Migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8

Migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8: why it’s high time

Every website is meant to be a powerful engine for its business. It should boost the brand visibility, drive conversions and raise customer satisfaction through its smooth work, high performance, sufficient safety, engaging user experience, and more.

Outdated websites will not able to do it! Here’s why we would like to discuss the option to migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8. You can always reach out to our Drupal agency to get more details and order a smooth upgrade.

Affordable low-cost Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration

Our priority today in these hard times is to help as many businesses as possible renovate their websites, bring them in line with the new technology trends, make them more friendly to users and editors, and secure them. That’s why our Drupal maintenance and support team offers migration to Drupal 8 at a reasonable price — talk to us to discuss this.

My website is still on Drupal 6: what is the problem?

If you are using D6, you are one of only 35,100+ website owners, according to the Drupal core usage statistics. This is a drop in the ocean of the total 1,100,500+ Drupal sites. But what is wrong with D6?

You might have heard that D6 is outdated. It reached its end-of-life in February 2016. The official team no longer releases any updates or patches for it, including Drupal security updates to respond to ever-changing vulnerabilities.

There are no longer any improvements to D6 in making websites user-friendly, providing better editorial experiences, boosting the website performance, and offering new technology opportunities.

No new D6 modules will ever be created to meet your desired functionality, and existing ones will not be improved or fixed to get rid of various bugs and issues.

What are the options for Drupal 6 site owners?

The above-described sad picture does not have to include you — there are solutions to improve it. Here they the options Drupal 6 website owners have:

  1. Commercial support. There is a D6 Long Term Support (LTS) program to provide security and maintenance updates for the core and contributed modules. This option looks like patching holes in an old cloth, and you are falling  behind anyway. If you choose this, you will need to pay a regularly fee. But how long is this going to last? It’s much better to invest once in an upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8, especially with our low-cost Drupal support services.
  2. Upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7. This used to be a very promising option before, but not now. D7, although still widely used, is not a future-oriented choice in 2020. Drupal 7 site owners strive to upgrade to Drupal 8 to enjoy numerous Drupal 8 benefits. In addition, D7 is not Drupal 9 ready, while D8 is!
  3. Upgrade from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 (recommended). This choice is very future-proof. Your Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration will get you on the innovative track all subsequent upgrades quick and easy (more on this later). Right now, we are sharing why we recommend migrating to D8 now.

Why migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8?

In addition to the above reasons why you need to upgrade Drupal 6, here are more specific reasons to migrate to D8. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Easy upgrades forever. D9 is coming soon, and all sites that use the latest version of D8 and are clean from deprecated code will be ready for D9 instantly. So, although D7 and D8 both reach end-of-life in November 2021, it will be easy to quickly jump to D9 as long as you are on D8. You only need to make this move once now — migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 — and avoid hassle with upgrades in the future.
  • Significantly improved editorial experiences. D8 has a strong focus on easy content management. It offers the CKEditor to conveniently create content, Media Library to store and use various multimedia, the quick edit feature to edit things on the fly, enhanced content moderation options, drag-and-drop Layout Builder to shape your pages, and much more.
  • Mobile-first approach. Making your website mobile-friendly and providing the best browsing experiences to all audiences is a must. Migrate to Drupal 8 with its mobile-first approach! It has mobile responsive core themes, the Responsive Image and Breakpoint modules, and many other built-in and add-on features for responsive web design.
  • Unique multilingual capabilities. If the numerous reasons to make your site multilingual have convinced you, Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration is a gold mine. Almost a hundred languages supported, interface translations uploaded in one click, fine-grained multilingual settings, and more makes Drupal the best choice for multilingual websites.
  • API-first approach. It’s time to get a multiplied digital reach! Migrate to D8 to use its enhanced capabilities to share data with any applications. These can be written in Python, Java, Go, etc., as well as powered by JavaScript frameworks like React, Vue, Gatsby, Ember, etc. providing exclusive loading speed and dynamic experiences.
  • Integrations with whatever software you need. Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration will open extensive opportunities to seamlessly integrate your site with your favorite marketing automation solutions, CRM platforms, all kinds of third-party APIs, and so on.
  • A new level of e-commerce. If you have or think about having e-commerce features on your site, consider Drupal Commerce 2, which is available in D8. Convenient product management, a great choice of payment gateways, various payment options, multiple currencies, flexible checkouts, and decoupled Commerce are just a few of the many reasons to create an online store with Commerce 2.
  • Brand-new architecture and latest libraries. The totally new Drupal 8 architecture reflects in the better site’s performance, efficient development, high site maintainability, clean code, and more. D8 is built on OOP (object-oriented programming) and uses the latest Symfony components, Twig template engine, Composer package manager, etc.
Why migrate from Drupal 6 to 8

How to migrate Drupal 6 to 8

The Drupal 6 migration process implies creating a D8 site from a clean slate and migrating your site configuration and site content to it. The huge difference in the architecture causes certain Drupal 8 migration challenges.

Luckily, there are very helpful D8 core modules that provide for the smooth content and configuration migration. However, in many cases, you may also need custom scripts, manual content or configuration recreation, and more.

Here are the basically steps to migrate from Drupal 6 to 8 through the admin UI:

  • Reviewing your website’s needs & making an audit of your modules (no longer needed, moved to the core, etc.)
  • Comprehensively rewriting your custom modules according to the new D8 architecture and eliminating the deprecated APIs and functions.
  • Consulting a SEO expert to discuss the URL structure, possible redirects, and more.
  • Updating the D6 site to the latest minor version.
  • Backing up your current site as a good safety recommendation.
  • Creating a Drupal installation of the latest version available.
  • Enabling the core migration modules (Migrate, Migrate Drupal, Migrate Drupal UI, and if needed, Migrate Drupal Multilingual).
  • Enabling the necessary core & contributed modules that you will need for content or configuration migration.
  • Specifying the source site details on the /upgrade path of your new D8 site.
  • Performing the upgrade with the “Perform upgrade” button provided by the Migrate UI.
  • Reviewing the logs and checking for errors.

Entrust your Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration

This article has explained why you need a Drupal 6 update (called “upgrade” in the Drupal world when it comes to moves between major versions). Now you know the time to migrate from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 is now.

Just make this single move — and enjoy the innovation, performance, and safety. Let our Drupal support team take care of your seamless Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration!


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