Small and big websites struggle with this question. When is it really the right time to move onto a new version of the constantly changing Drupal? Now that the latest Drupal is here, is it worth the effort to change to the latest one?
Each time Drupal is updated, there are a number of changes and it entices users to upgrade. However, there are also a number of uncertainties with the latest versions. Will it help to change the website, especially if it is in between versions? Sure, all versions have some improvement but there is always the worry that there would be irrelevant functionalities.
For general users, it can be difficult to identify if they should move to the new Drupal. So we take this task upon ourselves. Firstly, we identify the latest features and compare them to the earlier version. This helps us to identify how long would it take to implement or if the upgrade suits websites. To understand whether you do need to change to a new Drupal, we look at the new one carefully. This helps us to identify if the new Drupal is ready for use by our clients.
Understanding the site first
Before one jumps into the decision, we take a look at the site into consideration. If the site is simple and uses the Drupal Core, it is easier to upgrade to a new version. The new modules would then add new and nice features.
With every new Drupal release, it combines the core functions with new features. While Drupal 5 enabled users to engage unique content types in the user interface, Drupal 7 enabled new and customized fields. Similarly, Drupal 8 makes use of Views. Like other upgrades, Drupal 8 also gets rid of some old and redundant modules.
If the latest upgrade works well with the needs of the site, the new site can be built without engaging the contributed modules. This is a good time to give your website a facelift. However, if the new site requires contributed modules that are not available within the core, one would have to make some changes. It would require porting the modules before the new version is deployed.
There are some more things to consider before you move onto the latest Drupal. Is it the right time for your website, do you have the budget if some extensive overhauling is required and how flexible is the change going to be to make it feasible.
Web Geometrics is a Drupal consulting and development company based out of India