It’s official. According to Dries Buytaert, (Founder of Drupal, President of the Drupal Association, CTO of Acquia, and Project Lead on Drupal) has stated clearly in this blog post that Drupal 8 will lose support and reach its end of life on November 2021.
Ironically, Drupal 7, which has been in production for over 10 years will outlive Drupal 8 and retire in November 2023. As we get closer to this retirement date, more and more contributed modules will be abandoned and those who rely on Drupal 7 and contributed modules will be operating at higher risks of disruption, potential hacking attempts, and data breaches.
More Drupal sites than time
Given that there are approximately 550,000 D7 websites according to Drupal (at the time of this writing) and around 21 months before D7 expires (at the time of this writing), the industry needs to migrate approximately 25,000 Drupal websites PER MONTH over the next 21 months in order to be safe prior to the D7 EOL.
The problem, however, is that it takes more than a month to migrate even the simplest Drupal website. Websites powered by Drupal with only a moderate level of complexity and custom functionality could easily take 4-6 months to migrate. Highly complex websites, powered by Drupal, that host mission-critical, enterprise-level features and functionality with extraordinarily high volume could take almost a year to migrate and assure quality (test) – especially if an organization strives to redesign the look and feel and/or enhance existing functionality.
Not enough qualified developers
To make matters worse, there aren’t enough qualified, Acquia certified, Drupal developers in existence to migrate all these websites out of Drupal 7 (or D8) before the end of life. And, if that is not bad enough, most organizations are likely to wait before they start the planning, budgeting, and migration process. This means there is going to be an incredible bottleneck and a run on qualified Drupal developers. Simply put, there will be a huge demand to get out of D7 while, at the same time, an extreme shortage of qualified, certified, Drupal developers.
Agileana holds dozens of Acquia Drupal Certifications including multiple Triple Certified Developers (formerly Grand Master)
The closer we get to Drupal 7 end of life, the worse it will become particularly because well before that EOL, developers will stop supporting contributed D7 modules. They will instead be focusing on building, maturing, and stabilizing Drupal 9 and 10 modules.
Time to pull the fire alarm
Organizations need to have a sense of urgency to plan and budget for this migration, interview prospective Drupal shops, and get the process started. If you would like to chat about it, please give us a call.