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I'm looking for a comprehensive tutorial on best practices for updating and maintaining a Drupal installation and it's modules where there are multiple instances of the site, that is having a development instance and a live instance, and methodologies for updating the live site with changes made on the development site, and avoiding database conflicts.

TL;DR

  1. Best practices for updating Drupal and it's modules to newer, more secure versions.
  2. Best practices for mirroring changes made in a development instance of a site to the live instance of the site.

Note: I am using Mercurial to track changes.

  • Yikes, one would think there would be a plethora of techniques one could use for this, given that we're in version 7. Hopefully this process gets simplified in version 8. I'll keep this up-to-date once I go through the deployment process. – Lester Peabody Aug 17 '11 at 15:28
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I'm not sure about a guide but you will want to look into Features for change management between instances and Drush for updating Drupal and it's modules.

Anything you can't do for the database in features should be placed in an install file and applied as updates to maintain the db between instances.

  • it's been a couple months since I've had to deal with this portion of the project, but it definitely seems like Features and Drush integration are the way to go. I'm using them both now and I have to say they're amazing tools. Thanks. – Lester Peabody Oct 21 '11 at 18:05

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