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September 16, 2011

Planning your Migration to Drupal from another CMS - Part One

Thought by FFW,

More and more people have finally gotten the memo--Drupal is a wonderful, open-source system that has a lot of brilliant minds powering it. It’s flexible, robust, scalable and mingles well with social media. The White House, Twitter, and Ikea--are just three of the 7 million sites that went Drupal.

Lots of companies in different industries want to follow suit and migrate to Drupal but are afraid of losing critical information (a valid concern that Drupal addresses). In addition to its functionality, the choice to migrate to Drupal won’t cost you anything but time and effort: Drupal is free.

Part One: Audit your Site

To migrate to Drupal, you must first conduct a comprehensive site audit that has everything on your site, including:

  • Type of data repository
  • Site structure
  • Assets – articles, blog posts, pages, and other text, along with images, videos, and audio files
  • Users, roles and the way they authenticate on the site
  • Metadata, tags, content
  • Design & User Interface
  • Business logic and workflows

Your site audit is a giant to-do list that tracks where all of the pieces of your old site is going. Once you’ve evaluated all your assets, analyze them for necessity. Is it really worth the time to migrate or should it stay put in an external location? If it stays, make sure the connections between Drupal and the external system are fast and reliable. With Drupal 7, the database layer is abstracted, allowing it to pull data from any database with the appropriate driver. You can also move the asset to the target site using a variety of migration tools (stay tuned for part three).

Come back next week to learn about Drupal’s basic structure and key modules you’ll need to make your move as painless as possible.