Upgrading to Drupal 8

Drupal 8 Upgrade

We've had some conversations recently with Drupal 7 users who are assessing the options for a Drupal 8 upgrade. Their concerns fit into two broad areas:

  • Migration of content and function
  • Ongoing platform management with complex tools such as Composer

The pressure is now building with the momentum towards Drupal 9, and some users are struggling with these concerns. 

Content and Function Migration

There is now plenty of documentation on migration as well as a rich set of plugins to migrate entities from earlier versions of Drupal and non-Drupal systems into Drupal 8. When it comes to functions, however, we have seen some customers waiting for modules they use in Drupal 7 to be ported to Drupal 8. In many cases, particularly with smaller modules, the functionality provided by the module is now available in Drupal core and the module will never be ported as is. This will mean that parts of the site will have to be rebuilt/restructured to use the core functions instead of the module.

It is crucial, therefore, that a rigorous plan is put in place for functionality transfer. When we do this we always follow the D8 mantra to stick to core as much as possible. Having said that, the I-ntarsia platform is constantly evolving with useful modules being integrated into our release 4 times a year. That means that most functionality from Drupal 7 smaller modules is available in the I-ntarsia platform.

Management and Maintenance

One of the frequent criticisms of Drupal 8 from small and medium site owners is that in moving further into the Enterprise space, the mantra for Drupal projects is ‘do it right’ rather than just ‘get it done’. The complex tools required to ‘do it right’, such as Composer, can put-off those who want to move their simpler sites from D6/7 to D8.

No-one will argue that they would like to ‘do it right’, but the time and skills required can be daunting. The solution is not to switch to another platform which continues to allow a ‘hack and slash’ approach to systems management, it is to switch to a managed platform like I-ntarsia. With a managed platform, content teams get all of the Drupal 8 features they need without being overwhelmed by all of the lower level technology that they don’t need to get involved with.

But what about cost? A managed platform deployment will probably cost a little more than a straight managed host. However, the additional cost will be recovered many times over in the reduction in time and expertise required to keep your Drupal 8 system secured and constantly improving with the latest features.

What Next?

If you are a Drupal 6 or 7 customer you need to be planning a migration. Whatever size your site we believe that the most cost-effective path for you will be to move to Drupal 8 on the I-ntarsia managed platform. Fill in the contact form below and we can arrange to discuss your migration in detail.