A Well-Plotted Roadmap Streamlines Drupal Migration
With this month’s release of Drupal 9, factors fueling migration have moved up a few notches, but as the November 2021 decommission date for Drupal 7 and 8 rapidly approaches, there’s one huge factor that’s superseding all others. Drupal 7 and 8 are both heading toward end-of-life status.
Now is the time to accept the inevitability of a migration to Drupal 9.
If your site is currently on Drupal 8, migration to Drupal 9 will be refreshingly straightforward and seamless. If your site is currently on Drupal 7, a far superior CMS and a vast array of new features are in store.
- A built-in visual layout builder
- Enhanced testing and tracking to ensure accessibility compliance
- Full multi-lingual support
- Assurance of accessibility compliance
- Simplified content editing capabilities
- Integrated configuration management
- The ability to easily control how, when, what, and to whom content is displayed
- Adept integration of complex functionality and content types
- Tailored solutions to drive business or engage constituents
- Excellent security
We covered the straightforward Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 migration process in a blog post earlier this month: Drupal 9 Has Dropped! What to Do Now.
For the more than 700,000 websites that are still on Drupal 7, migration looms large on the to-do list. For all practical purposes, Drupal 8 and 9 are a different CMS than Drupal 7. With the complete overhaul of Drupal 7 that resulted in the enterprise-ready Drupal 8, version upgrades are now incremental.
Migration Starting Point
The best and most efficient place to start the migration process is an audit of the current site with the objective of inventorying, categorizing, and rationalizing all content. In a blog post last fall, we compared the initial inventorying process to a household decluttering initiative: A Marie Kondo Inspired Guide to Content Migration.
Dividing the migration process into the following six sequential steps creates a framework for avoiding shortcuts that lead to pitfalls, while ensuring a consistent path forward.
- Audit the existing content
- Consider the design
- Plan the migration
- Build a New Content Model
- Map the Content
- Execute the Migration
Content Audit Considerations
Often, tough choices surrounding what content to keep and what to let go of.
Fact is, organizations are constantly evolving and the content on a site too often lags behind. Here are some questions to ask for evaluating the relative value of various pages and the content that’s on them:
- How old is the content? One year? Five years?
- How does it rank for page visits?
- How integrated is the content to your messaging?
- Are there redundancies?
- How does it rank on the spectrum of trivial to essential?
- Does the content drive engagement? Revenue? SEO?
- Are there regulatory considerations that require the content remain?
- Are there roles and permissions concerning content governance and workflows?
- Is this documented?
Migration is the ideal time to redesign a website, or at least to define and determine essential design issues. To cite a few:
- Is structured content in place?
- Is CSS used to indicate heading styles, fonts, the color palette, quote style, ordered and unordered lists, buttons, hover states, etc. Does the design reflect the brand?
- Is the UX aligned with current expectations and best practices?
- Would a modern refresh help to engage constituents and clients?
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Thorough time and attention to these initial steps will serve to lay the groundwork for a streamlined website migration that stays on course without pitfalls and unwanted surprises.
Never before has it been more essential for websites to ensure user experiences that offer a straightforward path to desired objectives, compelling content, engaging visuals, and added value.
Looking for more insights into wrangling your content, redesigning your site, or mapping out a migration?
Drupal is in our DNA and we are happy to help! Contact us.