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July 27, 2021

Upgrading Your Educational Website to Drupal 8 or 9


As the end of 2021 comes into view, it's time for Drupal 7 users to start planning their upgrade to Drupal 8 or Drupal 9.

With Drupal 7 reaching end-of-life in November 2022, upgrading early is the best way to avoid the security vulnerabilities that come with unsupported software and take advantage of improvements to backend modules, faster page load speeds and a more user-friendly content management interface.

Don't Just Lift and Shift – Lift and Improve

Currently, about 63% of Drupal websites are running version 7, including thousands of educational websites. And because the upgrade to Drupal 8 can't be fully automated due to a major rewrite of the framework, this migration is also a prime opportunity to update and enhance your educational website's features, design, content and accessibility.

d'Vinci is partnering with education-focused clients like the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) to proactively respond to the imminent Drupal 7 end-of-life with strategy, design and development expertise. Since late 2020, our team has worked to improve the user experience and streamline content management for NHGRI's Unlocking Life's Code website in addition to the technical upgrade to Drupal 9.

When the new website launches next month, educators and students will benefit from UX enhancements, a cleaner UI and faster page load speeds, making it quicker and easier to navigate the website's resources. These technical enhancements, plus numerous content updates and a newly translated Spanish version, will improve the readability, relevance and accessibility of resources to even broader audiences.

Behind the scenes, the upgrade to Drupal 9 empowers NHGRI's content managers to add and update educational resources through a more intuitive and mobile/tablet responsive administrative interface. Our development team built mini content templates using the improved Drupal Paragraph module in order to establish a more structured content entry experience and enable self-service content management without in-depth HTML or design expertise. Finally, we took advantage of the many new additions to Drupal 9's core functionality to streamline custom and contributed modules, simplifying maintenance in the long run.

Start Your Drupal Upgrade

We know software upgrades can feel daunting, but d'Vinci is here to help. As both learning specialists and experts in Drupal development, we share your focus on educational goals and content fidelity through each design, technology and accessibility update.

Learning is too important to be interrupted. As the November 2022 Drupal 7 end-of-life date inches closer, now is the time to get a jump on assessing your Drupal 7 upgrade strategy so that you can take advantage of future Drupal feature and security upgrades. Demand for Drupal developers to assist with migrations to Drupal 8/9 will likely increase in the coming year. Depending on the size of your project, upgrading can take weeks to months to complete so getting started early is key.

Contact us now to receive a Drupal 8/9 upgrade cost estimate and work break-down for your website at no charge. Together, we can ensure your educational website remains secure, accessible, and ready to educate the leaders of tomorrow with minimal down-time.

Eric McDonald

By Eric McDonald, Director, Development

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d'Vinci Interactive is an award-winning comprehensive learning solutions provider for corporate, government, medical, non-profit, and K-12 target markets.

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