Some of you may be aware that in November 2021 Drupal 7 was due to become "End of Life", however due to the Covid 19 crisis this has now been extended to November 28th 2022. See latest Drupal Blog - https://www.drupal.org/psa-2020-06-24
So what does this mean?
This just means that there is now longer before we have to update your sites from Drupal 7. However we are still working on the different scenarios so we can give you some options for your sites well before this date.
So what are we and the CiviCRM community doing about this?
There is a lot of work going on to get Drupal 8 and CiviCRM integrated in the same way as Drupal 7. This has come on in leaps and bounds in the last few months and the number of Drupal 8 sites are growing every day. You can check out the stats here https://stats.civicrm.org/?tab=sites
So why are we still using Drupal 7 you ask?
Well CiviCRM has integrated very well with Drupal 7 over the years and to be honest it is still the best option for most sites as it gives the most flexibility to your websites. Using Webforms and Drupal Views you can get very powerful, but simple, ways for people to interact with your sites. without too much administration on your part.
I don't want to use Drupal 8 are there any other options?
There are two main options, one is called Backdrop. This is basically a new community led project, as Drupal is, that is based around Drupal 7. This should be a much simpler upgrade path and currently is being tested on over 70 sites in the CiviCRM community. For more information check out https://backdropcms.org/
The other obvious option, and for some sites that are independent of the website or don't need any search functionality, is WordPress. This is a much simpler front end for web users but does limit what can be done. Caldera Forms work, but not as easily as in Drupal and you cannot have Views, as this isn't as well supported. For more information on WordPress click this link https://wordpress.org/
So what are the next steps are:
- CiviCRM Community working to improve the integration with Drupal 8/9.
- We will trial migrating Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.
- We are trialling migration paths with Backdrop.
- We are trialling migrations from Drupal to WordPress.
Once we have done this we will be able to give timescales, costs and recommendations to you about what we feel is the best solution for your organisation.