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Updating themes and modules

From: Drupal 7 New Features

Video: Updating themes and modules

Drupal can be a harsh mistress. A plain HTML website has a lot less functionality than a Drupal site, but at the same time there is a lot less that can go wrong. So Drupal and all its supporting modules undergo a constant process of bug fixing, security tightening, and general revision. Unfortunately, a lot of Drupal administrators don't bother to keep up on the latest versions, probably because up until now, you had to know a fair amount about server administration just to update your modules. In the video "Installing themes and modules," I showed you how Drupal 7 introduced a new way to install new themes and modules through Drupal's web-based interface.

Updating themes and modules

Drupal can be a harsh mistress. A plain HTML website has a lot less functionality than a Drupal site, but at the same time there is a lot less that can go wrong. So Drupal and all its supporting modules undergo a constant process of bug fixing, security tightening, and general revision. Unfortunately, a lot of Drupal administrators don't bother to keep up on the latest versions, probably because up until now, you had to know a fair amount about server administration just to update your modules. In the video "Installing themes and modules," I showed you how Drupal 7 introduced a new way to install new themes and modules through Drupal's web-based interface.

Now, I'll show you how it let's you update those themes and modules through a very similar process. First, I'll show you how Drupal lets you know that a module needs to be updated. Now, when I am clicking around in my administrative interface, eventually I'll see a notice like this, "There are updates available." And then it will say, "See the available updates page." And fortunately, you can just click there and it takes you right to it. Now, before I started making this video, I installed an old version of Token, so I knew that it would catch this. It says, yes, Token needs to be updated. If you want to read what's new in it, you can click on this and in fact I'll just right-click, so we can see what is.

I opened it up in a new tab and there this lists all of things that's new in this version, over the one that I have installed. Let's go back to our site now. You also have this link here, which will lead you back to the project page, and again I'll open that in a new tab. Just in case you want to read up with what exactly it is you're updating, that's useful especially if you have dozens and dozens of modules or somebody else created the site and you're not really sure what everything actually does. Let's go back to our site and I'll actually update this. All you have to do is check this box and click Download these updates.

If you had a number of these, you could just click this box at the top and all of them would be selected. Click Download these updates. It goes through the process. Before it actually installs the update, it warns you that you have to back up your database and site. If you need to learn how, of course, you can open this up and it will walk you through the whole process. I think this is a wonderful idea, because so many people will download things and install them without really knowing what's going on and without taking the proper precautions. If you don't want to go through reading the whole process on how to properly backup your database and site, you can also learn through my Drupal Essential Training course here on lynda.com.

For us, I am just going to click Continue and it goes through the whole process. Now, before we finish we should still run database updates. This is something that hasn't changed since Drupal 6. Every time you update something on your Drupal site, you should run this database update. You can click that link or just as before, you can go up to the address bar and type in update.php. And as before with Drupal 6, only the administrator can do that or somebody who has the appropriate permissions. I'll go ahead, it gives me the usual warnings, click Continue, and it's done.

Then we go back to our frone page, and if we go to our Modules page and scroll down to that module, which you'll remember is Token, we see that it's been updated to alpha2. Now, I won't go through the same process for updating this theme, since it's really exactly the same. But I do want to mention one caveat. If you've made any modifications directly to your module or theme, remember that they'll be wiped out when you overwrite them with the new version.. That's the same as with Drupal 6 in previous versions, but I think it bears repeating. It's also why good Drupal programming practices, such as modifying.info files on customized modules and so forth, are as essential as always and you can find those out on the drupal.org website.

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Drupal 7 New Features

29 video lessons · 7921 viewers

Tom Geller
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