If your CMS can help you audit your site rather than needing to be audited, wouldn't you want to get your existing site in place and go from there? You can.

Can't afford a content migration? Rethink your strategy.

Mon Jun 17, 2013

I have had the good fortune to participate in quite a number of web site redesign/development projects over my years. And I can tell you from first-hand experience that content migration is fundamentally the worst part of the project. Most project headaches can be solved through good technology, good process, good project management and talented people. But, for migrating content, brute force wins the day.

For most people we speak to, the cost of website migration is greater than the day-to-day pain of living with their current content management solution, regardless of current bad user experience, bad design, bad processes, etc.  While I enjoy a good pizza and beer party as much as the next guy, working with the team in an interior conference room until three in the morning while the beer goes warm, and the pizza goes cold, is one of the most painful experiences in marketing.  Of course you can hire a team to do the migration for you or pay considerable money to script the migration, but you are still going to have to QA all of the content and links -- and be sure to account for the cost in your project plan (and add 20% for the inevitable over-run).

Being stuck is creating massive inefficiencies for marketers. We (and others) have written at length about the negative impact that your inability to effectively leverage your website has on your content marketing and inbound marketing strategies.

The good news? Help is on the way.

Our experiences have shown us that thinking about this content migration problem in the traditional way is the very definition of insanity.  Most marketers have lived with the following cycle:

  • Secure budget for much needed overhaul of the site two years after first request
  • 6 months of strategy work to define goals, strategy, content strategy etc
  • 6-12 months selecting new technology, creating new design and UX, deploying site, and migrating content
  • 6-12 more months deploying everything that you couldn't squeeze into the initial launch
  • 12-24 months reacting to the blindingly fast web rate of change, papering over unforeseen gaps in tech, people and processes.
  • 12-24 months trying to secure budget to go through steps 2-5 again
  • Repeat

Breaking this cycle requires a fundamental re-thinking of the cycle itself.

If one of the aims of a content management system is to support agile marketing, then a monolithic CMS project that takes 12 – 18 months before you can see results does not make any sense.  Wouldn't it be better to take what you have today and immediately begin the process of improving it rather than having to live with it for 12 months while the "Next Great Site" is ready? Wouldn't you prefer to put workflow and governance practices in place now rather than having to live with painful workarounds until the promise of Shiny and New is delivered in a year?

Given the barriers noted earlier, this may seem like a amusing but improbable hypothetical proposition. But what if you could simply push a few buttons and have your entire site be cataloged and imported into your new infrastructure in a matter of minutes? What if you were able to change out a home page element to promote your new product offering within hours of initial set-up and then instantly every time after that?  If the cost of migration is fundamentally reduced to zero, then it creates an entirely new way to think of site transformation. 

If new designs can be applied instantly and content reformed around the new templates seamlessly then why wouldn't you update your design constantly?  If your CMS can help you audit your site rather than needing to be audited, wouldn't you want to get your existing site in place and go from there? Once classic roadblocks are removed you are no longer trapped in a dated and expensive paradigm.

Want to see how you can cut as much as 90% of your deployment time and cost out of your project? Sign up for a demo of our soon to be launched LiveFirst technology. Be one of the first to get unstuck!