Drupal 8 has been out for about four years now. The initial release of Drupal 8 trailed the feature-sets of Drupal 7 four years ago, but has strengthened in superiority. Over the last couple years Drupal 8 has bolstered an impressive feature base for website owners interested in upgrading from Drupal 7.
If you are one of those website owners, now is a great time to plan your upgrade.
Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will reach end of life (EOL) in November 2021.
This means official community support will end. There is not a direct migration path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. As a result we recommend upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 before 2021, then updating Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 thereafter. Updating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 will be less of an effort from D7 to D8, but can be likened to a core version update you may have experienced during your Drupal 7 tenure.
Should you upgrade to Drupal 8 with the same design or move to Drupal 8 with a new design?
If your website is still on Drupal 7, chances are your website is at a minimum 2-4 years old. No matter your database size and feature set, this is the time to consider trimming unused features and pursuing enhancements for your website’s goals and feature sets.
We are finding that costs are similar when comparing a complete redesign vs migrating and rebuilding an exisiting Drupal 7 theme in Drupal 8. As a result we strongly recommend taking a blended approach when upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
Have a larger site? Redesign your site, but migrate your content.
We recommend a blended approach when upgrading your website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. For sites with an extensive database of content and files, this is a perfect opportunity to migrate your existing content while pursuing a website redesign.
Have a smaller site? Forego the migration and rebuild your content.
If you have a smaller website, just skip the migration cost and rebuild your content directly in a newly redesign Drupal 8 theme. Many of our clients have done the same, but website owners with extensive database content have opted in for a content migration given the obvious time-saving benefits of not having to re-enter hundreds of node pages.
Has your organization started planning for Drupal 7 end of life?
You still have time to sort out your Drupal 7 options. Many website owners are making preparations during 2020 to begin the process of assessing their existing site and budgeting for an appropriate redesign and migration path that fits their organization’s needs. If you need help sorting through the weeds with this process, send us a message.