Five tips for planning your migration to Sitecore

02.27.14   Marcelo Davalos

Moving to a new content management system (CMS) is a big decision that can come about for various reasons. You often hear “Our site is too old that can´t be seen at mobile devices” or your team is tired of hearing, ¨our CMS doesn´t support that.”  For these reasons and others, many are deciding to upgrade  their website to a more powerful, dynamic CMS like Sitecore. However, before moving to this new platform, I’ve put together this list of five tips for migrating your site to Sitecore:

 
1. Include content editors in all the demos.
Moving from one technology to another is always a difficult process and for content editors the CMS is the main working tool that they’ll be using regularly.  It is a good practice to include them on the process of reviewing Sitecore so they can get familiarized with demos and trainings. You may find that they have some suggestions and recommendations for the new system. 
 
2. Create a list of all critical functionalities of your site.
Large websites usually have tons of functionalities. Make sure you have these critical items your list and that the people on charge of the project know they are critical.  These items must be migrated first.
 
3. Determine the desired browsers and devices you want supported. 
In the current market, there are many different options to navigate (i.e. Firefox, Chrome, IE, Mobile Android, and Safari for IPhone, etc.) Each one of them behaves differently and represents an extra cost to the project. Use Google Analytics to review which ones are the most used for your clients and focus on those for your new site.
 
4. Check site language variances. 
Even though not all sites have more than one language, it is always a good practice to notify the developers if you will support more than one or if you are planning to support more than one language in the future.  You’ll find that you’ll save money in the long run by spending some money at the beginning of the project for multi-language rather than changing the site later down the road.
 
5. Plan out your content migration.
One of the most important, and usually forgotten, items when switching platforms is content migration.  Think of how much time it took you to fill your old site with all that content. Well the bad news is that your Sitecore implementation is going to come empty. Thinking ahead of a solution for your site’s content migration is critical to keeping your project on schedule and budget. While you can do content migration manually, there are automated solutions on the market, like SIteport, that can save your project’s budget and timeline if you’re working with a large site. 
Like any web development, moving to Sitecore is not as easy as flipping a switch, but by following these five tips, you can reduce the risks associated with platform migration. Remember that a new system will always present new challenges; however, you can mitigate most of them with proper quality control, testing and the planning.
 
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[Image courtesy of Nathan O'Nions via Flickr Creative Commons license]