Smooth sailing with automated content migration

Ramsey Zdiri

@ramsey zdiri25-03-2024


In the process of redeveloping an online platform, chances are that existing content needs to be migrated sooner or later. Depending on the size of your platform, manually migrating all content will take a lot of time and effort to accomplish. As an alternative you could migrate with automation scripts, these scripts are less error-prone and greatly decrease the costs of a content migration. 

Your platform is a little dated and you have decided it is ready for an update. You have hired an agency (preferably Twentyseven) to develop the platform and it is coming along great, when suddenly content migration is around the corner. Migrating thousands of pages is a huge task and requires a lot of manual labor to complete. In this case, automating your content migration might be just what you need. It can greatly reduce the labor needed to complete the task while reducing the error margin by testing the output. In this blog, we'll explore how to approach content migration to make you and your content team members' life easy.  

Breaking down the process 

Data Extraction 
Like humans, every Content Management System is different and therefore comes with its own data structure. One of the first important steps when starting with a content migration is to dissect the given structure and separate it into bite-size chunks (for example: on component level). This will also help the team to identify future possible migration issues. Component X doesn't necessarily exist in the new platform, so where to migrate the content to? 

Component-Level Data Mapping in Content Migration 
Upon establishing a comprehensive understanding of the structural nuances of both the legacy and target platforms, the next critical phase involves the careful mapping of each component. This process is essential for aligning source data accurately with the corresponding or most suitable counterparts within the new platform environment. 

When bespoke components lack a direct parallel in the target platform it may become imperative to create custom solutions or to modify existing content to ensure the content can be migrated to the target platform. 

Maintaining SEO Integrity During Content Migration 
During the content migration process, it’s crucial to maintain the integrity of SEO elements to avoid disruptions in search engine visibility and user navigation. To this end, automation scripts must be designed to meticulously transfer meta tags, alt attributes for images, and other critical SEO elements embedded within your pages. Moreover, implementing temporary redirects is essential for preserving link equity and ensuring a seamless transition for users and search engines alike to the new URLs, thereby safeguarding your site’s credibility and search ranking. 

Testing the Waters Before Taking the Plunge 
Before you let those automation scripts do their job, it's crucial to dip your toes in the water. Testing is not just a step; it's your safety net. Create a testing environment that mirrors your live site as closely as possible. This way, you can run your scripts and see exactly what your content will look like on the new platform without the fear of breaking anything. It's like a dress rehearsal for your website's big debut. Make sure to test not only for visual fidelity but also for functionality. Links should lead where they're supposed to, and all your dazzling images should appear in their full glory.

The Human Touch in Automation 
Even with the most sophisticated automation scripts, there's a need for the human touch. After the bulk of the migration is done, do a manual sweep. Check for those odd pages that might have slipped through the net or content that didn't quite fit the mold and needs a bit of tweaking. It's also a good time to reassess your content's relevance. Maybe some of it doesn't serve your new platform's goals or audience. This is your chance to curate and refine your content, ensuring it's not just moved, but improved.  

If you have any questions or if you are ready to move house with your platform, feel free to reach out. We are always happy to help! 


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