In November 2021, after over a decade, Drupal 7 will reach end of life (EOL). At that time, official community support for version 7 will end, along with support provided by the Drupal Association. This means that automated testing services for Drupal 7 will be shut down, and there will be no more updates provided by the Drupal Security Team.
When this occurs, Drupal 7 will be marked end-of-life in the update manager, which appears in the Drupal administrative interface. Updates, security fixes, and enhancements will no longer be provided by the community, but may be available on a limited basis from select commercial vendors.
What this means is that websites running on Drupal 7 will no longer be supported and the community at large will no longer create new projects, fix bugs in existing projects or write documentation for it. If you have a site that is running on Drupal 7, now is the time to start planning the upgrade and start planning your migration to Drupal 8.
The team at Enrega have already ceased all development on Drupal 7, and we've been building websites exclusively on Drupal 8 since January 2018. We will continue to support Drupal 7 websites until November 2021, but we'll be working with our clients on an individual basis to upgrade their websites to Drupal 8 throughout 2019 and 2020.
What has to be done to upgrade to Drupal 8?
The software infrastructure of Drupal 8 is vastly different and more advanced. It is much more flexible for developers and it has many beneficial features for content publishers. The migration process from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is not straight forward and has to be handled in a number of different steps:
- Create a custom Drupal 8 theme that is based on your Drupal 7 version, or design and build a new theme;
- Export the existing content from Drupal 7 into a format that can be imported to Drupal 8;
- Install the Drupal 8 custom theme on a fresh installation of Drupal 8; and,
- Import the content to the Drupal 8 website.
We are satisfied that all the main contributed modules that are used by most Drupal websites have been ported to Drupal 8 and now have stable releases available for use on production websites. Therefore, the migration of your website to Drupal 8 can be started anytime from now.