Migrating from a homegrown web content management system (CMS) to OU Campus is like moving from one house to another. The more you plan and anticipate issues upfront, the smoother the move will be, especially if you are undergoing a website redesign at the same time.
The good news is that when you switch to OU Campus, you’ll have an experienced team on your side who has executed hundreds of CMS migrations. They have tackled just about every migration problem known to pop up, so they can guide you knowledgeably through each step of the migrating process.
Another advantage in migrating to OU Campus is its nifty migration tool, which assists with moving existing content quickly and efficiently into OU Campus. The tool works with numerous content management systems, including a host of custom, homegrown systems.
When migrating from a homegrown system (or any CMS for that matter) to OU Campus, there are some proactive steps you can take to simplify the process:
Read the documentation. OU Campus includes extensive documentation and training resources. Understanding the tools and support you have at your fingertips will only benefit your migration.
Understand that some processes require manual checks. Each web page has a unique URL structure. When moving content, it might display correctly from your old system to OU Campus, but relationships between pages can break links to other pages, code, styles, and assets with no apparent reason. This is a good example of when manual checks are needed to confirm automated functions.
Don’t scrimp on time. A comprehensive CMS migration can take weeks of content clean up and upfront technical work. However, if you invest in the time needed to do it right, you will have far fewer glitches during and after migration. Your OU Campus team will talk with you in detail about the process so that you are in agreement about what needs to take place and when.
Avoid shortcuts. OU Campus is powerful and efficient because it separates content from design, making it faster and easier to create and publish content with design consistency. Resist the urge to save time by migrating the existing site as is into OU Campus. This only brings your existing problems with you.
Conduct a content inventory on your existing system. Besides helping you clear away outdated pages, an inventory provides you with a detailed list to ensure that all relevant content has been migrated into OU Campus. It is also valuable for information architecture purposes because you can compile and group similar content, organizing it so that it is easy to follow. Finally, make sure every page has an owner who can review and update as needed.
Review your SEO. Your sitemap is altered when content is revised, deleted, and moved, which can lead to a decrease in traffic to your site. When you migrate to OU Campus, use automated redirects to help with this process.
Looking for more tips? Watch our webcast on Cleaning Up Your Content: Preparing for a CMS Launch.