Things to remember while migrating your website to AEM

By Valerie Trenou

Are you thinking of migrating to Adobe Experience Manager Sites?

Here is what you have to know to avoid possible pitfalls related to the process.

 

Migrating successfully to AEM involves three aspects:

 

- Your migrating process

- Your website inventory

- Your site map

 

 

After you have decided to migrate your website to AEM what is the process you need to follow?

First of all, it is important to plan the migration timeline.

                                                                                                 

Migration timeline

 

Migrating to Adobe Experience Manager can take a considerable amount of time depending on what you need to accomplish. It is important to have a soft timeline for completion to ensure the migration project moves along at a steady pace and highlights the project milestones.

 

Communication and collaboration

 

Migrating to Adobe Experience Manager requires both exceptional design and development. A poor relationship between designers and the AEM developers could likely lead to communication breakdowns and project slowdowns. Migrating involves a combined effort of a diverse group of users, from developers and architects to authors and web marketing, and the outcome must be customized to suit the needs of everyone in the creation process.

 

Migration tools

 

Migration tools will play a significant role in the success of your project, to track the progress of site completion and other subtasks.

 

Samples of helpful tools:

 

Choosing the best tools will save you time and effort as CMS migration consists of several smaller projects within the migration timeline. A project management tool is a necessity.

 

During the development process, it will be crucial to test each component thoroughly. Therefore, tight collaboration between design/marketing/management and development is mandatory.

 

When it comes time for a User Acceptance Testing (UAT), while moving content from an existing content management system to Adobe Experience Manager, the business or marketing users can be extremely disappointed in the quality of their content. You have to keep in mind that AEM development consists mainly of building components and migrating content, or maybe a few design changes. The state and quality of the content is as good as whatever is provided in the site map.

 

 

This leads us to the two other important aspects of the project: your website inventory and a site map.

 

First step in the migration process is creating a site inventory. A site inventory is typically a spreadsheet that contains a list of each of the pages on your site. This is a list of, at minimum, the titles of the pages, URLs, and which pages will and which ones won't be migrated.

 

A site map is a document that shows all the pages on your current website and how they are related. It will help build a wireframe (blueprint) of your site’s homepage and content pages that will allow you to visualize the content on the page, and help to determine which home page template is most suitable. A wireframe is a diagram that represents the skeletal framework of a webpage or pages and includes the page layout, navigation, and content items.

 

When re-designing your site, you need to build a revised site map to match your audience expectations. The best way to achieve that is to conduct a survey among members of that audience to see how they would map the website.

 

So the first questions should be: “Who is your audience and what are they looking for when visiting your site?” Your goal is to understand all basic variants of the web journey through your site. Consider various scenarios depending on potential web visitors’ needs and wishes. This will help you with further optimization to make the site as user-friendly as possible.

 

Create a site map based on that survey feedback will allow you to determine where each content should go in your new website.

 

Content assets that will be migrated need to provide a site with the most value possible, resulting in the need to establish an SEO strategy that should include optimization of all your assets to ensure they can be sorted and found across the website’s search function and external search engines.

 

Additionally, a URL strategy is also necessary for the assets not being included in the CMS migration, subfolder structure, and overall site navigation.

 

When cutting pages, different approaches can be used to set up permanent 301 redirects for all missing items. At the same time, plan to remove all links pointing to these pages. Deleting assets or un-publishing them with no management strategy will result in 404 (Not Found) or 401 (Unauthorized) errors that can affect your SEO results.

 

 

Finally, it is imperative to undergo internal training on the AEM platform that should include asset management within the platform, authoring, and validation processes.

 

Migrating a website can be a large undertaking, but with a checklist of what needs to be done, good management tools, as well as an excellent AEM partner, any organization can effectively migrate to Adobe Experience Manager and benefit from all the great features that the platform offers to provide your clients with an outstanding digital experience.

 

Want to know more? Contact 4Point specialists.

 

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