Moving out of Drupal 7 doesn’t have to be all pain.
Sure, it’s a big investment to migrate out of D7. And yes, a site running Drupal 7 needs to move before D7’s end of life in November of 2022 (or the people standing up that site need to plan for long term support for outdated software).
And even though it’ll take more time and money than past migrations, there are big benefits to moving to the latest version of Drupal.
Drupal 8 and 9 use object-oriented programing, so you get a more modern site.
Plus, you get the support of the Drupal community and future migrations in Drupal should be much easier.
But there are other ways to get the most out of a Drupal 7 migration. Here are three:
Refreshing Your Brand
When a migration goes smoothly, sometimes it feels like you did all this work, paid all this money and spent all this time for a website that just looks the same. You don’t get the experience of a new site.
Drupal developer Jen Lampton runs into this all the time. When a client is feeling a little bit unsure about making a big investment in upgrading their site, she tries to package the move with a rebrand.
“Something like, oh, we’re going to do a rebrand. That’s perfect because you have to build a new theme anyway, you might as well put them on a platform where you would have to build a new theme at the same time so they’re not doing it twice,” says Lampton. “So, now it looks like a savings to them rather than an investment into nothing because they don’t get exactly the same thing out that you started with.”
Drupal 7 came out in 2011. How things look on the internet has changed a lot since then. Why not make a site that looks more modern.
Cleaning Up Code
If a site has deprecated code or there’s something like content functionality in templates — which you’re not supposed to do — a migration is a great time to clean that all up. Start fresh.
And Drupal 8 will reach its end of life late this year in November 2021. Migrating to Drupal 9 needs to be done soon.
Cleaning up your code when moving out of Drupal 7 will likely make a future migration to D9 a little bit easier. And, of course, this is just better for your site functionality.
Finding the Right CMS for You
Is Drupal a good fit for you? Do you need a simpler CMS? Do you need a CMS at all?
Moving to the latest version of Drupal from D7 is essentially a replatforming. If you’re putting in this amount of work to move, you might as well consider other options like WordPress, Backdrop CMS, or moving out of a CMS all together.
Perhaps you don’t really need the complexity of Drupal – this is a great time to move to something simpler like WordPress.
Or, maybe you like Drupal 7 and you don’t want to leave, it’s worth checking out Backdrop CMS.
Maybe you like Drupal and the Drupal community. You’re excited about object oriented programming and the ease of future upgrades. Great, stay in Drupal and go on to Drupal 9.
Wherever you go, thinking about your audience and meeting them where they are with your site.
Moving out of Drupal 7 is a great time to plot the future of your site.