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Andrew Armitage talking on stage at the Dot All Conference in Montreal

Andrew Armitage speaks at International Web Development Conference

The Dot All Conference for Craft CMS developers took place at the Phi Centre in Montreal, Canada this month, with A Digital founder Andrew Armitage appearing as a speaker.

Craft CMS is content management software that A Digital use as their platform of choice, with clients including James Cropper, Windermere Lake Cruises and Hawkshead Relish all benefiting from the features that Craft CMS offers.

Andrew's presentation talked about the considerations that need to be made when migrating from a legacy website platform to Craft CMS. Entitled, "The Great Beyond - Managing a Migration to Craft", many of the points made by Andrew in his talk in fact apply to any migration project for a content based website. The talk was based on A Digital's experience of delivering previous website migration projects, some of which have combined multiple disparate sites, with the title inspired by the REM track, "The Great Beyond" from the movie Man on the Moon.

As Dot All is primarily a developer conference, the talk does include some technical elements (including comparisons for Craft developers to other website software), but if you're considering migrating your website from an older platform that's no longer serving your business or your marketing activities, then this talk will certainly give you some insights into what you need to bear in mind before you commit to abandoning what you have in favour of something else.

Technology is not a fix for poor process

Andrew Armitage

One of the key points made by Andrew in the talk is that a website migration can often be mistakenly seen as a route to resolve challenges that actually sit beneath the website, and aren't necessarily occurring as a direct result of the website itself. As an example, a company not publishing new content to their website because it might be difficult to use, shouldn't be an excuse for not publishing content at all. It might limit the speed and efficiency at which content can be published, but there should already be established processes for researching, creating and publishing that content, irrespective of the website. There's always other channels to which content can be published, even if these ultimately aren't the preferred route.

Andrew also raises the point that developers need to get to know an outgoing site in great detail so that the end result of the migration to the new platform is assured to be an upgrade and improvement. This includes exploring:

  • Content that needs to be copied across and how this will be done;
  • Data, such as analytics, goals or management reports;
  • Users, especially public users who can sign in to access their account;
  • Performance, to ensure the new site will perform faster;
  • Search engine rankings, so there's no reputational damage in the results pages;
  • Ad campaigns, so they're not suspended or wasting budget;
  • Third party software integrations that might break as underlying code changes.

The full talk will soon be available to watch online at https://dotall.com/sessions/the-great-beyond-managing-a-migration-to-craft.

If you'd like to discuss a migration project of your own, then please get in touch. We'd follow our established process to learn more about why you feel a migration will open up new opportunities for you, and how we could work together to ensure these can be realised and deliver a measurable impact.