Handy modules for Drupal website migrations and upgrades

Whether you are moving your site from a content management system like Wordpress (or any other CMS) or indeed you are moving Drupal sites between versions, you’ll find the following modules useful.

John Newton's picture
John Newton

While the Drupal core's Migrate functionality is often the go-to starting point for imports and is well covered, I'm focusing in this article on some of the other approaches and modules that might help your migrations.

Feeds and feeds tamper are long standing Drupal modules and for many of your site imports this may well be the preferred choice. You might want to use the RSS or Sitemap parser but perhaps the most common use case is with a CSV import. Many CMS systems will enable you to export your content into the portable CSV format (a file you might be familiar with working on in Excel) and once you have this set up, you can use Feeds to import your content. Of course, data migrations are never wholly straightforward and you’ll need to observe the usual rules - make sure you’ve cleaned up any garbage characters that may have been generated by your original site export, add in any helper modules for specific types of data (for example to handle addresses) and use the excellent feeds tamper functionality to move across taxonomies.

The linkchecker and the slightly less well known scanner modules whilst not strictly migration tools per se, can be really handy components in your armoury when carrying out website content imports. Sites that have been around a while can pick up a lot of broken links and, assuming you’ll be creating fresh paths in your new site, it’s useful to be able to pick up and fix links in addition to using redirects.

If your data export has been batched making it difficult to structure an import to your liking, a module worth considering is Convert Bundles. This will enable you to restructure your content into different content types.

Lastly, an honourable mention to the webform submission import module. If you have open webforms on your existing site and you need to keep these running until the last possible moment before your new site goes live, reach for this module and import your current submissions into your new site. This will save your site editors the hassle of having to download results into a spreadsheet and juggle data - a much appreciated time saver.

Of course, sometimes you may need to import a site in the other direction - perhaps even from Drupal to WordPress and I’ll cover useful WordPress plugins in an upcoming blog.

Image by HOerwin56 from Pixabay