Another Website System Update
Several More System Updates for Graphicline
A Public Holiday in South Africa today, and a good opportunity to undertake another Drupal system update for graphicline.co.za. Today’s updates included Drupal modules; panels, webform, options element, taxonomy menu trails, and the all important view module. Two theme updates were also completed during the process.
The entire update took less than 30 minutes, during which time the site was offline, in maintenance mode, for less than 7 minutes in total.
After completing the work on the system I took the opportunity to update the front page as well, adding “Find Out More” links using CSS classes for a better appearance. A few unnoticed spelling mistakes were fixed at the same time, and a few changes made to some wording.
My Drupal Update Process
I have developed a method for updating Drupal websites. Each module is individually replaced in a local version of the site, the database update script run, and the site tested. Once satisfied everything still works OK, the module files are uploaded to the live site, for which I use Dreamweaver as a FTP tool. The live site database then gets updated and the site tested.
I have had occasions where a module update breaks the site or introduces errors, so always follow the recommended procedure of testing all updates on a development server before committing the changes to the production website. This may sound like a lot of extra time wasted, but it takes longer to repair a live site after a failure than to make sure everything works as intended before going live.
Updating each Drupal module one by one also takes longer, but in the event one is faulty, it is a lot easier and quicker to remove the module and replace with the older version. Anyone who has ever updated or installed several modules or plugins will know what I mean – deactivating and removing all the latest updates to find the one with a bug is very time-consuming.
Database Backup during Updates
Another good practice is backing up the database after each module is updated, especially if the update is not tested first on a development platform. Then if the module has problems, replacing the files and restoring the database will fix any fault that appeared.