Need advice on upgrade options

justinbras's picture

We need to upgrade from Drupal 5 (launched in 2009) and since we have never done this before I would appreciate any advice or guidance on what I believe our options are.
Option 1) Just do a straight across the board upgrade.
Option 2) Do an upgrade and make enhancements that we have identified as an organization and include our enhancements in the RFP.
Option 3) Hire a developer to do a 2-3 week intense modernization of website proposal. Cost is a concern with this option.
My big concerns with our website is our integration with netForum, notifications, and community groups (which is not very popular with our members).
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,



josephcheek's picture

speaking as a developer for hire, option #3 sounds appealing 8-))). Of course, as you state with #3, money is a consideration, so you may be able to get a larger firm to give you a quote for free, but expect that quote to be higher than someone like myself would charge to do both the upgrade and the initial audit.

1, as the cheapest, could be done, as long as you are willing to handle the inevitable bumps along the road. If your userbase isn't very picky, you may be able to do an upgrade and fix any little problems as they are spotted by the users. If your userbase is more picky, you may want to spend more time (and money) on developing a plan and working with someone to stage and test the new site while the old one still runs, and then move over in an orderly manner.

I see the tradeoff as more money vs. quality than money vs. time here. Bringing in someone may save you some time in the short run but probably won't. Any time savings would probably be had in not having to pull hairs out afterward, or at least having a go-to guy to call when problems occur. The benefit of bringing in a professional, in my opinion, is more that you would have a "one and done" solution; give the project to the developer and have him (or her) work on it, worry about it, and support it, delivering it to you when done.

If you want to chat, I'd be happy to ... or 202-494-7536.


Joseph Cheek

bigger project than you might think

jesss's picture

As someone in the midst of a Drupal 5 -> 7 conversion, my advice would be that, unless your site is very, very simple, you're really talking about a rebuild, not an upgrade. Aside from the changes to the theming system, the main stumbling block I ran into was that Views was completely rewritten between 5 and 6, and the upgrade path leaves much to be desired.

Of course, my site is a bit of a monster (lots of Views and Panels), so YMMV.

I'd agree with jesss: you're

Barrett's picture

I'd agree with jesss: you're probably looking at more of a rebuild than an upgrade.

I also agree: rebuild.

timprotech's picture

No real question about rebuild vs upgrade. You will save long-run time and effort and get fresh code that can be supported properly.

And regarding netForum. Are you using the module? I couldn't even get the netForum module to work with D6. It's been a while, but the plugin seemed to be abandoned. I dumped it when I took the client from 6 to 7, and away from xWeb and onto netForum OnDemand (Saved huge Avectra dollars and outside dev time). I chose another, home-rolled integration approach.