Inform yourself about upgrading to Drupal 8

Migrating a website software version is one of the most complicated procedure a webmaster has to deal with when managing a website. Upgrading from Drupal 7? Here is a small guide with various details. Let’s start with general info : Be careful where you put your optional modules and themes. Within the folders of your Drupal installation, there is a folder called ‘modules’ and one called ‘themes.’ These are NOT where you should put any contributed modules and themes that you add to your core installation. These folders are just for the core modules and themes. The folders you should use are a second set also called modules and themes, which sit within the ‘sites’ folder in your Drupal installation.

The very first thing you should do is to make a local version of the website. This is an essential step because making changes to a live website is very risky and is never a recommended practice. This way, if anything does go awry, your actual website will remain safe and functional. After proceeding, you will be brought to the Migrate UI where you can check all the potential issues and errors that you might encounter as well as all the available and the missing paths. Go through this screen and when satisfied, start the migration.

Upgrading is the process of moving your site from a previous major version of Drupal to a newer version, for example from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. This consists of upgrading the codebase to the appropriate version and then migrating the data from your old site into the new one. Drupal 8 core contains two modules to help facilitate this process: Migrate Drupal and Migrate Drupal UI.

The steps above outline how to get a distribution minimally installed on an existing site. But you’ll still have a lot of work to do to reconcile your existing site content and structure with what has been created by the distribution. Here are a few tips to get you started–but you should begin with the assumption that there will be lots more you’ll discover and need to fix. Blocks and contexts. Many distributions use the Context module to position blocks. Your existing site may use the core Block module for this purpose, may use Context or some other tool, or may use a combination of tools for block placement. With your new distribution’s blocks displaying as well as those enabled by your existing site, you may get more than you need or want. To address this issue, selectively disable blocks left over from your existing site. If they were custom blocks, you may wish to delete them.

Drupal distributions are usually used as a starting point for developing a new website. The most straightforward way to use a distribution is to install it from scratch. From there, you can selectively migrate in content from other sources, including one or more existing websites. Migrating data here might be as simple as copying and pasting several pages from an old site into the new site. For larger sites, it could involve writing custom migration scripts or using an existing Drupal module like Migrate or Feeds.

Though it’s been over three years since Drupal 8 launched, many companies using Drupal to power their digital experiences have yet to upgrade Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 due to the complexities involved. Many Drupal agencies and general Drupal users have found out the hard way that making the jump from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is actually more like a re-build instead of an upgrade. Meanwhile, Drupal continues to release updates to the Drupal 8 core framework, and Drupal 9 is on the horizon for release in mid-2020. As such, the longer these companies put off the Drupal 8 upgrade, the more difficult that eventual upgrade will be when they’re forced to make it. Read more details on Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.