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Site Migration and Content Strategy

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When a site is out-of-date and/or its CMS is limited, often the best solution is a site migration. The migration is an opportunity to implement an entirely new look-and-feel, mobilize the site, fix navigation, re-assess the site’s goals, and re-organize content. A migration provides an opportunity to run the site on a CMS that is more powerful and more user-friendly like Joomla.

Randy is the migration lead and content strategist for the migration project of the Joomla! Community Magazine which includes over a thousand articles filled with links, images, and attachments. He will share the challenges that the project faces, the strategy for migration, and a high-level explanation of the approach in Joomla. The discussion will be suitable for the business-minded who must understand the issues and make decisions accordingly as well as for the developer who must implement a solution.

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Site Migration and Content Strategy

  1. 1. Site Migration and Content Strategy RANDY CAREY iCueProject.com Careytech.com
  2. 2. This presentation is delivered live with my commentary. To help it communicate through slides- only, in this slide deck I have added annotations to provide a bit more explanation. example annotation
  3. 3. • Careytech Studios • iCue Project My main work is [a] developing websites and custom applications for clients (or for agencies with client projects) and [b] Through the iCue Project I focus on developing tools and techniques for improving the web management experience.
  4. 4. JCM Migration Project I just accepted the role of migration lead and content strategist for migrating the Joomla Community Magazine (JCM) into Joomla 3.x and core content.
  5. 5. JCM Migration Project Joomla is an international project, and the migration project team members come from all over.
  6. 6. This presentation • Site Migration • Content Strategy This presentation covers two areas: migration of web sites and content strategy. The latter is an important (and often overlooked) part of site migration. For each of these areas, I will be referring to our approach in the JCM Migration.
  7. 7. Site Migration Site Migration Every site that lives for a few years needs a revision to keep up with the times. Very frequently this will require a migration from one technology to a more modern and more appropriate one.
  8. 8. Why Migrate? Site Migration Because there is a cost to migrate (money, time, human and emotional resources), we naturally want to evaluate the returned value. or “When to migrate?”
  9. 9. site redesign (visual) Site Migration  Why Migrate? The most obvious reason to a client is that a migration enables a new visual design.
  10. 10. update or change CMS Site Migration  Why Migrate? Often the migration is needed so we can install an upgraded or more appropriate CMS. A rich and powerful CMS like Joomla 3.x adds a lot of new features and opportunities…
  11. 11. add new features Site Migration  Why Migrate? The new CMS can offer new features, such as Joomla 3’s content versioning…
  12. 12. new or better technology Site Migration  Why Migrate? …or take advantage of new technology such as responsive design.
  13. 13. re-organize site’s content Site Migration  Why Migrate? The need to reorganize a site and its content can suggest a migration. Such reorganization should be considered as part of any migration project.
  14. 14. improve workflow for content management Site Migration  Why Migrate? Likewise, the need to improve the workflow of content managers can either demand a migration or at least be considered during a migration. Are the workflow steps logical, intuitive, and streamlined? I have another presentation on this: http://www.slideshare.net/careytech/strea mlining-the-clients-workflows-in-joomla
  15. 15. improve workflow for content management Site Migration  Why Migrate? before after
  16. 16. change vendor Site Migration  Why Migrate? A legitimate (but not ideal) reason for conducting a site migration is the change of vendor. If a client wants to change vendors for reasons of trust or competence, the client often has to change to that vendor’s supported CMS. But a client should never pick a vendor with a proprietary CMS. That is vendor lock-in, among other negatives.
  17. 17. not just one, sum of all Site Migration  Why Migrate? The point: When evaluating the value of migrating, consider the value of all these.
  18. 18. recent example Site Migration  Why Migrate? I shared an example where the motivating reason to migrate was to upgrade form Joomla 1.5 to 3.x so that we could replace an outdated e-store with a modern component. Once the migration was complete, the client realized they ought to invest in a new visual design and a reorganization of navigation and content
  19. 19. recent example Site Migration  Why Migrate? So what could have been done during migration was undertaken in a second phase.
  20. 20. Site Migration  Why Migrate? Again: Have the client consider all of these when faced with a decision about migration. Taken together, the client is more apt to choose to migrate, and the client will end up with a better product upon completion of the migration.
  21. 21. What is it that we are migrating? Site Migration  Migrate what? We ought to think about exactly what it is that is getting migrated…
  22. 22. Content Site Migration  Migrate what?
  23. 23. Content - metadata Site Migration  Migrate what? • SEO meta fields • old URL -> 301 redirect • category membership • content organization • tags • image attributes
  24. 24. features / behavior / brand Site Migration  Migrate what?
  25. 25. automation -vs- human effort Site Migration  automation It would be nice if we could automate the whole process, but that is not realistic For smaller sites, it seems easier to just copy-and-paste. But reasons to automate: • a site with hundreds to thousands of items (articles, product data) • Data that would be tedious or error-prone to do by hand.
  26. 26. automation and human review Site Migration  automation I feel everything that gets automated needs to be reviewed by a human.
  27. 27. JCM Project Site Migration  JCM Project Now I’ll share a bit about the migration approach we will be taking for the JCM.
  28. 28. Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want The current site is on Joomla 2.5 and K2. We want the site running on the latest version of Joomla (3.x) and to use core (com_content) as much as we can.
  29. 29. improved workflow Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want The editorial team reports that they want workflows that are streamlined and more efficient. Workflows span the registration and approval of an author, creation and submission of a new article, editorial review and editing of an article, linking translated articles to the originals, managing the articles within an issue, and publishing the issue.
  30. 30. refreshed design Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want ? ? ? ? This is a great opportunity for a visual redesign.
  31. 31. new features: Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want • responsive • microdata • content versioning • single button publishing • Joomla’s ACL • better tagging The move to 3.x will buy us these new features and capabilities
  32. 32. asset management: Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want We will be reworking our digital asset management. For example, an author or editor should see only the images relevant for the article currently being edited.
  33. 33. future-proof content: Site Migration  JCM Project  what we want This is the time for us to work toward separating content from format so that the content of an article will easily import into other and future channels.
  34. 34. our approach Site Migration  JCM Project So how do we plan to do this…
  35. 35. migrate just the content (and relevant metadata) Site Migration  JCM Project  approach
  36. 36. segment work, work concurrently Site Migration  JCM Project  approach visual design build template incrementally prototype and build behavior public UX, multi-language issues, workflows, ACL, content structures, etc content migration review migrated content initial requirements
  37. 37. Site Migration  JCM Project  approach visual design build templates prototype behavior public UX, multi-language issues, workflows, ACL, content structures, etc content migration review migrated content initial requirements prototype and iterate discovery informs all other work By iterating the prototype, we’ll get quick feedback from the stakeholders. Whenever we learn new information or a need to change an assumption, we quickly inform the whole team so other work can adapt to the newly discovered changes.
  38. 38. prototype behavior content structures content migration: Site Migration  JCM Project  approach content migration We need to discover the exact content structures that the new site will need. Prototyping will inform the content migration work. Content migration will be automated through a tool and the tool’s code will be adjusted and tested until we see it getting all content into the new content structures.
  39. 39. review and clean migrated content Site Migration  JCM Project  approach The ‘body’ of content needs to be migrated early so that a team of volunteers can review each of over a thousand articles for how well the migrated content works within a responsive design, and to identify and fix inline styling.
  40. 40. content migration: review & clean migrated content Site Migration  JCM Project  approach content migration review migrated content …this means that content migration needs to migrate the main content early (so the volunteers can start their work on the large set of articles. But later on, the migration will need to leave this content in place while updating other fields as needed. (example: the hit count cannot be updated until the last minute before we throw the switch to the new site.)
  41. 41. small team, experts, empower experts Site Migration  JCM Project  approach
  42. 42. Migration Recap: Site Migration  recap
  43. 43. Why migrate? Site Migration  recap • weight benefits of all opportunities • opportunities
  44. 44. What can be migrated? Site Migration  recap • content • meta-data (SEO, etc.) • features/apps (Whatever the site’s tribe expects) • branding
  45. 45. Automation Site Migration  recap • human review
  46. 46. JCM approach Site Migration  recap • only content rethink and rebuild everything else • work concurrently, iteratively
  47. 47. What is content strategy? Content Strategy 
  48. 48. What is content strategy? Content Strategy  Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. -- Kristina Halverson
  49. 49. Role of a content strategist Content Strategy  • Lead the stakeholders into an articulated content strategy.
  50. 50. Role of a content strategist Content Strategy  • Lead the stakeholders into an articulated content strategy. • Provide expertise, guidance, and recommendations. • Do or oversee the work
  51. 51. JCM Project Content Strategy  JCM Project I will discuss content strategy in terms of the JCM Migration project.
  52. 52. content structures How will data live in 3.x ? Content Strategy  JCM Project From the movie Apollo 13, where technicians realize that the filters on the LEM are different from those on the capsule. They needed to find a way to merge the two systems. In our project, the data structures of K2 are not identical to those of Joomla 3.x
  53. 53. content structures How will data live in 3.x ? Content Strategy  JCM Project
  54. 54. ----- - content migration strategy Content Strategy  JCM Project K2 Content • ----- • --- • -------- • - • --- • ------ • --- • ---------- Article --- - -------- --- new migration index The migration process must create records in a custom table, records that track the relationships between the old site’s content and the new records
  55. 55. ----- - content migration strategy Content Strategy  JCM Project K2 Content • ----- • --- • -------- • - • --- • ------ • --- • ---------- Article --- - -------- --- existing migration index When the migration routine needs to adjust or add new content, it will reference the migration index table.
  56. 56. metadata migration strategy Content Strategy  JCM Project K2 Content • ----- • --- • -------- • - • --- • ------ • --- • ---------- • SEO meta fields • old URL -> 301 redirect • article -> monthly issue • tags and categories • image attributes
  57. 57. multi-lingual articles, editions Content Strategy  JCM Project We need to accommodate articles in multiple languages as well as special editions dedicated to a particulare language (below is English and Spanish editions)
  58. 58. editorial workflow Content Strategy  JCM Project ACL We will use a role-based approach for authors and editorial staff, so that we can better manage workflows and editorial UX.
  59. 59. editorial workflow Content Strategy  JCM Project create edit tag /SEO publish
  60. 60. workflow = notification and tracking Content Strategy  JCM Project create edit tag /SEO publish • *** • *** • *** • *** • *** notification tracking Workflow might include governance (who can do what), but it is more about notifying people and providing some tracking of the state of workflows (in this case, the state of each submitted article)
  61. 61. workflow -> Content Strategy  JCM Project streamline steps 7 steps 3 steps
  62. 62. authoring / editorial UX Content Strategy  JCM Project Where we can, we will apply a streamlined approach to editorial roles.
  63. 63. authoring / editorial UX Content Strategy  JCM Project For example, a person should see only the fields relevant to that person’s role.
  64. 64. authoring / editorial UX Content Strategy  JCM Project …and the toolbar should be minimalized to display only few buttons and to provide only those editing features that person should have access to.
  65. 65. toolbar : semantic markup Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics <span style="color: #800000;"><em>getInstance()</em></span> <em class=“jcm-code-snippet”>getInstance()</em> <span class=“jcm-author”> <div class=“jcm-caption”> <code> </code> <cite> </cite> We plan to provide new JCE buttons that will apply ‘semantic’ markup. examples of code from buttons that apply ‘semantic’ markup AVOID inlining replace with CSS classes
  66. 66. blobs -> chunks Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics blob approach chunks approach
  67. 67. blobs -> chunks Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 We can identify at least 9 chunks for an author’s bio form
  68. 68. blobs -> chunks Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics truncation fails gasp… truncation is not a good technique when we need short versions of the same content
  69. 69. blobs -> chunks Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics we need two fields/versions for ‘same content’
  70. 70. blobs -> chunks Content Strategy  JCM Project  select topics …A recent article on how Flipboard assemble articles shows that they maintain multiple versions of the same image cropped full width smaller version
  71. 71. Content Strategy Recap: Content Strategy  recap
  72. 72. What does content strategy plan for? Content Strategy  recap • creation of content • management of content • publication of content • governance of content
  73. 73. What is the role of content strategist? Content Strategy  recap • articulate a strategy • guide, recommend, oversee
  74. 74. areas to consider Content Strategy  recap • content structures • workflow of content authoring and management • governance (ACL) • improve toolbar (semantic markup) • future-proof for multiple channels
  75. 75. Questions? Discussions? Site Migration and Content Strategy Randy Carey • iCue Project – web architect • JCM – migration lead and content strategist
  76. 76. Site Migration and Content Strategy RANDY CAREY iCueProject.com Careytech.com

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