We recently posted about the Drupal 7 End-of-Life, and now some of you might be wondering if you should upgrade to Drupal 8.
If your website is still on Drupal 7, you should skip Drupal 8 entirely and make the move to Drupal 9.
There, I said it.
But here is why –
There is no easy “upgrade” path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. No button to click to make it magically happen. Now that Drupal 9 has been released and an end-of-life date has been announced for Drupal 7, if your site is still on Drupal 7, move to Drupal 9.
Drupal 9 really is version 8 anyway
Despite a few migration modules that have been published, our experience is they don’t work for a site that is any more sophisticated than a basic brochure site. If you have complex architecture and/or functionality, moving from 7 to 8 is a rebuild. So if you’re going to invest, put your money in the right place and go for Drupal 9.
To borrow drupal.org’s train analogy, it’s not like moving your train forward, it’s moving your train to an entirely different set of tracks. You have to move the train, because even if they’ve extended the end-of-life for Drupal 7, modules are being abandoned which presents a growing risk the longer you keep your site on Drupal 7.
Drupal 9 is stable
The base code for Drupal 9 is the code for Drupal 8 with a few changes. Drupal 9 was mostly built in Drupal 8 with only a few changes. Unlike version 8, Drupal 9 is not a reinvention of Drupal. Other than two small changes, Drupal 9.0 is same as Drupal version 8.9, the last Drupal 8 minor release.
Drupal 8 Modules will be abandoned.
Even though the end-of-life date for Drupal 7 has been extended, modules for 7 and now 8 will increasingly be abandoned by their developers. This presents risks not just in performance but also potentially security, as the modules you are using may not be evaluated for risk or performance in an ongoing way. You can engage a digital agency like Web Teks to take on maintaining those modules for you, but this drives up your maintenance costs. You could have invested that additional maintenance into enhancements or improvements. As more and more developers move their attention to contributing and maintaining modules for Drupal 8 and now Drupal 9, more and more Drupal 7 modules will fall into minimally maintained, obsolete or abandoned status. More Drupal 7 modules will fall outside of drupal’s security policy coverage.
So skip 8
If your web site or web application is complex enough to need you to stay with Drupal and you are still on Drupal 7, do yourself a favor and skip Drupal 8 and go straight to Drupal 9. Too bad that corny joke about “why 6 is afraid of 7” won’t work into this post somehow.
Don’t leave it too long to make the decision on how to manage Drupal 7 End-of-Life. Call us to discuss your options, and we will give you our recommendations for your specific instance. Contact us today!