Drupal 7 End of Life (EOL): What To Know
Drupal 7.0 has served us well since its January 2011 release. It powered web applications, leading the era of Drupal as a favored option for building any kind of website. Drupal 7 introduced us to more than 11,000 contributed modules, 600 themes, and 200 distributions.
However, the time is coming to say goodbye. Read on for details on what to expect from Drupal 7 EOL and the benefits of Drupal 9.
End of Drupal 7: Start Planning Your Drupal 9 Upgrade
At first, D7's EOL was scheduled for November 2021. Because of the impact of COVID-19 on businesses and budgets and the large volume of users still on Drupal 7, the cutoff date was extended until November 2022. However, in February 2022, the Drupal 7 EOL date was extended again to November 2023. Going forward, there will be an annual evaluation on whether community support for Drupal 7 will be extended.
If you're curious about Drupal 8, it stopped receiving support in November of 2021 due to Symfony 3's end of life, making way for a new age of improved Drupal core models.
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Drupal 7, 8, and 9
The migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is a major upgrade that will likely be challenging and require extra time, talent, and resources. In the end, Drupal users agree that the benefit of the transition outweighs the cost.
Highlights of Drupal 9
Easy author editing with a WYSIWYG editor or to create and edit content in-place
Smart language translation
Universal configuration storage
Responsive to touchscreens, tablets, and mobile readers
The Drupal 9 upgrade makes Drupal 7 obsolete. Drupal 9.0 was released in June 2020. We recommend upgrading to the latest version due to inevitable instabilities and bug fixes in the first "dot zero" version. If you're on Drupal 8, the transition to Drupal 9 should be seamless.
Expectations for the transition to Drupal 9
Drupal.org has provided expectations for the transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9:
Drupal 7 will no longer be supported by the community at large. The community will no longer create new projects, fix bugs in existing projects, or write documentation for Drupal 7.
There will be no further core commits to Drupal 7.
The Drupal Security Team will no longer provide support or Security Advisories for Drupal 7 core or contributed modules, themes, or other projects. Reports about Drupal 7 vulnerabilities might become public.
All Drupal 7 releases on all project pages will be flagged as not supported. Maintainers will be able to change the flag status if they choose to.
On Drupal 7 sites with the update status module, Drupal Core will show up as unsupported.
After November 2023, using Drupal 7 may be flagged as insecure during third-party scans as it will no longer receive support.
Best practice dictates not to use unsupported software — it would not be advisable to continue to build new Drupal 7 sites.
It's recommended to begin planning your migration to Drupal 9 now.
Updating to Drupal 9 will upgrade your users' experiences, not to mention it will make your life easier as a content creator. It will also pave the way for much easier and lower-cost upgrades in the future – an upgrade to Drupal 10 should be just as easy as upgrading from Drupal 8 to 9.