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The state of Drupal 6 support

Mark Packham's picture

iKOS will be following the example of the Drupal community and continue supporting Drupal 6 sites for a period of 3 months after a stable release of Drupal 8 (predicted to be spring/summer 2015). 

We shall be progressively advising our clients with Drupal 6 sites to upgrade to Drupal 7 for the remainder of 2014 and our S.W.A.M.P (Support Works And Minor Projects) team can still be hired to provide support of Drupal 6 websites

We can see the gradual decline in Drupal 6 usage and a shift to the more user-friendly, flexible and powerful Drupal 7. Modules provide the functionality for sites, Drupal 6 sites often require more modules to carry out similar tasks to those in Drupal 7 making keeping them up to date is a bigger challenge. Drupal 7 sites can often do everything that you'd normally want to do on a Drupal 6 site. There are currently 8,958 modules that work for Drupal 7 compared with 7,249 for Drupal 6 in spite of an age difference of roughly 3 years. Also Drupal 6 often has a greater dependency on using more modules.

According to a Drupal security team meeting in Austin last year, only about 20% of known Drupal sites were still using version 6.

At iKOS we've noticed a greater demand for responsive sites which are easier to carry out in Drupal 7 and as we transition to Drupal 8 we expect all brief's to be mobile-first in their approach. 

This article details the Drupal community's official stance on the matter. An important thing to take away from it is the majority of developers are leaving Drupal 6 to instead focus their efforts on improving the security in Drupal 7 and 8. Drupal 6 code relies heavily on manual rather than automated testing explaining why developers are keen to no longer support it and focus instead on the later versions of Drupal.

If you have a Drupal 6 site that needs supporting, maintaining and even updating with new features please contact the S.W.A.M.P support team today

If you are interested in upgrading your site from Drupal 6 to 7 please contact our professional service consultants on 0207 928 2280. 


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