Migrating content from one content management system to another should be a part of your content marketing strategy.

Sitecore content migration is an opportunity to fully understand the value of your web content. This is achieved by reviewing, taking inventory, and curating your content.

Assess content performance

Assess the crawlability and content value of your entire website. Use tools like SEMrush and Google Analytics to assess your high traffic and deep-linked pages, and to determine which content doesn't rank. This will help you decide what should stay or go, and which content should be earmarked as evergreen.

This helps refresh content, streamline the creation of your new website information architecture, and ultimately improve the customer experience.

Think beyond main content. Don’t ignore ‘unseen’ content!

The content review process should include unseen content like meta keywords, meta descriptions, and image tagging attributes (alt tags and titles). These have an impact on the indexing of your migrated web content.

Five content review tips:

  1. Use website crawling software like Screaming Frog to produce a content inventory
  2. Avoid content rot - earmark redundant, outdated, and trivial content
  3. Curate content by organising it into content types
  4. Don’t ignore unseen content
  5. Determine information architecture

Migration

With the content review complete, your attention should turn to the migration tools for the job. This will depend on various factors such as the scope of the migration project, and the projected go-live date.

If you've chosen Sitecore as your new website platform, there are a number of tools that can help.

As a trusted Sitecore we have the experience and expertise to advise and guide you through the whole process.

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Express Migration Tool

The Sitecore Express Migration Tool facilitates content migration from Sitecore 6.6 to the Sitecore Experience Platform 9.0 Initial Release.

This tool offers a direct migration path. That means there's no need to upgrade from version to version.

Key features:

  • Migrates all content and media items
  • Migrates all users, roles, and security permissions
  • Assists with configuration migrations
  • Migrates all items and data in Sitecore Web Forms for Marketers

There are four versions of the Express Migration Tool. Each one is based on the Sitecore version content is lifted from and the version it’s lifted to.

  • Express Migration Tool 3.1 
  • Express Migration Tool 3.0
  • Express Migration Tool 2.0
  • Express Migration Tool 1.0

Data Exchange Framework

A more advanced tool is Sitecore's Data Exchange Framework.

The Sitecore Data Exchange Framework facilitates data transfer between systems. It does this by synchronising data mappings.

The tool is manually configured to:

  • Read and transfer data from one target system to a third-party system
  • Read and write items to Sitecore content databases

Versions of Data Exchange Framework are:

  • Data Exchange Framework 5.x
  • Data Exchange Framework 4.x
  • Data Exchange Framework 3.x
  • Data Exchange Framework 2.x
  • Data Exchange Framework 1.x

Codehouse DataSync Tool

Our expert development team has developed a DataSync Tool.

This migration tool provides many options for importing and synchronising external data with Sitecore. It allows the import of .xml, .csv and SQL formats.

The DataSync Tool is installed into Sitecore and is accessible via the content tree. It enables content editors to configure content migration in seven simple steps using the DataSync Tool’s Data Mapper.

  1. Define field types and choose import type
  2. Choose import format / source (.csv, .xml, etc.)
  3. Choose location of imported items
  4. Define template for imported items
  5. Define folder structure of imported data (by date, name, etc.)
  6. Select how imported items are named upon import
  7. Choose whether data remains synchronised
Codehouse Sitecore DataSync Tool 
Codehouse DataSync Tool

Benefits of the Codehouse DataSync Tool:

  • There's no need for developers, as content editors control the migration process
  • The tool can be easily installed on a Sitecore instance without the need of a new code change or release

Sitecore xDB Migration Tool

If you’re upgrading from the Sitecore Experience Platform 8.x to Sitecore 10, the xDB Migration Tool is required.

The Data Exchange Framework has pre-configured mapping from MongoDB to Sitecore xConnect. It reads from MongoDB in Sitecore 8.x and writes to the Sitecore xConnect server. This tool has two data migration processes:

  • MongoDB contacts to xConnect contacts
  • MongoDB Reference Data to xDB (including geo-location data)

Versions of the xDB Migration Tool are:

  • xDB Data Migration Tool 5.x
  • xDB Data Migration Tool 4.x
  • xDB Data Migration Tool 3.x
  • xDB Data Migration Tool 2..x

A human eye and 301s

There’s still the need for a human eye to sanity check migrated content is where it should be. And just as importantly, to check whether it’s being rendered as expected.

In any successful content migration project, there are most likely to be orphaned legacy pages. To ensure an unbroken user experience, assigning 301 redirects to web pages is essential to maintaining SEO integrity.

Your 301 redirect strategy should be part of your content migration plan. To help with the set up of 301s, our in-house team has developed a 301 Redirect tool for Sitecore.

Note: There are also third party migration tools available form the Sitecore Market Place, but they're not supported by Sitecore support.

In complex and time-sensitive website content migration projects, it’s important to be thorough. If you're considering Sitecore as your new web platform and need help with migration, get in touch. We are already working on the first Sitecore 10 upgrade projects.