I've been experimenting with Drupal on my computer (xampp/localhost). I'm to the point where I want to start testing things out on my actual server.
I see the word MIGRATION used in the Drupal documentation. What I don't understand is if this type of transfer just involves my WEBSITE DATA or if the Drupal Core and Modules (and their configuration) are included with this transfer too.
Possible I just need to have the Drupal Core installed on the server (the location I am moving TO) and everything else (including Module installation and configuration) just takes care of itself?
I don't need specific instructions, just a general idea of what takes place. Thanks.
Migration usually refers to migrating data from a legacy system (custom, some other CMS, old version of Drupal) to your new system. So for example, I'm "migrating" data right now between an old drupal install and a new one on my local dev station.
All you need to do is - copy all the files to your server, core and modules. Make a tarball of your entire Drupal install (or use git and push to github then go to your server and pull from github, that will work too). - run cron and clear all caches - dump your DB to a file - upload the file to the DB on the server - adjust file system settings (see Status Report)
Whew! Honestly, I think you might invest in Angie Byron's Using Drupal book from O'Reilly or check out some of the courses at Drupalize.me
I know it sounds like a simple question, but in the Drupal world the answer is often "it depends".
For code, possible methods include - FTP what's changed - push from your dev platform to a git repo and then pull to live - run drush up on both platforms if just updating a module - perhaps others
For data/configuration, that's not simple. Ideally you want to do as little of that as possible on the dev platform. When you make config changes, you need to make a note of them and then manually apply on live.
There are some other options - create a "deploy" script as you go that will set variables using drush - save config options as "features" (requires the Features module and the Strongarm module) - use the Deploy module and similar, none of which I've had great luck with.
Improving this is a big initiative for Drupal 8, known as CMI (Configuration Management Initiative). See [groups.drupal.org...]