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Migrating your site from Wordpress to Drupal

Wordpress (WP) can be an easy to use open-source content management system (CMS) for simple websites. However Wordpress relies heavily on 3rd party plug-ins to extend its basic functionality. Since plug-ins are created by different developers in the community, it can be difficult for content creators to figure out where to make changes. There may be some plug-ins that provide additional options within WP core’s “posts” or they may have to search through each of the plug-ins to make the changes. It is not a scalable solution if your website is not simple.

Drupal is another open-source content management system that is praised for its flexibility. Drupal is built in such a way that it allows custom features to be tacked on with modules that adhere to certain standards. Drupal also empowers Sitebuilders to create and organize content. Drupal’s content type system allows administrators to segment content and contain different fields, different displays, and theming. Drupal’s Views system allows users to quickly create lists of content which can prove to be a challenge in Wordpress without custom code or leveraging a plug-in that may not be flexible enough to fit your needs. If your organization has outgrown Wordpress then Drupal is the ideal CMS for you.

The first step to any project is planning. An audit should be run on the Wordpress to understand how content is managed and what features a plug-in provides. After you know how the content is structured in Wordpress, you can now outline how you’d like content to be managed in Drupal. Create content types and taxonomy terms (categories) to streamline the workflow for your content creators. Then it's time to begin the migration from Wordpress to Drupal.

There is a Drupal module that can help you migrate from Wordpress to Drupal if your site is not too complex. It may be all you need if the Wordpress site only utilizes posts, pages, comments, tags, and categories. However the biggest challenge for a Wordpress to Drupal migration are Wordpress’s shortcodes. Shortcodes allows you to embed content within posts and pages. Some shortcodes such as images and galleries are available in Wordpress core, but many 3rd party plug-ins use their own shortcodes which won’t properly migrate using the Wordpress Migration module.

For Skvare’s migration of the US Chess Federation’s Wordpress site to Drupal 8, a series of custom scripts were developed rather than leveraging the Drupal module. Aside from migrating users, categories, comments, and users, these scripts converted shortcodes into something usable by Drupal. Drupal 8 has a media system built into core that makes media files their own entity. Having media as an entity gives developers more control for custom development. Images and Galleries in Wordpress use shortcodes to insert images into posts. With a standard migration tool, these shortcodes will not render the images within the Drupal pages. The custom script allows us to reference the file from the shortcode, store the file in the Drupal filesystem, and insert directly into the post as a Drupal media entity.

Drupal provides a number of benefits over Wordpress. Not just in content management and custom development but also with integration with other systems and security. If you are looking to expand your website’s capabilities, then contact Skvare to assist with your Wordpress to Drupal migration.

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