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Content Migration: Fun for the Whole Family

Previously in this series, Andrea Frederick, Engagement Director at Huge, shared how website redesign led to rebranding. Catch up and read Andrea's blog, here.

Every January, New Year’s pledges empower hoards of resolutionists to buy gym memberships. Machines and weight rooms are always crowded in January, but attendance tapers off once tired gym-goers lose their zeal for resolutions and dumbbells.

This week, Acquia’s digital marketing team is tackling content migration, which means we have entered the “New Year’s gym membership” stage of website redesign. Content migration is the first time a majority our team is using the Drupal 8 user interface. Our processes are sharp, and we are making pledges not to use and abuse the new site.

However, will this mentality survive once the new Acquia.com starts to feel less new? After spending a week in the trenches, here are three takeaways (we hope) will prevent site burnout down the road.

1. Become a Jack of all Trades

Our content migration assignment involves moving six years of content to a new site. This requires all hands on deck. Every member of the digital marketing team, from our vice president to content authors, analytics managers and front-end developers, is lending a hand. The obvious benefit is that many hands make light work.

It also means content creators have direct access to teammates who know how to navigate Drupal 8’s UI. This is important because when content authors feel confident about entering and publishing content on site, they are able to craft better resources for site visitors.

On our current site, Acquia’s content team uses Drupal every day. Publishing blogs is a self-sufficient process. However, we let our web counterparts push case studies, eBooks, or product datasheets live. Content migration has changed this.

Having to migrate a large volume of content has required every digital marketing team member to learn how to work with new content types in the Drupal 8 UI. Our front-end developers kicked off the process with an onboarding session, and taught us how to use Drupal 8 to create eBooks, case studies and data sheets. They also shared an 89-page, step-by-step guide.

Takeaway: As we continue to grow with the site, it will be easier for non-technical teammates to publish content without extensive front-end help.

2. Start with a Clean Slate

To prepare for content migration, we have cataloged content by asset types, including:

  • Blogs
  • Case Studies
  • Product Pages
  • eBooks
  • Whitepapers
  • Datasheets

As we started to migrate eBooks and whitepapers, the team noticed that there is little differentiation between the two asset types. Collateral uploaded under either classification is pretty much interchangeable. We chose to consolidate these two asset types to increase content authoring efficiency and remove complexity for site visitors.

Takeaway: Consolidating these asset types will change the way execute our content strategy. By decreasing the number of content types on our site, we decrease the amount of technical debt.

3. Don’t Get Lost in Translation

Throughout the redesign, our partnering agency Huge shared guidance for both website design and brand messaging. After months of anticipation, it’s exciting to finally put Huge’s design and brand recommendations to use. However, content authors need a little help translating Huge’s wireframe and designs into Drupal content types.

This is another area where content creators and front-end developers need to partner closely. Our front-end team mapped out how content templates translate to Drupal. It can be as simple as plotting subheads to node titles.

Takeaway: Establishing these guidelines from the start means that content editors will be more self-sufficient.

When Marketing and Front-End Hold Hands

Previously in this series, we covered how technical and creative team members would divide content creation for the new Acquia.com. We landed on the paragraph module as our primary tool for content authoring.

With the paragraphs module, content authors can take advantage of flexible, responsive and modular page construction to build landing and product pages. The hope is that the paragraphs approach will make marketers more self-sufficient, while front-end teams can continue to build a site that is reliable.

So, after a week in the trenches, it’s time to find out: Have Acquia’s marketing and front-end teams made peace?

In four business days, the digital marketing team has migrated more than 100 content assets from our Drupal 7 site to the Drupal 8 production site.

I’m happy to report everyone is in good spirits.

It’s always easier to head to the gym when you have a buddy.

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