Initiatives: Drupal 7 Upgrade

This project will upgrade all OIT-supported Drupal 7 websites to Drupal 9. The project is funded by SAGIT (IPP 2022-2455).

The upgrade project

What's included in the upgrade?

The project will include an upgrade of all OIT-supported Drupal websites including:

  • Princeton Site Builder version 1 (formerly called the Template System) - Completed August 31, 2022.
  • OpenScholar - shutting down June 30, 2023
  • Custom Drupal 7 - shutting down June 30, 2023

The project is a "lift and shift" project, meaning that the websites will remain mostly the same (same menus and general layouts) except for the design theme.


What's not included in the upgrade?

  • Your QA website will not be upgraded and anything there will be lost. Only your production website will be upgraded.
  • Design theme customizations. All websites will move to the new Tiger theme or the new Scholar theme. Where possible we will retain some design personalization your website may have. If you wish to retain your custom design, that will be a fee-based project with WDS.
  • Redesign projects. If you wish to redesign, overhaul, or significantly change your website, that will be a fee-based project with WDS.
  • Drupal websites that are not supported by OIT. Be aware of Drupal 7's end-of-life PSA and plan accordingly.
  • Using a website for the purposes of redirecting it in its entirety to another website. If we discover that you are using your website solely for the purposes of redirecting, we will remove it and ask that you use the proper process for requesting a redirect. See our Terms of Service
  • For additional information please visit the upgrade project FAQs page.

When will the upgrade happen?

The project will take place between August 2021 and June 2023. A schedule will be created and each website owner will be informed ahead of time. 

At a high-level, the current timeline is as follows;

  • November 2021 through June 2022: Princeton Site Builder version 1
  • June 2022 through December 2022: OpenScholar
  • August 2021 through June 2023: Custom Drupal 7 

What can you do to prepare?

  • Clean up your website
  • Review your content
  • Delete or unpublish unnecessary web pages
  • Check for broken links
  • Talk with your leadership and decide if you want a redesign. A redesign is not included in the upgrade. You will need to initiate a project with WDS ahead of 2023.


What is expected of me?

A short edit freeze is needed during the upgrade. Site owners and admins will be notified of the time period by email. 

Can I upgrade my website now?

Please wait for WDS to contact you once we've established the regular upgrade schedule. Otherwise, you can rebuild your website from scratch by filling out the form to request a new website


Is there a fee to upgrade?

No but there is a fee if you want a design other than the Tiger theme or Scholar theme.


Can I stay on the current platform?

No. You need to upgrade prior to December 2023.


What if my website is Custom Drupal 7?

You may be able to move it to the Princeton Site Builder. This platform has greater flexibility in that you can use most of the base features and only have minimal customizations. In the past, if your website needed customizations, then it needed to be coded from the ground up. That is no longer the case going forward and one of the benefits of the new platform.


Can I get a website to test?

We do not provide websites for testing. There are 2 ways to try the new Princeton Site Builder:

  1. Attend a training class. You will be provided access to a website for 3-4 weeks.
  2. Request a new website for your department, program, or center. Try the platform in Maintenance Mode. Consider completing your website in the new platform and making it your live website. WDS can help you switch production (live) URLs.

Additional FAQs for OpenScholar websites

Upgrade Phases

Please contact the upgrade team with questions ([email protected]).

Phase 1: Copy & Upgrade


  • Your website will be copied and upgraded.
  • When logged into your website, a banner will appear for editors to remind them that the website is being upgraded.
  • Any content updates you make during the process will have to be redone on the new website.

Phase 2: Review


  • WDS will review your website for major defects before it launches.
  • The upgrade path may not be perfect. You may find that you need to revise some content layouts and content entry using new methods. 
  • Refer to Site Builder documentation to help with content editing and website administration of your upgraded website.
  • Take training classes to learn how to edit the new Site Builder version of your website. 


Phase 3: Launch


  • On the launch date, your upgraded website will replace your old website.
  • An email confirmation will be sent that includes login details as well as how to get support.