Managing security & software updates on your Drupal site

You may have heard that a newer version of Drupal than your site uses has been released.  Upgrading from one version of Drupal to another is tricky at best – modules that used to work smoothly are suddenly quirky or simply cease functioning. Each whole version number (i.e.Drupal 6, Drupal 7, Drupal 8) marks a major change in functionality, but even what seem to be minor updates can cause problems. Think of it like this – upgrading a full version number is akin to switching out the engine of your car. It takes a skilled mechanic to make all the connections and make sure the windshield wipers, brakes, steering wheel all still work! Maintenance upgrades (i.e. 6.2 to 6.3) are more like changing the oil in your car.

Healthy Drupal Sites

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Drupal and Your Business

Your Drupal site has been carefully designed to be optimized with a certain version of the Drupal software, which was the most stable version of Drupal at the time your site was developed or last upgraded. We don’t recommend upgrading on the fly, because pieces of your site may break during the upgrade. Some things may be minor, but sometimes it will be your the whole design of your site or a plugin that fails. Disaster! Then we get an urgent call for help.

Unless you are are highly proficient in html, php, MySQL and Drupal, we don’t recommend making these updates on your own. We find complex websites are extremely fragile.

If your website is currently written in Drupal 6 or earlier, we recommend that you upgrade to Drupal 7 now. Drupal 7 is a mature version and fully supported. Drupal 8 is in development and has a lot of beta testing that needs to be completed before we can recommend it. That being said, when it is time to upgrade to Drupal 8, it will be a great deal easier and less expensive if you are already on Drupal 7.

Drupal and BB Creative

Our new policy and recommendation: Our standard policy for our Drupal sites will be to contact you to schedule updates for Drupal 3-4 times per year, catching and re-optimizing any pieces that won’t work with the latest version before we install. This service will usually cost $100-$300 per upgrade if done quarterly.  If it is done less than once it year, it can cost more than $1,200.

If you need changes to your website, the upgrade to Drupal 7 will be part of the estimate.

Best Practices & Our Simple Maintenance Solution:

Updates to Drupal are necessary at least a couple times a year, especially when there is a security patch in the newer version, but we don’t recommend making the updates as soon as each and every one comes out. We do recommend these quarterly upgrades to prevent hacker attempts, etc. Call or email us if you want to discuss further, and/or set up a Drupal update. We want to keep your website looking beautiful!

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