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Common Missteps in Replatforming: Content Migration

By , Senior Digital Strategist, Hanson Dodge

In chess, every move matters. Seemingly small decisions in the earliest stages of the game often determine your fate—even if you don’t know it at the time.

This applies to website replatforming as well, especially where content migration is concerned. Leaders of replatforming projects are stretched thin. So are the resources at their disposal. As a result, more mundane details like content migration are often overlooked until it’s too late.

So how can companies make early content migration moves that set them up for success?

Move 1: Audit.

Auditing your website content is an important foundational step. It’s also a blend of art and science: one that requires an understanding of goals, audience needs and brand voice, as well as a consideration of page-level metrics such as traffic, organic search factors and page value. An effective audit results in a comprehensive, page-by-page set of recommendations for what content to keep, merge, remove and improve. That gives project teams clarity on the scope of migration work ahead—and plenty of time to plan and execute.

Move 2: Create Content.

New brand experiences generally demand more and better content than what exists today. Some content ages rapidly and needs to be updated. Content creators will be busy creating and editing content to complete the website experience. Your SEO team will be busy as well, ensuring that new and improved content will maximize your organic search opportunities. It’s critical that projects are resourced appropriately to meet these content creation challenges.

Move 3: Plan Migration Capacity.

Companies often underestimate the time and effort required to migrate content to a replatformed site. For enterprise-scale sites, we advise clients to plan months—not weeks—for this part of the process. While automation may help, it’s only suitable for highly structured content—leaving a significant number of pages that require manual migration. In the earliest stages of a replatforming project, companies should be rigorous about planning capacity requirements for content migration.

To learn more, contact Megan Gavin at mgavin@hansondodge.com or call 414-270-8320.

Ethan Koehler, Senior Digital Strategist, Hanson Dodge

Ethan brings more than 15 years of eCommerce and technology expertise to Hanson Dodge. He engages with Hanson Dodge's clients to define, develop and implement comprehensive digital commerce strategies. He is driven to understand clients’ needs, analyze market opportunities and build solutions that maximize the business impact of a brand’s online presence. Ethan’s experience includes leading a wide variety of large B2C and B2B implementations—both within digital agencies and through his eight years at Gaiam where he served as Director of eCommerce.

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