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Tips for a Stress-free Episerver Migration

Chris Osterhout SVP of Strategy
#Episerver, #Content Migration
Published on January 29, 2018

Migrating from one CMS platform to another CMS platform can be a daunting task, and a migration to the Episerver platform is no different.

Migrating from one CMS platform to another CMS platform can be a daunting task, and a migration to the Episerver platform is no different. We've written before about the mistakes to avoid when migrating from Ektron to Episerver because for many organizations, it's easy to overlook the complexity of the CMS migration process. While this complexity may seem overwhelming, if you follow these tips, you are guaranteed to complete your migration with all of your hair intact.

Understand from the beginning how much content needs to be migrated to the new website.

Let's be honest, most organizations don't have a current or up-to-date content audit. So when it comes to understanding the scope of a content migration to Episerver, they don't even know where to start. One of the biggest mistakes we see organizations make is that they either

  1. Under-estimate how much content needs to be migrated (content = pages + associated assets & images.)
  2. Or they don't have a clearly defined agreement with their implementation partner as to who is doing what part of the migration.

This is not a problem you want to wait until two weeks before the website launches to figure out so make sure you have a plan before the project begins.

Don't be fooled by the idea of an "easy button"

A lot of agencies try to convince their clients that migrating to the new website platform will be seamless, but the truth is, there's no easy button. This means that things like scripting content from one CMS to another OR "table stakes" functionality are never as seamless or simple as clients are lead to believe. If you feel like the migration process is too good to be true then it's probably time to "pump the breaks" and start asking some questions.

Equate the process to something you understand

Website development can be complicated and scary for a lot of companies so it's important to translate these complexities into something you can easily understand. We often equate this process to building a house. For example:

  • You can't build a house without a blueprint and building a website is no different. Just as an architect would develop the plans for your new home, a CMS architect would develop the implementation blueprint for your website project.
  • After your architect completes the home blueprint, your General Contractor would begin to assemble the team. As your primary point of contact for your home building process, this individual is a key component to your happiness and the overall success of the project. With a website project, this person is called a Project Manager.

The examples can go on and on e.g. plumbers = developers, interior designers = U/I Designers, etc. The point is, make sure you understand what is happening during every step of the migration process. If you do, your life will be a lot easier.

Hosting - what's that?

With a large number of web budgets being shifted from the IT department to the marketing department, hosting often gets lost in the shuffle. The reason for this is because a ton of marketing tools are SaaS and the thought of hosting never crosses anyone's mind. Episerver is not SaaS so you need to be aware of and understand your hosting situation from the beginning. There are endless options with Episerver when it comes to hosting configuration and each one of these configurations has a different software licensing story to go with it. By not understanding your options when you acquire Episerver you can truly limit your ability to not only roll out the website when it is completed but also limit your ability to scale the solution long-term. Don't get caught in this trap, ask the right questions upfront and make the best decision for your business.

Lastly, just like anything else in business, don't panic. The more you understand about a situation or solution, the easier it is to execute on it successfully. The good news is, Episerver makes adoption of their platform easy. So once your website is up and running on it, you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

Do you have questions about migration projects? Let us know if the comments below.