Your website upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9: a look at alternatives
Drupal 7 website owners might have heard, perhaps not even once, that their websites are getting outdated.
With the recent release of Drupal 9, this topic is gaining special momentum. However, some business owners are reluctant to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. They need other solutions and alternatives.
Let’s list these options here. If you are among those who keep asking “should I upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9?”, this article featuring the upgrade alternatives will be of particular interest for you.
How long will Drupal 7 be supported?
Software products are released in new versions and then the old ones gradually go unsupported. In case with D7, the community support has been officially extended until November 2022. The team decided to do this because of the pandemic-related difficulties that businesses are now facing. Just the time to plan an upgrade to Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 (or choose an alternative solution).
After the end of support, D7 sites will stop receiving bug fixes updates, including ones in the security sphere. This may lead to security holes and malfunctions of a site, which is one of the reasons why upgrades are needed.
Why is Drupal 7 really outdated?
After D7, Drupal has quickly rushed ahead in its digital capabilities. All Drupal 8 benefits for business are huge, and the 9th version continues this forward movement. All those to decide to upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 will get it all.
Websites have become much easier to use for content editors, friendly to mobile devices, integration-ready, multilingual, fast, adhering to the website accessibility standards, and so much more. They are also extremely easy to upgrade (beginning with a D8 to D9 migration). Compared to Drupal 7, they now have a modern architecture and components, which results in faster work, cleaner code, and better maintainability.
Although it is recommended to upgrade your Drupal website from D7 to D9, we respect those who are reluctant to upgrade. See which upgrade alternatives are available.
Alternatives to an upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9
Relying on commercial support
There is an alternative to stay with Drupal 7, and when it stops being supported, sign an Extended Support (ES) agreement. There is a D7ES (D7 Vendor Extended Support Program). It is meant to provide security support and fixes for the D7 core and contributed modules by a group of approved vendors. The updates and fixes will be shared publicly, but becoming an official customer will give you a big advantage. This will include prioritizing your modules, development, website maintenance, help from experts, and more.
D7 commercial support will help you have a good night’s sleep for a few years, but this is not a very future-oriented solution. You should know you are freezing your site in the state it has in D7, while the digital trends are moving ahead.
Moving from Drupal 7 to WordPress
Some customers choose to move from Drupal to another free CMS — WordPress — based on their personal or business preferences. For example, their editorial team is used to working with WordPress or their development team is made up of WordPress developers. Drupal and WordPress have always been competing CMSs, with intuitive interfaces being named among the best WP benefits, and the ability to create really complex technical solutions — among Drupal’s.
Converting Drupal data to WordPress is always challenging. However, we have both Drupal and WordPress experts on the team, so moving from D7 to WordPress is within our area of expertise.
Moving from Drupal 7 to Backdrop CMS
There is an alternative to switch from Drupal 7 to Backdrop CMS. This is an open-source CMS that has been forked from Drupal 7. It has a built-in upgrade path for Drupal 7 sites, which should make the move pretty easy. Backdrop has 60+ included modules and 500+ total add-ons available. It is easy to use for content editors who have got used to D7.
Backdrop sites are responsive to mobile devices, so they are displayed well on smartphones, tablets, and so on. While D8 and 9 are focused on delivering content across multiple channels (mobile devices, front-end frameworks, etc.), Backdrop offers a traditional approach and delivers content via HTML.
However, you shouldn’t choose the Backdrop alternative if you plan to go to Drupal 9 some time in the future. There will be no upgrade path to do this.
Staying on Drupal 7 as is
The final alternative to upgrading from D7 to D8 is just leaving it all as is and staying on Drupal 7 without any support agreement. But this alternative is not really an alternative.
What will happen on the Drupal 7 end-of-life day in November? Of course, websites will not break the same day. However, the lack of community support is an important argument for many organizations. No one wants an unprotected website that can be hacked or start malfunctioning at any time, moreover, a website that is lagging so far behind the digital trends that have arrived in the last decade. That’s why there is no fooling yourself — staying on Drupal 7 without support is a bad idea.
Let us help you with any alternative to a Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 upgrade!
Whatever you choose, the Drudesk website maintenance and support service is here. Drupal website upgrades, CMS changes, and long-term support are our daily routine. Contact us for a free consultation and discover what could be the best solution in your case as an alternative to upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9. We will put this alternative to life smoothly and reliably!