The Cheeky Monkey Media Blog

A few words from the apes, monkeys, and various primates that make up the Cheeky Monkey Super Squad.

4 ways to budget for a D9/10 migration

Just so you’ve got a brief backstory and timeline for the last few years of Drupal platform updates: Back in September 2018, Dries Buytaert, founder and project lead of Drupal, announced:

“Drupal 7 will be end-of-life in November 2022, Drupal 9 will be released in 2020, and Drupal 10 will be released in summer 2022.”  In addition to the latest Drupal 9 end of life slated for November 2023, those are the dates that matter, when considering ways to budget for a Drupal 9/10 migration.

Since that announcement, Cheeky Monkey Media has had a lot of conversations with businesses of all shapes and sizes, non-profit and for-profit, that are currently on the Drupal 7 CMS platform and are considering migrating to Drupal 9/10. We’ve come up with 4 ways to budget for a Drupal 9/10 migration.

First thing to note: Moving from Drupal 7 to 9/10 will be painful, and almost as expensive as building a Drupal website from scratch. The second thing you should realize is that if you’re still on Drupal 8 (support for that version ended November 2021), the move to Drupal 9 then 10 will be relatively painless.

As Dries announced in a later article,

“…it should be much easier to upgrade to Drupal 9 than it was to upgrade to Drupal 8. Drupal 9 will simply be the last version of Drupal 8, with its deprecations removed.”

 

Cheeky Monkey Media has completed a number of migration projects to Drupal 9 with our clients. We’ve approached these projects in several different ways to help organizations make the migration “less painful” from a process and budget perspective, and I’m going to share these 4 ways to budget for a Drupal 9/10 migration now. 

 

Budgeting and Scenario Assumptions

First, let’s make a couple assumptions.

Whenever we have conversations with organizations about the migration to Drupal 9, in addition to the migration, there are typically some issues or challenges our clients want to address with their website while in the process of migration. They either want to fix issues with features and/or functionality, design, or all of the above.

So let’s assume that you’re not entirely happy with how your current D7 site is functioning, and/or you might be considering a redesign. I mean, it makes sense. You’re looking at rebuilding your site anyways, so you might as well improve the results you’re getting from it in the process.

To help illustrate the different approaches and how they will impact your budget, I’ve also included some mock budgets and timelines to illustrate the budget difference between the approaches.

Another assumption is that I know nothing about your site at this point, except that it’s likely on Drupal 7. So, I decided to use nice round figures of $100,000 – $120,000 for option #1 below, which you might be thinking is your only option at this point, but our past projects have shown that this is thankfully not the case.

Again, these budgets and timelines are by no means specifically accurate to your site; they’re just provided as reference. 

 

Let’s take a look:

Option #1:

  • Discovery, migration to D9/10, fixing functionality issues and a redesign
  • $100,000 – $120,000
  • 8-10 months timeline

Pros:

  • Solve all your problems in one fell swoop… kill all your birds with one stone?… you get the picture. 

Cons

  • It’s difficult to see what makes the difference for your business. Was it improved performance based user experience that made the difference? Was it an improved design user experience? Was it improved features/functionality?
  • It’s a big expenditure going out in a fairly short period of time.
  • It’s a huge drain on internal resources (the internal project team) that could be involved in user testing, design approvals, content audits, edits, rewrites, and reorganization, etc.

 

Option #2:

  • Discovery, migration to D9/10, fixing functionality issues, no redesign
  • $90,000 – $110,000
  • 6-8 months

Pros:

  • You’re getting a lot accomplished and solving a lot of problems with this approach.
  • You’ll have a better idea what changes had the biggest impact.
  • Not a huge drain on internal resources

Cons:

  • This may not be the approach you want to take if a redesign is part of your overall plan, as you would be paying for front-end development twice (once when you rebuild the current frontend and once when you redesign), but there are options to this that you can consider in Option #4 below.

 

Option #3:

  • Complete rebuild (redesign and rebuild on Drupal 9/10; no migration)
  • $50,000 – $80,000
  • 8-10 months timeline
  • Assuming client team is responsible for manually populating the new site with new or re-written/updated content

Pros (same Pros as Option #1):

  • Solve all your problems in one fell swoop… kill all your birds with one stone?… you get the picture. 

Cons (same Cons as Option #1):

  • It’s difficult to see what makes the difference for your business. Was it improved performance based user experience that made the difference? Was it an improved design user experience? Was it improved features/functionality?
  • It’s a big expenditure going out in a fairly short period of time.
  • It’s a huge drain on internal resources (the internal project team) that could be involved in user testing, design approvals, content audits, edits, rewrites, and reorganization, etc.

 

Option #4:

  • Discovery, migration to D9/10, fixing functionality issues, no redesign  
  •  $90,000 – $110,000
  • 6-8 months timeline
  • Implementing a WebOps approach, post-launch
    • You will need a consistent, annual WebOps budget, to get you to your goals.

Pros:

  • This gets you where you need to go and allows you to measure success along the way without doing things twice unnecessarily, or paying for them to be done twice.
  • Not a huge drain on internal resources

Cons:

  • This may not be the approach you want to take if a redesign is an urgent need for your organization, because WebOps offers a more consistent, iterative approach over time to continually reach website goals.  

 

We’re happy to share our experiences with these various approaches to help you decide the best way for you and what your budget would look like. If you want to discuss any or all of these options to help you decide which path to D9/10 is best for you, feel free to reach out to us.