Everybody in the Drupal community is getting very excited about the impending release of Drupal 8, however, this could also mean the end of Drupal 6! For those who aren’t aware, the Drupal community only ever supports two stable version of the software at a time. This means that when Drupal 8 is released as stable, Drupal 6 will no longer be supported.
At the moment there are still four or five blocking issues that need to be resolved before an official release candidate is announced, but within a few weeks these should be sorted out and Drupal 8 will be with us in full. And that means that organizations on Drupal 6, of which there are still significant numbers, need to look at either maintaining it themselves (easier said that done) or moving off of it before significant security flaws or bugs which won’t be fixed are discovered.
There is, however, no need to panic, as it has been announced that Drupal 6 will remain in support until a grace period of three months beyond the release of Drupal 8. Also, migrate functionality from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 has been built into Drupal 8 core, so moving across shouldn’t be too difficult as long as the Drupal 6 site is well maintained and structured appropriately. If you’re looking to migrate large sites with lots of custom functionality, however, then things could be a bit trickier.
There is also the option of stepping up just the one version to Drupal 7, a procedure with which we have considerable experience. This might be slightly easier as the difference between Drupal 6 and 8 is larger than between 6 and 7, but then you don’t get the vastly improved performance and scalability that Drupal 8 offers.
If you’re on Drupal 6 and are unsure what the best solution for your organization is, get in touch with us. We’ve got the experience to help you to decide what the best option is for keeping your website supported and also to provide further technical assistance if required.