I have a CiviCRM 4.1.6/Drupal 6.30 site that I haven't touched in years. I would like to switch to a new host and bring both packages up to the most current versions. To make it even more complex, I'll need to change the domain name. For example, it would go from something like xyz.example.com to xyz.com.

Can anyone recommend a strategy for doing this as easily as possible with the least number of issues? Do I have to upgrade in place and then port to the new host, or is there some kind of shortcut? And what's the best way to handle the domain name change?

Thanks for any tips large or small!

2 Answers 2


I'd recommend something like this:

  • Take a snapshot of the filesystem and database(s) and get the current site running on the new host and new domain name. See: https://docs.civicrm.org/sysadmin/en/latest/misc/switch-servers/
  • Upgrade the filesystem to Drupal 7 (updating the CiviCRM package to CiviCRM 4.1.6 for Drupal 7 in the process of this upgrade so it is compatible but not functionality different beyond that).
  • Once Drupal 7 is running smoothly, you can upgrade CiviCRM to the most recent version. Backup databases often before attempting next steps.
  • Then, once CiviCRM is running smoothly on the latest version, you could either stay on Drupal 7 for the next few years OR upgrade to Backdrop CMS or Drupal 8 if you still have some energy.
  • 1
    Agreed that the first step is to move to Drupal 7, then upgrade Civi, then switch domain names as the very last step. Be aware of PHP mismatch issues along the way. Assuming you have any content at all in Drupal 6, the Drupal portion will be far more difficult than the Civi portion! Finally, check out chat.civicrm.org for folks who might be able to help if you get stuck. Oct 23, 2019 at 21:13
  • Hey Laryn - my thumb on my phone accidentally hit the down arrow on your answer - I wasn't allowed to undo that unless your post was Edited - so I added a . then removed the . and now I can undo my thumb oops. Oct 24, 2019 at 13:10
  • Ha, no worries!
    – Laryn
    Oct 24, 2019 at 15:19

There is no clear strategy for those kind of upgrades. What also migh be an idea is to start with fresh civicrm installation and then import your data from your old civicrm? This is probably quite a bit of work but probably the least risky one (as long as you keep your old civicrm up and running for a while because then you could still lookup old/missing data).

Another strategy is to follow the following steps: 1. Update Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 2. Move hosts 3. Update CiviCRM to the latest version

(Dont forget to create backups).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.