Everything You Need to Know Before Switching from Drupal to WordPress

Drupal provides the back-end framework for at least 13% of the top 10,000 websites in the world. The CMS offers many standard website-building features and is also used by many apps. Drupal was started in 2001, and WordPress was started in 2003. However, WordPress is better known than Drupal.

It powers nearly 40% of websites on the internet. Both CMS platforms have prestigious clients. Interestingly, the Whitehouse website was built using Drupal but later migrated to WordPress. WordPress has more than 60% of the market share in the CMS sector.

It is the leader when it comes to CMS and has more than 500 websites built using WordPress every day. There are some things that you should know before switching Drupal to WordPress.

switching Drupal to WordPress

Drupal vs WordPress: Differences and Similarities

Differences between WordPress and Drupal:

  • You don’t have to be a professional web designer or know any coding to create a suitable Wordpress website. However, Drupal requires a lot of customization and coding from the designer.
  • Drupal is suited for enterprise level organizations that need complicated website with a lot of content, functionality, features, and integrations. WordPress works well for orginzations of all scales. It is the best choice for small to medium sized businesses that want to get their name out there with a functional website.
  • Drupal has a big learning curve, whereas WordPress is known for being user friendly.
  • Drupal provides 2,500 website themes and 46,000 modules. On the other hand, WordPress provides you with 5,000 plus WordPress themes and 53,000+ plugins. WordPress wins in this department and if your business is going to rely on plugins a lot, you should choose WordPress.
  • Thanks to WordPress’s popularity, you will be able to find any WordPress developer easily. Just post a job or opportunity and you will find a lot of experts offering their services. Finding a good Drupal developer will be a bit more difficult.

Now that you know the differences, let’s look what the two CMSs have in common.

  • They are both open source and free solutions that also come with a paid plan.
  • Both the CMSs have a loyal fan base with a community that provides solution for both Drupal and WordPress.
  • Both the platforms can support high traffic for complicated websites with a lot of content. You should not worry about your site’s performance if you get a lot of traffic.
  • Drupal and WordPress both are SEO friendly. While these CMSs are great at SEO from their core features, but you can also add plugins to help you get your website ranked!
  • Both the platforms can be integrated with an e-commerce plugin. WordPress offers WooCommerce whereas Drupal offers e- commerce integration with Shopify.

These are the differences and similarities between WordPress and Drupal. It was important that you know before switching Drupal to WordPress.

If you think that WordPress is better for your business because of some functionality, plugin, or theme they provide. Then you will have to migrate your website from Drupal to WordPress. If you feel experienced in both the content management systems, you should follow these steps to move your site from Drupal to WordPress.

Preparation to move your website from Drupal to WordPress

Before switching over from Drupal to WordPress, you have to do a bit of prep work. Follow these steps:

  • First off, you need to figure out your web hosting plan. If you are switching over from Drupal to WordPress, you will have to select a WordPress specialized hosting service. You can choose services like Hostinger, Hostgator, Bluehost, etc.

    Kindly ensure that your hosting provider will be able to meet your needs because your site’s performance will depend on it.

  • Create a new structure for your WordPress site based on the mapping of the Drupal site. You will need to label your Drupal content types for what they will appear like on WordPress. Unlike Drupal, on WordPress you need to create content first and menus later.
  • Kindly ensure that the URLs of your Drupal site are SEO friendly before migrating. Make the URLs short and descriptive of the page, this works to improve the SEO.

    You can also update your URLs, once you have already migrated to WordPress. It depends on how much priority you give to this task.

    Make a list of all the URLs on your Drupal site. You can do this manually by going to each page and then doing copy-paste or you could just find and paste the sitemap instead. If you choose the manual route, there are chances that you will miss out some URLs.

  • Install WordPress and set up the foundation of your future website.

The prep information is something that you should know before switching Drupal to WordPress. Now it is time to go through the migration process.

Your Tools

Before you download any plugins, create a CSV export file with all your Drupal content. You will need this file when you are importing to WordPress. You can use a WordPress plugin called FG Drupal because it has all the required features to ensure successful migration.

It was specially designed for people who were migrating their website from Drupal to WordPress. The free version of this plugin offers basic successful migration.

However, if you wish to migrate other items like users, comments, pictures, and custom post types. Then, you should upgrade to premium version to unlock all the functionalities. If you choose to use the FG drupal, you have to follow some steps and it is important that you know before switching Drupal to WordPress.

Install the FG Druapl plugin and activate it

  • Log into the new WordPress website. Visit the WordPress dashboard and find the plugins section. Then you have to click on add new option.
  • You will be taken to the plugin marketplace, search FG Drupal to WordPress and wait for the results.
  • When you find the right plugin, click on the install now button next to the plugin.
  • Once the plugin is installed, you will have to activate it to ensure that it is functioning. For this, click on the activate now button and you are done.

Get your Drupal Database Details and Parameters

Before using FG Drupal to WordPress plugin, you need to know the following details:

– Username
– Password
– Hostname
– Database name and prefix

Sometimes people forget these details, just like you can forget your password to your email address. Special solutions have been designed for this situation, one example can be FileZilla. First, you should access your Drupal files using FIleZilla and head to Drupal’s site.

You will find a file called settings.php, open it, and you will see all the database details. Kindly note this information carefully, because you will need it later in the migration process. Now you have to move to perform the more complicated tasks. At this point, if you feel that it is getting too much for you then you can always hire an expert.

Import your Drupal content to WordPress

Log into your WordPress dashboard and once you are there follow these steps:

  • Click on the tools tab and select import
  • You will see a new Drupal option if you have installed the plugin correctly.
  • Click on run importer. A new page will load with a lot of information and settings which you will have to manage. Then type in your database or parameters information.
  • Choose import summary> to the content.

Move to the media section to import your media content. You can also skip the media option, if you find it unnecessary. You can also manually select the images that you want for your pages and leave the rest out.

When you are settled, click on the start or resume the import button. This will begin the process of importing your website’s data from Drupal to WordPress. When it is finished, you will get a notification in the plugin’s log that the migration process has been successful.

The final step is to scroll at the end of the settings page and click on the modify internal links button. When you do this you automatically update any link on your website which is now managed by WordPress.

This step is optional but it is the best way to ensure that all your links are working as they are supposed to because you have migrated an entire site from Drupal to WordPress. Many people who miss this step, later find that their site has broken links.

This is a crucial step and people should know before switching Drupal to WordPress. Once you complete this step, all your links will work, and a modal will notify you about this news.

The final steps for migration

You have completed most of the steps required in site migration, but you are left with a few final steps that will make this migration successful.

Here is a list of tasks that you have to do:

  • Select an attractive WordPress theme to ensure that your WordPress site is as attractive as the Drupal one. You may find that the free themes are not as attractive. It is important that the new version of your website is attractive or you will lose customers or visitors.

    That is why you can always browse premium themes and purchase a theme that suits your business model. You cannot use the same template that you had on Drupal since it was a different CMS.

  • Boost your user experience by adding WordPress widgets, contact form, custom codes, images, videos, etc.
  • Take some time to explore the capabilities of WordPress. It is the most popular CMS for a reason and that is because it provides extremely powerful functionalities. Consider trying out a few plugins and see if they are helping you out or not.

    Some of the famous plugins are Yoast SEO, W3 Total Cache for speed, Defender for security problems, Jetpack for analytics, and other plugins for different functions.

  • Taking these final steps is your way of getting used to WordPress and ensuring that your potential customers enjoy a great experience when they browse your website.

    Try to ensure that your website has the translation feature and is mobile friendly. Your website will improve in functionality after you switch to WordPress.

    About Shri Posts

    Shri PostsShri shares exciting WordPress themes, plugins and other WordPress related news for our viewers. He also posts selected WordPress developers interviews from time to time.