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Upgrading Drupal Site to the Latest Version: A Step-by-Step Guide

Upgrading Drupal Site to the Latest Version: A Step-by-Step Guide

As we all know, Drupal is launching new versions regularly, but many sites still use old versions. Upgrading your Drupal site to the latest version is crucial for security, performance, and leveraging the newest features and improvements.

A big question,Why do we need to upgrade the Drupal website to the latest version?
There are many reasons behind this. Find some major points.

1. Security: One of the primary reasons to upgrade is to address security vulnerabilities. Each new release of Drupal includes security updates and patches that address known vulnerabilities. Running an outdated version exposes your site to potential security risks, making it more susceptible to hacking, data breaches, and other malicious activities.

2. Bug Fixes: New Drupal versions come with bug fixes and improvements that enhance the overall stability and performance of the platform. By upgrading, you benefit from these fixes, ensuring a smoother and more reliable experience for both administrators and users.

3. New Features and Functionality: Each Drupal release introduces new features, improvements, and functionality. Upgrading allows you to take advantage of the latest tools and capabilities that can enhance the user experience, streamline content management, and provide new options for site customization.

4. Performance Optimization: Drupal updates often include performance optimizations and efficiency improvements. Upgrading ensures that your website runs on the latest, optimized codebase, which can lead to faster page load times and improved overall performance.

5. Compatibility with Contributed Modules and Themes: Contributed modules and themes are regularly updated to align with the latest Drupal core releases. By keeping your Drupal installation up to date, you ensure that your site's contributed modules and themes remain compatible, reducing the risk of conflicts and issues.

6. Long-term Support: Drupal follows a release cycle that includes long-term support (LTS) versions. Upgrading to LTS versions provides extended support, including security updates, for an extended period. This is particularly important for sites that require stability and longevity.

7. Community Support: The Drupal community actively supports the latest versions, providing valuable resources, documentation, and assistance. By staying up to date, you can take advantage of community support and contribute to the ongoing improvement of the Drupal ecosystem.

8. Compliance and Standards: Upgrading to the latest Drupal version helps ensure that your website complies with industry standards and regulations. Compliance requirements may change over time, and staying current with Drupal updates helps you meet these evolving standards.

9. Improved User Experience: New Drupal releases often include improvements to the user interface and user experience. Upgrading ensures that your site benefits from these enhancements, providing a more intuitive and enjoyable experience for visitors and administrators alike.

10. Future-proofing: Regularly upgrading your Drupal site helps future-proof it against emerging technologies and trends. By staying current, you position your website to adapt to evolving web standards and technologies, ensuring its relevance and longevity.

Many clients are still afraiding to upgrade the site due to data loss, so now no need to worry about it. We PTI WebTech are providing a tested and easy solution for the site upgrade.

Before going to start, First of all, we should understand following three terms - Upgrade, Migrate, and Update.

Update : An update is a process to put the sites in the latest version of the current drupal version if your Drupal website has version 9.2 and suppose the latest version of the 9 branch is 9.5.7 when we plan to put the site into the latest of the current version then the process is called update.

In order to update version, find some simple command

Command :' composer update "– This command will update all pending updates

Command : "drush updb "– Command use to update database schema

Command :  "drush cr: – Clear site cache

Upgrade :

An upgrade is similar to the update but in this process, we put the site into the latest version of Drupal latest branch, for example, your website in the 8.9 version and the latest branch of Drupal version is 10.0.1 then the process is called upgrade and this process we can achieve by following these easy steps – These steps will work on local and Linux based servers so make sure you perform an upgrade on the local machine or if you have the Linux based server for you hosted website.

First check the compabalities using this module : Upgrade Status

Upgrade status will let you know about the module and theme version compabalities and it will help to show all the required versions for the upgrade.

Now backup your complete site database and code so if there you get any issues you can simply restore back the site.

Get all code and database on a local machine if possible else if you have a Linux-based server then you can perform an upgrade on the server too.

Now follow these things -

Command to give the write permissions to required & secured files
- chmod 777 web/sites/default

- chmod 666 web/sites/default/*settings.php
- chmod 666 web/sites/default/*services.php

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Update the required versions
composer require 'drupal/core-recommended:^10' 'drupal/core-composer-scaffold:^10' 'drupal/core-project-message:^10' –no-update

If you have the seperate requirements fir drupal/core in your composer.json, remove it. This dependency is include in drupal/core-recommended and may cause installtion problem.
- composer remove drupal/core –no-update

If you have drupal/core-dev installed 
- composer require ‘drupal/core-dev:^10’  --dev --no-update

If you have drush installed then check recommended version
- composer require ‘drush/drush:^12’ –no-update

Now, test perform the update to the code itself with –dry-run option
- composer update –dry-run

Alternatively if you dont want to update all your modules, but just your core and dependencies, you can run this command.

Update & install all dependencies
- composer update
- composer install

Update database using drush
- drush updatedb  OR  - drush updb

When completed, restore read only permissions
- chmod 755 web/sites/default
- chmod 644 web/sites/default/*settings.php
- chmod 644 web/sites/default/*services.php

By following these steps carefully, you can ensure a successful upgrade of your Drupal site to the latest version. Always refer to the official Drupal documentation for version-specific instructions and best practices.

Rest, We're a team of expert Drupal developer. Lot of work experience in working with Drupal 6 to latest Drupal version. Feel free to contact us for any kind of assistance regarding to design/develop/manage your Drupal website. 

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