I've made changes to 12 nodes on a site that already has about 4000 nodes. I'd like to be able to push these changes to the database without affecting any other data (and without having to redo all the changes by hand).

Problem is, this is a live site, so if I try to simply import the updated database I'll lose some data. What is the best method for doing a partial update? -JB

  • Hire interns...
    – mpdonadio
    Jan 11, 2014 at 0:02
  • Well said, this seems to sum it up... Jan 11, 2014 at 0:05

2 Answers 2



Unfortunately, this is not something that Drupal does very well.

You can try using the Deploy module, but in my experience as a professional developer, I have never met anybody who has found a good way to export nodes in a way that is thorough, consistent, and safe.

More specifically, Deploy may not support all field types, and sometimes field definitions are hard to find, and can be inconsistent (for example, taxonomy terms are exported as TIDs, which change if the term is deleted and then added again).

Sorry for the bad news.


If the node structure is not too complex you could export the nodes using https://drupal.org/project/node_export and use feeds module to import on live website. Rembember to always backup the data on the live website before trying.

  • This might not be the best place to start this conversation, but will this work for updating existing nodes? Jan 11, 2014 at 0:06
  • In this specific case feeds will not be able to update existing nodes, you have to manually remove the nodes before importing the new.
    – FiNeX
    Jan 11, 2014 at 0:46

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