October 1, 2019
Are you considering migrating from one platform to another, but unsure of where to start? The concept of moving all of your content and users from one environment to another can seem daunting, but our team of experts can work with you to simplify the process and ensure everything runs smoothly.
The most important thing to do if you are considering a migration is a content audit.
Make an inventory of your content. Review the existing content in your community and assign content owners to be responsible for assessing the content in the groups and spaces they are the administrators of. Make sure you have identified the content that needs to be moved over, as well as content that is outdated and/or archived that you may no longer need to keep and move over.
Here's another way to think about it... Say you're moving across the country. If you were to throw everything into boxes while packing, you would most likely end up with both an unorganized mess as well as things you packed that you no longer need and could have donated or discarded. If your boxes aren't labeled, you might have cutlery in a box with linens. Instead of being able to settle in and easily find what you need, you end up having to do more work. If you had organized and labeled everything during the packing process, then you'd know exactly where everything is, making the process much easier!
Here are some specific things to look at when performing your audit.
Gain an understanding of the content types you use. This will be useful when selecting a new platform because you will need to make some decisions on how these content types will migrate to a different platform. Additionally, it is useful to know which content types you don't use often enough to want to migrate them, because not migrating specific types may result in a cost savings.
Understanding what content features you are using today will be helpful when selecting a new platform and discussing the move with a migration engineer. For example, the fields available for Event type content can vary wildly across platforms; some platforms may allow you to have repeating events (e.g. annually), while others will have extra fields like phone and email contact fields.
Take a look at how your content is organized through the use of "tags", "labels", and "categories". Different platforms use these tools in different ways, and you may find that there isn't a direct translation between platforms. This will help you not only during the platform selection phase but also when you discuss the move with a migration engineer, allowing them to provide some ideas based on past experience.
Review your permission scheme and how the content protected by those permissions. Moving to a new platform may force you to apply permissions in a different way, so understanding how you protect your content today will help you make more informed choices when selecting a new platform and configuring it.
And perhaps the most important thing to consider is, is there anything you can change to make the community better? Moving to a new platform is a great time to consider changing things around or making changes that would be difficult to perform manually. Some common examples include marking old questions as answered, merging places, or moving old content into an "archive" place and hiding it from non-admin users.
Think about your community migration the same way you would any move. By understanding your content, or what you're "packing," and the direction you want to take it will make the process much easier.
If you are considering a platform migration and would like to talk to our team of experts to discuss some options, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.