Drupal 7 is scheduled to expire in 2020. Read more about Drupal 7’s end of life (EOL) and how to prepare. The cost of Drupal 7 migration could range from several thousand dollars to over a million dollars.
One way to ballpark estimate the cost of migration is to determine how much it cost to build the website originally (when it was built in Drupal 7) plus the cost of all the enhancements made along the way since it was first deployed in Drupal 7.
Just throwing numbers out, assume it cost about $500,000 to build the site in Drupal 7 seven years ago and you have invested approximately $250,000 per year since then ($250k x 7 = $1.75M), then your total investment has been approximately $2.25M. It could cost as much to rebuild it in Drupal 8 as it cost to build it in Drupal 7 and enhance it over time. Your site could be way less or way more, Drupal sites are rarely the same.
Assuming no improvements to the design or functionality of the existing site, these are the primary costs variables:
- Inventory and assessment of current site
- Remove obsolete content and functionality
- Engineer the new information architecture
- Set up development, staging, and testing environments
- Develop the front-end code (Drupal 8 theme)
- Import views, panels, content, etc., into the D8 site
- Develop the back-end code (Drupal 8 custom modules)
- Quality assurance, accessibility, metadata, etc.
Breaking down the costs of Drupal migration
Inventory and assessment of current site
The cost of inventory and assessment is a factor of the size and complexity of the site. Obviously, simple sites may only require a few hours to a few days to inventory and assess the site. Highly complex sites could take weeks ore months to inventory and assess. Cost of inventory and assessment could range from a $1,000 to $50,000 to $250,000, it all depends on size and complexity.
Remove obsolete content and functionality
As usual, the cost of removing obsolete content and functionality depends on the size and complexity of the site. It could take a few hours to a few weeks. Cost ranges between $500 to $15,000 to $150,000 – again, depends on the age, volume, and relevance.
Engineer the new information architecture
Depending on size and complexity, it could take a few hours to a few weeks. Cost ranges between $500 to $15,000 to $150,000.
Set up development, staging, and testing environments
Could range from a couple hours to a couple days, $500-$2,000.
Develop the front-end code (Drupal 8 theme)
Probably no less than a week but could be six to eight weeks depending on the number and variety of unique page types, views, templates, etc. Cost could range from $10,000 to $50,000 to $150,000.
Import views, panels, content, etc., into the D8 site
Depending on size and complexity, it could take a few hours to a few days, or about $500-$2,000.
Develop the back-end code (Drupal 8 custom modules)
Depending on size and complexity, it could take a few days to several months. Cost could range between $5,000 to $500,000 to a $1M+.
Project management, quality assurance, documentation, training, accessibility, metadata, etc.
All this could cost between 5%-50% of the entire project development cost depending on the policy and requirements of the organization and the skill level of the people who will be managing the website post-launch. It could be as little as a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars.
Launch is probably the easiest part of the process but it should not be taken lightly. It is important to take necessary precautions to ensure a smooth launch as well as a disaster recovery plan if the launch were to fail. It would be good to budget time and money to prepare for a successful launch.