So, are you excited to update your Drupal 6 or 7 website to Drupal 8 or 9?
Drupal 7 users, the best way for Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade is to upgrade your Drupal 7 to 8 and then to Drupal 9. Earlier, Drupal migrations used to entail massive re-platforming efforts. But the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.0 is more like an incremental upgrade.
Meaning, people using Drupal 8 can enjoy the simple upgrade path from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.0, avoiding the other big migration project. But what about people who are still using Drupal 7 and now want to migrate to Drupal 9?
If you are using Drupal 7, it's the right time to migrate to Drupal 8 (or 9). This blog will tell you different ways of migrating your website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 or 9. Before we jump to it, let us understand what Drupal migration is and what if you don't migrate.
Migration is migrating the entire content from the Drupal 7 version to Drupal 8 (or Drupal 9). The process includes configuration of content types, file types, image styles, etc., and contents like paragraphs, taxonomy terms, etc. As soon as the Drupal 9 version is released, both D7 and D8 versions will reach their end of life in November 2021; you will no longer receive support & fixes from the Drupal community Drupal 7 and 8. Meaning you don't have much time to take the call.
It is one such question that people are searching over the internet. So, what's the main difference between Drupal 8 and Drupal 9? Drupal 8 was released with significant changes in themes, contributed modules, and configuration data, and Drupal 9 is the same Drupal 8 sophistication with deprecated code. We will talk about this term deprecated code later in this blog.
The Drupal 7 migration ecosystem is available in Drupal 9. It means you can jump directly to Drupal 9 if you don't want to go through Drupal 8. Drupal 9 has a migrate_drupal module which you need to migrate to Drupal 8 from Drupal 7.
If you intend to go through this direct road to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7, keep in mind that all Drupal 7 to 8 migration considerations will still be applied. You'll have to do the entire migration planning, deal with tooling and paradigm shifts, and consider the platform requirements.
Migrating to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 is a valid option if you haven't migrated to Drupal 8 even after the release of Drupal 9.
Is It Safe To Upgrade Directly From Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, Skipping Drupal 8?
Yes, it is safe to jump directly to your Drupal 9 from Drupal 7. Here is what you should know:
- The APIs of Drupal 7 that don't have conversions will be left behind; there is no guarantee for full coverage.
- This method will demand the same effort as migrating from D7 to D8 to D9 as it is a complete rebuild.
- Since Drupal 9 is not backward compatible, you can't date back to Drupal 7 if any error occurs in Drupal 9 after migration.
These are some surprises you might encounter if you jump directly to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7. Therefore, the most sensible approach is migrating to Drupal 8 and Drupal 9.
We can say that migrating to Drupal 8 is feasible from the above discussion because you can start incorporating changes into your new site directly without waiting for a move away from Drupal.
If you read our previous blogs, you will fund the fantastic features of the Drupal 8 release. Some of them are multilingual support, enhanced accessibility, vast workflow, and high scalability; you will miss all these and more if you do not migrate.
Additionally, you will not be able to access community support in Drupal 7 and 8. You have about 6-7 months to take the call. However, you need to check whether your favorite modules in Drupal 7 or 8 are compatible with your current release. The modules you are using in Drupal 7 may be affected by the deprecated code, and you may need to perform manual upgrading.
First and foremost, a Drupal 8 migration process can get complicated if you haven't spent enough time planning the migration. Development standards like PHP 7, Symfony, Twig, etc., in Drupal 8 can help you create more powerful, robust, and flexible digital experiences.
Now that you have enough reasons to migrate to Drupal 8 or 9 from Drupal 7. We have listed out ten essential things that you should remember before you begin the Drupal 7 to 8 migration:
1. Observe and Plan
For a smooth Drupal content migration, first Identify the content types and structure of the existing site and note down the observations. Note down the field types, blocks, content types, taxonomies, etc.
Note down what you need to migrate and what you need to merge based on these observations. Check the Views and other site configurations and note them to replicate them in Drupal 8.
2. Create a checklist of Drupal 7 website modules
First, identify modules that you still need, or if the Drupal 7 module has moved to Drupal 8 Core. keep in mind that not every Drupal 7 module is automatically migrated to Drupal 8. Some of the Drupal 7 modules may have put their functionality into a single Drupal 8 module, and some may have separated their features into two or more Drupal 8 modules.
3. Update to the latest available version
Update your Drupal 7 to the latest available version of Drupal 8 or 9. It will ensure cleaner automatic upgrades of Drupal 7 modules with direct Drupal 8 or 9 upgrade paths.
4. Backup your website
Before you start the Drupal 7 migration process, make sure to create a backup of the Drupal 7 website and use it for the Drupal 8 migration. Although the Drupal migration does not modify the source, It is still not good to migrate a live functional website.
5. Download a fresh installation
Download a fresh installation of Drupal 8 and again, remember, it MUST be FRESH! If you have done configurations or created content, it will be overwritten automatically when a Drupal 8 upgrade is performed.
6. Familiarize yourself
Unlike in previous version upgrades, you cannot perform a direct upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Drupal 8 Migrate module, Drupal 8 Migrate Drupal module and Drupal 8 Migrate Drupal UI module are three modules in Drupal core. You need to familiarize yourself with Drupal 8's migration system and configuration.
7. Decide the choice of migration
Drush (which gives you granular control) browser user interface (more accessible but less control) are two of the choices you have. You can opt for the method that suits your familiarity level and experience.
8. Know your source
The flexibility of the Drupal content migration system allows you to extract content and load from older versions of Drupal and other sources like CSV, XML, JSON, MYSQL, etc.
9. Perform a content audit
Perform a thorough content audit on the Drupal 7 version to identify content you need to migrate to Drupal 8 or 9. For a smooth Drupal content migration, remove the unused and irrelevant content to avoid spending time and effort migrating them.
If you have upgraded to Drupal 8, you are already halfway. From here, you can seamlessly upgrade to Drupal 9 in less hassle and time. Whether the complexity in the Drupal migration process holds you back in Drupal 7 or you do not like the newest version, now, the available option is only Drupal 9 as Drupal 8 will also come to the end of life soon.
We hope now you're convinced that remaining on Drupal 7 or 8 means hanging to a less effective CMS and missing out on many features. In case you are not confident with the migration process, hire a Drupal developer to do the migration work for you. They are aware of what code is depreciated and what will change in Drupal 9.
If you are still waiting for Drupal 7 and 8's end of life, then you might regret it later. At AddWeb Solutions, we can help you enhance your existing Drupal 7 website to Drupal 8 or 9. Our Drupal development team has speed, agility, and technology to keep you upgraded and easy migration from Drupal 7 or Drupal 8 to Drupal 9.