Drupal.org ended support for Drupal 8 effective November 2, 2021.
What does this imply?
If you’re still using Drupal 8 for your website, Google will rank it lower. Why? Because Drupal.org will not provide security patches, module updates and Google will rank it lower when a website is not secured. Moreover, Drupal.org will not provide extended support related to compatibility and feature enhancement. That means you’ll be completely on your own!
But, don’t worry. The good news is you can avoid all this trouble by making sure your site is ready for Drupal 9.
Why is Drupal 8 no longer supported?
D8 has several third-party dependencies, and if any of them breaks compatibility, it will be a disaster. Symfony is one of Drupal 8’s most important requirements. The version used by D8 , Symfony 3, was deprecated in November 2021. Thus, Drupal 8 support was discontinued around the same time.
What will happen to existing users and sites built in Drupal 8?
Well, everything will not crash, for some time at least. But that shouldn’t mean you ignore the discontinuation of D8.
A few things things that are likely to change for you:
- Sites built on Drupal 8 moved outside the support window as of November 2nd.
- The Drupal community at large will not support the older version.
- There will be no new features or updates.
- No minor versions of Drupal 8 will be seen, except patch releases.
- Its security updates will cease.
Therefore, the more you wait to update, the more problems you will encounter with little support or help from the Drupal community.
Is it compulsory to move to D9?
No, there is no mandate from Drupal.org, but it will be wise to move your website to D9. However, as mentioned earlier, moving as early as possible would be a wise decision.
If you think you’ll be facing some challenges with respect to D9 migration, whether technical or financial, start planning beforehand. You should not wait for the last minute.
Here are some possible problems that you might face if you continue using Drupal 8:
- Security and performance issues.
- Your website could be hacked and you’d never know. Malicious actors can identify a secret vulnerability, and use it with ill intent. You might continue to use your D8 website like all’s good, but it can be compromised at any time.
- It is not recommended to build a new website on new Drupal 8 sites using unsupported software.
- Using Drupal 8 after November 2021 may be flagged as unsafe in third-party scans because of support unavailability.
Will the transition to Drupal 9 be challenging to implement?
There are two answers here:
If you’re up-to-date on Drupal 8, transitioning from 8 to 9 should be effortless. In fact, this migration is much easier than the shift from D7 to D9. You can think of D9 to be a minor version update of Drupal 8.
However, there are a few things to consider:
First off, you should keep in mind the state of the modules you’re using for your projects. Fortunately, most widely used modules have been made compatible with D9. If your project is dependent on modules that have not been made compatible, it will be a bit more challenging. In that case, you can contemplate contributing to the project to update the module. Otherwise, you can also find an alternative module that’s compatible with the new version.
Secondly, the state of custom code in your project should be given the due attention. There are API changes and code deprecations that will need to be updated in your project. Luckily, mMost of the time these updates are minor.
Finally, your hosting company may have certain requirements, such as a particular version of PHP, database version and third party services. If your website is using an older version of PHP, the hosting company might not support your website.
Wondering what to do next?
Now is the right time to start planning your migration to Drupal 9. As of today, we’ve successfully migrated ten (10) D8 websites to D9. If you’re still confused about how to perform the D9 upgradation, we’re here for you. Reach out to us and we’ll do everything to make this migration seamless!