Migrating to Drupal 8/9: essential steps to make

Migrating to Drupal 8/9: essential steps to make about your website

It’s never too late to open the new digital opportunities for your business. Your website can help you in this — just make it more up-to-date with the latest technology. Still on Drupal 7? Let’s discuss migrating to Drupal 8/9 and the essential steps for doing this. Our website maintenance and support team is ready to seamlessly perform them all for you.

Business benefits of migrating to Drupal 8/9

We once shared a post about why to migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8. Since then, Drupal has made giant strides towards innovation, so Drupal 8 benefits for business have become more significant.

  • The latest advancements of D8 plus the new amazing prospects of D9 are combined into a unique “cocktail” of benefits that you will get if you migrate from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8/9. Let’s sum up just a few of them:
  • You can greatly expand your mobile audience thanks to the mobile-first nature of Drupal 8/9. Responsive design can be set up easily so as to provide the smoothest experiences for users of smartphones and tablets.
  • Your content editors will do tasks much faster and with joy. Features like the new CKEditor, the administrative Claro theme, Media Library, Layout Builder, and Quick Edit make a huge difference. Your editorial dashboard will look and work in a brand-new way.
Media Library in Drupal 8 and 9
  • Embrace larger audiences by speaking their languages thanks to out-of-the-box multilingual support. Languages are easy to add, interfaces are already translated, and editors can manage language versions in very convenient ways.
  • Your business can expand its digital reach if it’s not limited to a website alone. Content is now consumed via a great variety of devices — mobile phones, IoTs, smart TVs, wearables, conversational interfaces, and more. Drupal is now API-first, which means it is ready to exchange content in various formats with various devices and applications. Your editors publish content once and it is shared to multiple audiences.
  • Drupal now offers more built-in features and add-on modules to increase your website’s accessibility and make it easy-to-use for audiences with disabilities according to the latest standards.
  • A much cleaner code and more modern architecture make websites more SEO-friendly, secure, fast-performing, and easier to maintain, scale, and extend with new features.

Key steps of migrating to Drupal 8/9

1. Preparatory audit

As the first important step before migrating to Drupal 8 or 9, you will need to review your existing Drupal 7 site. Do its features and content structure meet your today’s business needs? Don’t forget to ask people involved in daily routine tasks on the website, because they might produce good advice.

2. Strategic planning

The results of this review is useful information for developers who should help you make an audit of all website’s modules, content types, etc. Here they plan what can just be migrated and what needs a custom rebuilding. When it comes to custom modules, they are the first candidates for custom rewriting because of the huge difference in architecture between D7 and D8/9. Contributed modules are ready in most cases.

3. Creating a fresh site instance

D7 is so far behind that the only way to upgrade a website is to create a fresh instance of the Drupal core from scratch, with subsequent migration of your content. This new Drupal 8/9 website will include all the lucrative benefits of the new version. Your website’s design can stay the same or become totally different — it’s up to you to decide.

4. Content and configuration migration

As the next important step of migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8/9, developers migrate all your data using the available tools and methods. Luckily, Drupal now offers a lot of automation options. Some of the data will need to be recreated manually from scratch. For some data, complex mapping will be needed. Experts make decisions as to the most feasible ways of migration.

5. Testing and deployment

The final step of the Drupal 7 to 8/9 migration is to thoroughly check whether the data has been migrated correctly, and then the website can go live. In the ideal testing process, it’s more than just checking the correctness of the migration — professional QA engineers do various kinds of testing (performance, functionality, and usability testing) to evaluate the website’s work from all angles.

Migrating to Drupal 8/9 is easy with experts

We have tried and described the process of migrating to Drupal 8 or 9 in very simple terms. Yes, it can be challenging in reality. However, when you cooperate with experts, you can be sure all the steps of upgrading a Drupal 7 website to Drupal 8/9 will be performed smoothly and safely. Contact our web agency and let the new life of your website begin!

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