What a migration to Drupal would look like

High Score Labs News   •   May 31, 2020

When making a migration from your existing CMS, whether a service or an in-house platform, to Drupal, there are many things that need to be considered to make it as smooth as possible. In this article we are going to cover what you should look at when planning to migrate and what our recommendations are based on successfully doing this ourselves many times over.

Careful analysis of your existing platform
When moving to another platform, the first step is to carefully catalog everything that you have in your existing system. You need to identify, with your team, several areas of consideration. Some of these questions that you should be asking are:

Do you want to convert analytics that you have to the new platform? Some platforms have their own analytics system, which means that if you want to keep it, you would need to plan how it will be migrated over

Do you have personalization artifacts that you want to bring over? Many CMSs today, whether in house or from a vendor, offer some type of personalization. If so, what do you have currently and how does that translate into the new system? There are many modules in the Drupal ecosystem that do just that, including our favorite, Acquia

Will the UX of the site be moved as is or will you rework it as part of the process? Sometimes the best way to migrate is to plan for several phases so that the work is spread out over time and does not get in the way of existing efforts

What does the data conversion look like? Will it require a rework? At High Score Labs, we have built a tool that will accelerate the data migration into Drupal, making it a lot easier to move your content over from several well-known CMSs and DXPs
What will the infrastructure look like and how will it integrate into your system? What will you need to do to set up continuous build/deployment? What infrastructure will it be built on; AWS, Azure, on-prem or Acquia cloud?

Considering training of your content editors and marketers. This part is often overlooked, causing issues in the switch. This is best done at the beginning or even before the actual migration takes place, giving your team time to get used to the new system

Will you own the entire process or involve a partner to help guide you through? Often the best route is to involve a qualified partner that will help you plan and execute the process. This results in the fewest mistakes, resulting in a smooth transition. One key point though, is that the partner should be working with your team so that you will have the needed knowledge to take full control of the platform, resulting in fewer vendor engagements in the future.

Our recommendations
Based on our years of experience working with partners in this situation, we have several key recommendations that will help you make the transition as smooth as possible.

Consider using a partner to help you. This will help ensure that the project doesn’t start of a new series of do-overs and cause usability issues down the road. It will also help train your team so they can become experts

Using personalization, email campaigns, social integration? If personalization, analytics, email campaigns, CRM integrations are important to you, we strongly recommend using Acquia tools. You can learn more about them on our online guide at acquia.chapinindustries.com

Want to use the cloud? For any cloud deployment, we recommend Acquia cloud. This is because it is much easier to scale, manage and develop against as it is specifically built for Drupal

Use a data migration tool. At High Score Labs we have a tool that will migrate from one CMS to another, i.e., Sitecore => Drupal, which makes it easier to move content items, reducing the tedious nature of moving data from one place to another

Training your content authors and marketers ahead of time. Often overlooked but this seemingly minor detail can make or break a migration. At High Score Labs, we routinely train our partners so that they have the basic skills in the new platform to be a success

One of the reasons that we like Drupal and Acquia is that it is cost effective with a large selection of tools and modules from the community of developers and vendors to customize your instance to support anything that you need to do to be successful. Our favorite is Acquia, which will turn your platform into a state of the art DXP, allowing you to grow your business.

At High Score Labs, we have years of experience working with Acquia and Drupal. We have also developed tools to help make your migration a success. Why not check out our YouTube channel or acquia.chapinindustries.com and take a look at some of our short vids that will give you an idea how easy using Drupal can be.

Contact us today!