As many of you are aware, Drupal 7 was launched on January 15th, 2011. Drupal 7 is easier to use, more flexible, more scalable, and, like its predecessor is still open source. As a result, it was announced that there would no longer be support for the core of 5.x and/or the modules that work Drupal 5.x. Invariably, all websites using Drupal 5.x as the core were advised to move into 7.x. sooner rather later to avoid any sudden disruption of services on their web site.
Do I have to upgrade my website to Drupal 7?
Considering that over 2 years has passed since Drupal 7 was launched and Drupal 8 is being worked on with intense passion, anyone who has a website that is still using Drupal 5.x as the core should definitely upgrade to Drupal 7.x as soon as possible. Most people and/or organizations are reluctant to spend the time and, especially, the money to upgrade to Drupal 7.x. But what about when your website stops working partially or completely. Then you will be in a panic to upgrade and may have to pay a premium to do so.
What are the advantages of Drupal 7?
- Easier to use
- More flexible
- More scalable
- Vastly improved administrative user interface
- Flexible content and custom fields
- Better visual presentation and theming with Render API
- Accessibility is greatly improved
- Automated code testing
- Image support is now included
- Better distribution support
- Over 850 Drupal 7 contributed modules
Upgrading from Drupal 5.x to Drupal 7.x is like upgrading from XP to Windows 7. You know you have to - but when is the question. Do you wait until you are forced to or do it on your on your terms and according to a timeframe that is one that you control. Your digital assets including your website is, if you do know already, is very important. If it goes down, your revenues and your indexing on the search engines will drop exponentially.
While there are no guarantees when it comes to technology, upgrading to Drupal 7 will probably keep your website working for the next 5 - 7 years. Drupal 8 is still in production.
As with any new software upgrade, if you do not upgrade your site will be less secure and any new vulnerabilities will cost you way too much to fix.
Is it time to upgrade to Drupal 7- YES!
Do I have to upgrade my website to Drupal 8?
Once Drupal 8 comes out, Drupal 6 will be marked "end of life": the Drupal security team will stop working on it and official security releases won't come out for it. If any new vulnerabilities come out, you'll have to patch it yourself. So it's really in your benefit to upgrade at that point.
More about Drupal 7 and 8, and their functionality will be posted in the coming weeks and months.