2020 was a year that brought significant changes in daily activities, work routine, and ethics. COVID-19 was/is a health crisis, leading to the horrifying socio-economic and political crisis worldwide.
Due to the series of lockdowns enforced, social distancing, and all other vital measures implemented to reduce the virus’s spread drastically, it brought about unexpected, unusual changes in how things are being handled. In this case, so many work environments, industries, and organisations had to implement a work from home strategy for staff, which made their work an online affair.
Before the pandemic, industries hired external agencies like us for support because we’re well-known for managing security, databases, and so many other web-related things that are critical to keeping your site and applications running smoothly. However, as a result of the pandemic, more companies realised their websites need updating.
Drupal 7 versus Drupal 8
As you know, Drupal is used to develop websites and applications. Drupal stands out as it offers excellent outstanding features, covering; great performance, content authoring, top-notch security, a user-friendly interface, flexibility, and high customisation and modularity.
Drupal 7 has been around since 2011. November 2021 is the original end of life date. However, due to the unexpected changes brought by the coronavirus, the life of version 7 was extended to November 2022. So, it’s still available for users to explore.
Drupal 7 has some great features which enable administrators and developers to manage content efficiently. Over the years, there have been improvements to enhance the performance of Drupal 7, which included 600 themes and 11,000 modules, improved security, more languages for translations, support features, and many more.
Drupal 8, on the other hand, is a more powerful version that comes with over 200 additional features built-in. Drupal 8 was released in 2015, and compared to Drupal 7, it gives room for advanced functions and customisations.
Drupal 8 has Symphony components in terms of differences, which is a significant reason it is more powerful than Drupal 7. Furthermore, Drupal 8 offers better multilingual options, with a more advanced text editor option and enhanced security.
Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 EoL
The fact is that the transition and upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not an easy task. From carrying out the upgrade to learning to use and adapt to the new work environment provided by Drupal 8, is a lot to get used to, particularly at the moment. Since Drupal 8 has an advanced mechanism, the upgrade cannot be done without the help of a professional website development agency.
This is a significant reason why Drupal has considered the adverse effect of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on organisations using the CRM and extended Drupal 7 alongside its community support by a year. By November 2022, Drupal 7 wouldn't be supported anymore. During this period of COVID-19, organisations have been given enough head start to get prepared for the upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
Consequently, Drupal 8 support will end in November 2021. A long-term support Drupal 8.9 minor release has been released alongside Drupal 9 and will be supported until November 2021.
If you’re still running a Drupal 7 site, essentially, you have three options:
1. Continue using Drupal 7 while updating your PHP version. If you stay on Drupal 7 after its EoL in November this year, you can either engage an agency (like us) for a long-term support contract or upgrade to Drupal 9.
2. Migrate to Drupal 8 ASAP, so it will be easier to update to Drupal 9 when you’re ready.
3. Bite the bullet and upgrade to Drupal 9 and be fully up-to-date.
Whichever route you pick, switching is optional, and COVID-19 has given D7 sites a longer lifespan, but migration is inevitable. It doesn’t have to be a daunting process, though. Give us a call, and we’ll discuss your migration path.