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Drupal 7 EOL extended...again


In 2019, Drupal was planning for the End of Life of Drupal 7 to be in November of 2021. This would mean Drupal 7 would have reached its EOL 1 decade into its service. Fast forward a few years, and the latest release for Drupal is Drupal 10. However, Drupal 7 has yet to reach its end of life. Even Drupal 8 has officially reached its end of life. 

Due to unforeseen circumstances in 2020, Drupal decided to extend support for Drupal 7 until November 2023. One full-year extension from the original date. As we were approaching the date, Drupal decided to extend the support for Drupal 7 once again, stating this would be the final extension, to January 2025.

Why did Drupal extend the EOL three times?

The main reason is that there are a significant number of websites that are still on D7. Even is still on D7 at the time of this article. 

The other reason is the many convenient contrib modules that so many Drupal websites rely on. While Drupal 9 and 10 offer exciting new features and improvements, the transition from Drupal 7 can be challenging for some organizations. The upgrade process is not just a simple update; it often involves a complete rebuild of the site, which can be time-consuming and costly. This is especially true for sites with complex architectures or those heavily reliant on custom modules and third-party integrations.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic added another layer of complexity to the situation. Many businesses and organizations faced financial constraints and operational disruptions, making it difficult to allocate resources for a major website overhaul. The extended support for Drupal 7 provided a much-needed reprieve for those still navigating through these challenges.

What does this mean for Drupal 7 site owners?

Firstly, it's important to note that while the end of life has been extended, it's not a permanent solution. Site owners should use this extra time to plan and execute their migration to a newer version of Drupal. Staying on an outdated version can pose security risks and limit access to new features and improvements.

Secondly, even though Drupal 7 will continue to receive official support until January 2025, it's advisable to start the migration process sooner rather than later. This allows ample time for testing, training, and any necessary adjustments to ensure a smooth transition.

Lastly, for those who may still need more time beyond the extended EOL, there are options for extended support from select vendors. These vendors provide security updates and support for Drupal 7 even after its official end of life, ensuring continued site security and functionality.

In conclusion, the repeated extensions of Drupal 7's end of life highlight the platform's enduring popularity and the challenges of migration. However, they also underscore the importance of forward planning and staying up-to-date with the latest technological advancements to maintain a secure and efficient online presence.

Drupal Migration EOL