Migrating to a Content Management Systems (CMS)

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Improving your business’s ability to deliver digital information anytime, anywhere, on any device—via open content—is a key goal of the migrating to CMS. A content management system (CMS) can help your agency move to an open content model, making it easier for people to find, share, use, and re-use your information.

Document Your Business Case

Moving to a CMS requires a significant investment in time and resources. See how other businesses have used a CMS to improve business operations, and use these examples to build your own business case.

Prepare Your Content

The more work you can do up-front to clean up and streamline your content, the easier your migration will be.

  • Conduct a Content Inventory—take stock of all your content
  • Identify Content Structure—determine content types and metadata
  • Develop a Content Strategy—document your plan for content creation, publication, and governance
  • Clean Up Old Content—eliminate ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial content) and archive as needed

Select the Right CMS

You’ll want to consider many factors when selecting a CMS, and it’s important to get it right, because most agencies stay with the same CMS for several years.

  • Decide if You Need a CMS—can you create open content without one?
  • Evaluate Types of CMS—weigh the pros and cons of open-source and commercial CMS tools, and which CMS tools other agencies use
  • Identify Resource Needs—learn what’s required to obtain, implement, and sustain a CMS
  • Document Requirements—document the features and functionality of each CMS to narrow down your list
  • Select the Right CMS Tool—test out top contenders, decide which tool best meets your needs, write a Statement of Work for contract help with migration
  • Is One CMS Enough?—determine if one CMS can meet all your content management needs; for example, can you use the same CMS to manage your website and your blog?
  • Common Pitfalls—avoid common mistakes, such as not developing a content strategy

Migrating Your Content to CMS

You’ve done all your prep work, now it’s time to migrate. Make the process run smoothly to minimize disruption to your content owners and visitors.

  • Plan Your Migration—identify role and responsibilities, and keep stakeholders informed
  • Migration Models—will you do a manual or automated migration, or a combination?
  • Train Your Teamteach your team how to use the new CMS
  • Migrate Your Content—do a test run, move your content to the new CMS, consider a beta site, manage broken links, test everything once it’s moved
  • Launch—launch your new CMS/site

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