(Nov2016) Drupal Upgrade Plan

Xeno Media has proposed
  • Upgrade the site from Drupal Commons 2 (based on Drupal 6) to Drupal 7. The upgraded site will not use Commons, but it will include the individual modules that provide the functions we use.
  • Update the styling and interface, including increased support for mobile and tablet users.
  • Customization of the Data Portfolios
    • (not sure what this means precisely)
  • Simplified support for the next few years
    • (see notes below)

They'd like to get started in December, and they estimate 160-200 hours @ $100/hr for a total of $16,000-$20,000 (the hourly rate will increase in 2017).

  • Drupal 8 is the current major version of Drupal. One of the key modules for our site is Organic Groups, which has not yet been upgraded to work with D8. This is why we'd move to D7 instead of jumping to D8.
  • D7 works with PHP 7, which would fix the major issue that prevents the site from being hosted from the CRC.
  • Drupal is philosophically opposed to backwards-compatibility between major versions. This means that when security support expires for D7, we will have to upgrade the site yet again to D8 (or D9, but probably D8). Drupal also seems to be philosophically opposed to planning for the future, but my best guess is that D7 support will end Q4 of 2018 or (best-case scenario) Q4 of 2019. In any event, it will be within the upcoming grant cycle.
  • I would guess that this future upgrade will not cost quite as much as the current proposed upgrade for two reasons. As a rough guess I'd put it on the order of ~$10,000.
    • Clearing away Commons and adding mobile support are both labor-intensive tasks that shouldn't need to be repeated
    • Drupal Core developers seem to be aware of their "upgradability problem" and put effort into streamlining the upgrade process with every cycle.
  • Long-term, maintaining a Drupal website will require major version upgrades every ~5 years.
  • Drupal release cycle information
-- Main.JoelG - 2016-11-16


Topic revision: r1 - 2016-11-16, JoelG
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