Upgrading from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 for CIPR

Prater Raines support a suite of websites for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations: their Influence PR article aggregating site based on WordPress, their bespoke CPD platform Ladder and the main CIPR website based on Drupal.

When we took over the management and maintenance of their websites a few years ago, it was clear that the Drupal site – based on Drupal 6 – was going to need to be updated at some stage. At that time Drupal 8 was still in Beta, and we were expecting to move straight from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 when it was fully available.

However, that’s not the way it worked out. Although Drupal 8 was fully launched in November 2015, it’s clear that the Drupal community still has a way to catch-up. Many of the contributed modules on which the CIPR site relied had simply not being ported to Drupal 8 – and that remains true for many to this day.

It was no longer reasonable to leave the site on Drupal 6 as it was lo longer being officially supported, so Prater Raines took the decision with CIPR to upgrade the site to Drupal 7 at this time.

The project required researching which of the 100’s of contributed modules used in the system had a simple upgrade path to Drupal 7, which needed replacing, which bespoke modules and code needed updating and working through a migration process for the database and codeset from Drupal 6 to 7.

We were delighted to get the new Drupal 7 site live in April 2017 for CIPR, which alongside being on the more up to date platform had also allowed us to clean up and revise the legacy codebase, making the site and its bespoke functionality easier to maintain and update in future. The upgrade was undertaken within the CIPR’s existing support contract and including updating the Drupal to Integra connector we’ve developed to allow members to update their own membership details and see data passed to and from the live Integra membership database.