Drupal 7 in end of life at the end of 2022: what are the consequences of Web development?
Do you have a site made with a Web development Drupal 7? This version of the CMS will go in "end of life" in November 2022, so after that date will no longer be available updates.
We often talk about Drupal Web Development, and in particular versions 8 and 9, as the most flexible and customizable Content Management System in the world for the development of websites. It is no coincidence that it is one of the most used Open Source CMS by high traffic portals (it is used by about 50% of companies in the "Fortune 50" ranking).
Although at the end of 2015 was released version 8.0 of the CMS, and in June 2020 was released version 9.0, as you can see on the page Usage statistics for Drupal core, Drupal 7 remains today the version of Web development most used.
The transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 has been an epochal change for the community: although the user interface has not been distorted, if not various optimizations much appreciated, there has been a radical change of technology with the adoption of Symfony, a very robust and widely used PHP framework, which replaced entirely the bases on which Drupal had been built up to that time. This change also involved a number of difficulties in the Drupal Web development teams: those who knew Drupal 7 well had to learn completely new and clearly improved development paradigms, a real leap forward in code development. Unfortunately for some, this technology has been too much of an obstacle to overcome.
Due to this radical change of technology, the upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not automatic. The price to pay for the new technology was the loss of retro compatibility with the previous version.This means that, although tools have been developed to transfer content, taxonomies and some types of data between the old Drupal 7 instance of a site and its new Drupal 8 instance. It is not possible to transfer custom features developed within the current site. Similarly, the user interface must be developed from scratch.
An important date that all those who have a site with Web development in Drupal 7 should have well present is November 2022. Starting from this date in fact, version 7 of Drupal will switch to the status "end of life", by that date it will be necessary to migrate to Drupal 8 and later.
Often companies that contact us for advice ask us what the practical consequences are; let’s deepen them together.
End of life: what does it mean?
For sites in Drupal 7, there will be no availability of updates, nor security updates. Having an update site however ensures better technical performance, both from the point of view of loading speed, and from the point of view, of course, of cybersecurity.
Also for months we have noticed that several modules that give access to new features or allow integration with new services, etc. often found only for the Web development in Drupal 8 and later, no longer have a version for Drupal 7, this makes that, as the fateful date approaches, the old site is increasingly "isolated" compared to new trends and features.
The advantages for those who switch to Drupal 8 or later version
Migrating to Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 is not only necessary, but also involves considerable technical improvement. The sites made using a Web development in D8 and later are, in fact, simpler in terms of management and maintenance, and allow you to make the most of the modular nature of this CMS. With the new versions of Drupal it is also much easier to create a set-up oriented to Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery.
DUE TO THIS RADICAL CHANGE OF TECHNOLOGY, THE UPGRADE FROM DRUPAL 7 TO DRUPAL 8 IS NOT AUTOMATIC. THE PRICE TO PAY FOR THE NEW TECHNOLOGY WAS THE LOSS OF RETRO COMPATIBILITY WITH THE PREVIOUS VERSION.
In addition, starting with a Web development in Drupal 8, the Drupal community has promised that from now on the upgrade to new versions of the CMS will always be backward compatible. This ensures that the investment of the transition to the new version of Drupal will be long-lasting.
Do you have a website in Drupal 7 and would you like to know more about the technical issues related to the migration process? Would you like to rely on us for the development of an ex novo website in Drupal 8 or Drupal 9? Contact us, our team of developers will be happy to respond to your requests.