3 Myths You’ve Heard About Content Migration (And Why They’re Wrong)

Let’s face it – Content migration is complex. Like, really complex. After all, CMS solutions hold a lot of important data and moving it to a completely new system is risky business. You don’t want to be that person responsible for losing documents, lengthy downtime or underestimating the project entirely. It’s time to get realistic about the process.

Here are 3 myths about content migration that often lead to misguided projects. Let us set the record straight:

Myth #1: Content migration is about moving content from one system to another.

The truth is, content migration is much bigger than copy, content or pages. You have to consider everything in your CMS, including text, links, images, flash files, PDFs, dynamic feeds, media assets, and on-page code. Here’s how to identify the different types of content housed in your current CMS so that you don’t miss key assets during your migration:

    • Use a Content Analysis Tool to perform an inventory to distinguish between the different types of content on your site.
    • Make note of specific patterns in your inventory. Hint: Think about pages as containers for different types of content.
    • Catalog back-end content not visible to your users such as image libraries, CSS/JS files, dynamic feeds, and documents.

Myth #2: You should migrate between 75% and 90% of your content… Right?

Wrong. The only content that matters is high-quality content. Think of your redesign project as a blank canvas, an opportunity to identify the best performing content that resonates with your audience and rid your site of the outliers. But what content fits that description? Use these steps to determine which content makes the cut:

    • Define what constitutes “quality content” by collaborating with internal stakeholders. This might include content that is highly trafficked, top ranking in search engines, critical to your brand positioning, and necessary to the customer journey.
    • Identify quality content. After defining what quality content means to your organization, evaluate the quality of each piece of content in your current CMS based on the criteria you’ve selected as a group.
    • Sort content into categories. What content can you migrate as is? What can you migrate with edits to reflect brand alignment or improve clarify? What will you delete? Archive?

Myth #3: Content migration is a part-time responsibility.

For an undertaking this complex, a part-time focus won’t do. While you don’t need to go out and hire a full-time staff, you do need to make sure your team has advance notice of the migration and the capacity to plan, address questions, and proactively spot issues. The most successful data migrations occur when internal resources understand the commitment of the project from the onset. In some cases, we even recommend temporarily increasing your manpower to avoid falling behind schedule and get the job done right. Remember all team members should be trained in the CMS before they start working on content in the system.

Content migration projects are tough, but clearing your mind of common misconceptions is a step in the right direction.