A few weeks ago, Alan wrote about how to find out if your Drupal and Wordpress sites are up to date. So, what if you find out your Drupal site is horribly out of date - core, modules and all? What then?
If you run the script Alan wrote about, or you simply notice the alert in the admin section of your site notifying you that your site has updates available, most of the time you'll want to implement at least some of these updates.
Note: The notice for updates is powered by a module called Upgrade Status. It's a good idea to install this module on your Drupal site so you don't let updates go by the wayside.
When you see the update notice, click “available updates” and see which updates are necessary. You can also reach this page by going to admin/reports/updates in your browser (for example, www.yoursite.com/admin/reports/updates).
The updates page will display which version of Drupal you are running as well as the recommended version of Drupal, and the same for each contributed module running on your site. If something is highlighted in green, it is up to date; yellow means there is an update but it’s not critical; red means you should update right away.
So, how do you update Drupal Core and contributed modules?
Generally, if your site is hosted with EchoDitto and/or you have a technical retainer with us, we will inform you of any critical updates and estimate the time needed to implement these updates. If you are hosting outside of EchoDitto or do not have a technical retainer, however, what follows is a step-by-step guide for updating your Drupal site safely and efficiently.
Note: As always, it's a good (read:great) idea to have a development site, separate from your live public-facing site. This should be used for any testing purposes, including updating Drupal core and modules. You should always do updates and testing on your development site first, before ever touching your live site.
In addition, it is always best to have a developer on your team take care of updating your site. Generally, site updates are tech-heavy, and require intimate knowledge of version control systems and database configurations.
My preferred method for updating modules and Drupal core is via Drush.
You’ll find a few possible ways of updating your modules and Drupal core below. I generally think you should follow whichever steps are appropriate depending on your knowledge of the tools at hand. Keep in mind the following steps are for updating on a development site only. For the purposes of this post, I'll go through the following scenarios:
Updating via Drush (with svn)
Updating via Drush (without svn)
Updating manually (with svn)
Updating manually (without svn)
Updating on your live site
Want more info? Here are some helpful links: