We’ve been leaders in the Episerver community more than 5 years. With that leadership comes experience in knowing how to best help clients throughout the migration process. We’ve helped clients succeed with the platform (& remain sane and happy), so we thought we’d share our 4 pieces of advice when it comes to starting your Episerver migration.
Use the assigned time given to your team
Migrations are time-consuming. When starting a website migration, it’s easy to assume that you won’t need all the allotted time that we budget—especially when it comes to things like User Acceptance Testing (UAT). Throughout the migration you will be interacting with the WSOL team regularly as you learn to navigate the CMS, use the program to build out content, find and report any bugs to our team, and give us feedback on what can be improved. To best leverage this time, ask questions and get help as you need it because waiting to do so can cause significant delays further along.
Eric Rickert, WSOL project manager, says, “If you don’t use this time when it’s allotted and have questions later during the migration project, it could slow down our processes and push out your deadline. Don’t miss the window of opportunity because you don’t think you need it.”
Have a plan in place
Migrations are complex and there are a lot of moving pieces. You don’t build a house without blueprints, which detail out how everything will need to be built. Likewise, you should determine prior to the migration how the new site will function - including how components will be used and how content will be shared. Unfortunately, we see some migration projects fail or go over budget due to a lack of planning.
Kendall Smith, WSOL Lead QA Engineer, advises, “You need to decide how you want your block and media folders to be organized. Will they be structured around the sections of your site or should they be structured based on the type of block or asset, or both?” She adds, “The same stands for block component and media assets and how they will be shared across pages. Planning everything out ahead of time also helps avoid duplicate content and ensures that components have clear naming conventions.”
More often than not, people get excited to get in there and start building, but without clear team communication and a solid plan of action, your migration efforts can quickly spiral out of control.
Don’t forget about content migration
In addition to a website migration, there is another migration step that can easily be forgotten. That’s content migration. Content migration is the best time to focus on cleaning up content, documenting what you currently have, and archiving older content. It’s the best way to get content ready to move to your new site, if you’re doing a website redesign.
“I would say that a very important piece for our clients is a solid plan for content migration and 301 redirects,” says John McKillip, WSOL web developer. “With bigger sites, migrating content can be a large task, and can take a lot of time. Without proper planning and execution, it can be difficult to stay on schedule for the launch and to stay on-budget.”
It takes a village
As digital strategy becomes more sophisticated, it’s important to assemble a team that includes multiple areas of expertise. In the past, migration was relegated to one department or team - often either IT or Marketing. But it’s important to include a holistic team across all disciplines to best navigate the migration process.
Migrations are complex, but they don't have to be stressful. Implementing these pieces of advice will help keep your migration project on track and on budget. Have more questions about the details of a migration project? We're happy to answer them. Post below and we'll be in contact soon.