Challenges in Content Migration

  Posted in CMS (Content Management System) on

  by Suman Tiwari



What is Content Migration

Content Migration is process in which we copy / move content from one System to another (it might be Web Content Management System, Digital Asset Management, Document Management System or HTML  / XML file). Content migration can be done manually as well as through tools and database programming.  Content to be migrated may be a normal text, Images, PDFs, CSS files, Office Docs, Audio / Video files, Flash files etc.

  • Using tool we can directly migrate data from a live site to a developing site, generally backend. But it requires a lot of editing work as inline formatting is not always migrated.
  • We can migrate data manually but such practices could be time consuming and tedious if data to be migrated is in Bulk amount.


Major Challenges faced while performing content migration are:

  • mapping from one set of entity types to another
  • mapping from one set of descriptive metadata fields to another
  • mapping from one set of functions to another
  • mapping from one set of roles to another
  • insuring that there is no broken link present after moving / migrating the contents
  • Converting some data from one format to another. This happens when the current CMS doesn’t support the format of previous CMS. (I’ll cover this section in details in separate article)


Why we do Content Migration

Content migration is required when data are stored in place (generally in a database) from where it cannot be accessed directly due to any reason then we need to move / copy it in a different system. Reason for non-accessibility can be due to no or poor support of previous CMS, integrity or related issues.

In last few years a lot of websites are developing on CMS based system because it provides facility to add / modify / remove contents from site very easily and quickly. No technical knowledge requires in changing the content for a website, so clients prefer to develop their website which are generally based on a CMS. Some popular CMS are:

  • Sitecore
  • Ektron
  • Sharepoint
  • Drupal
  • Sitefinity
  • Joomla
  • Magento


How we do Content Migration

To do content migration we first need to integrate the CMS with the Programming Language in which we are developing the website. For example if we are developing a web site using Microsoft Dot Net then we can use Sitecore or Ektron as a CMS because these CMS tools have been developed in dot net and can be easily integrated with Dot Net. After Integrating the CMS with programming language we can do content migration manually (just copy – paste) or programmatically. Bingo!



Migration reduces the quality of metadata because when we move some data from one system to another we lose some information and related data, for example if we convert a song from one format to another (from tape to mp3 or other format) we lose the quality of song. Similarly when we move content from an older system to a new system then we lose some related data and information. Suppose there are some links in old system then it might be possible that some of the links do not work after migrating it to new system. We also lose the information about font type, file creation and updation date, log information etc. So far we have covered basic intro of Content Migration, challenges faced while doing content migration. We also mentioned name of few popular CMS and in coming future we would be discussing these in details. Hope you find this article informative and Helpful and special thanks for reading. Comments and suggestions are always welcomed.



By Shishir Kumar

Shishir Kumar is an IT professional with over 5 years of experience in Content Migration and Sitecore product development. His area of interest is .net based CMS. His hobbies are listening to Music, playing Chess, playing as well as watching Cricket.



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