The TLDR version: Drupal 8 is reaching its end-of-life on November 2, 2021 and will no longer be supported. If you’re on Drupal 8, it’s crucial that you upgrade your site to Drupal 9.2, or take other important temporary measures before November 2nd, to keep your site secure.
Want more info? Here are answers to your most burning questions about the upgrade.
Why is Drupal 8 reaching its end-of-life?
Drupal 8 is dependent on Symfony 3, which is also reaching its end-of-life in November 2021. Drupal 8 will no longer be supported as a result of this.
What happens if I’m still on Drupal 8 after November 2, 2021?
Your site won't disappear into the ether, but code updates for security issues will end, leaving your site open to vulnerabilities. Feature updates will also no longer happen for Drupal 8, so you’ll need to upgrade if you want to take advantage of new feature developments in the Drupal community.
I still need to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9. What next steps should I take?
The very first step would be to reach out to an agency (like us) to discuss options, as there are often unique challenges, opportunities, and workarounds for each organization. As for the actual upgrade itself, our partners at Acquia summarized the process well:
- Make sure your environment is compatible with the requirements for Drupal 9.
- Next, update core to the latest Drupal 8 version. Upgrades from 8.8 and 8.9 are supported.
- Update contributed projects until they are Drupal 9 compatible.
- Remove deprecated API use in custom code.
- Update Drupal core to Drupal 9. DONE!
Working with a trusted agency like FFW can make the process much easier and can help you get a bird’s eye view of how your Drupal platform should help you achieve your organization’s vision. Continuous development is an option to help your site stay secure and optimized for future updates.
How painful is this upgrade going to be?
Good news! The upgrade from D8 to D9 will be seamless by design and painless, as long as you’ve been keeping up with routine updates to Drupal 8. It’ll feel much more like an improved extension of Drupal 8.
Is Drupal 7 also reaching its end-of-life?
Yes, but later than Drupal 8. Drupal 7’s end-of-life is scheduled for November 28, 2022. Its end-of-life was previously scheduled for the same time as Drupal 8, but due to COVID’s impact on businesses, this date has been extended.
Does it seem strange that Drupal 8 is ending before Drupal 7? There are two main reasons for it: First, upgrading from D8 to D9 is far less intensive than the jump from D7 to D9. Second, because D8 is dependent on Symfony 3 and Symfony 3 is reaching its own end-of-life, D8 can no longer be supported.
After updating to Drupal 9, how can I take my platform to the next level?
This is where we at FFW can really provide the most value! We help clients like LUSH, YMCA, and Panasonic effectively scale their platform to get ahead of future demands. Contact us to see what we can dream up together.