27.06.2020, 12:39

The end of Drupal 7 support is here - it's time to welcome Drupal 9!

We now know the Drupal 7’s EOL(End of Life) date. Official support ends in November 2022. What do you need to do to turn this into an opportunity? Read on, and see what simple steps you should take.

The only constant in the continuous development of technology is changes. Out of date tools and apps eventually will simply stop working because of compatibility issues. They’re being replaced by newer and better versions.

EOL - which is an abbreviation for “end of life” means the end of the product’s official support. Usually, it’s a set date, past which no updates or promotion is being done. It is part of the natural life cycle of any IT product.

The same is true for Drupal 7. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 10 years since its introduction on the 5th of January 2011. This brilliant open-source solution helped thousands of firms and institutions to grow and develop. It is estimated that over 2 percent of all websites on the internet use Drupal - among those are 15 percent of the top 10.000 companies in the world.

Even though we’ve grown accustomed to Drupal 7 at Direktpoint, the time has come to part with it. The update has become inevitable. Where to start? First - let’s take a look at the calendar.

When is the end of Drupal 7’s support?

Originally, support for Drupal 7 was scheduled to finish in November 2021. However, as you can read in the official information from drupal.org, the date has been moved to November 28th, 2022. Reasons? First and foremost - difficulties related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and specifically - their effect on a budget. This decision has once again shown that Drupal developers - a tool firmly established in the online community - deeply understand the community’s expectations, to which they can (and will!) react immediately.

What does this mean for you? An additional year of support for your Drupal 7 website. Past that - there won’t be any updates. You’re free to keep using this older version, but if you do - you’re on your own.

We advise you to migrate your website to a newer and officially supported version. It’s inevitable. Lack of CMS support could mean a lot of trouble, especially in terms of security.

So what’s going to happen with Drupal 7 after EOL?

  • Drupal 7’s status in the app manager will switch to “end of life”.
  • Diminishing community support. No new projects will be undertaken, no bug fixes will be added, no documentation will be written.
  • No security recommendations or support for modules or themes from Drupal Security Team.
  • All Drupal 7 versions on every project will be flagged as not supported.
  • It's possible some net services might treat your Drupal 7 website as potential threat.
  • If thinking about all of the above is already giving you a headache - rest easy. We’re here to help. In those cases, it's best to leave it to experts. Direktpoint experts know what they’re doing, and will make sure the whole process is as painless as possible. Let us know if you need our help.

If you do not plan on updating your website, you might want to use Drupal 7 Vendor Extended Support. Only a limited number of clients will be able to purchase this paid service, which is planned to last until the end of 2025.

How to move to Drupal 9

While updating Drupal is almost an automated process, moving from the 7th version to 8 or 9 is quite a challenge. It’s not an exaggeration to call it a small revolution.

Drupal premiered on November 19th, 2015. This time, the CMS developers have decided to go with the Symfony framework. It’s a very popular choice in the PHP development community, mostly due to its elasticity and numerous applications. Previous versions were not based on any larger framework. The project received the community’s approval. A new theme engine - Twig appeared. Suddenly adding and modifying themes became much easier.

Of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The number of changes amounted to more than 200. You can read more about them here.

Making Symfony the foundation of Drupal 8 caused their life cycles to become intertwined. The “eighth” EOL has been set to November 2nd, 2021, which is more than a year earlier than its predecessor.

drupal end of life

The most reasonable move is to move directly to Drupal 9. The only situation in which you might consider 8 over 9 is when your website depends on a module not yet available in the newest edition.

Differences in architecture between the versions will force you to rewrite almost everything. We’re talking about modules, migrating the database (Migrate, Migrate Drupal, Migrate Upgrade, and Migrate Plus), and all content.  
This is a good moment to take a look at your project. Is it ready for Drupal 9? Find out using the Drupal Check tool, which scans for outdated code and proposes necessary modifications. This will allow you to find elements that require direct intervention more efficiently.

Always remember about backups! This might sound obvious, but if you do happen to forget them, it might mean a lot of trouble. Do your backups!

Migrating Drupal 8 to 9 is in most cases an automated process, which will not require any additional input.


The update is inevitable. You can delay it, but sooner or later you’re going to have to face it. Lack of support is a serious security concern, not to mention your website loses access to the most recent functionalities and improvements.

If you’re an experienced web developer, you will definitely manage. However, if you have any doubts, reach out to us and contact our experts. We know our business. We will make saying goodbye to Drupal 7 and transitioning to the latest version a painless process.

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