10 March 2023
Phillipa Martin

The risks of not upgrading from Drupal 7

If you're still using Drupal 7, you need to be aware of the risks of not upgrading to a newer Drupal version, such as Drupal 9 or Drupal 10. The 5 key risks are:

To help avoid these issues, you may like to look at some innovative End-of-Life solutions.

1. Cybersecurity vulnerabilities

Drupal 7 reaches End-of-Life on 1 November 2023. After this date it won’t receive security updates or patches from the Drupal community. When software is outdated, vulnerabilities are found and exploited by hackers. Running outdated software exposes your site to exploits that have only been patched in the supported (newer) versions. The longer you wait to upgrade, the higher the chance of your site being hacked or compromised.

The consequences: data breaches, data loss, and reputational damage. By upgrading to Drupal 9 or Drupal 10, you can get the latest security features and updates.

2. Lack of community support

Drupal has a large open source community that’s always improving Drupal. As newer versions are released, the Drupal community moves its focus to these later versions. This can make it harder to find Drupal 7 resources to work on your site. It also means you won't have access to the latest modules, themes and features.

Although Drupal 7 isn’t going to disappear overnight, it is going to become harder and harder to maintain Drupal 7 websites — let alone build new features. Upgrading to Drupal 9 or 10 will give you access to community support.

3. Compatibility issues

Newer versions of Drupal include changes to core functionality and APIs. If you're still using Drupal 7, you may find new modules and themes (built for Drupal 9 or 10) aren’t compatible. Upgrading to a newer version of Drupal keeps your website compatible with the latest technologies, frameworks and updates.

4. Performance issues

Drupal 7 was released over 10 years ago, and isn’t optimised for modern web development practices. If you stay on Drupal 7 instead of moving to a newer version, you may notice performance issues such as slow loading times. By upgrading to Drupal 9 or 10, you’ll get access to features that help your website's performance.

5. No access to newer features and functionality

Newer versions of Drupal include a wide range of new features and functionality that can improve your website. For example, recent Drupal versions offer faster page speeds and the ability to keep up with current web design trends. If you don’t upgrade, you won’t have access to these improvements.

Why upgrade to Drupal 10?

If you stay on Drupal 7, your website is at risk of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, lack of support from the Drupal community, compatibility issues and performance issues. You’ll also be missing out on new features and functionality available in the latest versions of Drupal. If you're still using Drupal 7, you need to start thinking about your EOL options.

How to upgrade to Drupal 10

At the moment, Drupal 10 is the best Drupal version to upgrade to, given it was released recently (November 2022). However, Drupal 7 to Drupal 10 is often not an easy upgrade pathway given the large architectural differences between these two versions of Drupal.

If you’d like to upgrade but you’re worried about the project timeframes and cost, you may be interested in some of Salsa’s unique EOL options, which can save you serious time and money.

Find out more about your Drupal 7 EOL options