Migrating from older version to the newer one is something that may have to be done one or more times during a website’s lifespan. This happens for all web development platforms and Drupal is not an exception. With the End of Life for Drupal 6 in 2016, business websites had to switch to Drupal 7 and now Drupal 8. Upgrading to the latest version, in fact, is the most important decision that you can make right now as it will make your business future ready. Despite the unmatched improvements that this all new version has rendered, there are several challenges that Drupal 8 migration involves. Here is all that you need to know before you start working on it.
Migrating To Drupal 8: All That You Should Know:- Right from its release, this version of the CMS has been commended for its performance, scalability, and flexibility. This is the reason that migration has become a norm for businesses that want to leverage the improvements in the version. But there are several issues related to data migration and module shifts that you may have to deal with. Thus, it is better to be prepared and know what to expect after the migration:
Complete Theme Revamping:- Once you migrate, the Drupal 8 site will be much different looking as compared to the original one. The reason is that the themes and templates take a complete revamp and you would need to rework on them.
Information Architecture Advancement:- Besides getting a new look, the migrated site will also be structurally different as it will have an advanced architecture. It would be best to Hire Drupal Developers to assess the existing information architecture and upgrade it to the advanced one as you move on to the new version.
Focus on Drupal 8 Core And a Mobile-First Approach:- The emphasis on the core functionalities of the CMS has increased in Drupal 8. Additionally, the UI and UX in the version are tailored to maintain mobile friendliness.
Emphasis on The Native OOPS Feature of PHP:- Drupal 8 promotes OOPS features of PHP as it focuses on more on this concept. The themes, modules, users and nodes are some components which fit the description of an “object” in the new version.
Drupal 8 Upgrade: What Are The Challenges and Key Considerations?
There are some issues that you may come across while upgrading to Drupal 8; however, you can handle them well if you consider some factors while making a move.
1. SEO Migration:- The first challenge related to version migration is a temporary fall in the website ranking and traffic as the search engine require some time to update their index accordingly.
2. Content Migration:- There may be a challenge related to content migration as well. Content duplication and missing content are some of the most common issues. Moreover, you will need to ensure the creation of field types in accordance with the custom modules to make the migration successful.
3. Themes:- The themes will also have to be rewritten post-migration as Twig is now the default templating engine in the new version. You will need to replace the entire PHP Template files with the Twig files, which indicates that custom PHP code cannot be written in templating files.
4. View:- Another major migration-related issue is that translation of Views, a Drupal core module may be unsuccessful. This needs an upgrade path for the views which are defined in the pre-existing site and you have to create views in Drupal 8 manually after migration.
5. Custom Modules:- When you plan to migrate to Drupal 8, you would need to rebuild custom modules because the modules in the older version were based on the APIs provided by Drupal core but those in Drupal 8 are based on Symfony.
6. Contributed Modules:- There are some challenges related to the contributed modules as well. If they provide an upgrade path, the data stored by the older version of that module is migrated to Drupal 8. If it is not available, the module has to be ported to the new version.
7. Node Translation:- Another challenge that you may face while migrating a multilingual website to Drupal 8 is related to translation as it is stored in an absolutely different way as compared to the older versions. You should be prepared to migrate the translation manually or add the content to the site again.
8. Specific Websites Factor:- There will be challenges related to specific websites which have an underlying built that is unavailable for Drupal 8. For example, it is not possible to upgrade ecommerce sites built on Drupal distribution Commerce Kickstart as it is not on Drupal 8.
9. Technical issues:- In addition to the aforementioned challenges, there are some more technical issues that can hamper Drupal 8 Migration. These issues depend on the version from which you are migrating to Drupal 8 and the architecture of your current website. They may relate to a variety of parameters, from PHP filter to taxonomy term reference field settings, broken themes, comment types, text fields, and more. Since these have several complexities involved, you will need to avail the services of an expert Drupal developer to address them.
Conclusion:- Upgrading your digital presence involves running your business website on the latest version of the CMS platform that it is built on, this is the reason that migration from Drupal 6 or 7 to Drupal 8 makes a worthy choice for any business that wants to deliver the best user experiences online. However, this is easier said than done and the challenges mentioned above would be enough to give you a clear picture of the efforts involved.
The best approach would be to partner with a Drupal Development Company that has expertise in the platform and is capable of making this transition a smooth one. Drupal India is a name that you can trust to offer reliable services for taking your business website to the next level with a timely and effective version upgrade. Connect with us to share your requirements and we will assist you with seamless migration to Drupal 8.