What to expect when moving from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8?

Tuesday, 17 November, 2020

Rebuilding your website can feel overwhelming — there’s a lot to consider. Check out the building a new website section in the support centre for guidance on this process.

We suggest you start by focussing on the following 4 things you will need to do as part of your transition from Drupal 7 (D7) to Drupal 8 (D8):

  1. Ensure you have a website proposal in place with us for the transition.
  2. Do you have the skills to complete your project in house or will you need a development partner?
  3. Will you build your new website on or off the GovCMS platform?
  4. Let us know in advance when you plan to launch your new website

Here’s what else you can expect:


When rebuilding your D7 website in D8, you’ll notice a difference in modules. You’ll find new modules in D8 which improve your functionality.

You may also find some of the modules you’re currently using in D7 aren’t available in D8. Don’t be concerned, there’s usually a way to achieve the same outcome in a different way. For example, instead of using the Feeds module in D7, you would use Migrate which is part of Drupal 8 core.

A number of organisations that have begun their D7 transition took the opportunity to do a website audit and gap analysis of functionality.

Drupal core

Popular modules have been built into the core as part of D8. This allows more out-of-the-box functionality without having to install and maintain multiple modules.

The Content Management System (CMS)

Overall the layout in the backend of the CMS is more streamlined in D8. You’ll also notice some changes to the branding and colour scheme. Content authors will find the tools and content workflows make authoring more intuitive. If you’ve mirrored your D7 site on D8, managing content will be very straight forward. If you’ve made significant changes for example you now use different content types it may take a bit of getting used to.

For more information, check out the Prepare your website for D9 section.