Yesterday I posted an article about why you should upgrade to Drupal 6. Today I'm writing the first of a series of posts on how to upgrade, in an effort to make sure you have no excuses not to.
When you download Drupal it comes with an 79 line document called UPGRADE.txt. UPGRADE.txt is essential reading when going through an upgrade. So important in fact that you should go and read it now and come back.
Done? Very good. As you can see, the document only covers the mechanics of an upgrade. Important information indeed, but it doesn't include any of the dozens of things you may need to do even before you get started. You should not open the document and start executing the steps without planning ahead. If you jump right in you may get to step 9 (Re-install contributed modules) and find that there isn't an upgrade path for one of the contributed modules you use.
So as you may have guessed, the first thing you should do is start formulating your plan. The plan I created for the upgrade of this site had 4 basic phases:
- The "before you do anything" phase which includes:
- module inventory
- research module upgrades
- documenting the plan
- The "getting Drupal 5 'upgrade ready'" phase. i.e. Actually doing things to your Drupal 5 site before you are ready to start the upgrade
- The "actually upgrading to Drupal 6" phase
- The "testing and deployment" phase
Today, I'm only covering the first phase.