Migrating your site

Before you begin planning the migration of your website from the Legacy CMS to the new CMS, please contact the University Website Project (UWP) team so we can help guide you through this process.


You should see this as an opportunity to perform a site-wide review of your website, to assess content relevance and if you can possibly reduce the number of pages.

A smaller more concise website is easier to maintain. It helps your users find content quicker and reduces their need to use the search bar.

The migration of your content can be broken down into the following stages.

  1. Website kick-off meeting
  2. Auditing your website
  3. Content status and website structure
  4. CMS and digital content training
  5. Content migration
  6. Department feedback
  7. Sign off
  8. Go live
  9. Post go live

Stage 1: Website kick-off meeting

The website content team will meet with you to discuss your current site, the migration process, what we require from you and timescales. This is your opportunity to ask us any questions and get guidance on the project.

Before this meeting you should have already decided upon:

  • Who will be responsible for the rebuild? Decide who will audit and edit your new site. This person / these people will work with the UWP content team as dedicated Group owners. They will decide which content to migrate to the CMS and how. They will be given access and training for the CMS.

  • Does your team have the time and resources? For medium to large sites, your nominated site owners will need to dedicate six weeks to audit, rebuild and tweak the new site. Site owners will also need support from subject matter experts within your department in order to make calls on the content that needs updating or removing.

Stage 2: Auditing your website

This is where you assess the content on your department's current public-facing website and decide if you want to keep it. If you do, decide if the content needs to be rewritten and if any images or videos are still relevant. If a page is out-dated or rarely viewed you may want to discard it. Save yourself time by not migrating content that is no longer needed or visited.

Begin auditing your site

Stage 3: Content status and website structure

Once you've completed your site audit we can then discuss where the content should sit within the new website. The content status spreadsheet contains pages to help document the journey of adding and signing off on-page content. Completing this document should be a joint effort led by the web content team.

If you have a really big site and want to keep quite a lot of pages, we might require a couple of hours of your time to conduct a card sorting exercise. This collaborative process allows us to decide where content will sit within the new navigation.

The status sheet is split into three pages:

  1. Site structure - map out each of the parent sections and their child pages
  2. Menu - map out the local navigation
  3. Content status - displays the status for each page of migrating of content

Content status and structure

Stage 4: CMS and digital content training

Before you can use the CMS you'll need some training. This support website covers all the aspects of the CMS you'll need on a day-to-day basis to help you build, edit and update pages, add media and more.

You will also be given access to a Self-Service Training course to walk you through using the CMS for the first time. And remember, we're always here to help so feel free to contact us if you're experiencing any difficulties or have a question.

Stage 5: Content migration

We'll use your audit and site structure spreadsheets to create a plan and list of content to be added to the CMS. It's then your responsibility to work closely with the UWP content team to get everything in there, edited and ready to go. Use the notes you made in your content audit to remind yourself of the edits you wanted to make.

Stage 6: Department feedback

With all of your content migrated from the Legacy CMS to the CMS, it's now time to get feedback from your department. Some items to think about include

  • are user journeys effective?
  • are the photos relevant and diverse?
  • are there any broken links?
  • is the content up-to-date and CMA compliant?
  • do important links require a more prominent call to action?
  • are any pages too text heavy and difficult to read?
  • do you require any more pages writing?
  • do you require any more links on the menu?

The feedback process should be continuously repeated with cycles of review and action until you're happy with the site. Remember that the content on the new site should be at the least equal in quality to your current site, Group owners can always update content once live.

If you have your department’s go-ahead to make site content calls, you could undertake this stage by yourself.

Stage 7: Sign off

After you've made any necessary adjustments following the rounds of feedback, do you have final sign-off from your department to go live?

Stage 8: Go live

Corporate Communications will replace your current live website (Legacy CMS) with the CMS on the agreed go-live date. Website redirects will be put in place to forward users from discarded content pages to the new pages. Together we will monitor the health of the site in the following weeks to make sure everything is stable and that a seamless rollout of your new site has happened.

Stage 9: Post-go live

This is an opportunity to discuss with the UWP team about how you will manage your site on a day-to-day basis. You can talk to us about future support and further training you might need.

Finally, keep on adding and updating the content to improve your site and don't forget to get in touch with us if you need support with anything.

Need help?

Drop us an email at cms@sheffield.ac.uk

Get in touch

If you have CMS questions or are stuck then get in touch and we'll do our best to help.