Migrating OPEN Magazine from Drupal 6 to 8

Migrating OPEN Magazine from Drupal 6 to 8

Moving over 30,000 content assets, delivering improved user experiences, and simplified editorial workflows with a smooth D6 to D8 migration.


OPEN magazine is an exciting current affairs and features weekly from India. The magazine is the flagship brand of Open Media Network, the media venture of RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group.

Key Highlights 

  • Seamless migration of over 30,000 content items from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8
  • Improvements in caching and site load speeds
  • Enhanced user experience with better content discoverability and engagement
  • Simplified publishing workflows for the editorial team

OPEN Magazine, a weekly current affairs and features magazine, is the flagship brand of OPEN Media Network. The magazine captures the political, economic and cultural spirit of India.

To utilize the website as a marketing vehicle that would help acquire prospective readers & subscriptions, OPEN contracted Srijan to develop a new site in Drupal 8, that portrayed the value of genuine information and how OPEN is different from other media houses.

Why Drupal 8 was chosen

OPEN was working with the objective of getting more users on the website. Their Drupal 6 site needed a facelift as it was more than six years old. They wanted a new site with contemporary design sensibilities, and simpler user experience. They were looking to build a site that showcased the diversity of their work, in terms of features and articles. Technically, they also needed a platform that allowed their team to easily edit and manage content.

  • The custom modules written in Drupal 6 site anyway needed to be ported/written again. We decided to do them in Drupal 8 rather than in Drupal 7
  • We knew we would need some user contributed modules but it made better sense if we did this in Drupal 8. We knew we might run into issues, but we explained the same to the client and he was willing to be patient
  • The migration, as we were given to understand, was a much simpler and mess-free process when done from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 than from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.
  • Drupal 8 has been written from grounds up. This meant that it has enhanced security and better page load times
  • The caching system is much better in Drupal 8 as compared to Drupal 7

Goals, requirements and outcome 

Content Structure: OPEN’s primary aim while redesigning the website was to provide a good user experience to their existing and new customers. To ensure that, we used the ‘Views module’ which let us create, display and sort all the latest content according to the different categories. Views module provided the flexibility to query the site's content and display it in a block, table, page or in any other format that we wanted to have.

Data Migration: There was a lot of data that was available on the older site, which needed to be migrated to the new site. There were about 30,000 content items which were to be moved. We used Migration API to move data (schema) from the old Drupal 6 site to the new Drupal 8 site. Incremental migration by custom scripts was performed after schema migration was tested. It came in handy that we had a lot of experience in migration from our previous endeavors/projects.

Content Creation and Visibility: Being a media website, smooth content creation and management was a prerequisite for OPEN. We used the CKEditor module which allows for simplified and faster website content creation. It is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor, which means that text edited in it looks as close as possible to the end result that users would see after the document is published.
For indexing and search, we used the ‘Solr Search’ module, which offers an implementation of the Search API that uses an Apache Solr server for indexing content.

User Experience: We built custom functionality for some of the modules to support a better user experience and design for the following:

  • Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP) - The DFP module integrates Google Publisher Tags (GPT) as supported by the new Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP). We built this to provide an interface to the client to upload third party ads.
  • Entity Queue - Drupal 8 did not yet have Nodequeue module available and we could not afford to spend time in porting it in Drupal 8. We needed another way to enable our client to put content in queues and publish them as a list. We found out that entityqueue was the closest we could get at that point in time. However it supported only ONE content type at a time. It also could not be edited once created. We fixed the latter and extended the capability to allow the feature of multi-content types.
  • Field Collection Module - We used field collection in Gallery content type. Client wanted
  • to have the related story being entered for each image in the gallery/video upload. To meet this requirement, we implemented the field collection module. This meant, we could upload an image to be the part of the gallery and alongwith each image we could also provide an internal link that could take the user to the “related story”
  • Blockquotes - The module originally intended to provide a blockquote feature within the content that can be styled differently. We extended the module to share the custom blockquotes inside each article. A lot of users want to share the snippets of content instead of jusr the URL/headline. This feature was a step in that direction. Users can now share quotes on Twitter, Facebook and Google+



  • Subscription – We used the subscription module to secure the user experience. Users are now notified of new changes that takes place on the website, whether it is in the forum section or a new category addition to the blog. Apart from buying the magazine subscription, he can subscribe to the digital experience via RSS feeds or e-mags.

Business Benefits 

The Drupal 8 migration for OPEN Magazine was able to effectively deliver on all the goals set out at the beginning of the project. The Srijan team ensured:
  • Seamless data migration from Drupal 6 to Drupal 8
  • Improvements in caching and site load speeds
  • Enhanced user experience with better content discoverability and engagement
  • Simplified publishing workflows for the editorial team
 If you are still debating a Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 migration, here's why you should get right to it. And if you are ready for a Drupal 8 migration, our teams can lend a hand. Drop us a line about your project, and out Drupal experts will get back in touch.