Why Migrate Your Site to the Drupal CMS

Drupal migration may seem like a daunting challenge when you see nothing wrong with your current website. However, you may be missing out on an opportunity to fix hidden issues and benefit from upgrades that will help your site better serve your needs.

Our team at Americaneagle.com doesn’t want anyone to be intimidated by the thought of migrating to an updated Drupal platform. So we’ve put together this migration guide to assist you through the process. Let’s start with the basics:

Laptop on a desk displaying the Drupal 10.0 logo, symbolizing a software update or migration to the latest version.

What is Drupal?

Simply stated, Drupal is a content management system (CMS) used to create websites and applications. Built around the concept of modularity, Drupal’s biggest asset is its flexibility.

Using Drupal’s tools, you can create versatile and reliable websites designed for collaboration. As open-source software, anyone can download, use, and share their work across their team or even their company.

With a variety of customizable components and add-ons, from modules to extend Drupal’s capabilities to customizable themes that make your site look effortlessly professional, Drupal is the ideal choice for crafting integrated digital frameworks.

Why You Should Migrate to Drupal

If you previously had a site using Drupal 8, you know that the software expired on November 2, 2021, and hopefully, you have already migrated your site to Drupal 9. For those using Drupal 7, Drupal has extended the end-of-life date until November 1, 2023, to give users more time to make the switch to the updated software.

With Drupal 10 released in December 2022, now is the time to prepare your site for Drupal migration. But why should you move?

  • Perpetual development: As technology advances and evolves, the platforms we use change with it. The Drupal of the past isn’t the Drupal of the present or the future. With every new version of itself, Drupal is adding new innovative features that your customers may want to see on your site.
  • Easy future updates: The ease you are afforded with future updates is the biggest incentive to transition to Drupal’s latest release. Upgrading to Drupal 9 or 10 from Drupal 7 or 8 will require an entire overhaul and recreation of your platform. Once you’ve completed your Drupal migration, though, every update after that is based on their adoption of a continuous innovation model. Every new feature will be integrated with minor version updates and major upgrades, rather than large transitions.  

What to Know About Migrating to Drupal

Now that you know it’s time to start your Drupal migration, we are going to walk you through the process. Let’s get started!

Installing Drupal

Before a single line of code has been written or migrations run, a plan should be created to define what a successful migration looks like.

As you are creating a strategy to rebuild your site on the new platform, it’s the perfect time to reevaluate what elements of your site are working and what content isn’t generating traffic. Overall, the goal is to guarantee any incorrect data, bad practices, or obsolete features don’t follow you onto the new site.

Once you’ve perfected your new site plan, you can tackle the migration of content and configuration to an updated Drupal platform. 

Building a Website with Drupal

Thanks to the major structural changes in Drupal 8 and 9, moving to Drupal 9 from Drupal 7 requires both a content and configuration migration to a fresh website. There are some tools, like the Acquia CMS project or the Drupal Recommended Project, to help you along.

There are two common strategies for migrating your site from Drupal 7 to 9: the Migration UI or Drush. The Migration UI route presumes you want to transfer everything and requires installing and enabling the Migrate Upgrade, Migrate Plus, and Migrate Tools contributed modules, so you’ll have all the needed modules in the new platform.

Start by importing the Drupal 7 database, navigate to the upgrade path, enter your credentials, and follow the instructions to begin the migration. The core modules accommodate most nodes, taxonomy, fields, users, content, and user roles but, without a contrib migration path, themes, custom modules, and views will require some rebuilding. All modules lacking a clear upgrade path will also need a manual migration.

For a migration with more configuration options, Drush offers greater flexibility to vary your migration paths. Once you’ve finished importing the Drupal 7 database, the following Drush command will give you a list of viable migrations:

drush migrate:upgrade --legacy-db-url=mysql://root:root@localhost/drupal7db --legacy-root=drupal7site/docroot --configure-only

After you’ve decided on the best path, running Drush migrate-import will give you the individual migrations you want to carry over onto the Drupal 9 site. For instance:

drush mim d7_user

Throughout this process, Drupal’s main site is your best resource for assistance, including a list of known issues that can help mitigate any migration troubles. Developers should anticipate some trial and error when ensuring all content has integrated successfully, but stripping down your original Drupal 7 site to its essentials should help streamline this process.

Partner with a Drupal Web Development Company

As a trusted partner of Drupal, Americaneagle.com knows how to mold Drupal’s offerings to fit your business’s ever-changing needs. With Drupal-certified developers and programmers, three decades of experience working with tools that include Acquia, and a knowledge base of over 800 professionals, we provide every service needed to build a platform that grows as your company does.

Our services include:

  • Upgrades and migrations to ensure your site is up-to-date with Drupal’s latest version. Learn more about our Drupal upgrades services.
  • Integration of leading software to guarantee a smooth site experience for customers and team members.
  • Implementation of features and tools as the needs of your website change.
  • Creating a strategic roadmap to generate the best results for your business.
  • Utilizing our digital marketing experts to develop a custom campaign that will bring attention to your Drupal site through SEO, social media, PPC, email, and content optimization.
  • Designing and developing a Drupal interface and theme to optimize the user experience in a professional and unique configuration.

Take a closer look at Americaneagle.com’s services or contact us to get in touch with an expert!


About Author

staff at americaneagle.com
Americaneagle.com has a dedicated team of strategists, technologists, and content writers to help you stay up to date with the latest and greatest trends in the technology industry. We cover a wide variety of topics on a regular basis, some of which include website design, website development, digital marketing services, ecommerce, accessibility, website hosting and security, and so much more. Educating our clients, prospects, and readers is very important to us and we appreciate the opportunity to be an authoritative voice in the industry.


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