ReadyTalk will be implementing Drupal 7 for our new website, one of the most feature-rich and secure online content management systems available. Since ReadyTalk has been developing its new site on Drupal 6, we had to decide whether or not it would be worthwhile to move to the newest version. For anyone looking to move up, specifically if you are just beginning or are in mid-development, I’ll explore some of the considerations we made while making the jump.
Most of the modules that ReadyTalk needed were in development (and many are still in alpha or beta as I write this article). Before moving up, we looked at the modules we required and found any critical issues that had not been fixed. Some modules were no longer available but were integrated as standard in Drupal 7. Most notably is CCK. The Drupal team saw the ubiquitous implementation of this module in Drupal 6 and decided it was important enough to include in Drupal 7 core. Others also changed dependencies and as such did not require supporting modules. In most cases, we did not lose any functionality that we had originally planned for version 6, and in many cases we gained features.
We were fortunate enough that all of our required modules were well on their way to being ported. The one speed bump thus far has been migrations. Currently no graphical interface exists for moving data from WordPress or other databases into Drupal 7 (unlike in Drupal 6 with Migrate and Table Wizard), so migrations had to be written using the Migrate API. The Migrate module includes excellent examples for getting started, although at the writing of this article, formal documentation is lacking. Once the migrations were written we were able to pull data from our current website into nodes and taxonomies in Drupal.
While our new site is still under development, we look forward to many of the new features Drupal 7 has to offer. Most notably it offers greater simplicity over its predecessor, which will make it easy for our marketing department to offer quick updates and news to our users and prospects.
If you are looking to make the move to Drupal 7, or if you already have, let us know what you went through to get there. We look forward to showing you what we’re making, but want to hear about your projects as well!