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      End of Life Drupal 7: Manage Complexities by Upgrading to Drupal 10

      Jan 31, 2024

      6 minute read

      Did you know, from its launch till now, Drupal 7, the content management system & web development platform, is being used by 4,82,787 websites[i]? It is empowering websites with extensive customization options, community support, security, multilingual features, and more. However, despite its substantial user base and exceptional features, Drupal 7 will reach its end of life on 5th Jan 2025.

      After the end-of-life, official support for Drupal 7, from the Drupal community will be discontinued. This includes the cessation of updates, security fixes, and enhancements provided by the Drupal Association and the Drupal Security Team.

      But what is the reason for Drupal 7 end of life?

      This transition is part of an ongoing evolution for Drupal users, dating back to its initial release in 2001. With over 20 years of development, Drupal has continually advanced, culminating in the latest version, Drupal 10.

      In this article, you will explore all about the platform’s evolution, decoding areas of improvement in Drupal 7, and the features & benefits of the Drupal 10 version. You’ll also learn about the significant steps involved in the migration process from the older version.

      Why Move From Drupal 7 After End of Life?

      If your website is still running on Drupal 7, it is strongly recommended to initiate the upgrade process. provides a comprehensive outline of the forthcoming changes during the transition from Drupal 7, including the discontinuation of community support, the halting of core commits, and the cessation of support and security advisories from the Drupal Security Team.

      The Drupal 7 platform, after January 2025, may be deemed insecure during third-party scans due to the absence of support. With these impending shifts, relying on unsupported software is not recommended, making it wise to strategize and commence migration plans to Drupal 10 promptly to ensure continued security and up-to-date functionality.

      The Pros of Migrating From Drupal 7 to Drupal 10

      End of Life Drupal 7: Manage Complexities by Upgrading to Drupal 10

      1. Enhanced Security: With the end of life for Drupal 7, the absence of security updates exposes websites to potential threats, making them more susceptible to security breaches. Drupal 10 ensures a secure environment by providing continuous security updates, ensuring that your website stays protected against evolving cybersecurity challenges.

      2. Improved User Experience: Drupal 10 introduces a redesigned user interface, enhancing the overall user experience by incorporating modern design principles and accessibility standards. Furthermore, its administration and user themes leverage cutting-edge front-end techniques, ensuring a visually appealing and user-friendly interface.

      3. Better Performance: Drupal 10 focuses on performance improvements, delivering faster page load times for a seamless and efficient user experience. Furthermore, with its redesigned caching framework, it optimizes the website performance.

      4. Superior Mobile User Experience: Drupal 10 prioritizes mobile responsiveness, making it easier for website owners to create mobile-friendly designs. Built on the latest web technologies and using modern PHP, it also ensures that websites are equipped with advanced features for superior mobile experiences.

      5. Digital Maturity: Moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 is not merely a technical necessity but a strategic decision. It marks a transition toward digital maturity, aligning websites with the latest industry standards and technologies.

      6. Comprehensive Guide: Drupal provides a detailed guide on its version 10s features and benefits. From security enhancements to improved user experiences, the guide serves as a roadmap for website owners seeking to harness the full potential of this CMS platform.

      Steps to Migrate From Drupal 10 to Drupal 7: Enhancing Web Customization and Performance

      Step 1: Assess Your Current Drupal 7 Website

      Before embarking on the Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 migration journey, it is crucial to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the existing Drupal 7 site. This involves a meticulous review of the site’s content, features, and functionalities. Furthermore, considerations should be made regarding the necessity of a design update and the anticipation of changes in Information Architecture (IA). However, note that potential issues, including custom modules, might pose challenges during the upgrade.

      Step 2: Plan Your Upgrade Path

      Choosing the right upgrade path is pivotal for a successful migration. Organizations can opt for a traditional upgrade, a streamlined low-code design system, creating a static copy, or maintaining a locked-down Drupal 7 version. Additionally, they can upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 in intermediate steps, like upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, then Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, and then Drupal 9 to Drupal 10. The latter option can be done more safely by leveraging the “Upgrade Status” module, which performs a code check for all the Drupal code, including the core and the modules. It’s essential to carefully weigh the pros and cons of each option and set a realistic timeline for the chosen upgrade path.

      Step 3: Evaluate Your Modules

      Modules are the backbone of a Drupal site’s functionality, and their compatibility with Drupal 10 is crucial. During this step, a thorough evaluation of existing modules is conducted. This includes prioritization of essential modules, exploration of alternative modules for improved compatibility or features, and planning for updates or replacements.

      Step 4: Create the Drupal 10 Website With Contributed Modules

      Building a fresh Drupal 10 website comprises the incorporation of the evaluated modules. It involves the configuration of content structures, including content types, block types, vocabularies, media types, and menus. Furthermore, it requires rigorous testing of functionalities to ensure that the new or updated features work as intended. Here, seeking stakeholder approval will ensure that you move forward with confidence.

      Step 5: Upgrade Your Custom Modules

      Custom modules in use on the Drupal 7 site must align with Drupal 10 best practices like API changes, hooks, and more. This involves minimizing custom code where possible, removing unnecessary functionalities, and upgrading custom modules to ensure compatibility. For this, thorough testing of the functionalities is conducted, where business stakeholders provide approval for changes.

      Step 6: Migrate Your Data

      Migrating data is a critical step in the upgrade process. A comprehensive audit of content, images, files, and other data is performed. This involves cleanup on the Drupal 7 site preceding the migration, ensuring a cleaner base. Additionally, automation tools and methodologies are employed for efficient migration, and thorough testing on the Drupal 10 site confirms the successful transfer of content and data.

      Step 7: Rebuild Your Theme

      Selecting the right approach for rebuilding or creating a new theme is essential. This could involve redesigning the existing Drupal 7 theme, adopting a new design system, or leveraging an existing Drupal 10 theme. Here, it is advised to take the stakeholder’s approval for theme designs before configuring. Furthermore, thorough testing of the theme is imperative to verify its functionality and visual appeal.

      Step 8: Testing Your Site

      The testing (QA) of your website needs to be conducted meticulously, focusing on individual components. The identified items for testing include front-end, back-end, and migration tickets, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation. Frontend tickets address user-facing elements like the theme, while Backend tickets focus on aspects visible to content editors and site admins. Migration tickets oversee the seamless transition of content, images, files, and data from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10. Rigorous testing across diverse devices and browsers, alongside performance and accessibility checks, guarantees universal user compatibility and an enhanced digital experience.

      Step 9: Launching Your New Drupal 10 Site

      As the migration journey reaches its climax, launching the new Drupal 10 site requires strategic planning. Initiating with selecting a launch date, the transition involves notifying users and enforcing a freeze on content updates and admin activities in the existing Drupal 7 site. Running final incremental data migrations and switching DNS settings to point to the new site are essential technical steps. Post-launch, thorough testing across various devices ensures operational integrity, and addressing any anomalies found in logs further refines the site’s performance.

      Step 10: Team Training on the New Drupal 10 Site

      With the Drupal 10 site officially launched, the final step involves training the team on its features and functionality. This phase is crucial for ensuring that team members, whether involved in the migration process or responsible for ongoing content management, are proficient in utilizing the new Drupal 10 website. Training may cover various aspects, including content administration and site-building.

      Navigating the Complexities: Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10

      Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 presents several challenges:

      • End of Life for Modules: Many modules used in Drupal 7 are not available or have no direct upgrade path in Drupal 10. This requires finding alternatives or custom development.
      • Architecture Changes: Drupal 10 has significant architectural differences from Drupal 7, which can necessitate extensive rewriting of custom code and themes to ensure compatibility.
      • Data Migration Complexities: Safely migrating data from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 without loss or corruption is challenging, especially for sites with large and complex datasets.
      • Dependency Management: Drupal 10 relies on various external libraries and dependencies that need to be managed and updated, adding complexity to the migration process.
      • Theme Conversion: Themes in Drupal 7 are not directly compatible with Drupal 10, often requiring a complete overhaul or redevelopment. However, Drupal 10, unlike Drupal 7, provides the “Headless” Drupal option, the decoupled approach, where a completely independent front-end could be developed using modern frameworks like React or Vue.js. This enables a “decoupled” Drupal backend, usable across various front-ends like websites or mobile apps, creating an impactful omnichannel experience.
      • Learning Curve: The new features and functionalities in Drupal 10 can pose a learning curve for developers and content managers accustomed to Drupal 7.
      • Performance Optimization: Ensuring that the migrated site maintains or improves its performance requires careful planning and testing.
      • SEO Preservation: Maintaining SEO rankings during the migration requires careful planning and execution, as changes in URLs and site structure can impact search visibility.

      Amidst this transformation, a skilled development partner emerges as a foundation, guiding organizations through the intricacies of Drupal’s evolution. Beyond technical support, their role extends to collaborative efforts in design, theme rebuilding, and rigorous testing. So, choose a reliable development partner, ensuring a smooth, secure, and forward-looking transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 10.

      Ready to Enhance Digital Presence With Drupal 10? Talk to Our Experts!

      Team Grazitti is adept at migrating websites to Drupal, enhancing functionality and improving performance. If you wish to learn more about our Drupal development prowess, drop us a line at [email protected], and we’ll take it from there.


      [i] BuiltWith Trends

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