Is Upgrading Drupal Right For Me?
If your site is running Drupal 7 and working fine, there may be very little reason to upgrade. Drupal's major versions, because the platform keeps getting better and better, are each major upgrades. The core Drupal functionality does have an upgrade mechanism, but some important data and functionality of almost every site is contained within a contributed (non-core) module. As mentioned before, these may not have a Drupal 8 version, and if they do, they may not have a simple upgrade path. In fact, the architecture of Drupal 8 may benefit more from the site being rebuilt in Drupal 8 and then the content from your old site imported into the system.
While all the new features of Drupal 8 are an improvement, this doesn’t make Drupal 7 obsolete, or even impractical. In fact, if your Drupal 7 site is running smoothly and you have no plans for major changes to your website architecture in the next couple years, there may be little or no reason to upgrade. Also, a lot of what Drupal 8 will be able to do can be done in Drupal 7, but with more work and developer assistance required. And keep in mind, Drupal 7 will be supported for years after Drupal 8 lands.
What if I’m Still on Drupal 6?
If you are still on the Drupal 6 platform, official community support for Drupal 6 will end upon the release of Drupal 8. This means that bug fixes and the addressing of security vulnerabilities may be non-existent at that time. This alone will make it worth upgrading within the next 12 months.
How Can I Be Involved in Drupal 8?
Everything Drupal can be accessed at www.drupal.org. From there, you can see the latest progress of Drupal 8, and if you’re a developer you can download the Drupal code from Git, review issues, and test patches. If you don't know how to code in PHP but want to help nonetheless, you can learn a bit by testing patches or playing around with Drupal 8 to find bugs and post issues on Drupal.org to notify others who are involved.
What's Happening In My Town?
Many local Drupal groups feature an annual DrupalCamp, a locally-organized conference to learn more and help code. Also, a couple of times per year there are bigger DrupalCon conferences, where thousands from the Drupal community all over the world get together. While these events are somewhat code-oriented, a web administrator or designer who is willing to learn can pick up a lot regarding how to make the most of their Drupal site.
Have questions about your present Drupal website? Ready to learn why Drupal might (or might not) be the right platform for your next update? Let us know. We're here to make sure our customers's websites meet business goals, regardless of what platform they're built on.