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While Drupal 9 users are in a wave of new and advanced features, many websites are stuck in the past, running on Drupal 7. In fact, there are over 500,000 websites using Drupal 7, not because there might be some issue related to it, but because they might not yet fully grasp the benefits of transitioning to Drupal 9.
If your primary goal is to maintain a smoothly operating website, Drupal 7 continues to do the job admirably. However, for those eager to tap into new capabilities and exciting features, the time has come to consider migration. This blog is your comprehensive guide to seamlessly upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9.
But first, understand why it is important to move to Drupal 9 and how it will benefit your business.
Why Drupal 7 to 9 Migration is a Must For Your Business?
Before you begin the process of moving your website from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, it's important to understand why it's a valuable step for your business. Here are some great reasons to consider Drupal migration:
Drupal's Easy Integration Approach
In Drupal 9, the API-First initiative was introduced, which makes it simpler to use REST APIs for sharing content from your Drupal site with other systems. This means connecting or gradually separating parts of your website is easier. Drupal also lets developers easily create REST endpoints for sharing data in a structured format (JSON) or using GraphQL with add-on modules.
Drupal's Ongoing Improvements
Once you've successfully moved to Drupal 9, you'll notice that future updates are more straightforward to implement. This is because Drupal is adopting a continuous improvement approach, shortening the time between updates, introducing new features, and making it easier to update your website.
Enhancements in Drupal's Core Features
Drupal 7's Panels have been replaced in Drupal 9 by Layout Builder, which allows website administrators to visually arrange content by page or content type. If you're using Acquia, you can go even further by using Site Studio, a tool that simplifies creating web pages without needing to code.
How To Get Started With Drupal 9 Migration?
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of code and data migrations, your migration to Drupal 9 should commence with a well-thought-out plan. The key to success is defining what you aim to achieve. Here are five crucial points to consider as you begin your migration:
a. Begin with a clear plan to outline your migration objectives and what success looks like.
b. Evaluate your current content to identify outdated elements and streamline content structures.
c. Consider updating the website's look and feel to take advantage of Drupal 9's theming capabilities.
d. Prioritize a mobile-first approach to enhance performance and responsiveness.
e. Assess your modules and code, determine migration paths, and decide between automated migration or a rebuild based on your evolving needs.
Here’s How to Migrate to Drupal 9 in Five Easy Steps
Moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 involves some significant changes in the underlying architecture. You'll need to migrate both content and configuration to a fresh Drupal 9 site. Drupal 9 also adopts Composer for PHP package management, a departure from the Drupal 7 project management approach. Ensuring proper organization of your Composer files is essential.
Here are five key considerations to guide your Drupal 7 to 9 migration
Select Your Migration Method
Choose between the user-friendly Migration UI or the developer-centric Drush approach. Use the Migration UI if you prefer a comprehensive migration, and opt for Drush for more control over specific migrations.
Content and Configuration Migration
When using the Migration UI, enable core migration modules and any essential new ones like Migrate Upgrade, Migrate Plus, and Migrate Tools. Ensure that your Drupal 7 contributed modules have a clear migration path to Drupal 9.
Leverage Drush for Flexibility
Drupal Developers can use Drush for more granular control. After importing your Drupal 7 database, employ Drush commands to selectively migrate specific content elements. For example, "drush migrate-import d7_user" will migrate user-related content.
Documentation as Your Guide
Drupal.org offers comprehensive documentation to support your migration journey. Make the most of this valuable resource to understand the migration steps and troubleshoot common issues. Keep an eye on the list of known issues for effective troubleshooting.
Prepare for Trial and Error
Anticipate some trial and error, particularly when dealing with a large volume of content or a complex Drupal 7 site. To streamline the process, consider decluttering your Drupal 7 site by removing non-essential elements before embarking on the migration. This can significantly simplify the overall migration effort.
Let’s Wrap Up!
To sum it up, upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 is a strategic step for an updated website. With enhanced features and a user-friendly experience, it's a worthwhile move.
Key steps include planning, content assessment, updates, mobile optimization, and careful module evaluation. For any challenges during Drupal migration, reach out to LN Webworks and make use of our expert-driven Drupal migration services.
LN WebworksYour Drupal Solution Partner
LN Webworks have championed open-source technologies for nearly a decade, bringing advanced engineering capabilities and agile practices to some of the biggest names across media, entertainment, education, travel, hospitality, telecommunications and other industries.