Drupal Migration: How To Move To Drupal 8

Drupal migration to Drupal 8 can help improve your website performance, both on the frontend and backend, with faster page loading speeds, better SEO, simplified content authoring workflow and leading-edge security protocols.

It is pretty damn impressive.

Part of the reason is that Drupal 8 is the latest version of the world’s leading open source content management system, and it comes equipped with over 200 new features and improvements.

Just when you thoughts things couldn’t get better, they DID!

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And one of the most exciting new upgrades is a powerful built-in migration system that allows for flexible, customized migrations of content, settings, and other important data from other content management systems. No matter what CMS your website is built with, it’s never been easier to migrate to Drupal 8 and transform your website into one that captivates and converts.

Drupal Expertise

While the new migration modules make the transition more seamless than ever, Drupal 8 migrations must be carried out by a highly skilled team that is familiar with the complexities and inherent differences between the different versions. Drupal 8 expertise is key here, folks.

North Studio has been working with and contributing to the advancement of Drupal since its early days, and understands the intricacies involved with a migration to Drupal 8. As active members of the Drupal community, we are leaders in Drupal 8 builds and have undertaken various stages of enhanced testing to find the right programmatic solution for the most accurate content migration. This streamlined migration process maximizes the development budget of our clients and brings the launch date that much closer.

Case Study

We led the Drupal community in migrating +20,000 pieces of content and over +4,000 nodes to Drupal 8 for our most recent Drupal 8 build for The Carlyle Group. The process enabled us to build a complex solution so we wouldn’t lose any content, with nuanced levels of testing including code reviews.

Technical Spiel

To explain from a technical perspective, earlier versions of Drupal 7 and Drupal 6 included a built-in update/upgrade mechanism that provided for in-place minor version ‘updates’ within the same major version of Drupal (from Drupal 7.3 to 7.8, for example), and also for ‘upgrades’ between major versions of Drupal (from Drupal 6.12 to Drupal 7.4, for example).

In Drupal 8, there are two separate systems: one for ‘updates’ (Eg. from D8.0 to 8.1), and a migration system for ‘upgrades’ (Eg. from Drupal 6, or Drupal 7, to Drupal 8).

Within these two separate systems for Drupal 8, there are actually sets of modules that are utilized for migration. Enterprise-level Drupal builds may require custom code based on the project scope and size; the more content, the more difficult.

Leading Drupal Migration

For our Carlyle Group Drupal 8 build, our technical hurdle was moving 20,000+ pieces of content and 4,000+ nodes into the new site. To make things even more complicated, all this content had a Chinese and Japanese translation that needed to also be migrated.

We needed to come up with a programmatic solution to map out all content, to maximize our time and efficiency. 

Our agile team was able to write custom migrations for the parent node and its translation – by making the translation migration dependent on the parent node migration, so we guaranteed things were created in the right order, and unorganized files were put into nice neat file entities.

This Drupal 8 migration was a team effort, and we’re proud that this project pushed the boundaries of Drupal migration to enhance it further. As leading Drupal contributors, it’s important to us that every website build is helping innovative the content management forward, with nuanced complexity and power.

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