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Is it possible to migrate Drupal 6, 7, and 8 websites into Drupal 9?

If you’re one of the 70% of Drupal sites still running Drupal 7 as of this writing, you might be wondering what the upgrade path from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 looks like. What does a significant upgrade to two Drupal versions look like? What makes this different from upgrading to Drupal 8 in the last few years? And how long till you have to do it all over again?

Is it possible to migrate Drupal 6, 7, and 8 websites into Drupal 9?

On June 3, 2020, Drupal 9 was released. This is extremely exciting news for the Drupal community! Many website owners have begun planning their Drupal 9 migration. If you haven’t already, now is the time to begin!

If you’re still using Drupal 7, there are a few things you should know before moving on to Drupal 9.

The end-of-life date for Drupal 7 was previously set for November 2021. This has been extended until November 28, 2022, due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on businesses and budgets. Drupal 7 will be supported for another two and a half years after its first release. The Drupal security team will continue to follow the procedures for Drupal 7 core and contributed projects.

On November 2, 2021, Drupal 8 and Symfony 3 will be deprecated. Drupal 8 users will have less issues because the upgrade from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 is substantially easier.

What exactly is a Drupal migration?

The process of moving all content from Drupal 6/7/8 to Drupal 9 is called migration. The parameter specifies content kinds, file formats, graphic styles, and other features and information such as sections and categorization items. Begin planning for Drupal 9 now. Drupal 9 will significantly improve developers’ and contributors’ user experience and functionality while facilitating the upgrade route to Drupal 10.

Drupal 6 first came on the market more than a decade ago. It reached the end of its life (EOL) on February 24, 2016, and updating is the only method to keep your site operational with new features. Drupal 7’s end-of-life date has been moved to November 28, 2022. On the other hand, the Drupal Security Team will continue to follow the Security Group processes for Drupal 7 core and contributed projects. Symfony 3 is currently EOL but will support Drupal 8 until November 2, 2021.

Today’s Drupal 6 Users: Migration Impact

Drupal 6 hit EOL on February 24, 2016, and upgrading is the only solution. Still, switching to Drupal 8/9 can be a challenge. Changes in architecture and technology may necessitate the removal of much of the Frontend.

If you still use Drupal 6, the community offers a programme to provide long-term assistance. The transition to Drupal 8/9 is an excellent opportunity, though. You can use the Migrate upgrade module to migrate from Drupal 6/7 to Drupal 8/9 easily.

Today’s Drupal 7 Users: Migration Impact

Although the transition from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 has been challenging, it has also been fascinating. So, no, you won’t have to transfer your Drupal 7 site twice. All that is required is an upgrade to Drupal 8.9, the newest iteration of Drupal 8. Then Drupal 9 will be a minimal upgrade. So now you have a one-step Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Check for Prerequisites for upgrading Drupal 6/7 sites.
  • Only configuration and content elements are moved.
  • Drupal 8 modified the structure of non-migratable themes. Drupal 8 requires a rebuild.
  • Using a live site backup ensures database consistency and performance.

Today’s Drupal 8 Users: Migration Impact

When migrating from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9, there are no significant changes required. Assume your firm has a Drupal 8 website and that you keep your modules up to date via minor release updates. In such a situation, you will be able to update to Drupal 9 with little to no additional work. We’ve already seen many of our clients in the middle of this transition period for their digital solutions.

Drupal 9 – New Version

When it comes to Drupal 9, nothing more than removing deprecated code. Deprecating 8.8.0 will be the final version for Drupal 9. It is identical to Drupal 8.9 for everyone–editors, website builders, and developers. Structured tools for defining editing workflows added to Drupal 9 due to an API-first development approach to development.

The Compelling New Features of Drupal 8/9

In contrast to Drupal 8, Drupal 9 is backwards compatible and can use Modules, configurations, and data created with the same software on D9. Moving to Drupal 8/9 from a dwindling software version has various benefits. Among the several advantages:

  • Website layout Builder
  • Page Groups
  • Media Support
  • Workflow Support
  • Configuration administration
  • Web Services
  • Theme
  • Increased Response Time
  • New Functions
  • Simple Integration

Drupal 9: What Is The Point?

Is it time to give Drupal another chance? ‘How urgent is this migration for you?’ Until November 2021, Drupal 8.9, the last version of Drupal 8, receives bug patches and security updates. In contrast, Drupal 9’s development and security improvements will run far beyond that deadline. That means you can use Drupal 8.9 until the end of 2021. Sites requiring futureproofing should use Drupal 9. Also, according to the upgrade, not all Drupal 8 codes will run on Drupal 9. Aside from these points, organizations considering moving from WordPress or other CMSs to Drupal 9 can use the new capabilities today!

What if I want to go straight to Drupal 9?

Drupal 9 has a migration ecosystem for Drupal 7. It means you can skip Drupal 8 and go straight to Drupal 9 without going through Drupal 8. To migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, you require the migrate Drupal module. If you want to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, consider all Drupal 7 to 8 migration considerations. You’ll have to cope with tooling and paradigm modifications, as well as platform needs. If you haven’t upgraded to Drupal 8 yet, you can migrate to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7.

Noteworthy:

  • Not all Drupal 7 APIs will be included.
  • For D8 transitions, a complete rebuild is required.
  • You can’t go back to Drupal 7 if an error occurs in Drupal 9.

What If I Don’t Want To Migrate?

With Drupal 8, content and configuration are saved in the database differently. It was a significant change that the Drupal community observed collaboratively. Because it doesn’t need rewriting code or starting from scratch, it gave rise to Drupal 9. Drupal 8 outperformed Drupal 7 in editor simplicity, language support, accessibility, workflow, and scalability. You’ll miss out on all of this and more if you don’t migrate. Over the last five years, Drupal 8 has improved with every minor release and update. If you’re still not convinced, Drupal 7 community support ends in November 2022. You have two years to make a choice. However, you should check to see if your favourite modules are compatible with the current release. Deprecated code may have had an impact on your modules, necessitating a manual upgrade. It is not as straightforward as moving from Drupal 6 or 7 to Drupal 8. For Drupal 8.8 and 9, migration is a minor upgrade.

Drupal 9: 9 Steps to the successful migration

Set Targets

Consider your organization’s strategic goals and priorities, and build measurable, realistic success indicators for your website. While you have various tools, they should all compliment your overall aims. These types of measurables can assist keep a project focused if they are defined early on.

  • Define the goal.
  • Metrics with a successful aim.
  • Align your goals with your vision.
  • Set a deadline for achieving your goal.

Research

Consider your users’ needs, behaviour, and how you might support them. Asking the right questions is essential in any user experience initiative. Too often, organizations seek answers or justify a route. The inquiries must be agnostic in a customer-centric user experience (avoiding bias towards an internally preferred solution). To achieve this, avoid scripting interview questions and focus on tasks that represent most user actions (or desire to take). Auxiliary research methods include card sorting, first-click testing, and usability testing.

Audit

Is the information updated? – You don’t need to rewrite valuable information, but you may reuse it or draw new attention to it through social media or blog posts.

Does the data still crucial to your users? Can the ordinary reader swiftly skim the information and grasp the essential points? Can your content be split down into bullet points, infographics, or several articles?

Page view statistics show you how much traffic individual pages receive. If your content is timely, relevant, and understandable but is not getting the traffic you expect, consider repurposing it or rewriting it in more user-friendly language.

Establish your site’s content types

Now you can work on the building content. In terms of import, it’s the content kinds and fields structure. Construct the site and identify all content categories before coding. Consider content types and their relationships, as imported data may need to be moved across content types or categorizations.

Seek Drupal Expert’s Assistance

External Drupal development professionals can help your internal staff with this process. A strong Drupal team should be aware of your organization’s objectives, vision, and budget. Look for a company that has experience in your industry. We at Palaemon Systems have 10+ years of experience and can help your organization with Drupal Migration.

Periodic Maintenance

Drupal 8 will be retired in November 2021. The only way to ensure that regular maintenance is to hire experts. With the end of support for Drupal 7 and 8, a smooth transition to Drupal 9 is possible. Check the current modules on your site for compatibility. Deprecation check and rectification tools for Drupal 9 have been released on the Drupal org. Non-compliant modules will need to be modified or retired depending on their use. If a module isn’t compatible with Drupal 9, you have a few options:

  • More common modules are more likely to be patched. Patch your website if it exists. Your success will increase the likelihood of the patch being incorporated into Drupal 9 if you post it to Drupal.org.
  • For modules without a patch, consider posting an Issue on the Drupal community, patching the module, and letting the community know if it works.
  • Consider changing modules for newer, more feature-rich options. A Drupal 9 ready module may exist for the same purpose.

Speak customer’s language

The internal terminology of organizations often diverges from the external vocabulary. Your purpose, goal, and values statements are crucial but should never be used on a public website.

Sort your to-do list – Priorities

In the lead-up to a significant website makeover, an organization’s “checklist” of improvements to its website might be highly comprehensive. With the cooperation of key stakeholders, these modifications may be prioritized so that the site provides not just an upgrade in technology but a giant leap forward for all of its visitors.

Futureproofing

  • Ensure your hosting environment supports Drupal 9.
  • Update Drupal 8 to the newest version. 
  • The Upgrade Status module can check for theme updates. 
  • Revisions and contributions increased Drupal 9 compatibility while maintaining Drupal 8 compatibility.
  • Deprecate custom APIs.  

Benefits

Behaviour

Big Pipe, page caching, block caching, and Views caching are all included in Drupal 9’s core.

UI

The enhanced UI and Admin Navigation System in Drupal 9 provides mobile-first control of contents, taxonomy, users, blocks, and themes.

Secured Platform

Safe system

Lively community keeps it up.

Government agencies endorse Drupal.

Coding

The TWIG template engine does not allow PHP or other code in theme templates; thus, your source code will be cleaner.

Scalability

Capable of handling high traffic volume & a large amount of content.

Multilingual

Multi-language support

Get access to more than 110 languages.

Microsites

Microsites are nodes with their context, menu, breadcrumb, and other parameters. When a node is enabled for microsites, it immediately provides a menu, context, etc.

API

The Microsites framework handles all data storage and configuration for modules that use its API. Microsites are a simple way to create a site-within-a-site using context and the Drupal Menu system.

Built-in JSON API provides easy and secure connectivity with CRM, CDP, and ERP.

Optimization

Drupal’s enterprise offering includes SEO modules that don’t require coding.

Personalization and Management

Drupal lets developers act fast. Thanks to the modules and the community. Provide role-based access to the online application.

Also Read:

Top New CMS For E-Commerce Stores

How to build a Database Driven Website using PHP & MySQL

Choosing the Best CMS for your Website

Lastly, some final thoughts.

With Drupal 10 expected to launch in mid-2022, now is the time to prepare by moving to Drupal 9. Wait for Drupal 10! The gap from Drupal 9 to Drupal 10 will be slightly more significant than that from Drupal 9 to Drupal 9. Drupal 9 and later versions are built for reusability, which will be stable foundations for older versions. For a successful digital experience for your audience, our team of experts can assist your organization.

Mark your Calendar! – Updated Nov 2021

Support for Drupal 6 ended in February 2016

Support for Drupal 8 ceased November 2, 2021.

Support for Drupal 7 ends November 28, 2022. (Later than Drupal 8)

Support for Drupal 9 will stop in 2023.

The Drupal development community supports Drupal and module updates. Then comes paid’ extended assistance’ for a short time. In other words, until you pay for a service that develops and maintains exploitable vulnerabilities and other problems, you won’t have them fixed. This is already the case with Drupal 8 and will be with Drupal 7 beginning in late 2022. It’s time to retire ageing software, not just worry about security.

Author Bio

Sai Pendyala, a senior content strategist at Palaemon Systems with a decade of IT experience, learned that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend a lot of money on software, third-party developers, and maintenance. In reality, many of these features are never used or necessary, but organizations are nevertheless charged for them. Sai Pendyala entered this sector to give personalized technology solutions while not overselling products. Good products come from good craftsmanship, but not at an exorbitant price. As a result, he works with businesses of different sizes and budgets, believing that these factors should never be obstacles to successful business partnerships. The constant development efforts are driven by the desire to create easy products/solutions that benefit business owners and their everyday clients.

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/palaemon-systems

Twitter: @Palaemonsystems – https://twitter.com/Palaemonsystems

Facebook: @palaemonsystemsinc – https://www.facebook.com/palaemonsystemsinc

Is it possible to migrate Drupal 6, 7, and 8 websites into Drupal 9