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Drupal 7 End of Life Extended

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It has just been announced that Drupal 7 will continue to be supported until November 2023!

This is great news for a massive number of Drupal users, as thousands of sites haven't yet made the move to Drupal 9.

Despite the extension and promise of continued support, however, organisations should still be making plans to upgrade to Drupal 9 for a number of reasons.


What is End-of-Life, and what does it mean for my website? 

Every few years the platform is upgraded, with Drupal 7 launched in 2012, Drupal 8 in 2016 and Drupal 9 in 2020. 

These upgrades include new features and most importantly up to date security releases. Also, after sometime, the developers supporting the software will phase out updates for older versions and stop supporting them as new software replaces them. 

Drupal 8 reached EOL as of November 2021, and Drupal 7 was due to come to EOL in November 2022 but has now been extended. 

This means that the Security Team will no longer be providing security patches for these versions of Drupal, potentially comprising the security of your website and any integrated software. Developers will also be transitioning away from supporting modules for Drupal 7, so contributed modules that add functionality to your site will also be less secure and not receive improvements or bug fixes.

The support extension comes as welcome news to the over 500,000 sites that are still on Drupal 7 making up more than half of the total Drupal sites, with the affirmation that Drupal 7 users are "important constituents of the Drupal community".

This buys organisations the time to recoup after covid lockdowns and make their transition to Drupal 9, before the End-of-Life date comes around again. 


Why do businesses need to upgrade anyway? 

There are a number of reasons businesses should still upgrade as soon as possible, such as great new features in Drupal 9 as well as mitigating risks of staying on Drupal 7 and avoiding the pressures that come with leaving the upgrade for later. 

The Drupal 7 upgrade is not small because a significant amount of code has been changed in the new version. So, whether you choose to upgrade to Drupal 9 or move to another CMS platform it could include a partial site rebuild as well as content migration to maintain all of your data and functionality.

At Webcurl we work with a lot of local government organisations and smaller businesses, so we know that depending on your organisation's size and structure, it can take time to build support for a website upgrade. From convincing key stakeholders to being cleared by finance or putting the project to tender, there can be a number of steps you need to take before even starting the process of migration and development. 

By engaging a development agency as soon as possible to explore your options, this extra year gives you the time to complete the process before Drupal 7 comes to its new End-Of-Life date in November 2023.

And it's always nice to get a project done early so you can focus on improvements rather than spending all your time mitigating risks.


Drupal 9 has a number of great features that companies will benefit from!

Security - All previous security patches identified over the last decade for Drupal 7 and 8 have been built into Drupal 9. The Security Team has also had the time to anticipate and create defences against future security issues making Drupal 9 one of the most secure CMS platforms globally. 

Upgrades - Drupal 8 and 9 onwards will be iteratively upgraded, so there will never again be a big move like the move from Drupal 7. It will also be backwards compatible, allowing modules from the previous version to work with the newest upgrade.

Design - Drupal 9 has been designed with accessibility and responsiveness at the forefront making it a lot easier for your site to meet WCAG guidelines and have your information accessible to a wider, more diverse audience. It also means that tailoring your site to appear well on mobile devices and tablets is simple and, in most instances, automatic.

For local UK governments... 

An extra opportunity has arisen in the form of LocalGov Drupal, a project built on Drupal 9 giving councils the opportunity to develop a pool of shared resources, code and best practices informed by common experiences. 

With a theme guided by the GDS design system, and functionality created to deliver common services and standards adhering to WCAG level AA, LocalGov Drupal was an easy choice for a lot of the member councils. 


Free site audit to help you upgrade better. 

At Webcurl we have experience helping businesses and organisations upgrade to Drupal 9, and we are offering services to help you too. 

A free site audit can help identify the best approach to upgrading for your site, and how we might be able to help you with the next steps, be it a like-for-like migration, or a re-design and development. 

We also offer bespoke development, hosting and support to help keep your website running smoothly and the site up to date. 

To arrange your site audit and find out more, get in touch!

Let's have a chat

Since 2008 Webcurl have been on hand with expert advice, development and support for our clients to enhance their digital transformation goals. 

To find out how Webcurl can help you fill in our contact form and one of our digital experts will be in touch as soon as we can.

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