Planning a WordPress Migration to WordPress VIP? Use this Checklist.

Planning a WordPress Migration to WordPress VIP? Use this Checklist.

Migrating a website is a daunting task with many considerations and stakeholders, especially for large businesses with extensive content libraries and editorial workflows. 

Whether you’re migrating from a WordPress website or a different platform, use our website migration checklist to cover the crucial things you should consider before migrating your business-critical website to WordPress VIP.

But first, an enterprise migration success story

Website migration doesn’t have to be scary, even for a business with a massive digital portfolio. Just take it from one of our many success stories, Capgemini, a multi-billion dollar international consultancy for technology services and digital transformation. 

Thanks to a diligent planning process and project outline based on our checklist below, Capgemini successfully migrated 38 websites from their legacy Drupal content management system (CMS) to WordPress VIP’s agile CMS. 

Drupal became a hassle for Capgemini. The lack of backward compatibility made the website increasingly unstable, their workflows were no longer improving, and frustrated teams were creating workaround solutions that became a governance nightmare.

“We needed a system and a piece of technology that would force a reckoning of our team members to actually learn what digital publishing is, and what digital marketing means today, in a bunch of different cultures, languages, and markets.”

—Parker Ward, Director of Content Marketing and Communications, Capgemini

Through their migration to WordPress VIP, Capgemini quickly realized improved content creation productivity, a better customer experience, and much more. 

But to execute a successful migration like Capgemini, you must fully understand the scope and nature of your migration project. You can use our checklist to get started.

Preparing for your WordPress VIP migration: a checklist

Guide your website migration planning process using the following steps:

  1. Form your team and define your goals
  2. Create a project plan
  3. Audit your current content
  4. Perform a technical audit

Due to the nature of website migration, it’s highly likely some of these steps may overlap, or even happen simultaneously. It’s okay to move the steps around a bit, but the key is to start by forming your migration team and outlining your goals to establish a solid foundation for the migration.

1. Form your team and define your goals

Who are the primary stakeholders for the migration? Gather your team—including leadership, marketing, sales, and web developers—and work together to clearly outline your goals for your new CMS. 

During this step, identify potential challenges and highlight any remaining concerns about the migration process and/or CMS platform. Common challenges and concerns include: learning the WordPress platform, interference with SEO performance, and a lack of internal resources to complete the migration.

VIP TIP: If you know you’ll need assistance with the migration, this is a great time to start the RFP process with one of our WordPress VIP-approved agency partners.

The goals and challenges you determine during this discussion should be top-of-mind during the project planning process. Not quite sure where to start? Learn how to set the right goals for content marketing.

2. Create a project plan

Migrating a website is complex, so your team should be on the same page about each aspect of the migration.

  • What is your desired date for launch? Is it flexible or firm?
  • Are you migrating your content manually or transferring content through an application programming interface (API)?
  • What will the approval process look like at each stage for key stakeholders?
  • Will your team need training on the WordPress VIP platform?
  • Who is performing the quality assurance review after migration?

VIP TIP: Take detailed notes and send recaps after each meeting for the team to reference later. Cataloging your discussions with key takeaways helps you stay organized.

During the planning process, the WordPress VIP team can help answer questions about any technical requirements or hurdles that arise.

3. Audit your current content

Performing a content audit is a tedious—but crucial—part of preparing for your website migration. If you don’t have a complete content library, create an organized list to log and track all of your hosted content (you’ll want this after the migration to make sure you didn’t miss anything). 

If you haven’t done a content audit recently, this is also a great time to perform a ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial) analysis to identify anything that:

  • Needs to be updated for accuracy or SEO optimization
  • Could be repurposed into other formats (video, webinar, ebook, blog, etc.)
  • Should be discarded entirely 

Once you’ve cataloged your content and understand the scope, you can establish your ideal content functionality.

VIP TIP: Use our Content Matters 2022 Report to see where your content falls short compared to other content marketers, and learn how to measure what works. 

4. Perform a technical audit

You have your content goals and project plan, now you need to identify the format, tools, and integrations necessary for making them a reality. 

With WordPress VIP, many crucial functions—like security, caching, and dynamic sizing—are already built into the platform, so use this step to determine any extras you’ll require. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, use the following questions to prompt your team discussion:

  • Are you using a single stack, headless, or hybrid format?
  • Would you prefer a single site or multisite setup?
  • Do you need a new domain, subdomain, or subdirectory?
  • Will you have any 301 redirects?
  • What plugins and integrations will you need? 
  • What are your security must-haves?
  • What performance metrics do you want to track?

VIP TIP: Still not sure what plugins to use or what features will work best? If you have questions about achieving your ideal site functionality, our consultative support process can help.

A Typical Website Migration Process

  • Project plan
  • Establish an RFP (if using a third-party agency)
  • Content audit
  • Technical audit
  • Migrating the content
  • Quality assurance and review
  • Launch

A final word on migrating your site

This checklist acts as a launch point for navigating the confusing and challenging process of website migration.

No two website migrations are alike, so the process, timeline, scope, etc. will vary, and may change as things progress. Because it’s a complicated process, keeping your team positive and flexible before, during, and after migration will help things run smoothly. 

Read The Ultimate Guide to Migrating Your Website to WordPress VIP for an even more detailed and comprehensive look at what to expect during the website migration process.

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