Drupal 6 which was originally released in early 2008 is reaching its end of life.
We’ve put together answers to frequent Drupal 6 questions below.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY WEBSITE IS BUILT WITH DRUPAL 6?
The easiest way to determine which version of Drupal your website is built with is to login as an administrative user and view your site’s Status Report. You can find this by going to the URL “/admin/reports/status” and you should be able to view the version. So if your website is at http://www.example.com you should visit http://www.example.com/admin/reports/status
Any version that begins with 6 means that your site is built with Drupal 6.
The version is displayed in the Status report.
If you are unable to login to your Drupal website to check this, another method to determine the version is to view a file named CHANGELOG.txt. So if your website is at http://www.example.com you should visit http://www.example.com/CHANGELOG.txt – it should look like the screenshot below:
Here we can see that the Drupal version is 6.37, meaning that the website is built with Drupal 6.
DOES THIS MEAN MY WEBSITE IS INSECURE?
No, at the present time there are no known security issues for Drupal 6.37. So if your Drupal 6 version is up-to-date and all modules and themes are up to date, your website should be secure.
After February 24, 2016 no security updates will be made available for Drupal 6 websites. This means that if hackers find vulnerabilities in Drupal 6.37, there will be no public support or downloads available to secure your website.
WHAT STEPS CAN BE TAKEN TO MINIMIZE THE RISK OF HACKING?
When vulnerabilities in web systems are found they usually propagate around the web very quickly. Automated programs can easily scan the web in search of Drupal 6 websites (using clues such as the CHANGELOG.txt file that we discuss above) and exploit known security issues.
The best course of action to avoid this risk is to update your website to a modern version of Drupal or another system such as WordPress. Upgrades of simple Drupal 6 websites can be done in as little as a few hours by professional Drupal developers.
If your website does not have any interactive elements that users submit to Drupal like Webforms, Contact Forms, or Search it may be possible to create a static archive of your website as it currently is. This means that you can no longer update the website but the static files can be used for your website but it will be secure because Drupal is no longer on the server. It typically would take a web developer a few hours to implement this for a simple website.
WHAT OTHER BENEFITS ARE THERE TO UPDATING A DRUPAL 6 WEBSITE?
The web has changed a lot since Drupal 6 was originally released in 2008. Mobile device friendly themes were not common at that time, so your website may not display well for visitors using mobile devices.
Editing website content has also improved drastically since 2008. Systems like WordPress have simple and elegant content authoring forms to allow you to quickly add and edit your content.