Migration planning and strategy

Posted on May 2, 2023 at 8:28 am

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In this article, we will explore the essential components of a successful migration, including assessing your existing website, identifying CMS migration needs, developing a migration plan, data migration, testing and troubleshooting, launching the new website, post-migration support and maintenance, and risk management and contingency planning. Each of these sections will provide specific guidelines and tips to ensure that your migration goes smoothly and efficiently.

One significant reason to explore migration planning and strategy is the potential growth and competitive advantage that comes from keeping your website up-to-date. Your website is crucial to your online presence, and a poorly executed migration can lead to costly downtime and lost sales. By investing in proper planning and strategy, you can minimize disruption and maintain a positive user experience throughout the migration process.

Another reason for exploring migration planning and strategy is to avoid common migration mistakes. For instance, a website that isn't properly backed up before the migration could lead to data loss. An update that negatively affects SEO performance could have long-lasting negative effects. By following best practices and being aware of potential pitfalls, you can minimize risks and maximize the benefits of a successful migration.

Whether you're an experienced webmaster or a novice when it comes to website migration, our article will provide you with the knowledge, tools, and tips you need to make the process as seamless as possible. We'll give you the guidance you need to make informed decisions that will ultimately result in a successful migration. So, let's get started on exploring how to build an effective migration plan and strategy.

Assessing Existing Website

Before considering a CMS migration, it is essential to assess the health of your current website. This involves conducting a thorough analysis to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your site's design, functionality, and performance.

Why Assessing an Existing Website is Important

Assessing your website helps you to understand how your current website is performing and the various components that contribute to its performance. By carrying out an assessment, you can identify the areas that need improvement and create a plan of action to fix them before migration.

Some of the benefits of assessing an existing website are:

  • Identifying areas of the website that are performing well and those that need improvement.
  • Getting an understanding of the user journey and identifying pain points.
  • Helping to plan the transition to a new CMS effectively.

How to Assess an Existing Website

  1. Evaluate Website Speed: Website speed is an essential factor in website performance. Use a tool such as Google's PageSpeed Insights to test the speed of your website. It provides insights into the performance of a page on both mobile and desktop devices.

  2. Check Mobile Responsiveness: With over 54.8% of internet traffic coming from mobile devices, mobile responsiveness is a key factor. Use a mobile responsiveness test such as Google's Mobile-Friendly Test to identify issues that might prevent a seamless user experience on mobile devices.

  3. Conduct a Content Audit: Evaluate the quality and relevance of your website content. A content audit helps you to identify outdated content, ineffective calls-to-action, and areas for improvement.

  4. Analyze Your Site's SEO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to your website's performance. Use a tool such as Moz to analyze your website's search engine rankings, identify areas for improvement, and optimize your pages for better search engine visibility.


Assessing your existing website is a crucial step in migrating to a new CMS. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your current website, you can create a plan of action to improve areas before migrating to the new system. Use the tips and tools highlighted in this section to conduct a thorough analysis of your website and identify areas for improvement.

Identifying CMS Migration Needs

Before migrating to a new content management system (CMS), it is essential to identify the specific needs of your website. Ignoring this crucial step could lead to a failed migration, resulting in lost traffic, revenue, and brand reputation. CMS migration needs vary from business to business, but here are some key areas to consider:

Website Goals

Identifying the website's goals is critical in determining which CMS to use. For example, if the company wants to improve user engagement, a CMS with robust content creation and management tools will be the best option.

Website Functionality

The website's functionality is an essential aspect to consider when identifying CMS migration needs. Some CMSs are better at handling particular website functions than others. For instance, if the website requires eCommerce features, a CMS like Magento or Shopify might be the best fit.

Current CMS Challenges

Migrating to a new CMS can address the shortcomings of a previous CMS. Acknowledging the flaws of your current CMS will help determine the features and functionality that the new CMS should have. Some common CMS challenges include slow page loading times, poor security, and inadequate support for mobile devices.

SEO Performance

SEO is a crucial element of any website, and it must be maintained during the migration process. Before changing CMS, it is essential to analyze the current website's SEO performance, including keyword rankings, backlinks, and organic traffic. This analysis will help ensure that the new CMS will not harm the website's SEO performance.

Budget and Resources

Finally, budget and resources play a significant role in identifying CMS migration needs. Different CMSs come with varying costs, with some requiring more financial resources to set up and maintain than others. It is essential to factor in the required resources and budget when selecting a CMS.

In conclusion, the above points highlight the importance of identifying CMS migration needs before embarking on any migration. It is critical to ensure that the new CMS can address the shortcomings of the current CMS and meet the website's goals and functionality requirements. Proper planning will help avoid potential pitfalls and ensure a successful migration.

Useful resources:

Developing a Migration Plan

Developing a migration plan is a critical step in successfully migrating your website to a new content management system (CMS). A migration plan outlines the steps, timeline, resources, and contingencies for the migration process.

Key Considerations

When developing a migration plan, there are several key considerations to keep in mind:

Content Audit

Conduct a thorough content audit to identify all the content elements that need to be migrated. This should include everything from pages and posts to media files and user data.

Project Scope

Define the scope of the project, including the timeline, budget, and resources required for the migration. This should include identifying any external vendors or contractors that may be needed for the process.

CMS Selection

Select a CMS that best meets your organization's needs and requirements. This could be an existing open-source CMS like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, or a proprietary CMS like Sitecore or Adobe Experience Manager.

Migration Methodology

Choose a methodology for migrating your content. This could include manual migration, using an automated tool or using a combination of both.

Developing the Plan

Once you have identified these key considerations, it is time to start developing your migration plan. The process will typically involve the following steps:

Step 1: Define the scope and objectives of the project.

Clearly define the scope of the project and the objectives of the migration. This should include identifying any specific features or functionality that are required for the new website.

Step 2: Identify the key stakeholders and their roles in the migration process.

Identify all the stakeholders involved in the migration process, including internal teams, external vendors, and third-party service providers. Define their roles and responsibilities, and establish clear lines of communication.

Step 3: Develop a timeline and schedule for the migration process.

Develop a detailed timeline and schedule for the migration process, including key milestones and deadlines. This will help ensure that the migration is completed on time and within budget.

Step 4: Define the content migration methodology and identify any tools or software required.

Choose a content migration methodology that best suits your organization's needs and requirements. This could include using an automated migration tool, manual migration, or a combination of both. Identify any tools or software that may be required for the migration.

Step 5: Define the testing and quality assurance process.

Define the testing and quality assurance process to mitigate the risk of errors or issues during the migration process. Establish a process for testing the new website and its functionality before launching.

Step 6: Develop a contingency plan.

Develop a contingency plan in case of any unexpected issues or challenges that arise during the migration process. This should include a plan for rolling back to the original website if necessary.


Developing a migration plan is a critical step in the CMS migration process. It helps ensure that the migration is completed on time, within budget, and with minimal disruption to your organization's operations. With careful planning and preparation, you can successfully migrate your website to a new CMS that meets your organization's needs and objectives.

Useful Resources

Data Migration

Migrating data is one of the most critical and challenging tasks of a CMS migration. The goal of data migration is to ensure that all the data from the existing website is safely and accurately transferred to the new website. It is essential to plan and execute data migration with precision to avoid data loss, corruption, or duplication.

Importance of Data Migration

Data is one of the most valuable assets of any organization. Failing to migrate data accurately can cause significant business disruptions and lead to loss of revenue, customers, and reputation. According to Gartner, data migration is a top challenge faced by businesses during CMS migration.

Types of Data Migration

There are two types of data migration:

1) Structured Data Migration

Structured data migration involves transferring data from one structured format to another, such as from a MySQL database to a PostgreSQL database. This type of migration usually occurs when changing the CMS platform.

2) Unstructured Data Migration

Unstructured data migration is the process of moving data from one format to another, such as HTML pages, documents, and images. This type of migration requires special attention because the data may be located in various areas outside of the CMS.

Data Migration Process

Here are the critical steps involved in the data migration process:

1) Data Assessment

The first step is to assess the quality, quantity, and type of data that needs to be migrated. This involves analyzing the content, media files, and user data that will need to be transferred to the new CMS.

2) Data Mapping

Data mapping refers to cross-referencing the old data with the new data fields to ensure all information is migrated accurately.

3) Data Cleansing

Data cleansing is the removal of redundant, outdated, or irrelevant data. It is essential to perform data cleansing to eliminate unnecessary data from the old system and avoid any duplication of data in the new CMS.

4) Data Extraction

Data extraction is the process of exporting data from the old CMS. This involves identifying the correct files and migrating them to the correct location in the new CMS.

5) Data Transformation

Data transformation is the process of converting data from one format to another to ensure compatibility with the new CMS. This step also involves assigning metadata to all data to aid in future management.

6) Data Loading

Data loading is the process of populating the new CMS with the migrated data. This step requires proper quality control to avoid data corruption, duplication, or loss.

Best Practices for Data Migration

Here are some best practices to follow when planning and executing data migration:

  • Develop a data migration plan that outlines the steps involved, responsibilities, timelines, and resources required.
  • Test the data migration process in a staging environment to identify and resolve any issues before performing the live migration.
  • Backup all data before the migration to avoid data loss in case of unforeseen circumstances.
  • Ensure all data is cleansed, verified, and de-duplicated before loading it into the new CMS.
  • Train staff on how to manage and maintain the migrated data in the new CMS properly.


Data migration can be a complex and time-consuming process. Ensuring successful migration of data is crucial for the success of CMS migration. By following best practices and working with experienced professionals, businesses can minimize the risks of data loss or corruption and enjoy the benefits of a seamless CMS migration.

Testing and Troubleshooting

Once the website migration process is complete, it's crucial to check every aspect of the website to ensure that everything is working as expected. Testing and troubleshooting are the final steps that ensure the smooth functioning of the website. It's essential to test the website on different devices and browsers to make sure that it is fully responsive and user-friendly.

Why is Testing and Troubleshooting Important?

Testing and troubleshooting play a vital role in finalizing a website migration process. Even a small error in the website can impact user experience, which can reduce website traffic and leads. A study indicates that 39% of users stop engaging with a website if the images or layout fail to load effectively. Another survey found that 47% of consumers expect a website to load in two seconds or less.

What to Test?

Here are some essential items to test:

  • Website Functionality: Verify if all website features such as forms, shopping carts, and databases are working correctly.
  • Website Performance: Test website speed using tools such as GTmetrix, Pingdom, or Google PageSpeed Insights to help identify where improvements can be made.
  • Cross-Browser Compatibility: Check how the website is displayed on different browsers such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
  • Responsive Design: Check if the website is responsive on all devices (desktop, mobile and tablets) and if it redirects users to the correct URL.
  • Content Accuracy: Verify the accuracy of all website content accuracy such as images and texts.
  • SEO: Review all the website URLs, page titles, meta descriptions to ensure SEO best practices are followed.

Troubleshooting Issues

Even with thorough testing, issues may arise. Some common issues include missing images, broken links, and distorted website elements. The most effective way to find these issues is by conducting regular website audits. Here are a few tips to prevent issues and conduct troubleshooting:

  • Regular Maintenance: Regular website maintenance by web developers is essential to reduce errors and ensure the website is secure.
  • Monitor Website Metrics: Use website analytic tools such as Google Analytics to monitor website traffic, broken links, server errors, and page errors.
  • Contact Website Hosting Provider: If the website has performance issues, contact the hosting provider for a resolution.
  • Check for Updates: Regularly update plugins and CMS to ensure the website is secure and updated with the latest features.


Testing and troubleshooting are necessary steps in the website migration process that ensure the website is fully functional and delivers an excellent user experience. By performing thorough testing, developers can identify issues early and make fixes before launching the website to the public.

Launching the New Website

Once the website has been designed and content has been migrated, it is time to launch! Launching a new website is exciting, but can also be tricky. Here are some tips to ensure a successful website launch.

Pre-Launch Checklist

Before launching the website, it is important to go through a checklist to ensure everything is in order. Here are some tasks to include in the pre-launch checklist:

  • Ensure all links on the website are working properly
  • Check for broken images or videos
  • Perform website speed tests
  • Confirm all contact forms are working
  • Ensure website is mobile responsive
  • Make sure all SEO elements are in place

Timing and Communication

Timing is important when launching a website. It is best to launch when website traffic is low, to reduce the chance of user issues. It is also important to communicate with users and stakeholders about the launch and any downtime that may result.

Tracking and Measurement

Tracking website traffic and user behavior is important after launch. This can be done through tools such as Google Analytics and heat mapping. This data can help to identify areas for improvement and optimize the website for better conversion rates.

Monitoring and Maintenance

Once the website has launched, it is important to keep monitoring and maintaining it. This includes regularly checking for broken links or outdated content, updating plugins or software as needed, and performing website backups to prevent data loss.

Launching a new website is an exciting and rewarding experience, but requires careful planning and preparation. By following the pre-launch checklist, timing and communicating effectively, tracking and measuring website performance, and monitoring and maintaining the website, the launch can be successful and lead to increased traffic and engagement.

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Post-migration Support and Maintenance

Once the new website is launched, it's essential to ensure that the post-migration support and maintenance service is in place. This service is critical to maintain the new website's functionality, security, and performance, ensuring that the end-users have a positive experience.

Importance of post-migration support and maintenance

Post-migration support and maintenance ensure that the website continues to run smoothly and be free from issues. It also guarantees that the website's security is maintained as new threats emerge. It's important to have a team of experts that can monitor the website for any issues and provide timely fixes. In addition, post-migration support and maintenance will ensure that the website stays up to date with the latest updates and new features.

Activities involved in post-migration support and maintenance

Post-migration support and maintenance involves various activities such as:

  • Website Monitoring: The support team should continuously monitor the website to ensure that it's working as expected. This monitoring should be performed regularly, covering all aspects of the website, including uptime, page speed, and load time.
  • Regular Backups: Creating a backup is essential to avoid data loss in case of unexpected events such as hacks, malware attacks, or server damage. Regular backups should be made to guarantee that any data can be recovered in case of an emergency.
  • Performance Optimization: Periodically reviewing the website's performance can help identify and eliminate any performance bottlenecks, improving the website's speed, loading time, and user experience.
  • Security Updates and Patches: It's crucial to install security updates and patches regularly to safeguard the website against any potential attacks or threats.
  • Content Updates: Periodical updates to website content helps keep the site relevant and informative. By utilizing a content management system (CMS), the website owner can easily make modifications or updates on their own or engage the support team to do it for them.


Post-migration support and maintenance plays a vital role in the success of a website. It guarantees the security, functionality, and performance of the website, ensuring that the end-users have a positive experience. By having a team of experts to handle website maintenance, businesses can focus on their core activities while ensuring their website is in top-notch condition.

Risk Management and Contingency Planning

Migrating to a new Content Management System (CMS) comes with inherent risks and challenges. Ensuring that you have a comprehensive risk management and contingency plan in place beforehand can help you mitigate these risks, and ensure that you have a backup plan in case something goes wrong during the migration process.

Identifying Risks

Before developing a contingency plan, it's crucial to identify potential risks that may arise during the migration process. Common risks associated with CMS migration include:

  • Data loss
  • Website downtime
  • Functionality issues
  • Compatibility issues
  • SEO traffic loss

These risks can have a significant impact on your website's performance and user experience. It's essential to take a proactive approach and address these risks before they turn into problems.

Developing a Contingency Plan

A contingency plan should include detailed procedures for addressing any risks identified in the risk assessment, as well as a plan for resolving any issues that may arise during the migration process. A good contingency plan should include:

  • A backup plan for your data
  • A clear protocol for website downtime
  • A plan for dealing with functionality and compatibility issues
  • Measures to mitigate SEO traffic loss
  • A detailed escalation protocol in case issues arise that require additional resources

A contingency plan should be in place before you begin the migration process. This ensures that you're prepared to address any issues that may arise during the migration process as quickly as possible.

Regular Monitoring and Testing

Once the migration process is complete, it's essential to regularly monitor and test your new website to ensure that everything is functioning correctly. Regular testing can identify any new issues that may arise and allow you to address them proactively before they have a significant impact on your website's performance.

The Importance of Risk Management and Contingency Planning

The cost of CMS migration can vary greatly depending on the complexity of your website, but having a risk management and contingency plan in place can help minimize potential losses and ensure that your migration is successful. According to a study conducted by IBM, the average cost of data breaches in 2020 was $3.86 million. Having a comprehensive contingency plan in place can help minimize the risk of data loss associated with CMS migration.

In conclusion, Risk management and contingency planning are critical aspects of ensuring a successful CMS migration. By identifying potential risks, developing a contingency plan, and regularly monitoring and testing your new website, you can minimize the impact of any issues that may arise during the migration process and ensure that your website performs as expected once the migration is complete.

In conclusion, migrating your website from one CMS platform to another can be a daunting task, but with careful planning and execution, the process can be streamlined and seamless. The key is to start by assessing your current website's functionality and identifying your CMS migration needs, then developing a well-thought-out migration plan.

During the data migration process, it's important to take the time to clean up and organize your data to ensure that everything transfers smoothly to the new platform. Testing and troubleshooting are also crucial steps to ensure that everything is working as it should before launching the new website.

Once the new website is launched, it's important to provide post-migration support and maintenance to address any issues that may arise. Additionally, having a risk management and contingency plan in place can help you prepare for unexpected setbacks during the migration process.

Overall, planning and executing a successful CMS migration requires careful attention to detail and a willingness to invest the time and resources necessary to ensure success. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can migrate your website with confidence and improve its performance, functionality, and user experience. Remember, it's always best to consult with professionals for your CMS migration needs to ensure your website stays functional throughout the process.

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