Drupal, an open-source CMS has been evolving consistently to simplify web application development and meet new web development trends. However, innovation has the other side- arduous website migrations with full of problems, challenges, and unforeseen nasty surprises.
Latest Buzz in Drupal Community
Drupal 9 is the latest avatar in the market, released in June 2020. The earlier Drupal versions 7 and 8 are having their end-of-life(EOL) in January 5, 2025 and November 2021 respectively. Having said that, many people are still on Drupal 7 as upgrading to Drupal 8 caused major disruption and migration became tedious for Drupal developers. But unlike Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 migration, the Drupal 9 migration will be seamless and fuss-free as Drupal 9 is said to be built in Drupal 8 itself. According to the Drupal founder Dries Buytaert, Drupal 9 is almost the same as the latest version of Drupal 8.x but without deprecated code.
What’s new in Drupal 9
Drupal 9 is shiny new and still making its way into the Drupal community by removing the deprecated APIs and also modernizing the dependencies such as Twigs and Symfony. Drupal 9 will deprecate the codes which are no longer needed and also supports code backward compatibility.
Drupal 9 is built on the Drupal 8 codebase and hence seems to be a natural progression of the previous version. The new functionality is no alien to Drupal 8 users making the transition smooth and effortless keeping up with the innovation model. If you are on Drupal 7, migrate to the latest Drupal 8 version and then to the Drupal 9 version. And if you are already a Drupal 8 user and wonder if you need to upgrade? Yes… for security, stability, support, and other competitive advantages!
Migration is not easy… but we’ve got you covered!
With all the hustle in the market, developers shouldn’t jump in head-first to migrate to the latest Drupal version and get into trouble mid-way. Drupal website migration can get notoriously complex and even seasoned developers sometimes underestimate the amount of work involved. Although it may seem daunting, the process isn’t tedious if you follow the right protocol to go about it.
Here we are with some ideas and principles on website migration, compiled from the expertise of the Drupal development community so that some pitfalls and risks could be avoided.
Web developers should understand the following things before they dwell into the migration process
1. Make a Plan
Even the seasoned Drupal developers can’t execute a flawless website migration on their first attempt. The web developers should come up with a blueprint of how to initiate the website migration. Meticulous planning, attention to detail, and reasonable expectations can avoid expensive mistakes. Adroit planning is necessary when finding the right tools to best suit the client’s needs.
2. Leverage Expertise
Expertise holds a high pedestal in the Drupal website migration. Inexperience and lack of capability cannot make the cut when you are migrating your website. You need to have a clear idea of an agile and efficient migration to take place. Customizations might be a task assigned only to seasoned or equipped developers.
3. Migrating a Monolith
Migrating massive monoliths have its drawbacks as it can pose maintenance and scalability challenges. The key to all great beginnings is to start small. Pick up chunks of your website and work on these bits instead of taking up a whole project. Deploy small bits of your project and present it to your users.
4. Leverage Automation
When handling robust websites, maintaining a consistent level of efficiency is not possible without automating certain low fidelity areas of your website. Automation is a necessity today as manual deployments are prone to errors and this could save some cost and time iterations by reducing the bugs.
5. Invest in Microservices
Some of the services can work in isolation like a single sign-on and thrive where the communication can be maintained via APIs. During the migration, instead of disrupting the whole of the ecosystem, each service can be tackled in parts. Also, each may have a different problem and solutions would also be different. This way the impact of migration on the entire architecture would be reduced.
6. Monitor, Monitor, and Monitor
During the Drupal website migration, monitoring seals the deal. Thorough and constant monitoring ensures a safe and seamless migration. Similar to automation, if the developers can find tools to monitor constantly, any unforeseen issues can be caught and these tools push out the warnings about the areas that need extra attention. Remember to monitor everything, monitor all the time, and monitor as much as you can to avoid any nasty surprises.
7. Quality Assurance and Acceptance Testing
Some hiccups are common in the journey so lots of testing, rolling back, and re-testing is required to get everything right and remove any false positives. However, it is unrealistic to expect Drupal developers to go through every page to confirm that it is migrated correctly. So, generate a baseline list of functionality that you want to test and this can also serve as a benchmark during the development process. Also, gauge the migration success only after allotting some time and budget for post-migration user experience and SEO analysis.
Although website migration is a beneficial investment, it also brings along various pain points during the process. Yet, if you adopt a structured approach for website migration, you can successfully mitigate the risks. At Skynet Technologies, we have helped organizations across the globe with their website migration challenges and provided smooth Drupal website migration.
We have a unique approach that suits varied web architectures, aiming to deliver consistently best digital migration experiences. We have our own automated and auditing tools that improve migration efficiencies by 10x times and help you achieve your desired business outcomes. In case you are looking to have more information on Drupal 9 or need any help while migrating to Drupal 9, Hit us up now!
Skynet Technologies is a specialized Drupal Development Company delivering content-driven website and web application using Drupal 7, Drupal 8 and Drupal 9. With Drupal, we can transform your idea into reality. Whether you are looking to build a Drupal website from scratch or looking to enhance existing Drupal website, our experienced and dedicated Drupal Developers can get the job done for you on-time and on-budget. Our skilled and qualified Drupal developers have years of expertise in customizing Drupal modules to leverage the benefit of personalized features and functionality to fit your business needs!