3 Key Steps to Successful CMS Migrations

CMS migration can be essential to improving the customer experience.

Competition to fulfill modern customer needs and provide engagement options resulted in the rise of online portals and e-commerce retailers. As virtual brand experiences become a preferred option for an increasingly mobile generation, it is important for organizations to create a website that's not only aesthetically pleasing, but also easy to use. The first step is to implement a content management system that fits your needs. Let's take a look at three essential steps to effectively migrate to a new CMS:

1. Take a Content Inventory

Organizations should start off their migrations by taking inventory of all the content that exists on the site. This doesn't just include the text and images that users might see - links, file types, metadata, permissions and more must all be carried over as well to maintain the integrity of the site and align with your current SEO targeting methods. Your content inventory should list how and where content is stored as well as how it will be migrated, Business2Community contributor Annie Bustos suggested.

The CMS you choose could shape your tactics for transferring certain files. You might need to change how documents are archived or make changes if the system targets content differently than your current solution. By understanding your existing content, you can identify problems and create a more comprehensive strategy.

"Before your migration goes live, test it out first on a staging server."

2. Choose the Right System for You

Picking out the right CMS system is key for an effective, streamlined migration. Look for a solution that can be tailored to support your organization's needs and keep up with provisioning shifts. CMS Critic contributor Shawn Moore noted that ease of use, features, design flexibility, security and support will all be critical factors in your decision. Drupal, in particular, checks these boxes to offer ultimate control, user-friendly design and flexibility to customize pages without requiring in-depth programming knowledge.

3. Test Your Migration in a Staging Server

Before your migration goes live, test it out first on a staging server. Organizations can crawl the new site in staging, test redirects, browse with multiple devices and analyze SEO elements, industry expert Glenn Gabe stated. This process will be important to identifying problems and fixing them appropriately. Testing your migration as much as possible will take off the pressure of addressing issues on the fly, allowing you to focus on providing the best experience possible for customers. Gabe noted that even if you've heavily checked a site in staging, it will still be necessary to run testing once the site is pushed into production, particularly for larger-scale sites with many moving parts.

Migrating to a new CMS can be challenging, but you don't have to approach it alone. The Paramount Software Solutions Team has Drupal expertise to address obstacles, pioneer new feature capabilities and formulate issue resolutions. Drupal offers the most user-friendly, SEO-enabled templates for your CMS migration as well as a wide community that offers continuous support. For a consultation on migrating to Drupal, contact Paramount today.