It has been more than 4 years since I started this blog. During the years it has evolved a lot, featuring about 1500 articles, extended of using about 60 modules and what's not less important - attracts about 100,000 users monthly. For more than 4 years this website has been running on Drupal 7.

Despite me thinking of Drupal 7as one of the best Drupal versions so far, I understand the importance of upgrading to the latest Drupal 8 version. Drupal 8 features a lot of new and cool features, one of the things I like the most - composer for updating site functionality. Sure, there are many pitfalls also. Personally, I think it will take about 6 months for me to completely upgrade to the latest Drupal 8 version, as still there are many modules not yet supported in D8.

During the last two years I've built a few Drupal 8 sites from scratch and written a dozen of articles (mostly covering Drupal Nginx stuff), so I'm not a complete novice with Drupal 8.

Here are few articles related to configuring Drupal 8 environment

See a complete list of Drupal 8 articles

Alternatively, see:

Now, returning to the subject of this article:

Planning an upgrade from existing, custom built Drupal 7 website to Drupal 8

Backups. It all should start with backups. For my blog, I'm running a separate VPS from Linode (paying $62.5/mo). I have Linode backups enabled already, and that's great.

Before upgrading to Drupal 8, I plan to purchase additional Linode VPS, set and configure it for Drupal 8 (see above) and migrate a copy of my existing Drupal 7 website there. Having a separate development environment will help. Each new Linode VPS comes with a separate IP.

After the successful D7 to D8 migration, I will change just DNS entries to point to the new IP address or more probably - after successfully migrating and developing blog under D8, I will temporary change DNS to point to the new VPS and then will transfer back to the existing, but already upgraded VPS (just to make sure IP stays the same)

As usual, I will keep publishing updates in the Drupal development series. If you have any comments, suggestions, or you have recently done D7 to D8 upgrade, leave a comment, readers and I would love to hear.