’s end of life was scheduled for November 2022, but owing to the pandemic, this has been deferred to November 1, 2023. Some organizations might misconceive this delay and park their plans of migration aside. However, this notion might land them in hot water.

Rather, this period of extension should be treated as a booster shot to strengthen their strategies and make their plans foolproof to expedite the migration process. So, if you are still on the fence about the Drupal 7 to 9 migration and have some questions unanswered, we have you covered. We put together  some commonly asked questions to help decide on your next steps.

  1. What exactly does ‘End of Life’ mean?

    Every software has a lifecycle. Reaching its end-of-life (EOL) means it is no longer useful. Drupal 7 EOL means that the Drupal community or the security team will not support it with bug fixes or security updates. This also means that the modules that are used with the Drupal version are also reaching the EOL.

  2. Is it really bad to keep running our site on D7?

    Yes. Your Drupal website requires periodic updates and maintenance to run well and securely. Failing to do so, leaves the core and modules vulnerable to hackers, denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, and much more. This also hampers your website or app’s capability to integrate other services as the Drupal module that enables API integration, will not be maintained anymore. To maintain the module, you will need to write custom code and enable integration in the future. Similarly, bugs will not be fixed automatically due to the lack of support. If your business is central to what you do, it is advisable to start planning your migration today!

  3. How is D9 different from D7?

    D9 is far superior to D7 in multiple aspects: 

    • Security

    • User Experience

    • Improved Responsive Design

    • Site Performance

    • Enhanced Website Accessibility

    • Editorial Experience

    • Developer Experience and so on. 

    What’s more, D9 is backward compatible, unlike D7. This means that all the updates from D9 onwards would not require a complete rebuild, like in the case of D7. Those are equivalent to simple Drupal upgrades.

  4. Why should we leapfrog to D9 and not migrate to D8?

    Because D8 has reached its end of life on November 2, 2021. The D7 EOL date has been pushed to an extra year due to the challenges of the pandemic. Moreover, D8's EOL was driven by the end of support for Symfony 3., which could not be changed.

  5. What do we need to do to prepare for the Drupal 9 upgrade?

    It is prudent to be aware of your website readiness and its current ‘future-ready’ capability. This makes the process easier and the migration faster. So, you need to run a D9 Readiness check. That's exactly where Srijan comes to your rescue. Our experts provide a step-by-step readiness check to assess your current status. Post this audit, you would need to follow the standard procedures to identify the project scope.

  6. Should we continue to invest in further developing our current D7 website if we are planning to rebuild it in D9?

    Oh, that’s a tricky one! It varies. You will be able to get a concrete answer, only after a detailed discussion with our experts. However, we do have a few key factors that you can take into consideration:

    • The realistic timescales for starting and launching your D9 rebuild

    • The cost of the development planned for your current site

    • Is the planned development work reusable to be on the rebuilt site?

    Some developments may well be transferable to your new Drupal 9 website, or at least a good stepping stone in terms of covering a sizable chunk of work that would be otherwise needed on your new site.

  7. How much work is it to upgrade from D7 to D9?

    The quantum of work cannot be standardized, since this varies from case to case. However, the migration to D9 does not always require a complete overhaul of your existing systems. With the right strategy and agile methodology, time and resources can be utilized adequately to ensure a quick and hassle-free migration. 

  8. Is there something that can be automatically migrated from D7 to D9? Or does everything need to be rebuilt or transferred manually?

    Some of the pieces can be programmatically migrated from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. This should be possible using Drupal’s Migration suite of modules. Here’s a list of what can be migrated: 


    • The content types and the configurations of their fields 

    • The taxonomy, which includes the category configuration and their terms 

    • The user accounts and user profile data

    • The existing content of the website or application

    • Some of the module configurations. This, however, depends if the structure of that very module is available in Drupal 9

    • Some multilingual translation settings and the translations

  9. How long will a website rebuild take and how much will it cost?

    The time and cost of each project varies and depends on multiple factors like your requirements, current site complexity, etc. This requires an in-depth understanding of each of these aspects. Our team will be happy to walk you through the different aspects and arrive at an approximation.

  10. Will we have to do all this again in the future when D9 reaches its ‘End of Life’?

    Actually, no! As already mentioned, D9 is backward compatible. Owing to this, moving from D9 to D10 would not be another big project, rather a simple Drupal upgrade. The D10 release is scheduled for August 2022 with a final fallback date of December 2022. The migration from D9 to 10 would be more of an upgrade than a migration, as it was for D8 to 9. Technically, moving to D9 is your last migration on a big scale. Although, if you need our help for D10, we will be happy to help. 

    Ready to migrate? Have more questions? Let's get talking.

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