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The true cost of stagnating your Drupal 7 upgrade plans.

NDP are always the optimist, however, as we approach the end of life for Drupal 7 we are increasingly being asked the question, “Is it worth the money?”. We would hate for you to burn your budget away, therefore we have not sugar-coated our answer and have outlined the associated financial risks, alongside giving real and probable outcomes for sites that decide to leave their upgrade to another day.

We understand from a financial standpoint the initial hesitance of upgrading your website; however, what you may not realise is that remaining on Drupal 7 will become significantly more costly. Here are some reasons why:

1. Less Drupal 7 sites.

With fewer sites on Drupal 7, agencies will be reluctant to keep offering support for those sites and will consequently lose the economy of scale they previously utilised. Therefore, they will likely have to increase the prices of its support to make it worth their time and to meet their costs.

2. Fewer support Agencies.

As most companies have already made or planned their move to Drupal 9/10, fewer agencies will offer support for the sites which remain on the software. Therefore, with fewer support options, agencies can up their prices due to a lack of competition. You will likely have to pay a premium for specialist platform management for Drupal 7, in fact, there are still many older versions of Drupal still running. However, this leaves your site tied to a specific host and therefore greater costs that simply cannot yield the same value as a modern site.

3. Difficult for staff to use.

With less community support, updates, and bug fixes, your staff will find using and managing the site themselves increasingly difficult as time goes on. Consequently, the overall resources that must be used to keep pace with basic functionality grows over time.

4. The opportunity cost of an outdated site.

If your website is tied to a defunct open-source platform, it means that the community that supports it has moved on to bigger and better things. The rate of innovation slows, and you are stuck where you are with fewer options whilst your competitors optimise their sites with the latest innovations. In this position, it is harder to meet your users’ expectations and relatively straightforward requirements become technical headaches, or even worse issues to avoid entirely. The cost of troublesome or sub-standard user experience could affect income generated by your site.

In a digital world, your prime asset - your website - becomes something that holds you back. One major trend in digital has been disruption across markets and sectors as newcomers capitalize upon established organisations lack of agility in digital.

So with all these metrics in mind, is it now clear whether upgrading is worth it? We hope you agree with us that delaying the inevitable is most likely not worth it unless you have given up on having a modern website.

The shift to Drupal 9 is now at a much lower cost than previously, thanks to innovations such as our ready-made Drupal 9 sites. Get in touch if you would like to discuss your options and next steps.

Drupal 7s End of Life has been extended to November 2023. Click here to read more

Image by Sergey Zolkin

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