Drupal 7 End-of-life Actions

The Drupal 7 infrastructure at CERN will be decommissioned in summer 2020. All Drupal 7 websites will then go offline.

You need to take action to keep your content online.


Migrate to Drupal 8

The recommended action is to migrate your Drupal 7 site to Drupal 8.

Migration is not a fully automatic process. To help decide whether this is the best option for your website, here are some example website characteristics that favor migration:

  • Many data pages
  • Need authentication
  • Need surveys with authentication or complex functionality
  • Keep legacy data, such as past responses to webforms (statistics, heritage etc)

If you are unsure which is the best option for you, please open a ticket with the Drupal Infrastructure team and we’ll help you decide.

A high-level overview of the migration process:

  1. Create a new Drupal 8 (temporary) development website, where the Drupal Infrastructure team will migrate the content of your Drupal 7 site.
    • Site type: Drupal 8
    • Profile: Blank site
  2. Once you receive an email confirming that the website has been created, please open a ticket with Drupal infrastructure:
    • Short description: “Migrate <DRUPAL 7 SITENAME> to <DRUPAL 8 SITENAME>
    • We will clone the content of the Drupal 7 site to the new Drupal 8 site.
  3. Retouch the Drupal 8 development site to recreate your original look & feel. The migration will only copy your content to the new site, but the styling of this content will need to be customized. This depends a lot on your website. As a general rule this includes:
    • Reassigning the areas where particular types of content appear (“blocks” in Drupal lingo), such as menus, footers and sidebars, into the regions defined on the new Drupal 8 CERN theme.
    • Recreating any custom ways to arrange and display your content (“views” in Drupal lingo). Views are implemented in a different way in Drupal 8 and you need to reconstruct them based on what you have on your old site. In many cases (but not always) this simply a replication of your existing definitions.
    • If you are using contrib modules/themes to provide functionality to your website, you need to check if a Drupal 8 version is available, find an alternative module or deprecate this functionality.
  4. Publish your Drupal 8 development site under the original name.

The community maintains a list of known issues while migrating.

Getting up to speed

:wave: A hitchhiker’s guide to Drupal site building :red_car:

If the instructions above didn’t make too much sense to you, please study this.

There are also official trainings to introduce you to Drupal 8 and migrated websites, especially Drupal for Experts: Working with upgraded CERN Drupal 8 sites.

Reading material

Support / Q&A

  • This forum. Many other people across CERN (mostly non-developers) have already migrated websites and can help you with problems they’ve already come across.
    • Simply start a new thread with your question!
  • Community hack meetings. Come to these bi-weekly meetings to work hands-on with your problems, together with experts from our Communications team.
    • Please come also to help others with your experience!

Start a new Drupal site from scratch

If your website doesn’t adhere to any above characteristics (eg very small, < 10 pages), it might be better to create a blank or easy start Drupal 8 site and copy your content manually.

Move to a different technology

If Drupal features are not critical for your website and functionality can be covered with other existing tools, you might want to consider alternatives to Drupal.
Some suggestions for different use cases (in increasing order of complexity):


Is there a specific due date? Summer is a bit vague…

I also would like to know if a date more specific than summer exists.
For some sites the exact date is relevant.

G Ganis

We were discussing this internally and we will probably keep the service up to last week of August, allowing summer students to work on migrations.

4 posts were split to a new topic: Migration troubles

The summer students’ programme is cancelled this year. :cry:

On 09.04.20 10:14, SUMM wrote:

Dear Departmental Representatives, Experiments Team Leaders, Secretariats and Supervisors,

In light of the global evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, CERN has carefully reviewed the feasibility of running of its diverse student and trainee programmes, with the health and wellbeing of people at the heart of its preoccupations.

Following postponement of start dates for student and traineeships, CERN finally had to cancel the flagship CERN Summer Student and openlab Summer Student programmes.

This decision wasn’t taken lightly, and is based on the programme coordinators’ common conviction that maintaining a programme on site over summer is simply not responsible in the current context of the COVID-19 evolution on a global level, and would impact CERNs image negatively.

Variations such as a delayed, compressed and/or a fully remote programme were investigated but not considered a sufficient replacement to be branded and maintained under the label of CERN summer student programme – where the attractiveness and essence of the programme resides to a large extent in the physical presence on the CERN site and networking among students from all over the world. The teams have started to investigate alternatives we can offer the selected students.

We are clearly all very disappointed about this unfortunate development, and thank you all for your support and understanding.
Stay well,
Adriana, Eszter & Kristina for Summer Student Teams (MS, NMS & CERN openlab programmes)

Still, end of August would be fine…please keep this deadline or even prolong it.

Currently our plan is exactly the same: Drupal 7 decommissioning on the last week of August

A post was split to a new topic: Cannot delete a website