Initiatives: Drupal 7 Upgrade

This is the formal project to 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) - shutting down August 31, 2022!
  • Custom Drupal 7
  • OpenScholar

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 December 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 - All Princeton Site Builder version 1 websites upgraded
  • June 2022 through November 2022 - All OpenScholar websites upgraded
  • August 2021 through June 2023 - All Custom Drupal 7 websites upgraded

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?

You will be asked to review your website after it is upgraded in as short of a time as possible. 

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 version 2 platform. 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.

The new Drupal platform

Why is there a new Drupal platform?
The new Drupal platform was built in anticipation of Drupal 7’s end-of-life in November 2022. Prior to November 2022 all Drupal 7 website owners should move to the new platform.

What is the new platform called?
Princeton Site Builder version 2. This is Princeton’s version of Drupal which is configured to work specifically with our systems and data.

What happened to the Template System?
The Template System still exists, we’ve just renamed it to “Princeton Site Builder version 1”. We are no longer tying the product name to the Drupal version so that you don’t have to worry about the version in the future.

What’s the difference between version 1 and version 2?
Version 1 runs on Drupal 7. 
Version 2 runs on Drupal 9.

How can I tell which version of Drupal my website is using?
Two common ways to tell are:

  1. A "V1" or "V2" icon is displayed in the admin toolbar when logged in.
  2. The link to your documentation will take you to the version.

Upgrade Phases

Please contact the upgrade team with questions (

Phase 1: Copy & Upgrade

Approx. duration: 1 week

  • 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, so please keep them to a minimum, or discuss them with WDS during your review.
  • WDS will review your website before handoff to you for the Review Phase.

Phase 2: Review

Approx. duration: 2 weeks

  • This is your opportunity to review and report issues.
  • You will receive an email that your upgraded website is available for review. The email will provide a login link and a link to the issue tracking spreadsheet.
  • Any updates you made during the Phase 1: Copy & Upgrade process will have to be redone on the upgraded website, so please do that now to familiarize yourself with the new editing experience. If the changes are too numerous please reach out to the project team at to discuss. 
  • Refer to Site Builder documentation to help with content editing and website administration of your upgraded website.
  • WDS may hold 1-hour Zoom sessions every Monday and Friday from noon to 1pm where you can drop in and ask specific questions to assist with this review process.
  • This phase ends when all the issues in the defect tracker have been addressed.


Phase 3: Approve & Launch

Approx. duration: 1 week

  • Once all the issues are addressed in the Review Phase, you will complete a Website Launch Checklist and commit to a launch date for the upgraded website.
  • On the launch date, your upgraded website will replace your old website.
  • The old website will still be available to you for approximately 6 months via a temporary URL.