The big move – from EdWeb to our new Web Publishing Platform
We are currently working on a plan of how we will move content from EdWeb into our new web publishing platform – a process which will involve creating new site structures as well as adapting and migrating content. We’ll take a look at what that might mean for lead publishers and owners of sites in EdWeb.
If you are not a lead publisher or a site owner you might want to start with our post aimed at EdWeb editors:
Our new Web Publishing Platform – what this means for EdWeb editors
Why do we need to move?
EdWeb is built using the open source content management system Drupal using version 7. This version will reach the end of its life at the end of 2022. There is no problem in extending this into 2023 but we don’t want to go much further beyond the first part of the year.
Moving to the latest version of Drupal will enable us to take on any future development of the new platform ourselves – therefore making it easier to keep the platform more up to date than we are currently able to do with EdWeb.
We are in a great position to upskill our whole team in the latest version of Drupal at the moment as we are working with the digital agency Manifesto.
We do recognise moving to a new platform will cause some disruption, but the cost of staying on Drupal 7 and trying to continue with our current development model is not sustainable. Future upgrades will not need a major overhaul as we have needed to do with this project. Furthermore, we are moving to a new cloud hosting provider, Pantheon, which supports the continuous improvement model we now need.
What the process will entail
We’ll be contacting you with a proposed date and time for migration in the near future – see the content migration planning section below for more detail about this. We’ll also be contacting you with a confirmed list of tasks we’ll need you to complete before we move your content, as well as details of actions you will need to take on your site on the new platform before it can go live. We don’t want to list these tasks in their entirety at this point until we’ve completed all our technical investigation but please expect to reconnect with your content and start to run some content checks in preparation.
Preparing your content for migration
We want to do all we can to help ensure the content migration goes as smoothly as possible. To prepare for migrating your content there are some reviewing tasks we would like you to start.
Review out-of-date content
For now, a key task is to please review and consider removing:
- Any content that is out of date
- Any content that is no longer needed. Please note – content to be removed/deleted should be moved to a ‘content to be removed’ section of your site.
- Any forms that are no longer used. Please audit your forms and delete any submissions that are no longer needed or have been kept longer than the specified retention period.
Please refer to our content audit findings and the 100k challenge as there is some great advice about caring for content in that post:
Content Audit Findings and the 100k Challenge
When the time to migrate comes, we will need to ask you to add images to your content in the new platform, as existing images might not automatically be migrated across. This is a great time to review your images and make decisions about whether you need to select new, updated or improved images. We are going to be employing some students over the summer so it’s also possible we’ll be able to help out a bit here as well to ease the pressure on your local resource.
We are currently in the process of exploring how we’ll move other files such as PDFs, Word documents and PowerPoint slides and will be able to give you more information about this soon.
It’s essential that any additional resources and documents are fully accessible:
Guidance on creating accessible materials
Rebuild homepages and web forms
We will not be able to migrate homepages as they are because of the way the new platform will be configured. For this reason, you will need to rebuild the homepage(s) you currently have, but again, this is a great time to review content and to think carefully about what you need on your homepage.
Similarly, we won’t be able to move web forms as this would be too complex and take so much testing we have concluded that this will be better served by rebuilding these forms on the new system. We need to be really careful about how we manage personal data. If this is likely to cause a serious issue for you or your working processes do please contact us to flag this up.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plan for a content change freeze
You’ll need to prepare for a content change freeze for your website when we migrate your content and prepare its structure in the new platform. You’ll then need to tidy things up, add images and forms and prepare to go live. This change freeze could last up to 2 weeks depending on the size and complexity of your site. You will still be able to edit your existing site but any changes you make will need to be manually updated in the new site after migration as well.
Content migration planning and next steps
In the near future we’ll be contacting all our lead publishers to give them a proposed time slot of when this content move will take place.We will start to communicate our proposed date and time for content migration with lead publishers during February 2022. The actual content migration will run from July 2022 to March 2023.
We need to check our lead publisher list and make sure all our information is up to date. Then when we contact you with your time slot you’ll need to liaise with your School, Institute, Centre or business unit to confirm or reject this. We totally understand that there will be different critical periods for different sites and we’ll try and incorporate your needs during this process. So don’t worry if we give you slot that you know is impossible for you to accept. There is no need to let us know suitable or unsuitable times just now so do please wait until we start the process officially so that we have all the processes in place to capture your needs accurately.
What to do now
We’ll be using our lead publisher list to contact everyone, and we need to ensure our information is up to date. Please check the list of lead publishers for your site and let us know if we need to change this at all.
Watch the recording and access the presentation slides for our Web Publishers Community session in February for a more detailed project update
Web Publishers Community session recording
For Schools and Colleges we’d like to coordinate the content migrations at College level, If possible, so do look out for additional communication from the Heads of IT in your College. For other professional services we’ll also be in touch to discuss how we might coordinate and logically group areas together that make sense for you and for the migration process.
2 replies to “The big move – from EdWeb to our new Web Publishing Platform”
Thanks for this Bruce. What can you say about prep for moving pages that proxy in content from other sources? Also interested to know if any IA changes will be needed?
Thanks Neil! We working on proxy content at the moment and will be in touch about that in the near future. We don’t want to replicate what we currently have though as we feel we can improve a lot on this. As for IA I shall get someone from the UX team to get in touch.