A powerful open-source CMS, Drupal comes ahead as an ideal choice for creating a range of websites. From blogs to corporate, government, and political websites, this framework runs a large number of websites across the globe. Besides the range of advanced content management features it offers, Drupal is also acclaimed for the consistent improvements and updates it offers. The coming few years seem to be busy ones for businesses running their websites on this CMS as some versions are going to fade out while some new ones are going to be released.
Specifically, there are changes for Drupal 7, 8, or 9 versions with Drupal 7 and 8 approaching their end-of-life (EOL) in November 2021 while Drupal 9 will be launched in 2020. This means that those running their sites on this CMS or those planning to pick it up have a lot to do in the coming few years. Let us talk about these versions and all that you need to know about the upcoming timelines for their end-of-life or release.
Drupal 7: Support Will Be Available Till November 2021:- As the CMS policy entails support for only two major versions at any point in time, Drupal 7 would logically reach its EOL with the release of Drupal 9 in 2020. However, they will continue supporting the version till November 2021 as there will be a large number of websites still using the version in 2020. Also, a paid support program will be there for businesses that want extended support even beyond November 2021. The commercial long-term support (LTS) program will be announced by mid-2019.
Further, there will also be implications of support ending for some PHP versions by 2020. Since support for PHP 7.0 has already ended and that for 7.1 will be ending in December 2019 and 7.2 will be ending in November 2020, this will augur changes for Drupal as well. The CMS will not support the unsupported PHP versions and sites will need to upgrade the PHP versions with time. At the same time, the platform will come with a new Drupal 7 Version that supports PHP 7.2.
Drupal 8: End-of-life by November 2021:- The release of Drupal 8 has been a major development for the platform because this version comes with an innovative model that is mainly focused on maintaining backward compatibility while introducing new functionality in minor versions. Despite its popularity, the version still needs to be updated for the purpose of removing deprecated functionalities and ensuring that the platform stays modern, performant, secure, and maintainable.
As Symfony 3 is the biggest dependency in Drupal 8 and its EOL falls in November 2021, this can lead to issues with the security bugs in Symfony 3 not getting fixed post EOL. Therefore, Drupal needs to adopt Symfony 4 or Symfony 5 before the EOL date for Symfony 3. This big transition is possible only when Drupal 8 comes to its EOL and a major new version is released.
Drupal 9: Release in 2020:- Now that the EOL of Drupal 8 has been declared, the next major release has to come before that. Ideally, websites should be given ample time to upgrade from Drupal 8 to 9, which means that the release of the next version is to happen in 2020. This will mean a lot of work, from adopting Symfony 4/5 to removing the deprecated code, and more. Therefore, an optimal span of time should be expected for releasing the new version. Officially, it has been declared that Drupal 9 will be released in 2020 though no specific dates have been given yet.
What Next?:- Since Drupal will come in 2020 and Drupal 8 will end in the end of 2021, technically websites running on the latter version have only a year’s time to migrate. Fortunately, you will be able to do this easily if you keep the Drupal 8 website updated. Those using Drupal 7 can either stay on with the version and update the PHP version for now. They can move to Drupal 9 as it releases or opt for an LTS contract while continuing with the same version. Alternatively, they can migrate to Drupal 8 by 2020 to ensure a smooth update to Drupal 9 subsequently.
Conclusion:- Whichever route you take, you will need the services of a professional Drupal Development Company to handle the migration task. This would require long-term planning, from deciding the road map for Drupal 7 websites to keeping Drupal 8 sites updated for facilitating a smooth transition to the latest version. Drupal India is a leading name that you can trust for availing services related to Drupal development, migration, upgrade, maintenance, and more. Connect with us and we will help you in creating a successful migration road map!