How to migrate to Drupal with ease

4 tips for how to migrate to Drupal

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If you have a content-heavy website, then you most definitely have heard of Drupal, an open source content management system (CMS). Maybe you've heard also that Drupal is free, secure, and has a wonderful developer network, which means lots of talent to choose from. So, what are you waiting for?

Well, to jump from your current CMS (or lack thereof) and make the transition to Drupal, you want to know much it costs and exacting what that migration entails. First, there are several factors that have to be taken into an account before any Drupal development company can give you a quote. But, while there isn’t an exact price range for migrating to Drupal, you can do some in-house work to keep your migration costs down and prepare your team for the migration, keeping headaches down too.

Here are 4 tips for how to migrate to Drupal on a budget:

1. Have a migratory plan

Cost is the first thing that hits any organization’s migration agenda. Migrating to any CMS will have its own complexities, but the cost of migration largely depends upon the process that’s being undertaken. That’s why you need a plan. Here are some questions to ask to start creating that plan:

  • What is the timeline for migration?
  • Who will be the individual from your company leading the migration?
  • Will the migratory investments be justified?
  • How soon do you need to see ROI on the migration?
  • What does the minimal viable product look like?
  • How necessary is it that all data, metadata, tags, and users are migrated?
  • What are migration hiccups that cannot happen?

Answer the above questions before you move forward. When you start working with a Drupal development firm, give them the answers to these questions. They’ll thank you and you’ll save a lot of project management/developer time, which equals money.

2. Audit your site from an organizational perspective

Knowing how your organization works and then communicating that to the development company will save a lot of back and forth questions. Here are items that you need to have ready before you talk to a company about a Drupal migration:

  • Identify what assets constitute the source site.
  • Identify which parts are to be migrated from source site.
  • During the migration, do you require enhancements on the site’s design/functionality, or will you retain the current design?
  • Does the target site require integrating with legacy systems that are difficult to work with (such as the third-party sources and customer databases)?
  • How will this migration streamline your organization’s workflow?

3. Audit your site from a technical perspective

The sooner you engage IT and your e-commerce team, the better. You’ll also want to include your marketing team on the conversations, because they’re the group that will actually use the product. Here are some key areas to identify from the tech perspective:

  • Identify the type of repository the source site uses for storing data
  • Evaluate how the source site structures non-content data
  • Research what tools other companies like yours have used to migrate their data
  • Talk to other companies to identify the best practices for minimal downtime and maximum data access
  • Identify hourly time commitment for IT and marketing to work directly with the migration company
  • Identify if there will be any customer relationship management (CRM) integrations for automation rules

4. Migrating Drupal versions still takes time

If you’re already on Drupal, great! You will probably still need to work with a migration company, but being on Drupal will save you time and money. However, here are a few things to consider to keep your budget intact:

  • Ensure all the modules used are available in an updated version so you can add them to your Drupal installation prior to data migration. If unavailable, you must disable them (from your source site) and redesign (this costs money)
  • It’s not possible to skip a Drupal version. For example, if you are currently on Drupal 5 and you are looking to migrate to Drupal 7, you’ll have to first upgrade to Drupal 6 and then to Drupal 7

And there you have it. You can work with any Drupal migration company on these questions to help your team transition to an open source CMS, within scope and without a headache.

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About the author

Jeffrey Wisard - Digital Marketing Manager at Drupal Partners
Jeffrey Wisard - Jeffrey Wisard is the Digital Marketing Manager at Drupal Partners, a Division of Innoppl, Inc. Jeffrey specializes in making technical content readable, enjoyable and entertaining. When he’s not doing digital marketing, you can find him exploring his city, Atlanta, on a bike. Reach him @DrupalPartners.