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Drupal 8 End of Life: A Guide to Next Steps

The only unchanging truth in the globe is that everything evolves. So why can Drupal be different? Like everything else, Drupal source code develops, and older source codes reach EOL (End of Life) after they have gone through their full lifecycle. The latest version of Drupal 9 was released in 2020, so the previous versions of Drupal 7 and 8 will soon be discontinued. So let's find out everything about Drupal 8 end of life.

Drupal Upgrade and Update

When Is Drupal 8 Reaching End Of Life?

When will Drupal 8 end of life? Drupal 8 support ended on November 2, 2021. After the Drupal 8 End of Life date appears, there will be no community support for it or bug fixes after that date. The reason for this, however, is quite simple. Everybody knows and enjoys Drupal, a universal CMS with specific third-party dependencies. There's no turning back now!

Symfony 3 End of Life & PHP 7.3 End of Life

Symfony is the biggest dependency of all currently. Drupal 8 is connected to the life cycle of Symfony 3, which is why it used to achieve End of Life in November 2021.
Nowadays, Drupal 8 could have been supported by Drupal if Symfony 4, the next version of Symfony, supported backward compatibility. However, since that is not the reason, Drupal also has to move to the next version - Drupal 9.
Generally, this official support of PHP version 7.3 is another component Drupal 8 depends on, which ended after December 6th, 2021. The same thing happened to CKEditor.
Nothing will immediately happen to your website if Drupal 8 EOL starts. However, the framework can start to crack without significant support and bug fixes. After a while, it will reach the point when the bottom line starts being affected, or it may even lead to the cyber threat of data breaches and attacks.

Drupal 8 End of Life: What Does It Mean for Your Website?

When Drupal 8 is no longer supported, the Drupal community will stop providing Drupal security issues updates for this Drupal version. This means getting drupal 8 End of Life extended support is possible. So, the selected vendors in the Drupal community can provide Drupal security updates for Drupal 8 over and above November 2022.
First of all, you should take a deep breath and relax. End of Life is just a period of the development of the software cycle, and it means that vendor support will be ending for a certain version - Drupal 8 End Of Life 2022, in our case. Vendor support provides security upgrades, bug fixes, feature improvements - generally everything that refers to the support.
It isn't a new process, but it is something we are likely to see more of in the future with the increasing frequency and complexity of major upgrades (e.g., Drupal 8 to Drupal 9) and the struggle to support older code. It's easy to fix - upgrade before the deadline or contact your support team.

So, when the Drupal version achieves its End of Life, the bugs aren’t fixed by the community, and vulnerabilities are not detected nor removed. That is why after achieving the End of Life, the Drupal website will be like the unanchored ship that floats in dangerous waters with the constant threat looming over it. That is why keep your website anchored, and upgrading will be better while you still have some time.

Should I Upgrade From Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

To protect your website, upgrade Drupal 8 to the next version ASAP. Upgrading Drupal 8 to 9 is generally more straightforward than any previous Drupal version. It's as simple as the feature upgrade Drupal 8.8 to 8.9, with some extra steps. There is no content migration involved, and most of the operation includes replacing core modules and updating how APIs are called.
You may hire dedicated Drupal developers. Below is a guide on how to upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 that will help you understand how simple or difficult it will be to upgrade to the Drupal version.

How to Upgrade Drupal 8 to Drupal 9?

Step 1: Make the Drupal 8 website compliant with Drupal 9. You will need to install the minor Drupal 8 upgrade and make your Drupal 8 migration to 8.7, 8.8, or 8.9 versions that comply with Drupal 9.
Step 2: Upgrade the website themes, modules, and third-party integrations to reach them being compliant with Drupal 9.
Step 3: When you reach the core of Drupal 8.7 End of Life, Drupal 8.8 End of Life, or Drupal 8.9 End of Life and update all the modules and themes, set up the Upgrade Status module and observe for deprecated codes.
Step 4: When you have removed the deprecated you, you are ready to upgrade Drupal 8 to 9.
Step 5: Upgrade the Drupal core to Drupal 9, and you are done!

Final thoughts

Keeping your website secure and protected is crucial regardless of which Drupal version you use. When the Drupal 8 version End of Life is reached, time is definitely of the essence, and we do not recommend commercial organizations use unsupported software.
It's not so easy to upgrade Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 from a technical standpoint. Most of the upgrade process involves patching contributed modules and minor updates to custom modules. In case of questions, you can always get in touch with our Drupfan,​​ a Drupal development firm.