A content migration is the process of moving content from one content management system (CMS) to another. Although this may sound simple, the process often reveals areas for improvement in the site architecture, the design, or the content itself. In these cases, a migration is more than a mere “lift and shift,” and often leads to rethinking how content is organized and designed. A migration may also involve an information architecture redesign, a page redesign, a content audit, a new taxonomy, or rewriting content.
Because you’ll be touching every piece of content you own, a migration is a great time to update or modify outdated content and to apply standards for uniform branding and quality. One way to do this is by undertaking a content audit—or using a content scorecard—to evaluate your content against industry benchmarks or your own content standards. If your content isn’t performing well, consider pruning it. Moving each and every piece of content takes effort, so pruning ahead of time has the double benefit of reducing the amount of content you need to move while keeping your content evergreen.
A migration is a massive undertaking, and it’s important to make a plan to keep things organized. At minimum, you’ll need to know the quantity of content to be migrated, the audience and goals for the content, the key stakeholders, and any timing concerns. Communicating with the web team is important, as is establishing a clear tracking process. You may also want to create a sitemap and analyze the UX of the new pages. Pro tip: Migrate a small test batch of content first so that you can get feedback from stakeholders and improve your process before migrating the rest of the content.
A migration is the perfect opportunity to make sure your content is doing the work you need it to—from branding to SEO. Even a straightforward migration involves a lot of manual effort, so it’s smart to incorporate content grooming and upkeep into the process to maximize your ROI. And “straightforward” may be a misnomer, as most migrations quickly become complicated. Bringing in a content agency to help you figure out how to do a migration and perform some of the heavy lifting can ensure you pull it off smoothly and make the most of your content in the process.