Drupal 7 End-of-Life Support
What is end-of-life? What does it mean for you and your Drupal 7 site?
In terms of development and technology, “end-of-life” is the final phase in a software program’s lifecycle. At end-of-life, updates and maintenance (including bug fixes, security patches, and new feature developments) end. Extending the Drupal 7 date gives users more time to decide about upgrading their sites. Until November 1st, 2023, Drupal 7 will continue to receive security patches from Drupal.org:
“We have decided that there is a clear need to provide additional support to the members of our community still using this version. We have a moral imperative to keep as many of those sites secure as we can.”
Drupal 7 is now over a decade old (having launched in 2011) while Drupal is already approaching its next significant release with the upcoming launch of Drupal 10.
Although many websites continue to use Drupal 7, the platform has stagnated since later versions have been released (Drupal 8 launched in 2015 and Drupal 9 in 2020). With the launch of Drupal 10 planned for August 2022, Drupal 7 will continue to fall behind, and fewer organizations will support it.
What does this mean in terms of working with Northern?
Northern has been actively encouraging our clients to move to Drupal 8 or 9 for several years. Supporting Drupal 7 sites is becoming more challenging every year. The talent pool for Drupal 7 Developers continues to shrink as more and more organizations move away from this legacy technology. Northern believes in providing our clients with the most advanced, secure, and extendable digital solutions on the market – and Drupal 7 no longer meets those criteria.
As of January 1, 2023, we’ll no longer support Drupal 7 sites. We’re letting you know this now so that you can plan to upgrade your site or plan to find another partner continuing to specialize in Drupal 7.
After January 1, 2023, all Drupal websites we create will be on Drupal 9 or later versions. Upgrading from Drupal 9 to 10 requires less effort as all Drupal versions after Drupal 9 are backwards compatible.
Start your upgrade to Drupal 9 now.
Your organization’s website is central to how you interact with your customers. Use the extra time gained not just to update your website - but to upgrade your website.
- An update happens when you realize too late that you need to move to Drupal 8 or 9, and you’re suddenly scrambling to create a new site focused purely on functionality.
- An upgrade uses the extra time to engage with a more strategic approach to your website rebuild, preferably one that includes user research to get feedback from those who will interact with your website, modernizing your UX at the same time.
How do you prepare for Drupal 9?
- Do some basic user experience research on your own by asking a few questions about your current digital experience (or enlist our help for a more comprehensive look at your user’s experience):
- Are your users satisfied?
- How well does your product perform?
- How long does it take for users to complete a task?
- Undertake some usability testing. You may choose to use an online tool like UserTesting.com. You will need five participants, access to the Internet, a laptop, an observer and a scribe. To understand the basics of usability on your site:
- Define five to 10 top tasks that users should frequently be completing on your site.
- Ask users to complete the tasks and speak out loud as each is completed.
- Observe; listen, and watch (don't lead the participant!).
- After they complete their tasks, interview the participant.
- Ask your scribe to monitor the users and take detailed notes.
- Review your site’s analytics for insights into page load times, time spent on specific web pages and site speed.
These three tasks can provide an overview of the fundamentals of your website’s current state, how well it’s working towards your brand’s goals and objectives, and where it falls short for your customers.
Our developers specialize in Drupal 9.
We have a strong team of Drupal developers committed to moving the platform forward, creating innovative solutions and pushing the boundaries of digital. Several Northern developers contribute to Drupal core and generate and maintain modules that continue to improve the user and administrative experience on the platform.
Are you ready to upgrade to Drupal 9?
Our Drupal solutions experts can help.