End of life imminent for Drupal 6

Post by Mike C Picture of Mike C
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Launched in 2008 Drupal 6 has served a large base of sites for the past 7 years even with the more recent Drupal 7 launched in 2011.

As a provider of Drupal support and hosting services Ixis still look after a number of clients who are running the latest up to date Drupal 6 codebase. However, with the announcement of Drupal 8 launching on November 19th 2015 this starts the countdown to the end of the extended support policy - which is 3 months after the launch of Drupal 8. The final 3 months will only cover security updates - not functionality or bug fixes.

Drupal 6 Security Updates end on February 24th 2016

The 3 month window won't be long enough to allow upgrading of Drupal 6 sites to Drupal 8, especially as we'd always advise allowing a new major Drupal Core release to be tested by early adopters before upgrading and migrated your site to it.

What are the implications of this?

From Drupal.org

  • The security team will no longer provide support or Security Advisories for Drupal 6.
  • All Drupal 6 releases on project pages will be flagged as not supported.
  • At some point in the future update status may stop working for Drupal 6 sites.

From Ixis

  • We will continue to provide our support services to Drupal 6 sites and where necessary apply any security updates provided by 3rd parties.
  • We cannot guarantee your Drupal 6 site would not become vulnerable over the coming years as new attack vectors are discovered in web based applications and applied to old Drupal 6 sites.

What if I have a Drupal 6 site still?

If not already in progress, begin planning a site upgrade or rebuild. Web technologies have progressed a lot since 2008 which may mean reviewing how your Drupal 6 site works and what the business needs are - which may be better addressed in a more modern techniques thanks to the functionality of Drupal 8.

As with many of our long standing clients Ixis can assist with your journey from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 with our in-house development team services. Now is the time to be making plans!

Any short term solutions?

  1. Reducing your sites functionality to content only would allow a quicker path to migrate to Drupal 8, and then as contrib modules are upgraded to 8.x re-introduce the functionality during 2016.
  2. Archive the site as static HTML pages - although this will remove interactive elements such as logins and comments.

What about upgrading to Drupal 7?

Depending on the timeframe and functionality required for site delivery Drupal 7 may still be the better option due to the sheer number of stable additional contributed module components available, such as Ecommerce.  At Ixis we're still developing Drupal 7 solutions for the next few months at least.

Speak to us

If you're unsure where the Drupal 6 support end of life announcement leaves you and your business website please do get in touch with us to discuss how Ixis can help in the short and long term. We're happy to chat!



Mike C

Managing Director

17 years of Drupal development wrangling and a background in digital project architecture.

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