Some up-front preparation can make your upgrade to Drupal 8 less painful and require less work.

Although Drupal 8 still has a little more work to be done before it's released, we at Monarch Digital have begun technical preparations for general Drupal 8 and Drupal-6-to-Drupal-8 conversions.

While investigating methodologies and testing procedures for upgrading to the newest version of Drupal, we've put together some basic steps (not super technical) that website content managers could use to prepare and make their future conversion easier. (I'm not trying to give you work to do. This is just FYI.)

1. Content Pruning

If you've got extra stuff that you don't use anymore on your site, tidying it up will save time and effort during a conversion. You can look for duplicate or unused:

  • Views
  • Content types and fields
  • Panels
  • Feeds
  • Vocabularies and terms
  • Blocks
  • Rules
  • Organic groups
  • Themes
  • Features

Be careful! It can be easy to absent-mindedly delete something you didn't realize that your website needed. We would suggest doing a database backup first.

2. Module Inventory

Module cleanup is more in the realm of a development team, but here are some things a content manager could do now:

  • If you're not using a module and don't plan to use it, disable it and uninstall it. One less complication.
  • Do the modules you need have a Drupal 8 version? The Upgrade Status module can be configured to provide you an inventory of updates.
  • Some modules have been rolled into Drupal core. Some are discontinued and we'll need to identify a replacement and plan to migrate content from the discontinued module.

3. Custom Code Evaluation

When you have custom code on your site, you typically can't rely only on the community. You're often on your own to manage that customized code-base. Here is a checklist of things to evaluate:

  • Has Drupal core been changed? If so, we need to determine what the changes accomplish, if you still need it and how we would accomplish something similar.
  • Have contributed modules been changed? More research and planning.
  • Do you have custom modules? Do you still need them? If so, we will need to convert the code to Drupal 8, but this can wait until you're ready to start the conversion.