The release of Drupal 10 is fast approaching. If you’re still on a Drupal 7 site, now is the time to start planning your upgrade to Drupal 9, or even 10.
In our updated Drupal white paper, we’ll fill you in on the latest news from Drupal, the details of the Drupal 7 to 9 migration and the huge benefits it will bring, how this will set you up for Drupal 10 and beyond, and how we can help the process to go as smoothly as possible.
Things never stay still with Drupal: it’s an ever-evolving framework, with a dynamic Drupal community, and this has never been more true than in the past couple of years. The pandemic and accompanying rush online made it more important than ever before for businesses to provide outstanding digital experiences and content to their users. Drupal has risen to the challenge for flexible and user-friendly CMS (Content Management Systems) to help businesses deliver this; the latest version, Drupal 10, launched in December 2022.
Yet, as of spring 2023, the majority of Drupal sites are still Drupal 7 – a version released over 12 years ago. Unlike Drupal 8 which hit end-of-life (EOL) in 2021, it’s technically still supported, its EOL pushed back to January 2025. So, in pure security terms at least, it may seem there’s no rush to migrate from Drupal 7 to 9, then 10 and so on. But in terms of getting the very best from your digital platform, it’s long overdue to implement this.
Who wants their website to just be treading water? You want it to be outstanding, both from a user experience and a business efficiency perspective.
By migrating from Drupal 7 to 9, you’ll be able to take advantage of a huge number of fantastic features, which will only get better with the release of Drupal 10 and future versions. You’ll have a smoother and more intuitive content experience, better content workflow functionality, enhanced media management, improved responsiveness, an API-enhanced experience, and much more. Both internal teams and end users will benefit in ways that are simply not possible with Drupal 7.
But we get it: the change is daunting. A Drupal migration from 7 to 9 isn’t a simple matter of updating some code. Essentially, it’s a new build to enable content migration over to a new Drupal 9 site. But we believe it’s well worth the time and effort, for multiple reasons.
At its most basic, if you stay on Drupal 7, not only are you missing out on a host of brilliant features, you could also be putting your site at risk. Yes, Drupal 7’s EOL has been pushed back, but it will happen eventually, leading to your platform becoming vulnerable. It might even stop working entirely due to unfixed bugs.
Another key issue is that finding open source developers who want to work on Drupal 7 sites will be hard to come by; the best devs are interested in new and exciting technology, not code from over a decade ago. You’ll likely end up paying a premium price for specialist providers. It will also become difficult and expensive to find somewhere to host your Drupal 7 site, as it won’t support the latest versions of PHP that are increasingly required for hosting. In the long run, a custom migration to the latest version of Drupal is a much better investment.
Since we wrote our last white paper in 2020, we’ve migrated, updated and redesigned many projects to Drupal 9, working with clients including the College of Policing, the Commonwealth, Sport England and many more. So we knew it was time for us to re-examine the best course of action for those who still have a Drupal 7 site. We enlisted our hugely experienced Drupal team to update the white paper with brand new information and recommendations.
The updated white paper sets out why we think a Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration is the best course of action for your business, your staff and your users alike; it demonstrates the many benefits you’ll experience from next generation Drupal; and shows how we can help you to move through the migration process smoothly using the right migration tools for the task.
Reflecting on the seismic changes in the digital world since 2020, and given the migration from Drupal 7 is effectively a site rebuild, we’ll also explain why we think it’s an ideal time to revisit and improve your user interface (UI), user experience (UX) strategy, SEO, information architecture (IA), content strategy, and other aspects of your platform. In order to marry best practice in both content and configuration, we’ll carry out a full technical audit of your existing Drupal site, assessing the current modules to determine whether their functionality is currently a part of Drupal core, and if not, finding suitable contributed modules or building custom modules to replace them.
In addition, if you have several sites, you might want to consider consolidating them into a more user-friendly, sustainable, streamlined solution. We’ll take you through our comprehensive four-step approach to doing all this in the white paper. But whatever the project calls for, we’re on hand to work with your existing team, or to handle the entire process from start to finish.
Download our full white paper to find out why it’s time to migrate Drupal 7 to 9, and set yourself up for a smooth move to Drupal 10 and beyond.