Though every content management system has its own advantages and disadvantages, the ease of use and the gentler learning curve, together with the flexibility and versatility that WordPress brings to the table, have made it the most sought-after website building platform. Though it may not be suitable for every type of website, it is by far the most popular CMS. Many websites built on other platforms have migrated to WordPress. In this article, we will discuss some important considerations that need to be looked into before you decide to migrate the site from Drupal to WordPress.
8 KEY CONSIDERATIONS – MIGRATION DRUPAL TO WORDPRESS
#1. Whether to Upgrade or Not
If you have been using Drupal 7, you definitely need to upgrade. Companies keep postponing their upgrade plans because of various reasons, but mostly because of financial constraints. However, sooner than later, you will have to switch to a higher version or to a completely new platform. Upgrading D7 to D9 is a good option, but it means completely rebuilding the site. Therefore, many website owners contemplate migrating to a new platform, most preferably WordPress. You, however, need to weigh the pros and cons of making the switch.
With WordPress, you can do most of the things you did in Drupal. Besides, it is very easy to use and there is a lot of flexibility on offer because of the numerous themes and plugins that are available there. It may not be suitable for highly complex websites, but it is for you to decide based on your requirements.
#2. Template & Modules
Another important thing you need to consider is the Templates and Modules. You have to see whether your existing website is custom designed or based on a template. It would most likely need a complete redesign. Whether you want to upgrade or switch to WordPress, you should use your experience from your existing website, and whatever you have learned from there about your users, to build the new site. You can also do some research on what your industry peers are doing with their websites and identify the best aspects and incorporate them into your own website.
You might have added modules to enhance the functionality of your website, so make sure those modules are available in the version you want to upgrade to. If not, look for modules with similar features. If you wish to switch to WordPress, hire WordPress experts to build similar functionality with the help of thousands of themes and WordPress plugins that are available there.
#3. Content Migration
Migrating content from one Drupal version to the other, or to a new WordPress site, can be really problematic. Using a migration module can be a good solution as it is quite flexible and can perform different kinds of migration. Issues of content duplication, wrong placement, etc. often crop up during the migration process, so you have to check whether you can smoothly move content from Drupal to WordPress.
#4. Media Migration
It is an important aspect of upgrading or transitioning to a new site. Though the latest versions of Drupal support all types of media in the media library, it is pertinent to note that migrating media could be a tricky task. First, you will have to move the physical file and the metadata and then map the entity to the referenced media. At this point, you can also consider cleaning up by deleting obsolete files and optimizing the rest by way of compression. You need to pay particular attention to the images hosted in WYSIWYG text content.
#5. SEO Migration
SEO is critical to a website as a good ranking in search engine results is vital for driving traffic. It is, therefore, crucial that SEO content is properly migrated along with the actual content. This includes meta values, images, hyperlinks, etc. You have to make sure that besides the content, search engines also recognize the SEO tags where they have earlier been indexing. If not done systematically, it could adversely affect the rankings.
Migration can be an expensive proposition, it means building your website all over again. You need to ensure that the migration would be future proof, that is, there shouldn’t be any trouble migrating to the next version whenever it is available. It is here that people contemplate changing their CMS altogether and switching to a new platform, preferably WordPress. It is less expensive and much easier to use and upgrade.
Drupal 7 and Drupal 8 will be gradually phased out by the year 2022, so you have to upgrade before that, or else you would be left with an unsupported version. Moving from D8 to D9 shouldn’t be that difficult, but if you eventually have to migrate, it is worth considering a switch to WordPress.
#8. Choosing the Right Partner
Though you do not necessarily need to upgrade before the phase-out deadline, you have to eventually do it. So, it is the right time to start scouting for a technical partner to help you through the process or to migrate the site from Drupal to WordPress.