Learn Drupal 8

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• Last Updated: 03/04/2020
• ( 7 minutes reading )

How to update Drupal


New Drupal releases are frequently introduced and the main goal is to constantly evolve. A great effort in improving security vulnerabilities, functionality, and performance updates is put into each newer version. As a Drupal user, you should be aware that it is necessary to always keep your application version updated to the latest one available. This will be the exact topic we will be discussing in this tutorial. We will guide you on how to update your Drupal website to the latest stable version.

Now, we would like to clarify one detail just to avoid any possible misunderstanding. In Drupal, the term "update" is used for minor version updates, whereas "upgrade" is used for major upgrades. Put in simple words. an update would be switching from 8.x.x to 8.x.x, while an upgrade would be switching from 7.x.x to 8.x.x.

There are a few ways Drupal could be updated. The update can be manually done via SSH or FTP. It could also be done automatically using Composer.

For the purpose of this guide, we will be manually updating Drupal 8.8.1 to 8.8.2 via FTP since this is considered the most beginner-friendly method.


Getting Started

First and foremost, it is essentially important to create a backup copy of your entire website, including all website files and the database. This way you will be safeguarded and prepared for any possible situation and you will be able to restore the website to the current state. Once this is covered you are ready to move forward.

Second, it is strongly recommended to put your website in a Maintenance Mode while performing the update. This way it will not be publically accessible and you will be the only one who was access to it. For instance, it is always recommended to take benefit of this useful feature when you are performing significant changes to your site. If you are not sure to do that, please refer to our How to enable and disable Maintenance Mode in Drupal tutorial where you will find detailed instructions on the matter.


Checking for Available Updates

Let's begin by checking for an available update for your current Drupal core version.

Note that if you have selected the option to receive update notifications, each time a new version is released you will be informed with an email message sent to the specified email address (Drupal Admin Dashboard > Manage Reports Available updates Settings).

Whether an update is available could be easily checked from the Drupal Admin Dashboard. Once you are logged in, please navigate through the Administrative toolbar to Manage Reports.

On the "Reports" page, please click on the first "Available updates" link.


Accessing the Available updates page


Whenever a new version is available you will see an "Update available" followed by the version in question.


Update available message


Now that you have confirmed there is a newer version available, it is time to download the required files for the update.


Downloading Drupal archive


You will need to acquire the required files by downloading them from Drupal's official websiteBy clicking on the link you will be redirected to the application download page where you will need to simply click on the "Download Drupal zip" button to initiate the download process.


Downloading the archive file


When the download process is initiated, please allow it a few moments to be successfully completed. As soon as you have the archive file downloaded on your local computer you are ready to jump into the next step


Updating Drupal

Now that the required archive is successfully downloaded and present on your local computer you are ready to start with the update process.

First, you will need to extract the archive file on your computer. Once this is done, you will end up with a folder called “drupal-x.x.x” which contains the needed files.

Now, it is time to upload the files using your favorite FTP Client. If you are not sure how to connect over FTP or how to transfer files to your web hosting account, we would like to encourage you to take a moment and check our FTP-based tutorials where you will find a lot of useful information on the matter.

As soon as you perform a successful connection you will need to navigate through your Drupal installation directory. If this is your primary domain name it will be "public_html".

Once all the files and folders in your Drupal root directory are listed, please select the "core" and "vendor" folders along with all the files located in the root directory (ONLY in the root directory) and delete them.


Deleting core, vendor, and files


Afterward, from the local folder containing the files you just extracted on your computer, please select all files and folders EXCEPT the "modules", "profiles", "sites", and "themes" folders and choose the upload option. Once the process is initiated, please allow it the necessary time to be successfully completed.


Deleting modules, profiles, sites, and themes


Note that you might be prompted with a message requiring you to agree to overwrite the existing files present on your web hosting account. In order to proceed with the upload process, you will need to confirm.

Following the same idea, you can also proceed with the "File Manager" tool integrated into your cPanel account. You will need to initially delete the folders from the archive file, delete the folders from the Drupal directory, upload the archive, extract it and move the extracted files directly under the Drupal root directory.

When the upload process is completed, it is time to go back to your Admin Dashboard and check in the "Available updates" section if your Drupal version was successfully updated.

If the message states "Up to date" you are good to go!

Congratulations! Now you are familiar with the process of updating your Drupal website and you can keep everything up-to-date. We hope you have found the information in this tutorial useful and our instructions easy to follow. In case you require any further assistance, please make sure to escalate the request to our Technical Support Team by submitting a ticket request from your HostArmada Client Area.


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