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SHOULD YOU UPGRADE FROM DRUPAL 7 TO DRUPAL 9 OR MOVE TO WORDPRESS

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WordPress is by far the most popular content management system with more than 60% market share. Joomla and Drupal are way behind at second and third place respectively. Drupal has a market share of around 3%. It is one of the better known website building platform. Though a 3% market share may sound miniscule, with 1.7 billion live websites, it translates into huge numbers in absolute terms.

Currently, three versions of Drupal are operational, D7, D8 and D9. Majority of Drupal website run on version 7 closely followed by version 8. Less than 1% runs on the latest version-D9. However, it is proposed that by the end of year 2022 version 7and 8 would be phased out. Therefore, websites running on Drupal 7 have to either upgrade to the latest version or migrate Drupal to WordPress.

What are the Options?

There are several options available to you as far as upgrading Drupal 7 is concerned. The obvious choice would be to upgrade to the latest version as the current version will not be supported beyond the given deadline. However, you can choose not to upgrade and run an unsupported version, but it could lead to maintenance and security concerns. This could well be the default option as other options require additional resources. You can also engage an “Extended Support Vendor” to get extended support for few years, which would address your maintenance and security concerns. However, with the growing popularity of WordPress because of its ease of use and flexibility and versatility, the most viable option would be to convert site to WordPress.

Drupal 7 to Drupal 9

Drupal is a very good content management system with its own distinct advantages, so upgrading from version 7 to version 9 can be a good choice. There are two ways of doing it- you can either upgrade directly to version 9, or you can first upgrade to version 8 and then to version 9, though there is no point going for the second option.

Here upgrade is actually a migration. It involves significant amount of time and money, and is almost like building an entirely new website. Though things have improved over the years, migration is still a cumbersome process. It is for this reason that websites built on Drupal 7 have still not migrated to a higher version even though they have been around for some time now. On the other hand, majority of WordPress websites upgrade to a higher version as soon as it is released.

Upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is not as simple as upgrading a WordPress website. You have to plan the migration thoroughly so that the functionality is mapped correctly and carried over to the higher version. You have to be conversant with all the technical knowhow required to carry out the migration smoothly and ensure that the content is transferred without any glitch.It requires significant amount of time and money to be put in.

Why Consider WordPress

As discussed above, migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is not an easy task; it’s almost like building a new website. So, if you have been contemplating vital changes to the design and functionality of your website, this forced upgradation could well be the right time to undertake it.It could save you a lot of time and money. And if you decide to go about building a completely new website, there is no need to stick to your Drupal platform.  You can explore various other CMS, but the most sensible thing to do at this juncture would be to migrate Drupal to WordPress.

There several reasons that favours the switch to WordPress. First, the migration to Drupal 9 is a tedious process, and though it has been designed to make future upgrades easier, WordPress scores heavily over it when it comes to ease of upgrade. Upgrading WordPress to higher version is much easier than upgrading Drupal. Millions of people switch their websites to a higher WordPress version as soon as it is launched.

Besides, WordPress is the most popular CMS in the world. Millions of websites are built on it, and it being an open source, thousands of people around the world are constantly working on it to develop new themes and plugins that would help enhance the functionality of the websites. There are various support groups which are ready to help you out in case you run into some trouble. This is in addition to the fact that WordPress is very easy to use, is very flexible, and with numerous themes and plugins it can be customized in whatever way you want. It has in built SEO features and is very secure to use.

Though WordPress may not be suitable for every website, and where Drupal could be a better choice, but in most cases it would be better to migrate Drupal to WordPress instead of upgrading to Drupal 9.

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