Content Migration: Do we HAVE to?

Brian Browning | Senior Director of Client Services
Jason Arden | Director of Partner Engineering
• Why Do we Migrate Content?
– Defining Content
– Kinds of Content Migration Projects
• Approaches to Content Migration
Manual Model
Automated Model
Hybrid Model
Developing a Content Inventory
• Demonstration of Automated Content Migration
• Questions / Answers
• Content typically consists of:
– Text found on web pages
– Images embedded in the web pages
– Files and multimedia items
• PDF, Excel, Word, Powerpoint files
• Media files (AVI, MOV, FLV, etc.)
• Content also refers to meta data associated with items
defined above
• Additional Content Items Can Include:
– User generated content
• Blogs, Wikis, Comments, Ratings, etc.
– Syndicated Content
• RSS Feeds from other sources, data feeds integrated into a site, etc
• Remember to consider the ownership of the content being considered for
• Goal is to move existing content from one (or more) site(s) into
Ektron’s CMS400.NET Platform
• Ektron-based Web Site Redesign Project
– An existing Ektron-based site is redesigned
Information Architecture Updates
User Interface Updates
New Content
New Functionality
– Tend to be easier than other kinds of Migration Projects
• Content is already in Ektron’s Database
• Migration effort is more of a re-mapping exercise
– However, CSS and related styles may still require updates
• Non-Ektron-based Web Site Redesign Project
– A existing site is redesigned
• IA, UX Updates
• New Content
• New Functionality
– Not as Easy as Ektron-based Content Migration
• Depends on how the Current web site is Architected
• At the least, CSS and related styles will require updating
• Consolidation of Multiple Web Sites into a Single
– Need to migrate from multiple web sites into one or more
consolidated web sites
• is a great example of a Site Consolidation Project
• 37 International Sites done on multiple platforms needing to be
consolidated onto one Ektron-based Platform
– Complicated at the Information Architecture, User
Experience and Technical Functionality Levels
• Information Architecture must accommodate the consolidated
content model
• User Interface must be updated to address consolidated content
– Goal: Standardization and Sharing
• Functionality should be standardized so that it is shared
throughout the site
• Attention should be focused on the opportunity to share content
across sections of the site wherever possible
• Migration Away from an Existing CMS Tool or Platform
– “Ektronization”: All Information Architecture, User
Interface and Technical Functionality is to be re-created
exactly as-is within the Ektron CMS400.NET Platform
– Heavily dependent upon Accurate understanding of
existing site functionality, content and organization
• Many organizations do not have appropriate documentation
about sites to be Ektronized
• “Baseline” documentation may need to be created
throughout the Discovery process to define what is to be
– Common pitfall
• Allowing the Ektronization effort to become a Redesign or
Enhancement Project
• Maintain the scope and identify items for enhancement or
redesign to be addressed in follow-up phases
• Requires Strong Project Management and Stakeholder Buy-In
• Three Core Migration Models:
– Manual
• Teams of people are employed to copy and paste content, imagery, files
and assets into the Ektron CMS
– Automated
• Custom code is developed that will extract content from the current data
repository and then loaded into the appropriate locations within Ektron
– Hybrid
• A combination of Manual and Automated approaches
• Most appropriate when only parts of the source content are stored in a
structured manner
• Before Proceeding with Migration Effort, a Migration Approach
must be defined
– Define where content is physically stored
– Define the structure of the content to be migrated
• Stored in a Database?
• Content is separated from Presentation Layer?
• Level of Consistent Structure to Source Content?
• Goal: Need to create a comprehensive URLbased listing of content that currently exists
• How to create this inventory?
– File System Counts
• Useful for high-level inventorying
• Doesn’t address database-based content sources
• Doesn’t account for duplicates and out-of-date
content items
– Automated Spidering Tools
• Value: Captures only that content that is publically
• Sometimes has issues with dynamic web sites
• Xenu Link Sleuth is recommended
• Once the current content inventory has been created,
the next step is to:
– Identify who “owns” the content items
– If content owners have changed over time, determine
who owns the content going forward
– If no content authors can be identified, remove the
• Next, identify which content items should be moved
over to the new website
• Leverage internal business stakeholders / content
authors to make these decisions
– Get the business owners and their supporting content
authors involved early in the process
– Content owner buy-in is critical to successfully delivering
the migration project
• Many times, the amount of content to
be migrated can be reduced by
between 50% and 70% of the current
content inventory!
• Why? Current content could be:
– Stale or outdated
– Duplicative
– No longer relevant
• Here’s an example of a content reduction strategy in
– The City of Fort Worth, Texas did a large content migration
project to replace an old site that had developed over the
– The initial count was for more than 30,000 items of content
to be migrated
– After analyzing the content inventory and working with the
content owners, the final migration effort was reduced to
only 3,500 content items
• Doesn’t this hurt the site’s experience?
– No, reducing content to only display the most up-to-date
content actually improves the user’s experience
– Providing more targeted, relevant content enriches the
experience and reduces problems caused by outdated
content items
• Don’t forget about New Content!
– With many web site redesigns, net new content will
be created
– A separate plan should be developed to address net
new content
– Net new content should be authored either directly in
the Ektron CMS or in Word documents to make
content loading easier
– Like migrated content, net new content must be
factored into the information architecture of the new
web site
– Remember to consider “alternative” forms of content:
• Video and streaming media
• Interactive media, like Flash and Silverlight content
• The results of the content inventory, content reduction
and definition of new content tasks results in the final
content migration map
– Content Migration Map is the key to conducting the
migration effort
– It becomes the project plan and measuring stick to judge
the completeness of the migration project
• The content migration map must be compared to the
new site's information architecture
– Typically takes the form of a sitemap
– Align content which will be migrated to the appropriate
destination points
– Make sure that your sitemap is comprehensive enough to
address the migration
• Many sitemaps are only high-level and cover the first 3 tiers of
• Concurrent to the content inventorying
– Technical evaluation must be conducted to
identify the format of content to be migrated
– For example, when migrating content from a
site that is already powered by a CMS, it may
be found that content can be migrated
directly from a CMS database
– In other cases, source content may be found
in purely static HTML files, with little or no
consistent structure.
• Based on the results the technical
evaluation, service teams should
– Whether to leverage automated content
migration through the Ektron API
– Should use manual labor to manually
migrate static HTML pages
– Leverage a hybrid approach that
combines automated and manual
migration strategies
• For manual approaches to content
– It is important that a designated content
migration project manager is appointed to
oversee all manual efforts
– The content migration project manager is
responsible for:
• Allocating specific URLs to be migrated
• Overseeing the quality assurance of the migrated
• Providing website content authors with updated
status reports regarding when content is ready for
• Where can I get resources for manual
content migrations?
– Ektron Professional Services provides both
manual and automated content migration
– Ektron Partners offer both manual and
automated services, as well
• Other options include:
– Internal staff
– Interns and junior staff
– Temporary workers / Staffing agencies
• How do I judge how many people will be needed
to do a content migration?
– Content Inventories for manual migration can classify
content as complex, medium or easy
• Complex – 10+ Links, 10+ images, or Complex HTML like
custom tables and Javascript embedded
• Medium – 5 – 10 links, 5 – 10 images
• Easy – 3 links, 3 images, no complicated HTML formatting
– Rough formulas:
• Complex – 0.5 - 1 page per hour
• Medium – 3 - 5 pages per hour
• Easy – 6 – 8 pages per hour
– Timeline for migration is the other factor that will drive
the number of resources needed
• Quality assurance is especially important when
considering manual content migration strategies
• Once the migration team has converted content, it is
important for the web content author to:
– Review the migrated content in the context of the
redesigned website to ensure that the migration was
• Testers should evaluate:
– Style (CSS and general layout)
– Functionality
– Accuracy when compared to source content
• It is not uncommon to conduct multiple rounds of QA
testing when employing manual content migration
• What do we do if Content Owners don’t
sign-off on a timely basis?
– This is a common issue
– Underscores the need to have Content
Owners involved early in the process
– Set timelines for Approval
• If Content Owners don’t approve within a specific
period of time, that content is considered to be
• Negotiate these timelines up-front in the Discovery
• What about content becoming outdated
while we migrate to the new site?
– Another common problem
– To address:
• Identify the areas of the site that will change
• Prioritize those content areas to be done last
• Implement a short-term content freeze
• Consider dual content loading for a short period of
time, as well
• For automated approaches:
– Critically important to ensure that the source
content is structured consistently.
• With more variation in the source content, additional
exceptions must be built into the migration utility.
– For all intents and purposes, automated content
migration is really at ETL (Extract, Transform, Load)
project, so the best practices of ETO projects also
apply here.
• The goal with any automated content migration
approach is to minimize the number of exceptions that
have to be accounted for.
• Some customers find success by first scrubbing the
source content before conducting the migration.
• Leveraging the Ektron API, a custom utility
should be developed that will:
– Extract content from the source database
– Transform it to match what Ektron expects
– Load content sequentially into the
appropriate folder structure within the Ektron
work area.
• This is typically accomplished using a combination
of SQL and .NET code.
• Jason will be showing how to accomplish this at
the end of the presentation
• Quality assurance is a paramount concern
when considering automated content
migration approaches
– Similar to manual approaches, web content
authors should be actively involved in reviewing
the migrated content and identifying issues
– It should be reported back to the services team
to be resolved quickly
– The same rules apply to content approval,
quality and timeliness in automated approaches
as manual approaches
– Expect some level of QA fixes even in automated
Leveraging the Ektron API to
automate content migration
• Xenu Link Sleuth-
• Ektron Content Migration Webinar
(Includes Coverage of Ektron API):
Thanks for attending today!
For more information, please contact:
Brian Browning
Senior Director of Client Services
[email protected]
Jason Arden
Director of Partner Engineering
[email protected]

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