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Drupal 8 end of life: how to prepare your website

home / Drupal 8 end of life: how to prepare your website

​ Drupal 8 is reaching end of life in November 2021. But don’t worry – as a specialist Drupal agency, we’re here to help you prepare and ensure your Drupal website keeps performing optimally…

when is Drupal 8 support ending?

Drupal 8 support is ending on 2 November 2021, when Drupal 8 reaches end of life.

why is Drupal 8 reaching end of life?

Drupal relies on third-party libraries (such as Twig, jQuery and Symfony) which all eventually become outdated and unsupported, so new versions of Drupal have to be created regularly in order to use the newer, supported versions of these dependencies.

Drupal 8 depends on Symfony 3, which is also reaching its end of life in November 2021.

what will happen to my Drupal 8 site?

The Drupal 8.9 minor release came out at the same time as Drupal 9 in June 2020. Since then, there have been no improvements or upgrades (apart from patch releases) to Drupal 8.

When Drupal 8 reaches end of life, your Drupal 8 site will continue working but may be liable to hacking or security breaches. Only Drupal 9 will have adequate security fixes after 2 November 2021.

how is Drupal 8 different to Drupal 9?

As Drupal 9 was mostly built in Drupal 8, the two Drupal versions are very similar. This is different to previously, where major Drupal version updates were completely different to the preceding Drupal version(s).

Drupal 9 has only two differences to Drupal 8 – updated dependencies and the removal of deprecated code. Other than these things, the latest Drupal 8 minor release (Drupal 8.9) is identical to Drupal 9.

how to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9

Upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is a relatively simple process as the two versions are very similar.

Firstly, you need to check for and fix any deprecated APIs in your website’s code. You can use Drupal’s deprecation checking and correction tools for this.

Once your site is free of deprecated code, you just need to run update.php to upgrade it to Drupal 9.

what if I have a Drupal 7 site?

Support for Drupal 7 was also planned to end in November 2021, but this date has now been pushed back until November 2022. Drupal took the decision to support Drupal 7 for longer because of the impact of Covid-19 and the fact it’s much more complicated to switch from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9.

So there’s no need to panic, but it’s still worth starting to prepare your Drupal 7 website for next year’s end of life. In order to upgrade to Drupal 9, you will need to migrate your site entirely.

You can use the migrate module suite to re-build your site and import content. The Drupal module upgrader tool is also helpful for flagging up and converting code that requires updating.

need Drupal support?

At Pedalo, we’ve developed, supported and updated hundreds of Drupal websites. As Drupal specialists, we’re also active Acquia community partners and members of the Drupal Association.

Whether you want to upgrade to Drupal 9, add new features, fix a problem or maximise security, our expert Drupal development and Drupal support services are flexible and cost-effective.

For more expert Drupal advice, make sure to read our Ultimate Drupal Optimisation Guide.