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Drupal site at end of life

posted 22 Mar 2016, 10:35 by Surrey Bellringers   [ updated 26 Mar 2016, 13:02 ]

At the AGM in 2010 a brand new website was launch. This website was built using the Drupal content management system which, at that time, was at version 6. 

Six years later, on 24th February 2016,  Drupal 6 reached the end of its official supported life. After this date no more security patches or bug fixes will be available after this date.

Drupal 6 has now been superseded by versions 7 and 8 so we are certainly overdue an upgrade. Unfortunately there is no straightforward upgrade path. Upgrading to Drupal 7 or 8 would require virtually a complete redevelopment of the site, a project that will likely cost thousands of pounds.

Remaining on version 6 leaves us vulnerable. There is an increased risk of compatibility problems and withdrawal of support by other software providers. We’ve already encountered a problem in November last year when our host upgraded the server PHP version to 5.6 and took the whole site offline for a week.  We could only resolve this by rolling back the upgrade which is at best a temporary fix. 

To remain on Drupal 6 we would need to undertake immediate and costly work to protect the site from the known problem with PHP.  To do that work we need a professional developer and Styles Webbin, the company who developed the site for us six years ago, and who we've turned to for support in subsequent years, has been very reluctant to provide us any assistance. 

Even if we did this work Drupal 6 is still at the end of its life time and we can expect continued risks to our site.

That leaves us in a difficult place, a costly upgrade or an uncertain future so we took the decision to move to a brand new site.  This gives us a new platform and an opportunity to re imagine our future website.