Moving content from D6 to D7

Editors were encouraged, starting in 2014, to move their websites from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.

Drupal 6 is an outdated version of the software and eventually, all support for Drupal 6 websites will be withdrawn.

Drupal 7 is easier to use, has more functionality and provides updated templates and designs for your website.

Important note:
There is no automatic way to switch a website from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.
A brand new website must be created and any content from the old Drupal 6 site must be transferred manually.
Content includes: text, images, video and uploaded documents.

The first step in moving from D6 to D7 is to follow the New Site Process (read more about it) and request a new Drupal 7 website on the private staging server.

You build your new Drupal 7 website just like you would if you were starting from scratch. You create Pages for your content and then place and organize those pages in your main menu.

The only difference is that a lot of your content will not be brand new but will be copied from your Drupal 6 website.

Tips for moving content

It is most important to remember that copying and pasting text does not copy and move your links, documents and images.

All documents (PDF files, Word .docs, Powerpoints etc.) and images must be downloaded from your Drupal 6 website and then uploaded to your new Drupal 7 website.

You cannot simply copy the links to those files.

Note: Before you upload PDF format documents to your website please read "A note about PDFs" on the Accessibility page.

It is best to open your Drupal 6 website in one browser and your new Drupal 7 website in another. That will prevent the system from logging you out as you switch back and forth from one site to the other.

Navigate to a page in your D6 site that you need to recreate in your D7 site. Place your cursor in the text and select all (Ctrl-A or Cmd-A) then select copy (Ctrl-C or Cmd-C).

Switch to your new D7 site. Create a Page and fill in the mandatory Title field. Then move down to the Body section to paste in your content.

Make sure you are using the Paste as Plain Text option from the Body editing bar

Paste as Plain Text icon from the Body editing bar

Paste your content (Ctrl-V or Cmd-V) from the D6 site into the box and then select OK. Using Paste as Plain Text ensures you are not bringing over old text formatting or outdated links.

If you paste content directly into the Body area you will end up with errors that you will have to correct when your website is audited.

Always use Paste as Plain Text.

Once you have placed your text, then you can upload your images and documents, relink to other pages, reset your formatting with headers, bold styling, bulleted lists etc.

Once your page content is complete add it into your main menu or set links to the page from other content.

Using this process, you move your Drupal 6 content page-by-page to your new Drupal 7 staging site.