Drupal has officially announced that Drupal 7 would reach its end of life in November of 2022. Drupal 7 will no longer be maintained, will no longer receive security updates and, as a result, will no longer be secure to use as a website platform, for your business or your visitors. In this blog post, I will share with you the details you need, to help you make the best decisions and plan for a seamless migration of your website.
The Rise and Fall of Drupal for Small Businesses
Drupal originally released its platform more than 20 years ago. Drupal's popularity increased with the release of Drupal 7. By March 2018, Drupal had amassed 1,378,067 active websites. Over the last year with the announcement of the end of life of Drupal 7 and 8, that number is in constant decline and has fallen by 30%. This was a huge shock to the Drupal community. Drupal 7 was the best and most popular version to date. Currently, more than 60% of Drupal websites are still using Drupal 7. While Drupal extended the life of Drupal 7 for another year, upgrading from Drupal 7 to 9 would require a complete rebuild of your site. This would require a big investment because the technology behind Drupal 9 is completely different from that behind 7.
These recent decisions by the Drupal board of directors create a big change in the direction of future Drupal releases. The new Drupal 9 release is more complex and requires more time to set up and configure. This will obviously cost more money. Also, a lot of Drupal's modules haven’t been upgraded to Drupal 9. This means that we may need to custom build functions that are no longer supported. Drupal's board is now targeting mostly medium to large businesses while leaving small businesses and entrepreneurs behind.
The Liability of an Unsecure Site
If you have a site that is running on Drupal 7, now is the time to start planning your migration, otherwise, you may open your business up to the liability of potentially exposing your visitors to hackers. Not only that, your reputation and your ranking on Google may suffer, and you may lose new leads and business opportunities. What does this mean for your Drupal 7 site, as of November 2022?
- Drupal 7 will no longer be supported by the community at large, leaving you without any general support.
- The Drupal Security Team will no longer provide security support for Drupal 7 core, its modules, or its themes, leaving you without any technical support.
- Reports about Drupal 7 vulnerabilities will become public, opening your website and your visitors up to easy hacker exploits.
- All Drupal 7 releases will be flagged as no longer being supported. Your website could start showing warning messages to you and your visitors.
- Using Drupal 7 will be flagged as being insecure in 3rd party scans, as it no longer receives any support. This could create warnings from web browsers and anti-virus software.
The Future of Small Business Websites
After looking at the latest trends in the world of web development and the latest decisions of the Drupal board, we have decided that offering Drupal to our clients is no longer the best solution. The Drupal 9 platform is still a great platform, one of the best out there, but the cost to build a new website for small and medium businesses is no longer cost-effective. Rest assured that we will help all our clients who are still using Drupal 7 to transition seamlessly to a better future.
We have been offering WordPress as an alternative CMS for years when people sought a more cost-effective solution, using premade and widely shared template designs. Over the years, WordPress has evolved from being a simple blogging platform to the best customizable website platform on the market. We can now offer fully custom websites on WordPress just like we did on Drupal. It can be optimized for great SEO results and speed. Rebuilding your website with WordPress will cost less and will be a better long-term strategy.
We invite you to contact us at your earliest convenience to schedule a meeting to discuss the situation, your options, and the investment you will need to fit into your budget.