Designing a Migration Approach That Engages Content Owners (& Protects Your Sanity)

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Jul 31, 2015

Once your site building is complete, your beautiful design is themed, and that custom module you knew you'd have to build is functionally tested within an inch of its life, your audience will be visiting your newly launched site for its content.

You might assume that you can just use Migrate (or hire a developer to just use Migrate for you) to get the data from field A to field B, but migration often requires more planning -- and more attention from the content owners.

Scenario 1: You're migrating 10,000 pages from a static website built shortly before Y2K. You have to inventory your content, get agreement from content owners on how much you're keeping/rewriting (and deleting!), decide what content types fit your content, get it into Drupal with a mix of automated and manual migration, set up redirects to avoid breaking old links, and perform serious QA.

Scenario 2: You're migrating from an old CMS with clunky content types and fields to a new Drupal one that's much more tailored to your needs. You're migrating 400 pages from your old CMS as-is, and overhauling 20-30 of those pages with new content. You're going to spend time massaging your old fields and taxonomy to get them into your new structure.

Scenario 3: You're condensing 5 sites into one. Three are static; two are in CMSes. You know you're going to need a content audit to identify redundant and out-of-date content. Your biggest concerns are making sure your new, consolidated site is built on a sound content strategy, getting your content owners to understand and adopt that strategy, and having a content migration plan that shows you what content's going to end up where and how it's going to get there (Migrate module for the CMSes? Scraping for the static sites? Can we get some interns?).

Scenario 4: You're migrating content one-to-one from your old CMS to your shiny new Drupal one. Your fields line up in Drupal with what they were in the last CMS. You don't have plans to significantly overhaul your content. You are lucky, and this session is not for you.

If you're dealing with Scenarios 1-3, you'll have to sink time into content strategy and migration planning. This session will talk about:

Content inventories to detail out your content and your assets -- and to lay the basis for a redirect strategy to preserve your links
Content audits to determine the quality of your content, how much of it should migrate, and how you need to involve content owners
Content mapping to show how content will be translated into Drupal fields, and to help guide site-building
Types of migration techniques and when to use each
Migration QA using manual & automated methods, and how to design your QA approach
While this session won't get into the technical side of automating migration with Migrate, it will help you with the planning you'll need to do in advance to make that automated migration a smooth one -- and the QA techniques you can use to make sure it worked.

This session will be presented by Kat Kuhl (Director of Technology at CHIEF/Rock Creek Strategic Marketing) and Samantha Elliott (Lead Associate at Phase One Consulting Group), who will share insights from working with clients that include the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Department of Transportation.

Hi! I'm Karim Boudjema, the developer and site-builder of this site. I'm currently working as a freelance Drupal developer.

I was wondering how could I giving back to the Drupal community all what it gave to me during the last 10 years, that's how the idea of this site came to me ... (read more)

Hi! I’m Santiago Rico, the web designer and themer of this site.

When Karim proposed me to design and theme this site for the Drupal community, I accepted immediately because the community is the main reason why I love Drupal so much.