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Updating and upgrading Drupal core

Last updated on
August 18, 2016 - 20:55

This page explains the differences between the terms 'updating', 'upgrading', and 'migrating', as it relates to Drupal core, so that you know where to go next depending on what you want to do.

Note: For updating/upgrading Drupal modules and themes, Jump down to the 'modules and themes' help-box below. ⤵

'Update' Drupal Core: a 'minor' version change

Strictly speaking, 'updating' refers to taking your site from one 'minor' version to another, as for example, from Drupal 7 version d7.1, to d7.2; or from Drupal 8 version d8.0.0 to d8.1.3, etc.

No matter which version your site is currently using, you can update to the latest minor version that is available. You do not have to concern yourself about any (if any) minor version updates that may have been released in between the release of the version you are using now, and the one you are updating to.

If you want to 'update' your site, go here: Update Drupal 7 or 8 - Minor version change to your current D7 or D8 site

'Upgrade' Drupal Core: a 'major' version change

The difference between Drupal 6, Drupal 7, and Drupal 8 is that each of those are considered a different 'Major' version of Drupal.

Upgrade: Switching from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7, or from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8, or from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 is an 'upgrade'.

If you want to 'upgrade' your site, go here: Upgrade to Drupal 7 or 8 - Major version change to your current D6 or D7 site

'Migrating' Drupal Core

Unlike the words 'update' and 'upgrade', which refer to very specific tasks, the word 'migrate' has a broader meaning in that it is used in reference to several different tasks.

You may want to 'migrate' your site from running locally on your computer to an online webhost. Or you may want to 'migrate' your site from one webhost to another. If that is what you want, go here: Backing up and migrating a site

The process of 'upgrading' your site from one major version to another also involves elements of 'migrating', but if you are 'upgrading' just go to the link previously mentioned: Upgrade to Drupal 7 or 8 - Major version change to your current D6 or D7 site

 

More Details

Beginners

Choosing Drupal version (This link opens in a new tab/window.) That page details, among other things: an explanation of the use of Drupal versioning numbers; how you can determine what version your site is using; and things for you to consider when deciding whether or not to upgrade your site at this time.

Advanced

Change records for Drupal core

 

Updating or upgrading Drupal modules and themes

# Read enough of this page to understand the difference between 'updating', and 'upgrading', and then go to one of the following: (Google keyphrase: site:drupal.org update theme)
  • Upgrading a theme to a new version (Community Doc)