With the End Of Life for Drupal 7 now in sight, the need to migrate to a new platform – whether Drupal 8 or WordPress, or another content management system – is becoming more pressing.
What is Drupal “End Of Life”?
End Of Life doesn’t mean your existing Drupal 7 website will cease to function over night: it means that official security updates will cease, making it riskier and riskier for your Drupal website to remain online.
“What should we do next?” and “What about Drupal 8?” are questions we have heard from our web design clients for quite some time now, and, as usual, the true answer is “it depends” – on your current website, future plans for it, and budget.
Your options for updating Drupal 7
As the owner of a Drupal 7 website, you have a few options for updating and migrating your website available to you:
- Migrate to Drupal 8 (or Drupal 9), which promises smoother upgrades in future, and maintains a “Drupal” feel to managing your content, which may be desirable if your website team is very familiar with the platform. Whilst it’s possible to migrate your content to newer versions of Drupal, you will find functionality and the design will need recreating from scratch in many cases. Drupal 8 continues to be open source, meaning it is free to use without a license fee for individual and corporate uses, and the Drupal community continues to be active around the world.
- Migrating to a proprietary or custom-built content management system (CMS). For complex websites this may be a good option in some circumstances, but can be costly both for the initial build of the website, and the ongoing maintenance of the website. Beware of being tied in to a specific web design agency with proprietary software – they can be difficult for other web developers to take over and manage on your behalf.
- Migrating to WordPress. WordPress is open source, like Drupal, so there are no license fees to pay, and its content management experience has improved greatly since we first started working with it in 2006. It is able to handle membership areas, ecommerce, and custom content types to help make the management of even large, complex websites easier.
As an agency who has worked with a huge range of content management and ecommerce management systems for websites, we feel WordPress now offers:
- the best combination of functionality
- easier (and thus cheaper) maintenance of the website
- a great community worldwide, meaning development costs can be lower as functionality can often be found and reused for our clients.
We are largely keen proponents of the latter option here: migrating to WordPress. Of course, every client is different, and WordPress is certainly not right for every website: it’s worth talking to our web consultants to see what’s right for you.
What a Drupal 7 to WordPress migration entails
Peacock Carter have been migrating Drupal 7 websites to WordPress and other content management platforms for quite some time now, and have expertise in handling:
- Content migration (pages and news posts)
- Redesigning – or recreating – your website in to a mobile-friendly WordPress theme reflecting your brand and offering visitors a smooth user experience
- Custom content migration (e.g., portfolio entries, case studies)
- Moving membership areas and membership lists
- Recreating old functionality and workflows from your Drupal website in WordPress
- Files (images, documents, etc) migration to WordPress
- Product / category / order / customer migrations for ecommerce websites
As you can see, there are many areas of migrating from Drupal 7 to WordPress, and the process requires a web development agency with experience and know-how to be smooth.