Susan McCormick Senior Project Manager
March 29, 2024

As of April 5, Drupal 7 will have nine months before it’s entirely unsupported and becomes a liability. Migrating out of Drupal 7 can be complicated, and this is one reason many organizations have put it off for so long. While it’s true that Drupal 8 and beyond represent a radical change from Drupal 7, in everything from architecture (the introduction of Symfony components) to theming (Twig versus PHP), the path from Drupal 7 to now Drupal 10 is well trodden, and we’re very familiar with it at Chapter Three.

Because Drupal 7 has been around for well over a decade, many websites built on it have accumulated vast amounts of content, resulting in complex data structures with custom content types, fields, taxonomies, and entity relationships. Inconsistencies or irregularities in legacy data complicate the migration process.

Migration infographic

Field Types

If your Drupal 7 site uses different field types, it will use a field collection module to group fields into specific types of entities and then embed them into the main content. These grouped sets of fields need to be converted into paragraphs in Drupal 10.

Additionally, Drupal 7 sites use image fields, while Drupal 10 sites make extensive use of media libraries with a media field. Media entity web forms also changed, making the migration process for media content a bit more complicated.

Custom HTML

Websites that have been around a long time tend to accumulate custom HTML, including a lot of unnecessary HTML, which complicates the migration process. For HTML that has been added via CKEditor, the code in the body has to be rewritten for the corresponding file or image to be dynamically generated. Excessive code or HTML that has been copied and pasted from Word has to be fixed.

Nodes vs. Taxonomies

When we begin a Drupal 7 migration, we look for and report on areas where functionality can be improved or streamlined. One common improvement we recommend is to move reference fields from nodes to taxonomies. This simplifies the interface and adds functionality, giving editors more control over what they want to display. While this is a fairly straightforward change, it requires writing migration scripts, mapping fields, and relocating data.

Other Elements

Other elements that can make the migration process more complex include image styles, webforms, webform submissions, and modules that lack an obvious Drupal 10 equivalent. 

How Long Does it Take?

drupal association migration partner badge

For a large site migration, moving content from the old platform to the new takes anywhere from eight to 24 hours when the process runs uninterrupted. All the planning, however,  takes considerably longer. For large sites that have accumulated a lot of custom content over the years, multiple scripts have to be written and contingency plans have to be made, meaning the entire process takes months rather than days or weeks.

If you have a Drupal 7 site, it’s time to get a move on the migration process. As certified Drupal 7 migration experts, we at Chapter Three have extensive experience dealing with the potential complications. If it has to do with Drupal 7 migration, chances are we’ve seen it before and developed  a solution for it. Contact us today to get your move to Drupal 10 started!