Drupal is one of the best known open source content management systems (CMS), and it powers roughly 1.5% of the internet. That might not sound like a lot, but it amounts to several hundred thousand websites. Out of those, around two-thirds run on Drupal 7. About a quarter uses Drupal 8. Only a paltry 0.3% is using the current version, Drupal 9.
With Drupal 7’s end-of-life date extended to November 2023 and Drupal 8 has reached end-of-life on November 17, 2021, following the EoL of Symfony 3 upon which it is based, it’s safe to assume that most Drupal 7 users will be skipping Drupal 8 and heading straight to Drupal 9.
Both Drupal 8 and 9 (and likely the versions after) significantly shifted the way content and configuration are organized. Instead of the traditional route of simply applying an update to your existing Drupal 7 site, you’ll have to migrate all of your data to a brand new Drupal 9 site.
But from where to begin? What are the benefits of migrating to Drupal 9? And what is the estimated time and cost of the migration? We will answer these questions here in this blog.
Why upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9?
After version 7.x, Drupal has almost been rewritten from scratch according to the new technological trends. Drupal 8 sites can upgrade to Drupal 9 in a snap of a finger by just meeting a few requirements. Drupal 9.0 is very close to Drupal 8.9; it is almost like the latest minor Drupal 8 version but cleaned up from deprecated code, equipped with the latest libraries, and headed for future long-term growth.
All this means that if you upgrade from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9, you get all the Drupal 8 and Drupal 9 benefits in one.
What is the estimated time and cost?
The complexity of the website dictates the time and effort needed for the migration. It will require redefining your content structure and upgrading or rebuilding the custom modules. For contributed modules, it’s recommended not to go for one to one mapping from Drupal 7 to Drupal 9.
Drupal Migration Time
Website migration projects can expectedly be time-consuming. First, the migration team must find out the projected issues in the process. The migration timeline will depend on the amount of data and content on the website.
One can migrate the simplest brochure sites without custom modules and just a couple of content types within 30 hours. However, as the site complexity grows, the migration process extends. For some websites, it can take a couple of months. The larger, the more complex, and the more custom-heavy your site is, the longer it will take to migrate.
As mentioned earlier, it is difficult to predict the exact time of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. Some of our quickest migrations for medium-sized websites took around 2.5 - 3 months. On the other hand, a website of high complexity took about 5 - 6 months.
Drupal Migration Cost
You must bear in mind that any migration activity can be tedious. It is also difficult to judge the precise estimates of Drupal 7 to Drupal 9 migration. The cost associated with the migration will depend on the content and design of the website. It will also depend on the functionalities involved and the associated custom code.
There is no definite answer to the migration cost, but if we estimate the market level, even the simplest of Drupal websites could be USD 15,000 to USD 85,000. The hourly rate for Drupal migration/development varies from the developer’s experience level. However, a quality Drupal developer will cost between USD 65 to USD 150 per hour on average. Moving to Drupal Enterprise will cost you USD 100,000+.
The migration strategy can be created keeping in mind the website’s content, investments, and timeline. Therefore, businesses need to plan and budget for such a significant effort and expense. Business owners or decision-makers need to set aside time to be involved in the process.
It is imperative to appropriately analyze the requirements in the migration process to minimize the risk of cost escalation. Once the various features and functionalities are listed, the developer can start the migration activity.
We Can Help!
Migration to a new, updated version may seem discouraging. To keep up with the current competitive benefits, building a perfect digital experience for your website users is imperative. With constant technological innovations, you need to find the right tools and expertise to help you sail through the migration seamlessly and efficiently.
Our team of experienced Drupal development and support specialists will perform your Drupal upgrade fast and at affordable prices.