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Drupal Upgrade Decision Tree (infographic)
Should you upgrade to Drupal 7 or Drupal 8?
With the announcement that Drupal 8 will be released on November 19th you might be asking whether you should upgrade to Drupal 7 or jump right to Drupal 8. Drupal 8 offers a lot of benefits like state of the art authoring tools and improvements in mobile support, accessibility, APIs, performance along with better multilingual support. But until contributed modules have matured, the decision needs to be based on your specific situation. If the modules you’ll be using support Drupal 8 or if your project will run into the later part of 2015, then jumping straight to Drupal 8 will likely make the most sense. Many modules already have dev or alpha releases and many of those will have full releases shortly after the Drupal 8 release date. A large Drupal project will take time to gather requirements and plan. By the time discovery and planning are complete many contributed modules will be available. Add in months of development and you'll be on solid ground building with Drupal 8. If you need to get a site up quickly or you’re depending on a lot of modules that aren't yet available for Drupal 8 then building with Drupal 7 is a safe bet.
Are You Using Drupal 7?
If you’re using Drupal 7, then you’ll have support for at least years to come. Support typically runs until the release after next. So support will run at least until the Drupal 9 release. But you may want to update your design (called a Theme in Drupalspeak). A redesign ensures that you’re reaching tablet and mobile users and offers an opportunity to improve usability and effectiveness. Design is not subjective. Your existing site offers a window into user behaviour and points to what’s worked and what hasn’t - insights that will make your website more valuable.
The Drupal 8 Decision Tree uses these major factors to outline the decision to upgrade. But you may want to consult with a knowledgeable Drupal professional to take a closer look at your specific situation.