You have probably heard by now that in November of 2022, Drupal 7 will be at its “End of Life.” This means the Drupal Association will no longer be supporting Drupal 7. But that doesn’t mean you have to upend everything and rush to upgrade your content management system! It just means that this is a good time to consider where you are with Drupal, and when it might make sense to make a change.
Your Drupal 7 CMS Is Still Supported for Years to Come.
While the Drupal Association is ending support for Drupal 7 after next year, security updates and patches will continue to be available through third parties for at least another 5 years. If you are a Proactive Support client for BackOffice Thinking, you can breathe easy knowing we’ll continue keeping you up and running while making sure everything is secure.
What’s New with Drupal?
With Drupal 8, the Drupal Association core team rebuilt Drupal's underlying technology from the ground up. This brought changes improving stability and performance, and introduces new capabilities to stay on the cutting edge of content management systems. The building blocks of Drupal 8 are different and carry into Drupal 9. We took this opportunity to develop a Landing Page and Component Framework that lets content administrators easily build out more complex landing pages on their own. The framework gives you a landing page “kit-of-parts” that can easily be added to, removed, and rearranged by the content administrator at your nonprofit organization. This framework is very extendable, so new components can be developed and added to your “kit” by BackOffice when needed. Our clients who have already upgraded to the latest version, Drupal 9, appreciate the new features that add greater functionality to the core product.
You Can’t Stay on Drupal 7 Forever.
While you don’t have to upgrade for a few years, you won’t be able to stay on Drupal 7 forever. So, it is a good time to consider when you want to get the ball rolling, and when your organization will be ready to take on the upgrade process.
Since Drupal 8 is a “core” change, upgrading from Drupal 7 to that (or any newer version past 8) means a complete rebuild of your website. This can be a large investment, and a great opportunity to implement a redesign of your site as well. For some nonprofits, it will take time to get the wheels in motion. A website redesign is not something to be rushed. Relax, take the time you need, but add it to your strategic plan (and budget!) now, so your organization is prepared.
If you have already been considering a website redesign, 2022 is the year to do it. Here are some reasons to consider adding a website redesign sooner rather than later:
- Drupal may not be the best fit for your needs anymore. Some nonprofits have found their needs changed over time and another CMS, like WordPress, is a much better fit.
- New features and flows in Drupal 8 could make content management easier.
- If your organization has recently gone through a growth spurt, a newer version could be just what you’ve been waiting for, to accommodate your expansion.
- If there are improvements you’ve wanted to make to Drupal, a newer version might be the answer you’ve been looking for.
- If engagement is low, an updated look and flow has potential to make your website a high performing website. Click here for our eBook about The 6 Principles of High-Performing Nonprofit Digital Experiences.
Send a request to your BackOffice Thinking Support email to discuss possibilities for your website. We are always here to help you decide what will be the best path forward.