This post is regarding the process of upgrading your Drupal site to its latest version Drupal 7. Drupal is an Open-source CMS solution, and is a perfect choice for publishing the content on your website. Drupal is extremely flexible and durable and allows a range of customization. Drupal 7 is stuffed with a lot of new features, ease of use, a whole host of dedicated modules and themes. Drupal can be upgraded only between two subsequent versions. So, if you want to upgrade your Drupal 5 website to Drupal 7, then you must upgrade it to Drupal 6 version first and after that to 7. The Upgradation procedure can be performed both manually and through the cPanel.
Taking backups of files and database prior upgrading
Before you upgrade your Drupal system, it is strictly advisable to keep a backup of the complete database as well as the CMS files including core and non-core, to be on the safer side. In order to create to create a backup you can download the files through your preferred File Transfer Protocol (FTP) client into your computer’s hard drive. You can also zip the entire Drupal installation and save it in the form of a tar file. Do keep in mind that no change should be made to the site at this point of time, like adding new files or content, or any such things.
When you are preparing for the upgradation and making changes to your site, ensure that your site is not available for public viewing. To make your site momentarily unavailable to visitors, you are required to activate the maintenance mode.
Removing extra modules
To avoid needless troubles while upgrading from Drupal 6 to 7, you should uninstall the excess themes and modules. A clean database is best suited for this process. The lesser number of themes and modules you use, the easier will be the upgrading process. To adhere to this process, you should set a default Drupal theme and only keep the modules that are indispensable while removing anything extra.
Downloading the latest version of Drupal
You should download the most recent version of Drupal from the official website Drupal.org. This can be done either through your FTP client or through Secure Shell network protocol. The downloaded file should be then extracted into a subfolder. Uploading the new version to your website can be achieved by creating a folder in your site’s public_html directory. The file can then be extorted through cPanel or with programs like tar, zip and something alike, whichever is supported by your computer’s operating system. You’ll observe that the downloaded package contains a file named UPGRADE.txt in its root directory. You should read this file very carefully before going ahead to upgrade. After you have uploaded the new version, then you should copy all the essential files and folders from the older version here. Gaining access to those files should not be a problem now, since the backup had been created right at the beginning. Erase the existing files if any, in the new folder. The default folder in the new site should be edited to ensure successful upgradation of the contents. You can do this either manually or with the help of editors such as CODE or HTML.
Reinstalling themes and modules
At this point of time you can download all the removed themes and modules and install them again. Remember, that the functionality of the modules must be verified to ensure their smooth operation. While choosing a module you must opt for a version that meant to run on Drupal 7. You can choose to upload a module to your Drupal 7 website either manually or via the Drupal user interface. Themes can be downloaded from Drupal’s official theme webpage. These can be extracted in the themes subfolder. You can do this either through cPanel or through your FTP client. Once the theme files are uploaded they can then be viewed under ‘Appearance’ in the Drupal Admin Area, and you’ll be able to enable the theme that you wish to.
After all’s done, you should load your site in a different browser in order to check whether it is working properly. If everything’s running smoothly without any issues then you can be assured that you have successfully upgraded your Drupal site!
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