Drupal 6 End of Life | What it Means For You

Author: Jack Martin

Here at Keystone Click we’ve been diehard Drupal fans and advocates since setting up shop in 2008. What that means is we’ve been developing and implementing websites using the Drupal platform dating back to Drupal 6. As the saying goes though, “out with the old, and in with the new”, and Drupal 8 is now the flagship version for users. But as Drupal 8 becomes the new standard, support for the older Drupal 6 will come to an end on February 24th.


This loss of support has huge implications for all websites built on the Drupal 6 platform, and we’re here to make sure you know what that means for you!


Drupal 6 End of Life

As with all software on the market, newer versions are consistently being developed and rolled out as the years go on. Think of the newest version of Windows as an example, or Android. As these new versions are released, older versions of the software will lose support from the developer as their attention is invested in the new platform.


No support means that any bugs or vulnerabilities in the program will not be addressed or fixed after the “End of Life” date! That is a huge concern for users relying on the older platform to maintain their websites. This means that a switch to a newer Drupal platform is needed to insure proper site functionality and security.


Still Operating a Drupal 6 Site?

It has been recommended that anyone using Drupal 6 upgrade to version 7 or 8 as soon as possible. If old habits die hard, there are vendors that have chosen to stick with Drupal 6 to provide sponsored support even after the End of Life date of February 24th. Amongst the list of vendors are Tag1 Consulting, myDropWizard.com, and Acquia. If you’re one of the many companies relying on version 6 to keep your sites up and running, consider contacting a sponsor to see how you can contribute to their efforts in keeping D6 supported.


Want to Switch From 6 to 8?

The version you switch to relies heavily on what capabilities you’re in need of for your site. If you have a more complex site, it may be wise to make the jump from Drupal 6 right to Drupal 8, since a majority of the modules you’re familiar with have been built into the new software to assure a complication-free upgrade. A vast knowledge base and extensive support groups also make migrating to Drupal 8 as pain free as possible. If you’re still a little iffy on whether or not version 8 is for you though, Drupal 7 is still alive and kicking.


Want to Switch to Drupal 7?

The option of switching from 6 to 7 might be the most attractive option for website owners. Just as Drupal 8 includes and improves upon all of the features in Drupal 6, Drupal 7 also incorporates the same functionality that you are used to as well as new options that won’t be as jarring as a switch to Drupal 8. This makes it the win-win scenario for those users still on the Drupal 6 platform. Migrating to D7 is also as simple as contacting your web developer to make the change. Since D7 has been out long enough, processes have already been put to the test in terms of migrating from 6 to 7. This would probably be the safest option for most Drupal 6 site owners.


Now that you know you have options, take a moment to research which route may be the best for you and your business. Don’t resist change, embrace it! All the qualities of your Drupal 6 site will remain, and you’ll be gaining new capabilities as well as insuring support for your site. Whatever you choose, your future will be bright with Drupal!  

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