Updating a website software version is one of the highest risk task a webmaster has to deal with when managing a website. Migrating from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8? Here is a small guide with various details. Let’s start with basic info : What the heck is this Drupal thing anyway? OK, so my best understanding of this is that it’s a little software package. It’s written in a language called PHP. It’s made up of core modules which you can download from http://drupal.org/project/drupal, and a bunch of optional (or “contributed”) modules, which you can surf at http://drupal.org/project/modules. All of this then sits around in a little set of folders.

First of all, make a list of all the contributed modules on your current website. Next, check whether these modules have a Drupal 8 compatible version. In case of unavailability of the Drupal 8 version, the migration process will suffer. Fortunately, Drupal 8 has come a long way and many of the major modules now do support Drupal 8. You can check all the available update paths through the Migrate UI modules. When done with the installation of the modules, you will have to navigate to the upgrade path. For this, go to www.yoursite.com/upgrade (remember to replace yoursite with the name of your Drupal 8 website). You will be brought to the following screen. Please make sure you follow the directions on the screen before proceeding.

Whether you’re updating from Drupal 6 or Drupal 7, or importing data from some other source, you need to know about the migrate system in Drupal 8. This guide provides a comprehensive look at the features of the Drupal 8 migrate API for both Drupal-to-Drupal updates, and migrating from any external datastore into Drupal.

If you already have a Drupal website that has a considerable amount of content or a large number of users or has custom functionality you want to keep, though, you might want to try directly upgrading the site to use the distribution. Doing so could save you a lot of time in migrating content. But it will also raise a number of challenges. Upgrading to a distribution is probably something you should try only if you have the skills and time needed to do troubleshooting and some custom data work.

The steps above outline how to get a distribution minimally installed on an existing site. But you’ll still have a lot of work to do to reconcile your existing site content and structure with what has been created by the distribution. Here are a few tips to get you started–but you should begin with the assumption that there will be lots more you’ll discover and need to fix. Content types and fields. You may have existing content types on your site that overlap with those provided by the distribution. For example, if you have an existing content type called ‘news’, it might have a function very close to that of an ‘article’ content provided by one of the features you’ve enabled. To begin to use the new feature’s functionality, you could consider converting the existing ‘news’ content into ‘article’ content. See extra info about Drupal 7 Upgrade.