10 March 2023
Phillipa Martin

Why site owners aren’t upgrading to Drupal 7

If you’re still using Drupal 7 for your website, upgrading to a more recent version of Drupal (preferably Drupal 10) may seem overwhelming. Many site owners and developers are in the same boat… hesitant to upgrade their websites.

The top 6 reasons site owners are not upgrading their Drupal 7 websites are:

  1. Cost
  2. Lack of resources
  3. Customisation
  4. Fear of breaking things
  5. Time constraints
  6. Lack of ongoing support

In this blog, we’ll explore some of these reasons in a bit more detail. We also look at some unique options that will save you money and time.


Upgrading your site from Drupal 7 to a more recent version is a complete rebuild, because Drupal changed significantly from Drupal 7 to 8. This means upgrading can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially if your site is large, has complex features or uses customisation.

If you upgrade in-house, it will take significant resources and internal costs. If you outsource to an agency, again it often has a hefty price tag. Some site owners don’t have the budget to cover the upgrade costs.

However, it’s important to remember that investing in the upgrade from Drupal 7 to a later version (preferably Drupal 10) ensures the security of your site as well as improved performance. There are also some cost-effective solutions to consider that can help with Drupal 7 End-of-Life.

Lack of resources

Some site owners may not have the in-house resources or expertise to manage an upgrade, and may not have the budget to hire outside help. On top of that, skilled Drupal developers can be hard to find. However, a lack of resources shouldn’t stop you from upgrading, given the risks of doing nothing (especially cybersecurity, among others).


Many Drupal 7 sites have been heavily customised over the years, and upgrading to a new version could need significant changes to custom code and modules. This can be a daunting task. However, staying on Drupal 7 and your current customisations means you can’t take advantage of the improvements in newer versions of Drupal, and you’re exposed to security risks.

Fear of breaking things

Upgrading your website can be intimidating because there’s always a chance something could go wrong as you’re transitioning. For example, you might be concerned about potential downtime, data loss, or ‘breaking’ something, especially if the site has been heavily customised. Despite this, Drupal 7’s End-of-Life does mean you need to take action to avoid major security risks.

Time constraints

Upgrading a site can be a time-consuming process, and site owners may not have the time or resources for an upgrade. Often the day-to-day demands of running an organisation/department can make it hard to find enough hours in the day. However, upgrading your website to ensure it’s digitally ‘healthy’ is a critical part of running a successful business. Taking the time now to upgrade your website could save you a lot of work in the long run.

Lack of support

While the Drupal community has moved its focus to later versions of Drupal, there’s still resources and support available for Drupal 7 site owners. Salsa is one of many agencies looking at solutions for the Drupal 7 EOL problem.

How to overcome these challenges?

Drupal 7 site owners can use one of Salsa’s innovative Drupal 7 End-of-Life services to help overcome the problems associated with upgrading.

Salsa’s End-of-Life services include:

  • Leave it — Generate and host a static version of your site, with a simple content editor for basic updates, then decommission (leave) your Drupal 7 site permanently once the static site is set up.

  • Keep it — Generate and host a static version of your site for your public site visitors, but keep a locked-down version of your Drupal 7 site for your content editors.

  • Rebuild it — Save time and money and rebuild your Drupal 10 site using CivicThemeExternal Link , an open source design system and Drupal 10 theme with over 50 UI components that are user-tested and WCAG 2.1AA-tested to jump start your site with an almost no-code build.

Salsa’s EOL options can help you overcome the barriers to upgrading.

Have a chat to us about our Drupal 7 EOL services

Next steps

Continuing to use Drupal 7 past its EOL date is risky in terms of security, compatibility and lack of support/updates. Fortunately, there are options available if you want to move away from Drupal 7 including using one of Salsa’s innovative End-of-Life services.

Whichever option you choose, you need to take action and work out a long-term solution now.

Have a chat to us about our Drupal 7 EOL services