How to Upgrade Drupal for Both Minor and Major Changes

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As a big fan of Drupal, you may have enjoyed a set of advanced functions of this powerful content management system. With continuous renewal, Drupal brings users ever-increasing surprises to perfect the previous drawbacks. So, many people fall over each other to benefit from the latest version. Have you still indulged in the dated version? If so, give a thought to upgrading Drupal and make your move now.

Before doing this, however, you may have a stream of questions about how to fulfill the whole process. Briefly, be prepared seriously and follow our guide step by step. Our commitment is to help you achieve your goal in the fastest and easiest way. Now, let’s move out.

Do Adequate Preparations

To avoid data losing or some other emergency situations, you have to do adequate preparations so as to make sure the normal running of the website. The preparations include system requirements, data backup, files backup, etc.

Meet the Minimal System Requirements

drupal system requirementsEach Drupal version has its own system requirements, so you need to check whether your system that is being used meets the minimal technical requirements. And now, the newly released version is Drupal 8. If you determine to upgrade the existing version to this latest one, you should guarantee MySQL5.0+/ PotgreSQL8.3+, PHP5.4+, Apache/Nginx/Microsoft IIS, and at least 60MB disk space. Those conditions are essential requirements to ensure stable operation.

Backup Databases

Backing up databases, namely, is to export the databases and move them to another place on a storage device, which is a guarantee to protect all data from losing. In general, this can be done through the control panel. As most Drupal hosting providers utilizing cPanel, we take it as an example to give a demonstration.

Log into cPanel with your hosting account, and then find Databases > phpMyAdmin. You can see the various options like Databases, SQL, Process, Export, Import, etc. You are required to click the option of Databases and check your own Drupal site’s databases. Then click the Export. Once exporting all databases, you have to make sure that they are securely kept in the prepared location.

Backup All Files

Frankly speaking, this step is easy-to-do and not time-consuming with the help of an FTP client. You are required to find the folder where web files are stored and check it. Download the folder by using FTP client FileZilla. The following image shows demonstrate the process. You must keep in mind never leaving out any file, especially for the ones installed in the root directory.

backup all files

Upgrade Drupal Manually

Here, we are going to make a clear description on how to upgrade Drupal manually.

Download Drupal and Extract the Archive

First of all, access to Drupal official site and download Drupal. You are allowed to choose any release according to your own needs. And then, upload the loaded version to a created folder under the public_html directory of the website. We suggest you to name the folder as something easy to remember, like drupal_new. If you have cPanel account, you can have the archive extracted via cPanel > File Manager. If not, finish the extraction by using FTP client or do it on other storage devices.

Check Whether You Get the Backup Done

check backupJust in case, you’d better check the backup again if there is something left to be backed up. Later, find the settings.php file via cPanel > File Manager > public_html > your named folder. Change the “$update_free_access = FALSE;” to “$update_free_access = TRUE;”. Since now, the update.php script is accessible for you.

Update Databases

You need to access to the http://yourdomain.com/drupal_new/update.php to view the interface of database update. Click Continue button to go on the upgrade. When entering the next page, you can view a list of information including the pending updates. Here, click the Apply pending updates to finish the Drupal upgrade.