Drupal website analysis before the upgrade: what needs to be checked

Mar 02, 2017
Drupal website analysis before the upgrade: what needs to be checked

Website upgrade services from Drupal 6 to 7 to 8, as well as from Drupal 7 to 8, are chart-topping today, which is not surprising. Some site owners upgrade to enjoy the latest innovations that Drupal 8 has to offer. Others, who are still on Drupal 6, want to upgrade as soon as possible to a solid version (either the 7th or 8th), because the sixth release has had no official support since February 2016. Depending on the website’s complexity and the amount of custom functionality, the upgrade process may vary from quick to lengthy. And, before the relocation starts, there are a number of things to check on your website. In other words, you need an analysis before the upgrade.

Things to check on your website before the upgrade process starts

Part 1: your content and URLs

An upgrade is a great opportunity to decide what content you no longer need and what deserves to be added. This will free you from the necessity to “haul luggage” you will never use to a new site. Crawling your site and creating the list of URLs could be very helpful in the process.

Most importantly, if the site’s URLs are going to change in the upgrade process, be sure to provide 301 redirects in order to preserve all the SEO value your pages have gained.

Part 2: your modules and themes

Making an inventory of your modules and themes

Similarly to your content, you need to revise the modules and themes installed and enabled on your website. One of the ways to check it is to use the module and theme admin screens (“Administer — Site building — Modules” and “Administer — Site building — Themes” respectively).

Getting rid of the unnecessary modules

The big clean-up continues with the modules. If you have not been using some of them for a long time or realize you will not need them, it’s time to get rid of them (disable and uninstall them). This will not only free you from having to update unnecessary stuff, it also helps your security and performance.

Checking the core for integrity

According to the Drupal way (the community’s guiding philosophy), you should never modify the core. It’s a strict rule. However, if it has been done on your website for some reason, it first needs to be identified. One of the ways to do it is to use the Hacked module.

Analyzing the contributed and custom modules

There are a bunch of things to check on the contributed modules you need to upgrade. First of all, there could be a new version already available. Besides, some modules might have been moved to Drupal’s core. Also, an upgrade path between the module’s versions needs to be checked out. And, finally, the new version might introduce some dependencies on other modules, which should be installed as well. Some modules may need special upgrade instructions.

In cases with custom functionality, you will need custom rewriting. This process differs greatly in Drupal 7 and Drupal 8.

Analyzing the contributed and custom themes

Similarly, you need to discover if the theme has a new version ready. If your theme is built around a base theme, see if there is an upgrade path for it. And, obviously, the more customization you have, the more rewriting you need.

A good analysis is the way to insure a smooth upgrade. And everything is easy and safe with true Drupal support experts. Drudesk will take care of your website analysis before the upgrade as well taking care of the upgrade itself.

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