Drupal 10 End of Life Planning

Drupal has officially announced a new update schedule revealing that a new major update will be released every two years. With this new announcement, Drupal 10 will be supported until the second half of 2026, when Drupal 12 is officially published.

Blog Post

7 minute read

Jul 01, 2024

When a door closes, a window opens, as the saying goes. This is certainly the case when it comes to Drupal 10 end of life planning. Drupal 10 is a free, open-source content management system (CMS) used to build and maintain a variety of digital assets like websites and directories. However, according to their latest release schedule, the latest version, Drupal 10, is officially being phased out in favor of future updates.  

The announcements around Drupal 10’s end of life are no reason for despair, as this version is set to receive support through the latter half of 2026. That being said, if you plan to continue using Drupal for the notable future, you should start planning your next steps now. 

Keep reading for a full rundown on the recently announced Drupal release schedule and how you can start preparing today for a seamless transition down the road.

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The Newly Announced Drupal Update Schedule

There are two main pillars to the recent Drupal announcement. The first is that Drupal 10 will officially reach end of life in 2026, which also aligns with the scheduled release of Drupal 12. The second is that a new major version of Drupal will be released on a regular cadence of every two years from here on out.  

This is a very welcome and exciting announcement for Drupal users, who were previously subject to an unpredictable update release schedule.

A quote on the drupal 10 release schedule

For example, Drupal 8 was initially published in late 2015 while Drupal 9 wasn’t released until the middle of 2020. In contrast, though, Drupal 10 was then released in short order, hitting the market in late 2022. This inconsistency made it difficult for Drupal users to plan for new major versions and were sometimes left grasping at straws when it came to transition planning.  

The new release schedule announced by Drupal, however, should solve this problem moving forward by establishing a regular and normalized update cadence.

When Does Drupal 10 End?  

Drupal 10 won’t officially reach end of life until the second half of 2026, corresponding with the release of Drupal 12. This means that Drupal 10 will continue receiving support until then, which is a huge benefit to current users.  

That being said, though, Drupal 11 is going to be released before the end of 2024, and jumping from Drupal 10 directly to Drupal 12 is ill-advised. Rather, organizations should take the time to learn about these updates in advance and plan for modules that may or may not be supported in future versions.  

This is especially because as new Drupal versions go live, certain modules and lines of code will become unsupported, essentially losing functionality altogether.  

By looking at updates ahead of time, Drupal users can more accurately create a working timetable for development projects while also planning around lines of code and modules that are eventually phased out. With the new update release schedule, organizations can plan well into the future and avoid both major downtime and unnecessary web redevelopment projects.

Next Steps for Drupal Users

The next steps for your Drupal migrations and upgrades will depend on which version of Drupal you’re currently using. If you’re already using Drupal 10, for example, you’re in a great place to implement the Drupal 11 update when it becomes available, as well as the subsequent Drupal 12 version set to publish in 2026.  

If you’re using an earlier version of Drupal, on the other hand, your path forward may look a little more complicated. Drupal 9, for instance, is no longer being supported, which leaves the version open to performance issues and security vulnerabilities.  

If you’re using an even earlier version, like Drupal 7 or 8 – then it’s time to get serious about upgrading now, so you don’t find yourself at a total loss in the near future. Drupal 8 offers you more time to upgrade and an easier migration to newer versions, but Drupal 7 will be reaching its end of life in early January 2025.  

With Drupal 7 reaching end of life in about 6 months and the lack of migration support in place for older Drupal versions, users relying on Drupal 7 should start looking into transition plans now as upgrading from outdated versions can take months. As such, it’s important to get ahead of a migration project of this caliber so you aren’t stuck rebuilding from scratch.  

Wrapping Up on Drupal 10  

If you’re currently using Drupal 10, there’s no immediate action you need to take, but it would be wise to start planning your transition to Drupal 11, and eventually in 2026, Drupal 12. Knowing when the next major version of Drupal will be available is a huge advantage for Drupal users who can now plan development cycles around major updates and phased out code.  

Whether you use Drupal or another CMS, updating your business software on a regular basis is important for the health of your network and your security. Update release schedules, like the one just announced by Drupal are important for organizations to monitor in order to maintain a cadence of regular and timely updates.  

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