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Drupal 7, the reliable platform that's been powering websites for quite a while, is getting ready to say goodbye. While Drupal 8 has already waved its farewell and Drupal 9 is counting down to its end in 2023, Drupal 7 is on the horizon with its end-of-life scheduled for January 5, 2025. So it would be wise to avail of Drupal migration services for better website performance.
In this blog, we'll take a closer look at what it means for Drupal 7 to reach the end of its life, and explore the path ahead for users of this platform. But first, let’s understand what “end-of-life” exactly means.
End-of-Life: What Does That Mean For Software?
The term "end-of-life" (EOL) signals the conclusion of official support for a specific software or product. It means that the software is no longer actively promoted, sold, or maintained.
In the case of Drupal 7, this signifies that the Drupal community and its security team will cease to release security patches and updates after Drupal 7's official EOL date in November 2022.
For a while, organizations can continue to use their Drupal 7 websites. However, as we move past Drupal 7's EOL date, technical issues are bound to surface. This could include problems like outdated modules that are no longer supported or unaddressed security vulnerabilities. Over time, these issues can have a negative impact on your website's performance and SEO ranking. So, what’s next for Drupal 7 users?
The Next Step For Drupal 7 Users
Figuring out the Drupal roadmap during this phase, especially for Drupal 7 users, can present some unique challenges. The big question is: what's the best course of action?
Should you wait for Drupal 10 to become stable, or should you consider a transition to Drupal 9 first and then move to Drupal 10 with smaller, incremental migrations?
Migrating a website is no small task, and leaping two major versions ahead can seem quite daunting. Depending on the complexity of your project, it might be wise to adopt a more gradual approach to this migration process.
Steps to Ready Your Website for Drupal Migration
Before making any moves, it's crucial to engage in thoughtful planning and preparation. Here's a series of steps to help you chart the way forward for any migrations that may lie ahead:
Check Your Website
Look closely at your Drupal 7 website. See what kind of content you have, like articles and images, and take notes.
Sort Your Content
Figure out which parts of your website can be moved to a new version automatically and which parts you'll need to move by hand.
Check Your Add-Ons
Look at all the extra bits you've added to your website, like plugins or tools. Make sure they work with the new version.
Custom Code Check
If you've made your own special code for your website, make sure it will work with the new version too.
Plan Your Move
With all this info, make a plan for how you'll switch to the new version.
Keep Your Website Updated
Make sure your current website is using the latest Drupal 7 version.
The Big Question: Migrate or Wait?
After you've completed the website check and assessments, it's time to make a call: Should you move to Drupal 9 and later to Drupal 10 in stages, or wait and shift directly from Drupal 7 to 10?
Here's how to decide
If your website is quite customized with various content types, structures, and modules, it's a good idea to get ready and move to Drupal 9. This will help ensure a smoother transition when Drupal 10 arrives.
On the other hand, if your website is simple and works well with the latest Drupal 7 version, you might consider waiting and moving directly to Drupal 10. This can save you money, time, and effort.
Drupal 7 to 9 Migration Challenges
Once you've finished checking your site and planning your move to Drupal 9, the next steps involve setting up a new Drupal 9 site, following your migration plan, and thoroughly testing the new version of your website.
Here are the two most common challenges you might face while migrating:
New Drupal 9 Methods
Drupal 9 doesn't always have a direct match for some Drupal 7 modules. The way things work has changed, and some modules may not be compatible or upgradable. In such cases, you might need to explore alternative modules or even create custom ones to maintain the same features.
Not all content can smoothly move from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 using automated scripts. Some content might need to be manually migrated. This process can be time-consuming, so a good approach is to export data from Drupal 7 into CSV files, adjust the CSV format as needed, and then create custom migration scripts to import this content.
Let’s Wrap Up!
All in all, understanding the implications of software end-of-life, weighing the complexity of their sites, and carefully planning their next steps are critical for a smooth transition. Whether opting for Drupal 9 or waiting for Drupal 10, users must ensure their websites remain secure, updated, and well-positioned.
However, understanding Drupal migration and its various aspects can sometimes be daunting. That’s why take the help of LN Webworks, for Drupal migration, and simplify your Drupal journey. Want to know more? Reach out to us today!
LN WebworksYour Drupal Solution Partner
LN Webworks have championed open-source technologies for nearly a decade, bringing advanced engineering capabilities and agile practices to some of the biggest names across media, entertainment, education, travel, hospitality, telecommunications and other industries.