Drupal 6 EOL Migration Plan and Tool

We get it, you built your website or backend system that runs on Drupal 6 and you don’t want to migrate off of it. We’re in the same boat. We want to move forward and not revisit prior projects. To get going with Drupal 6 it was likely a time consuming process, every development project is, and you don’t want to go through it again. The reality is everything has an end of life. Your computer, your OS (Drupal 6 is a year older than Windows 7), your car, your phone, your dishwasher, and unfortunately us as humans. To change the mindset of not wanting to migrate, CMS’ such as Drupal or WordPress, the same as we think of mammals and their relative years (ever had dog die way to soon and she was still 14 years old with an average life span of 8 years?). Anything tangible or intangible that we make large investments in expire far too soon. When they expire its time to move. We take the lessons learned and apply them to the next version. Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 are just that. Significantly improved versions that are more stable, more scalable, and more secure than Drupal 6.

Drupal 6 End of Life (EOL)

Drupal 6 was released on February 13, 2008. Drupal 6 reached its End of Life (“EOL”) on February 24, 2016. This gave Drupal 6 an 8 year lifespan. Few sites or platforms likely used the entire 8 year lifespan of Drupal 6. Yet, this is a solid life for any technology. At Fruition we still maintain several Drupal 6 websites that used nearly the entire 8 year period and are still going strong with a rebuild not to far out in the future.

How to decide what to migrate to from Drupal 6?

When you and your technology partner evaluated how and what to build your existing Drupal 6 website(s) on you likely used several factors. These factors likely included ease of development, ease of maintenance, security, total cost of ownership, ease of integrating into other systems, etc. The same factors hold are still relevant. The tools and options we have now are just better. The improvements in code, deployments, and hosting have been significant in the last 8 years!

Drupal 8 is a phenomenal platform if your business is largely reliant on data and you want to get that data out of a central hub and or integrate with many other systems. Drupal 7 still has lots of life in it and is a very mature platform. If your Drupal 6 site is being used as a glorified brochure site to display information for visitors and it has very little integrations nor does it rely on ingesting lots of incoming APIs than neither Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 are the right fit. In this case WordPress or perhaps even not using a CMS with a flat text management system is the best bet. This would create the lowest maintenance and the most secure site.

Does Drupal have a short lifespan?

It’s a fair question. The answer is, no. Drupal’s ~8 year lifespan for Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 is actually a long period. Likewise Drupal 7 will have an ~8 year lifespan.

Next Steps…

The next step is chatting about your Drupal 6 site! We are very consultative in the pre-engagement process. Our strategists lead you on the right path and when we engage we’ll produce a solid plan that then meets the project deadlines. If you already have an RFP we’re happy to look at the RFP. If not, we can help develop a project plan that lays out the scope and project requirements. Give us a call or submit the contact form. We’d love to work with you.