The idea of content migration seems simple – a cut and paste here, a cut and paste there, and you’re done. The reality, however, is that higher education websites often have thousands and thousands of pages that contain a variety of content. What seemed like a simple cut-and-paste project becomes a behemoth. It is already easy to feel overwhelmed by the crushing weight of a redesign project, but then you heap on a seemingly endless barrage of content that needs to be migrated. There must be an easier way.
“How long will it take to migrate an entire page of content? How many pages need content migration? What is the estimated timeline for completion with all of the resources available?”
This is often an eye-opener, and the realization sets in that there simply may not be enough time or resources to migrate content within the expected launch date.
At ERI, we see website redesigns succeed when their marketing teams choose to outsource elements of their content migration process. Outsourcing content migration not only gets them out of the ‘grunt’ work but allows them to focus on other layers of the redesign process that are equally important.
The Benefits of Outsourcing Content Migration
When a content migration project is outsourced, institutions will find they benefit from the added assistance. Here are just a few examples of the ways higher education marketing teams can benefit from outsourcing their content migration projects:
1. An Expert Set of Eyes
When approaching content migration from a website redesign lens, it is crucial for higher education marketers to ask themselves if the current content on the website is up-to-date and accurately reflects the college or university’s recent advancements. Outsourcing a content migration project can provide marketers with an extra set of eyes that are trained to audit their content and analyze opportunities for a cohesive content strategy.
2. An Extra Layer of Quality Assurance
Naturally, when content migration is outsourced, more users are invited to the new website to assist in the effort. The more users interact with the website, the more chances there are to catch bugs and functionality flaws that must be fixed to ensure a positive user experience.
3. Gives Marketing & Communications Team Back Their Time
Website redesigns are enormous projects, and just because a college or university is in the midst of a redesign doesn’t mean that the day-to-day responsibilities of higher ed marketers come to a halt. Having a dedicated team of content migrators can help marketers win back time to invest in other value-adding activities for their institution.
Recruiting the Right Team
The more website redesigns we are involved in, the more we believe that outsourcing content migration is the right decision. When we begin every content migration project, there are three priorities always in mind:
An Identified Timeline
Higher education websites often go through several episodes of review before they are officially launched. At ERI, we are always thinking about the next approaching deadline and delivery.
Before starting the content migration process, first audit the content and the sitemaps to get a sense of the estimated time it will take to migrate content per page. Typically, we recommend an average of 30-60 minutes per page, depending on the amount of content and the page’s layout. In time, the process will naturally shorten as you become more familiar. This estimation allows you to accurately predict the number of hours needed to migrate content.
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Higher education websites are enormous machines, with layers and layers of content. For the content migration layer of a website redesign to be successful, it is essential to prioritize and enforce organization. From image asset titles to PDF titles, managing assets is critically important.
There are often multiple migrators involved in a single page’s migration–from initial content migration to the final sign-off. Ingeniux suggests identifying a content architect to assess the content that exists and the content that needs to be created. This content architect also recommends the best way to structure content on the new CMS. Dedicated project managers can help keep each element of the project organized and ensure communication between the outsourced migrators and the colleges or university’s migration team remains open and fluid.
Recruiting the Student Body as a Resource
Consider leveraging your in-house talent: students. Take advantage of your talented student body by recruiting students that are interested in website technology, marketing, communications, and English majors and form a content migration team. Students can be a pivotal resource to marketing teams struggling with a shortage of manpower.
We have experienced this to be a win-win scenario; students get real-life experience, and the institution’s marketing team has the resources they need to drive the redesign to the finish line. At ERI, we enjoy working directly with students and teaching them the ins and outs of content migration. We often find that students are some of the most enthusiastic and honest users to be involved in higher ed redesign projects.
Recruiting website stakeholders from other departments
Department leaders (chairs, associate chairs, etc.) are a crucial element in higher education content strategy due to their direct involvement with academic programs at the institution.
Website redesign projects are enormously involved, and department leaders are often overwhelmed with the existing responsibilities of the rigorous academic calendar. These rich sources of knowledge can easily become information silos during a higher education website redesign. An outsourced content migration team can help ease the burden on department stakeholders’ shoulders by putting in the physical work.
Outsourcing Content Migration: In Conclusion
From estimating the amount of time it takes to migrate a single page to double-checking before the final review, content migration is a critical element of a website redesign, and it requires careful attention and planning. Outsourcing content migration can help ease this burden and help push the project to completion. Our analytical and expertly executed content strategy services can help you with content migration efficiently and effectively. Contact us today to get the conversation started.