There comes a time in a websites lifespan where you will eventually have to upgrade the Drupal CMS from one version to the latest in order to gain access to all of the latest features available and possibly combine your efforts with a re-theming exercise for example in order to make the website mobile friendly, especially if the website was developed using Drupal 6 before the days when responsive website design had fully taken a hold on the industry.

We were faced with such a challenge when we decided that we had to re-theme the website for the alternative rock band called “The Bacillus”. The website was originally developed using the Drupal 6 CMS and apart from needing a theme which looked the same as the Drupal 6 theme which we had originally developed which was fixed width and therefore not very mobile-friendly also needed to have a much improved back end / editor experience so the band members could add content easier with a user experience which would make content editing a breeze.

Another reason for the upgrade was that the Drupal 6 version of the website used the Audio module which was decided to be replaced by utilising Soundcloud to stream audio clips which wasn’t possible on the Drupal 6 website.

Time for an upgrade…..

So it was decided that an upgrade was in need, not only from a front end perspective but also to enable the back end to allow the simplicity of content editing which Drupal 7 was starting to allow.

This isn’t a small feat to say the least, however, with the use of a couple of modules on the Drupal 6 side (vires data export) and the Drupal 7 side (feeds plus feeds path parser) we were able to make the transition from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 pretty painless.

First task: Re-build the existing theme in a mobile-friendly manner

The first thing we needed to do was re-engineer the theme to become mobile friendly. This was achieved by using the Omega 3 theme as a base theme on which the mobile friendly version of the website was based. Nothing appeared to be different from the desktop point of view, however, the website responded nicely on mobile devices creating a seamless mobile experience for fans of the band.

Secondly: Import the exsiting content from the old Drupal 6 website into Drupal 7 using Views Data Export and Feeds XPath Parser

Once the theme had been re-engineered it was a task to copy the existing content over from the Drupal 6 website to the Drupal 7 version. This was achieved by creating xml exports of the content on a per-content-type-basis and then using the feeds and feeds path parser module on the Drupal 7 website to consume the feeds in order to import the blog posts and other content with a click of a mouse button.

If you require your Drupal 6 site to be upgraded to Drupal 7 and have any further questions then feel free to contact us with any questions which you may have.


Source: Old Website

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