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)
  • 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?

  • 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.
     

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. 

 

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. This can take anywhere from 1 day to 2 weeks, depending on the size and complexity of your website.
 

Can I upgrade my website now?

Yes. There are 3 options.

OPTION 1: Do-it-yourself

  1. Fill out the form to request a new website

  2. Under “Type of Project” select “I need assistance…” and in "Additional Information" note that you are moving from Site Builder version 1 to 2.

  3. WDS will schedule an upgrade and let you know when the site is ready. 

  4. Review your new website and clean up anything that did not upgrade. The upgrade scripts are not 100% and you will need to replace blocks of content and make other adjustments. Refer to the upgrade guide (Google Sheet) to understand what will automatically upgrade and what will not. The upgrade script is a work in progress.

  5. Email WDS at webservices@princeton.edu to generate a support ticket when you are ready to switch websites. Give us 2 weeks' notice so we can check your website for accessibility. 

OPTION 2: Initiate a project with WDS

Fill out the Work Request form and WDS will partner with you (for-fee) to complete your upgrade.

Otherwise, please wait for WDS to contact you once we've established the regular upgrade schedule.

 

How long does the upgrade process take?

It depends on a number of factors including the amount of content and amount of custom content types. You will be asked to review your website after the upgrade while in "maintenance mode." Please plan for this time when we ask. 

 

Is there a fee to upgrade?

No. Only 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?

No. 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.