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Did you know that more than two billion websites are powered by Drupal globally? This implies that a majority of sites have chosen Drupal as a companion in their continual process of business growth. With Drupal's upgrade and migration services, you can easily keep your website up-to-date and take advantage of the latest features and security updates. If you have also tapped into the enormous potential of the powerful CMS, you already know the magic it can create.
With its relentless pursuit to elevate itself further, Drupal persistently releases higher versions that are equipped with cutting-edge technology and top-notch features. Drupal 9 is the latest version of the CMS which boasts its innumerable ingenious tools and features capable of introducing quantum leaps in the world of content management.
However, the current state of affairs is such that most Drupal-powered websites continue to stick to Drupal 7. A quarter of them continue to be supported by Drupal 8, and only a small fraction have migrated to the latest Drupal 9. Several factors guard the gate of change and discourage organizations from transitioning to Drupal 9. The costs involved, time required, and cumbersome migration process which involves content migration redundancies, architecture remodeling, and the need to rebuild custom modules are some of them.
However, it is crucial to understand that limiting yourself to the older versions of the CMS can throw your website into a turmoil of troubles. As Drupal developers earnestly focus their attention on Drupal 9, Drupal 7 is being subjected to negligence as it will become outdated soon. Consequently, it is becoming vulnerable, obsolete, and can act as a gateway for hackers to attack your site.
Exposing your website to cybersecurity threats today is not something you can afford. Consumers are extremely protective of their data, and if you lose their trust once, gaining it back will be as challenging as squeezing water from a stone. Would you not agree to this?
Besides, being a customer-centric platform, Drupal has felt the pulse of its users. It has identified that they don’t like the cumbersome process of Drupal migration. Hence, from Drupal 8 onwards, it has simplified the Drupal upgrade process. The architectural similarities between Drupal 8, 9, and further versions make the migration process a piece of cake for the users. This implies that once you upgrade to Drupal 9, you’ll forever rid yourself of the pains associated with the older Drupal migration process.
Now, if you have realized why the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade is indispensable, you might be pondering over the time and costs involved in the process.
Approximate Cost of the Drupal 7 to 9 Upgrade
If you have finally mustered the courage to step into the arduous arena of the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade, there is something crucial you need to know. After making the switch, your growth will be evolutionary, but the net effect will be revolutionary. You’ll feel the benefits and see immediate payoffs. Whenever your mind gets infused with discouragement during the Drupal 7 to 9 migration process, this will help you keep your spirit intact.
Now, before we dive deeper into the time and costs involved in the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade, it is imperative to mention that it all depends upon the complexity of your site. As discussed earlier, you’ll have to remodel architecture, redefine custom modules, and undertake multitudinous similar tasks during the Drupal 7 to 9 migration process. The extent to which these tasks get stretched will be determined by the complexity of your site. However, it is still possible to approximate the average time and costs involved in the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade.
Drupal 7 to 9 Upgrade Cost
In discovering the cost of Drupal 7 to 9 migration, it is imperative to understand that it will be determined by an amalgam of a number of factors. What exactly are those factors? Let’s explore together.
The assessment of the existing site
Before initiating the migration process, the developers will thoroughly examine your current website. The cost of this assessment is a function of the site’s size and complexity. The extent of complexities involved in the process will play a pivotal role in deciding the time developers dedicate to the assessment process. Some websites require a few hours, others need days, while some extremely complex sites may require months. Hence, the hourly rate of the hired developers will determine the exact cost of this process.
Eradicating outdated content
In order to reap the maximum benefits of the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade and come up with a clean and impressive website, eradicating outdated content is a must. Depending upon your website’s size, this process may require a few hours to a few days. Again, the cost will depend upon the hourly rate of the hired developers.
Planning the new information architecture of your upgraded website
Your ultimate goal is to make your Drupal 9 website captivating for your customers. So, after a thorough evaluation of your website, you have to plan the information architecture of your new website. The cost of this process also depends on the specifications of your Drupal 9 website.
Developing the setup and conducting thorough testing
Depending upon your site’s requirements and the skillset of the developers, this process takes a few hours to a few days.
Creating the front-end code
Your website’s front end demands a lot of emphasis as it is the part of your site that users can see and interact with. Hence, creating a phenomenal front-end code is what your website development team should focus on. So the cost depends upon the hourly rates charged by the website development team and the time invested.
Importing views, panels, and content
Without any second thoughts, importing views, panels, and content is one of the most important steps in the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade. It also takes a few hours to a few days depending on the specifications of your website.
Back-end code development
The back end has to do with the server side of your site. It shoulders the responsibility of ensuring that your site performs at an optimum level. The cost incurred in back end development is also a function of the hourly rate charged by the hired developers.
No doubt, the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade can be a costly affair, but the cost incurred is nothing in comparison to the benefits reaped. Improved performance and scalability, cutting-edge security features, top-notch technological assistance, enhanced support for multilingual websites, and numerous other features won’t let you suffer even a twinge of regret at your decision. Rather, you’ll feel exhilarated at having made the wisest choice for your website’s movement in an upward spiral of growth. So, have you already started creating your Drupal 7 to 9 migration budget?
Drupal 7 to 9 Upgrade Time
Coming to the time required for Drupal 7 to 9 migration, it is again a function of your site’s size and complexity. Simple Drupal 7 websites can fabulously be upgraded to Drupal 9 without expending much time. Usually, developers take around two weeks to do the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade for simple websites. However, as site customization and complexity increase, it is quite understandable that the time involved in the migration process also escalates.
This doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to a simple Drupal 7 website. Not at all! Spread your website’s wingspan with as much customization as you aspire to incorporate. This will only enhance your website’s overall appeal. But, remember to be patient with the Drupal migration process too. Being hasty may be detrimental to your website. So, take things easy, let the developers decide the amount of time they’ll need, and be patient to reap optimum results. Even if your website is highly complex, the maximum duration of time required won’t exceed 6 months.
Here, we have listed some of the most important and time-consuming aspects of the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade to help you understand where the developers will spend most of their time.
Initialization of the process
During the initialization process developers thoroughly examine your existing website’s content types, fields, comment types, blog posts, and other elements. Afterward, they decide on the required migration specifics to come up with a clean website free of any redundancies.
Rewriting of custom modules
This is one of the most time-consuming aspects of the Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade. Herein, the developers meticulously rewrite your existing custom modules so that they align with Drupal 9 module standards in a hassle-free manner.
Conducting automated or manual migration of elements
Being an ingenious CMS, Drupal doesn’t burden you with all the responsibilities of the migration process. The automated migration modules enable you to seamlessly migrate the standard procedures without any hassle. No doubt, some elements have to be rewritten or recreated manually depending on your site’s requirements, but still automatic migration lifts more than half the burden off your shoulders.
Your website is unarguably the face of your company. It gives your company life breath by captivating the hearts of your consumers and inspiring them to stick with you in the long run. Hence, you cannot afford to have any loopholes in your website. So, before launching it after upgrading to Drupal 9, developers conduct thorough testing to validate that everything functions perfectly.
Seamless website launch
After the completion of all the above steps, comes the much-awaited moment of website launch. The developers inspect everything thoroughly, slew all the doubts, and finally deploy your upgraded Drupal 9 website. Once your website is live, you can celebrate with your team and rejoice.
Keeping in mind the current state of affairs with respect to the ever-increasing competition and cybersecurity requirements, a Drupal 7 to 9 upgrade is the need of the hour for all Drupal-supported websites. No doubt, the process is a bit costly and taxing, but the ultimate fruits that you reap make all that you endure pale in comparison. Top-notch security features, advanced technological tools, multi-language support, and all other cutting-edge features make the pangs of Drupal migration worth it.
LN Webworks provides Drupal upgrade and migration services with experts who have the necessary skills to make the transition seamless. Upgrade to Drupal 9 with LN Webworks to stay ahead of the game in the digital landscape.
Manpreet SinghDrupal Expert
Manpreet is a detail-oriented website and web application developer with 6+ of experience delivering solutions, ranging from small microsites to big portals, including corporate intranets. He has been building Drupal-powered sites since version 7.