What Drupal 7's end of life extension means for you in 2022
Drupal 7’s end of life (eol) was originally scheduled for November 2021, and for many organisations it was full-steam ahead with an upgrade to Drupal 8 (the latest version available at the time).
However, even with the knowledge that Drupal support wouldn’t be available for Drupal 7 sites after this date, as well as the increased likelihood of broken modules and missing functionality, many sites still haven't upgraded.
As of January 2nd 2022, Drupal reported that 525,011 sites were still on Drupal 7 - that’s out of 938,884 sites using the Update Status module (which is used to inform users of new official version releases). With so many sites still using D7 in 2022, Drupal released a statement confirming D7 eol would be extended to November 1st 2023.
Upgrading from Drupal 7 in 2022
Since the first end of life announcement in 2019, a new Drupal version has been made available (note that going from D8 to D9 is less of an upgrade and more of a minor update), and with more supported modules making the process less time-intensive, upgrading from Drupal 7 is the easiest it’s been since the first announcement.
But what does that mean for you?
Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration is a big jump and shouldn’t be underestimated. But is there a way of maximising bang for your buck on your upgrade? After helping our clients with their Drupal 7 migrations, we think so. Here are the opportunities you can capitalise on during your Drupal 7 upgrade in 2022:
Revamp your website with a redesign
Website design moves quickly; what was once hailed the “next new trend” can quickly become a sign of outdated practices. Most businesses know what they would have liked their website to look like before it was built, but sometimes the ‘must-haves’ become ‘nice-to-haves’, which rapidly become ‘forgotten-abouts’.
Upgrading from Drupal 7 provides the perfect opportunity to revisit website design.
Most businesses with Drupal 7 sites are in the perfect position to analyse their legacy data and make informed decisions that improve user experience. Why? To give users the best brand experience, and make their journey to conversion - be it contacting you or purchasing your products - even easier.
The result? More customers, sales and brand loyalty.
Delight users with better site functionality
Reviewing current modules for Drupal 9 compatibility is part and parcel of upgrading from Drupal 7, but it also provides a valuable opportunity. In the same way design can quickly become outdated, so can functionality.
Your website could benefit from automated personalisation, chatbot integrations and community-creation through Drupal modules. So if your development team is already reviewing current modules and functionality, why not make the most of it and improve on what’s already there?
The best way to determine what functionality will support a better user experience is to consult a trusted Drupal development agency who’ll put your upgrade on the right path.
Prioritise automation and reduce reliance on manual tasks
Gone are the days of manually completing marketing, sales, and back end tasks on your website. Implementing automated back end processes means less time spent on low-value admin, and more time spent on the activities that contribute to commercial growth.
When we developed an automated online platform for Arm, they saw the same benefits; their sales team was spending significantly less time on manual, administrative tasks, and measurably more time on high-value activities.
If you’ve never dabbled in the world of automation, just know that it can be as easy or complex as you want it to be; tasks as simple as a post-purchase order confirmation email or the creation of a user profile can be handled with automation. So if you haven’t already reviewed the automation opportunities within your organisation, now’s the time to do so!
Drupal 7’s end of life extension
When you come to upgrade Drupal 7 to 9, the more time you have the better; with more time to play with, you can flesh out what you really want for your website going forwards, without being constrained by a looming end date.
Getting it right the first time will save you time and money, so put your trust in a development team or Drupal agency that knows their stuff. Interested in finding out how we could help? Give us a call on 01865 422112 or drop us a message.