Drupal 8 end of life is here! We’re only a few days away from the end of official community support for Drupal 8, and it’s time to make decisions. November 2, 2021 is it - leaving Drupal 7 for one more year, and Drupal 9 as the officially supported Drupal versions.
You may be asking yourself:
What are my options?
If you’re on Drupal 8 already, your best option is to upgrade. The Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 upgrade is the easiest major version upgrade in Drupal’s 20 year history. Drupal 9 has been out for over a year, and many, many eyes have been on this upgrade process. Your other option is to remain on Drupal 8, which is based on an EOL version of Symfony.
How do I know for sure if my contrib modules are ready?
The most popular modules for Drupal have been upgraded to D9 compatibility, integrated into Drupal core, combined with other modules, or deprecated. If you’re using mostly or all contributed modules? It’s really likely you’re going to have a fairly smooth upgrade experience.
But what if I have a lot of custom code?
One of Drupal’s greatest strengths is how well it lends itself to customization. Your website might have a little custom code, or a lot. There are plenty of Upgrade tools to get you moving to Drupal 9.
Can’t I get extended support?
No - there are no official extended or long term support programs for Drupal 8. Tag1 and other vendors are members of the Drupal 7 Extended Support (D7ES) program, but this is not a feasible path for Drupal 8 due to Drupal’s reliance on Symfony.
What will happen to my website if I don’t upgrade before November 2?
Right away? Probably not much! But the longer you’re running an unsupported version of Drupal, and unsupported versions of the underlying software, the higher your chances are of a potentially devastating website hack. Your website won’t just disappear - Drupal doesn’t have that kind of capability. But the security risks when running outdated software increase over time.
What version do I need to be on to most easily upgrade to Drupal 9?
Drupal 8.8 or 8.9 support direct upgrades to Drupal 9. If you’re running a version of Drupal 8 prior to 8.8, upgrade to 8.8 or 8.9 first, then upgrade to Drupal 9. See Upgrading a Drupal 8 site to Drupal 9 | How to prepare your Drupal 7 or 8 site for Drupal 9 on Drupal.org for a full upgrade guide.
Does upgrading to Drupal 9 give me any new features?
Ultimately, Drupal 9 does have new features, and will continue to add more. Drupal 8 won’t be receiving new features, or patches. If you want new features, you must upgrade.
What’s the road ahead look like?
Drupal 10 is scheduled for June 2022. The community plan is to ensure the upgrade from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 is as smooth and easy as possible. Drupal 7 will reach its end of life a few months later. It’s time to upgrade Drupal 8 sites. If you’re running Drupal 8, and want help, contact us.