In Drupalverse, Drupal 7 is going to reach End of Life in November 2021 and if you are still with Drupal 7, you have got the following two transition scenarios.
It either requires you upgrading directly to Drupal 9 or first upgrade to Drupal 8 first and then go for Drupal 9.
Scenario #1: Stay on Drupal 7
Drupal 7 has been serving its users long (since 2011) and is quite popular as well. This also means a lot of them are still stuck at the same old version (we are in 2019 already) and just got 2 years to take the big leap from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9.
This is unusual for the Drupal community as it has always supported only two versions at any given point of time. Which means support to Drupal 7 ceases when Drupal 9 is launched. Interestingly, the number of Drupal 7 users are still quite high and due to this, the Drupal core committee has decided to coincide its End of Life with Drupal 8, i.e. 2021. Also, the Drupal Security Team has announced that the users who due to some reason are not able to stick to the 2021 deadline can still receive support for Drupal 7 but it will be through their paid Long Term Support Programme, (similar to Drupal 6 Support Programme) wherein only select few vendors are authorized to undertake development work for Drupal 7 customers.
One key point the Drupal 7 users have to keep in mind is to regularly update to the latest versions of PHP. The Drupal community has a chalked out a systematic way of stopping their support for all the old PHP versions (7.2 and previous versions) and have planned to give support to the latest versions of PHP inline with their respective support schedules.
Scenario #2: Upgrade Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, subsequently to Drupal 9
Well, it is for the users to evaluate their business requirements and conclude whether by upgrading to Drupal 8 they stand to benefit substantially. Also, the extent to which one is ready to invest in customization and migration will play a decisive role.
On the other hand, the existing Drupal 8 version users will face less hassle in terms of upgrading themselves to Drupal 9.0 as its sole purpose is to remove deprecated codes from the previous versions and allow themes and modules to ensure backward compatibility with Drupal 8.
The only prerequisite for Drupal 8 users is to keep their site up-to-date and they will be Drupal 9 ready.
So which strategy best suits your requirement? Well, both of them are right in their own ways and can be implemented.
Having said that, the sun has set on Drupal 7 and its users now face the task of upgrading themselves for the future and through this blog we would like to alert them and tell them it’s time for change.