Upgrade from Drupal 5 to Drupal 7

Any repeating visitor will notice that I have changed the site. In fact, besides changing the appearance, the backbone engine running the site was upgraded from drupal 5 to drupal 7. The main reasons for the upgrade are that the administration in drupal 7 is much more user-friendly than that in drupal 5. Also, I decided that I want a cleaner theme (appearance) though I am not sure that the present version is the last one (probably it isn't! but I didn't have time to search for a nicer one).

The upgrade itself was not hassle free, and I am not sure I would have ventured doing so, if I knew what I know now about the amount of work!

In short, it required the following:
  • Duplicating the MySql database
  • Duplicating the site directory structure and content
  • Making sure that the duplicate site is running.
  • Switching off all the none-core modules (in the duplicate site).
  • Upgrading (the duplicate site!) from drupal 5 to drupal 6.
  • Upgrading from drupal 6 to drupal 7
  • Changing many of the snippets (small php scripts) that are not drupal 7 compatible. For example, the snippets that produce the site map. Here is an example of how to modify snippets printing a list of nodes by content type and taxonomy id.
  • Downloading all the drupal 7 version of the modules.
  • Switching the modules on and praying a little. In those cases that the praying was insufficient, wrestle with the module until it complies ;-)
  • Rename the online site directory as a temporary directory, and rename the temporary directory as the online site. Voilà.
That's all there is to it! If you didn't understand I was just sarcastic. It took me several hours of work spread over perhaps two weeks. In the meantime, the main site was operating on a frozen mode. (no new comments or blog entries).

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