I have a Drupal 7 website. Do I have to migrate to Drupal 8 now?
As soon as the End of Life enters from November 2021, your website will not suddenly go off the radar. It simply means that the CMS will no longer be actively developed on and security releases will cease to be released. The Drupal Association is looking for official partners that can continue to provide support for Drupal 7 with the worldwide community of Drupal developers possibly continuing to take up development. For the long term, however, migration is inevitable. A large part of what you are currently developing in Drupal 7 will have to be re-done in Drupal 8. We therefore advise you start thinking about a migration to avoid wasting time and money.
What exactly does a migration involve?
A migration means that all content, functionality and display must be converted to a new system. The migration from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is however primarily a content migration. This means that if everything is structured according to the standards (for nodes, taxonomy terms, users, files and media) then the migration can be largely automated.
However, due to the big differences with Drupal 7, website functionalities will usually have to be migrated manually. Fortunately most modules in Drupal 7 has a corresponding version available in Drupal 8, so conceptually not much needs to be changed.
The display, called 'theme' in Drupal, has been completely overhauled in version 8. Therefore an old theme cannot simply be migrated. Instead you will have to develop a new theme from the ground up. Many website owners have therefore seized this opportunity to also improve visual design and user experience as part of their migration plan.