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Courtesy of OSTraining

After eight years on the market, Drupal core version 6.X reached end-of-life (EOL) status in February 2016. In other words, the Drupal community and security team stopped working on new projects, updates, and bug fixes for version 6.

So what happened to more than 100,000 Drupal 6 sites? While some upgraded to Drupal 7 or migrated to Drupal 8, many stuck with Drupal 6. Today, more than one million Drupal sites exist — and of those, nearly 42,000 are still on Drupal 6.

With Drupal 9 being released in 2020, Drupal 7 will enter EOL status, further ostracizing Drupal 6 sites. Also, Drupal’s coding system (PHP) has been updated, and the code differences in different Drupal versions can negatively impact a site’s performance.

If you still have a Drupal 6 site, it may seem like the only option is to migrate to a newer version of Drupal, which is a big time and money investment. If you are in this situation, read on — here are two ways to keep your site relevant!

  1. Preserve Your Site, Just the Way It Is

    If your site primarily “brochure-style”, with few or no future content updates required, we’d recommend downloading all of your web pages and then creating an HTML-based site. This maintains the content and theme of the site, but converts it into a static and durable version. Below is a list of benefits to this approach:

  • Your site will no longer run on PHP, the code system that underpins Drupal. This means you won’t have to worry about PHP updates.
  • Because the site will be HTML-based, all Drupal issues will disappear. Meanwhile, all content and client-side functionality remain the same.
  • The site will be faster than before.
  • This is the most budget-friendly method to preserving Drupal 6.
  1. Refresh Your Site with WordPress

    If you haven’t updated your site since Drupal 6 reached EOL in 2016, chances are that it could use a refresh. Consider converting your website from Drupal 6 to the current version of WordPress. Here are some good reasons to consider going this route:

  • You can preserve your site’s users, content, and interactive functionality while moving to one of the most popular CMSs.

Courtesy of Web Technology Surveys

WordPress powers more than a third of all websites. The prevalence of WordPress makes it easy to find skilled developers and new features.

  • Migrating a Drupal 6 site to newer Drupal versions versus WordPress takes about the same amount of time and effort. Considering the level of adoption of WordPress over Drupal, migrating to WordPress makes more sense.
  • The WordPress migration will improve your site’s performance, offering users a more inviting and efficient experience.
  • You’ll be able to map your old URLs to new URLs and replicate the site reports (known as “Views” in Drupal).
  • This refresh will make your site mobile-ready, whereas Drupal 6 is short on responsive themes and modules.

Courtesy of Philly Marketing Labs

As you can see, there are different approaches to preserving or refreshing your Drupal 6 site.

If you’re in the market for web development, check out Clutch, a B2B ratings and reviews platform. Clutch helps businesses connect with buyers, and vice versa. Clutch’s sister sites are also great resources: grow your presence on The Manifest, a business guide, and show off your portfolio on Visual Objects, which displays work from top creative firms around the world.

Shawn DeWolfe Consulting is pleased to be listed as a top Canadian web developer on Clutch and The Manifest. Contact us today if you want help with your Drupal 6 website, or have any other web design or development needs!

Header image courtesy of Acro Media

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