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“Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work, and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last.” - Hamilton Holt
Drupal has undeniably been the most eminent enterprise content management system (CMS) since its inception. Once it started its journey of customer acquisition, there was no looking back. Even today, Drupal enjoys the stature of being the most admired CMS for website development in the world. One of the major factors that contribute to its immense success is the brand’s relentless pursuit to deliver unmatchable services to its clients. This bespeaks its customer-first approach. Every two-to-three years Drupal updates its systems to ensure cutting-edge security and top-notch features.
No doubt, these quantum improvements are essential to match strides with the advancements in technology and overcome security threats without fail, but Drupal migration is usually taxing. Entrepreneurs and developers often grumble about the time and energy they have to expend on the demanding process of Drupal migration. Hence, multitudinous Drupal websites across the globe continue to stick to Drupal 6 or 7 despite the release of Drupal 8 and 9. This is not good as sticking to older versions exposes your website to data breaches and malware threats. You miss out on the new cutting-edge features and bug fixes. Given that, upgrading to the latest version of Drupal is imperative.
Besides, as promised to its clients, the brand has successfully mitigated the complicated process of Drupal migration. Due to backward compatibility between Drupal 8 and 9, migrating to Drupal 9 is hassle-free. So, if you haven’t already upgraded to Drupal 8, it’s high time to do it. You’ll be delighted to know that once you take the leap, along with all other potential threats you’ll also overcome the old and complicated process of Drupal migration. This is because the brand has already promised its customers to ensure backward compatibility in all future versions as well.
However, while migrating from Drupal 6 or 7 to Drupal 8, you’ll have to bear the painful pangs of the process one final time. Still, here we have tried to simplify the process for you by shedding light on common Drupal migration challenges and their solutions.
The Common Challenges of Drupal Migration and How to Slew Them
Overcoming content migration redundancies:
Content migration is usually a laborious task. In order to minimize the effort expended, there is a general tendency for marketers to move all the content possessed by their existing website. However, it is crucial to understand that filtering content and removing duplicate and redundant content is an important element of Drupal migration. It shouldn’t be missed out as it is crucial for significantly enhancing the overall appeal of your site.
Rather, what you can do to make things easy is join hands with Drupal experts and let them take the burden off your shoulders. With immense experience, they are quick at identifying content redundancies, unused content types that no longer serve your website, unutilized data, and other content issues. Let them remove all this unnecessary stuff for you, and your website will not only become lighter but also possess the choicest content that’ll captivate the hearts of your visitors. What do you think?
Seamless continuity of SEO migration:
Today, SEO is one of the most important aspects business websites have to look after. After all, it significantly impacts your overall search engine ranking and organic website traffic. While migrating to a higher version of Drupal, obviously, you cannot afford to lose all the work you have done on your website in terms of SEO. It would mean sheer wastage of all the time and effort you expended for years. Hence, seamless and meticulous SEO migration should be the focal point of your Drupal migration strategy. All your SEO-optimized content including URLs, header tags, and others should directly be carried over to the migrated version of your website.
If you are planning to introduce some changes, it is crucial for you and your SEO team to plan dedicated strategies to ensure nothing goes awry. Besides, diligent testing before launching your updated website is the key to ensuring captivating SEO for your website.
There are significant architectural differences between Drupal 7 and 8 which are self-evident. Due to a lack of backward compatibility, no matter what you do, you have to rebuild nearly all aspects of your existing website while migrating to Drupal 8 or 9. You might find it absurd but this is how it is. In fact, if you see things in a new light, this gives you a golden opportunity to remodel your website’s architecture and eliminate redundancies, unused modules, and integrations.
If you put your efforts into all these things here, imagine how comfortable your journey to further Drupal migrations will be. As Drupal 8 onwards, the higher versions will have similar architecture, you can invest your efforts now and future-proof your website’s architecture. No need to remodel it time and again, provided you do it with absolute sincerity right now.
So, the ultimate solution to the challenge of architecture remodeling is to bring a paradigm shift in how you look at it. After all, when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. Remember these words by Wayne Dyer whenever you find yourself grumbling about remodeling website architecture.
Rebuilding custom modules:
You might feel baffled to know that after migrating to Drupal 8 or 9, you’ll be required to rebuild the custom modules. You might wonder why? Basically, the answer is that in Drupal 6 and 7, custom modules were based on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). Whereas, in Drupal 8, these modules are built on Symfony. Don’t try to suppress your pain and anguish at this revelation, as your pain is natural and genuine.
However, it is crucial to remember that migrating to Drupal 8 or 9 will take your site to a whole new sphere. From there on, you won’t have to rebuild your custom modules time and again due to the similarity of architecture in advanced versions. Besides, creating these modules in the higher versions of Drupal is easier than ever. All it takes is four simple steps: name your module, create a yml file, develop a routing file, and add a controller. That’s it.
Seems like a piece of cake now, doesn't it? So, don’t feel perplexed, you can do it effortlessly. In order to derive the best results, don’t hurry through the process. Give yourself and your team the time to do things meticulously. After all, doing things right once is always better than having to do them again.
Drupal 8 and 9 are loaded with completely different themes as compared to Drupal 6 and 7. What that means is that while migrating to version 8 or 9, you can’t help but rewrite the themes. You might think of it as another bad news, but believe it or not, it is just a matter of perception. Rewriting themes is synonymous with altering the user experience of your website for the better.
Enhanced user experience can take your website to a whole new level where you might see increasing organic traffic, more sales, and greater revenue. Altering your user experience might look like a small step, but it can bring monumental advancements to your site. If you see things with this vision, rewriting themes can be one of the best things you do while migrating to a higher version of Drupal. What do you think?
Migration of advanced views:
The views module in Drupal enables you to develop and display captivating lists of content. As your website undertakes a migration to Drupal 9, advanced views can’t be migrated as it is. With that said, you require to recreate all the required advanced views in Drupal 8 or 9 again.
However, it is imperative to note that you can use the views migration module from Drupal 7 to 9 for migrating simple views. This implies that you won’t have to recreate all the views. Besides, you can also try to migrate advanced views using this feature to see if you get lucky and it works. But, don’t forget to conduct thorough testing before concluding that your views have been successfully migrated.
Drupal migration can be a challenging but necessary process for website owners still using Drupal 6 or 7. Upgrading to Drupal 8 or 9 can enhance your site's features and improve user experience, leading to increased revenue. Our team of experienced Drupal professionals can guide you through the migration process and provide ongoing support for your website.
We'll work with you to develop a tailored plan based on your business needs, ensuring a smooth and successful transition to the new platform. Don't let Drupal migration worries hold you back - contact us today to learn more about how we can help you achieve your website goals.
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Shikha KumarCo-Founder & Director
Shikha is a senior full-stack web developer who easily adapts to any technology required for clients' projects. She has experience working in-house for large companies and as a consultant for a variety of organizations. She communicates well, prefers Agile methods, and has managed teams of all sizes.