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Reviewing the EdWeb migration process

Last week we brought together representatives of the entire EdWeb project team to review the Polopoly to EdWeb migration process, with a goal to make it as easy as possible for University web editors to prepare for, and get information on, the progress of the migration of their site.

The EdWeb project is built around an iterative methodology, so that we can break down the development of our new CMS into smaller chunks, allowing us to evaluate our work as we go. In our first release, we migrated just over a dozen sites, representative of the variety of the University’s web estate, to test our processes in order to streamline them for a faster pace of delivery in the coming months.

Primary migration stages

  • negotiation with site owners (discussion of functionality and size of site)
  • development of migration script which transfers sites
  • testing of site data in test environments (including ensuring address redirects are in place)
  • migrating data into the live environment
  • programme editorial work to clean up migrated site
  • training of website editors in new system
  • handover to lead publisher to review
  • URL switch confirmed – site fully live

To ensure that all these steps are followed, in the correct sequence and at suitable time points, will require cohesion, communication and adherence to the process to which the all the involved parties in IS have agreed.

We’ve already flagged up areas where we know we need to improve, and have put some measures in place to improve the experience for site publishers throughout the migration.

  • named individuals in the UWP to liaise with site owners on a site-by-site basis
  • a migration checklist page for site owners and UWP to ensure clarity of progress during the migration, and check off steps as they are completed
  • to review the period for the migration, ensuring enough time is given for all the steps to be completed and for a site review to take place
  • to ensure that checkpoints exist to evaluate whether a site migration is progressing as it should, and re-evaluate timescales
  • review the EdWeb migration handbook to bring greater clarity to the steps we ask site owners to undertake before migration

After migration

We’ve also given consideration to the tasks we should be conducting post-migration to ensure that the site performs as it should. We’ll be reviewing the URL redirects in the weeks following a migration to ensure no traffic is lost, and working with the University search to ensure that search results continue to deliver traffic correctly to the sites we work with.

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