Over the years we’ve helped to streamline our website design process into a few regular steps. You can read about our process at the bottom of our home page, really quickly it is 5 steps:
1. Content Audit: We take an inventory of our client’s existing web content, page by page.
2. Wireframes / Restructured Sitemap based on results of our surveys and strategy sessions resulting in black and white layout drawings of the future site
3. Coding / QA: My favorite part 🙂
4. Content Migration
5. Launch / Training
Steps 1 and 4 are definitely the most excruciating from a mindless labor point of view. We literally go through each page and make a note of it in step 1. In step 4, we go through each page a second time and manually copy it over. Sounds easy enough, but copy/paste just won’t cut it.
There are a few key problems that make content migrations a real pain in the butt.
1. Re-linking pages. Invariably, a lot of pages move around. As systems are upgraded from old CMSes to new ones — or from no CMS to a CMS page names change. Add on even a basic SEO strategy and you have a lot of work just to remap pages that link to one another.
2. Images! The bane of our existence is those “see our sponsors” pages. 20, 30 images that each need to be downloaded, reuploaded, and relinked.
3. Documents — just as with images, embedded PDFs, podcasts, and files need to be downloaded, uploaded and relinked.
4. Old style HTML. The new site has a well defined style sheet to define various headers and content at many text sizes. The old sites we migrate from often have style rules inline with the rest of the HTML. These override anything in a style sheet which means we need to strip out all the gunk.
An average page may have 1 image, 1 link, and some cluttered HTML. A frustrating page usually has 5+ images and several links. We are talking about 5-15 minutes per page migrated not even counting the time it takes to reformat.
Well today, I just finished my NonprofitCMS Website Migrator Super Tool! It’s been a while since we’ve had the time for researchy / pure innovative work actually find its way into our business toolkit. With this tool, the 4 problems mentioned above get handled automatically all while a website is in the clipboard.
Instead of copy, paste, clean, download, relink, it is copy, wait about 10 seconds for the system to process, paste! Now we’re talking about a minute per page.
So, yes, I still hate content migration, but I’m thrilled we have now have something to help us with it.