Moving on to Drupal 6… then 7

In our series of tutorials on how to build a website with Drupal for newbies, we created a simple website from start to finish using Drupal 5.  Now it’s time to move on.  Drupal 6 has been around and stable for a while now, and the website was recently upgraded to Drupal 6.  The current version out is Drupal 6.10.

The developers at Drupal are now working on Drupal 7, and yesterday at DrupalCon, Dries Buytaert announced the Code Freeze date for Drupal 7 as September 1.  What this means is that after September 1 of this year, no more new features will be accepted for addition into the Drupal Core for version 7. Instead, the developers and contributors will now start working on patches and fixes, on usability and all that other good stuff. Which means, before we know it, Drupal 7 will be here!

What does this mean for us?

It means that if we’re still running sites on Drupal 5 or earlier versions, we need to upgrade. As newer versions of Drupal come out, the older ones fade back, go on retirement, and are not maintained as thoroughly as we would want in an evolving dynamic web world.  So it’s always better and more secure to upgrade your install so that your modules are maintained and supported with security fixes, features and more.  Besides, no one likes being left behind.

So the Drupal Pad, our experimental Drupal site, is going to version 6. I contemplated upgrading it, but decided that since there’s not much going on over there yet, I am simply going to start from scratch and create a new Drupal6 install.  I will write a tutorial on the install process, since it’s a little different than Drupal5 was, and then pick up where we left off and continue my Drupal tutorials on a version 6 platform since that is where matters currently are.  There are many useful tutorials and articles out there on Drupal 6, what’s new in Drupal 6, how to upgrade from Drupal 5 to 6, and how to install Drupal 6.  Below are some you may find helpful:

What’s New in Drupal 6 Links

What’s New in Drupal 6 –  a screencast from Greg Knaddison showing you what’s new in 6, a really great one to watch

What’s New in Drupal 6 – a nice overview

Upgrading from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 Links

Upgrading from Drupal 5.x to Drupal 6.x –  another screencast from Greg Knaddison on upgrading from D5 to D6

Upgrading from Drupal 5.x to Drupal 6.x –  a step by step tutorial on upgrading from D5 to D6

How to Upgrade from Drupal 5 to Drupal 6 –  a very detailed multi-post tutorial, the most detailed one I’ve found so far.

If you have to keep running on Drupal 5 and have any Drupal 5 related questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them and I will answer as best as I can.  And remember you can always find answers on the website and forums.

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