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Upgrade to Drupal 8? This is our plan for migration

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I'm sure many of you reading this may have heard that Drupal 8 has been released, may have even received some marketing emails. John Locke, our founder and pricipal, put out a newsletter recently about the newly released Drupal 8. Since Drupal 6 will only be supported for 3 months, our recommendation to our Drupal 6 clients is that they do upgrade, since developers will stop supporting and updating their Drupal 6 modules sometime in mid-February.

While it is not absolutely necessary that you upgrade to Drupal 8 (your website won't just suddenly stop working and the sky isn't falling), security updates won't be released, which means that the Drupal community isn't looking at Drupal 6 vulnerabilities, which in turn, means that your site could potentially be vulnerable to attacks.

We have already migrated data over for another client, from D6 to D8, and this has seemed relatively smooth (though still a few unknowns, but their site is very complex). Our plan is to do this part for all of our D6 clients. By doing a dry run, we can then get a list of what gets migrated, and what does not get migrated (a full list of modules in use and whether or not there's a known upgrade path). This way we can estimate how smoothly the migration and upgrade should go (since D6-D8 migrations have a much cleaner path than previous version upgrades in the past).

However, we're still assuming that it's going to take several hours to do a theme rebuild, which is going to be necessary for most of our clients' sites, but this really depends on how much functionality (code) is built into the theme, rather than most functionality in individual modules. If there is a lot of code in the theme, and if you choose to do an upgrade, Freelock could do many improvements in the theme, and get things out of the theme and into stock Drupal functionality, which is much more stable.

Here is a list of our Drupal 8 migration plan for each of our clients:

  1. Dry run migration, get a list of successful migrations and "unable to complete" migrations

  2. Go through the "unable to complete" migrations and analyze whether we can drop this functionality, rebuild, or create a migration, and apply a time estimate

  3. Provide an estimate on theme rebuild

  4. Provide an estimate on views to rebuild

  5. Review any custom modules/functionality to determine porting and/or replacement cost/effort

We're planning to do this analysis for all our current D6 customers, but if you're not currently a client with us and interested in a version upgrade, please feel free to drop us a line here! In addition, we are currently offering a free dry run of what that migration path looks like for your site, with a purchase of a Freelock Drupal Site Assessment.

We look forward to hearing from anyone that is interested and we'd be more than happy to discuss what an upgrade means to you. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions and happy holidays!

- Don and the Freelock team

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