We recently posted a blog about why migrating to the Drupal CMS (content management system) makes sense for a wide range of organisations. It brings multiple advantages for both website developers and their clients. Migrating to Drupal means that you join a worldwide community of developers and business owners, all focused on developing the system in order to offer new functionality and new innovation. You might be a small organisation, but Drupal enables you to behave like a far larger one.
But once you’re convinced it’s the right choice, how do you move forward?
Where are you now?
The foundations for your migration lie in whatever CMS you are currently using. Many organisations migrate from Wordpress to Drupal, for example – which means there is a wealth of guidance and tools available for planning this kind of transition. Regardless, you will need to begin by carefully mapping out your entire existing site and all of the data stored within it. This is often a good opportunity to cleanse and rationalise your existing site, getting rid of any unnecessary complexity or duplication that may have built up over time.
Because Drupal is an open source CMS, meaning that anyone can develop new modules and plugins, or extend existing ones, there is a fantastic range of modules available to assist with the migration process. In fact, just as its open source nature is a great advantage when it comes to developing a bespoke site, it is also an advantage when it comes to planning bespoke migration. The Migrate API is the best place to start for transferring data from any source system to the latest version of Drupal.
Three simple stages
As the above page explains, all migrations essentially follow three core stages – set out here as Source, Process and Destination. First, you extract all of the data and content from your existing site. The core Migrate API outlined above can extract data from any SQL data source, which also includes sites built on earlier versions of Drupal, while additional modules have been developed to support other data types and other platforms, such as Wordpress.
Next, you transform that data into the required structure and format for your new Drupal website – essentially, this means building a migration path. Finally, you load it into the new site, test and if necessary debug it before going live.
Complications typically arise when your existing site contains a great deal of complex customisation and bespoke additions. However, once again, Drupal’s open source nature means that there is almost always an existing module or plugin that can be tailored to provide the same functionality.
Depending, then, on the scale and complexity of your existing site, you may find it helpful to draw on third party assistance for planning and executing your migration to Drupal. This is often where Ixis comes in. We have planned, designed, executed and tested migrations to Drupal for a wide range of organisations, helping them shift to the flexible, open source world of Drupal with the minimum of disruption.
Ready to start planning your own migration? Get in touch with us today.