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Media migrations: Quite a challenge

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In due time, it is natural that a media outlet wants to change CMS (Content Management Systems), either to improve its characteristics and performance, to continue growing, or to solve various problems (the CMS may have become outdated, it has not been properly maintained or there are security problems, among others) When this occurs, first you have to choose the best CMS for the specific characteristics of the publishing project in question and, then, successfully perform the content migration.

Smart migration

Media migrations: Quite a challenge

Due to its long standing experience, Protecmedia is one of the Spanish companies with the highest number of migrations from large mass media companies. In addition, it has a pioneering service that allows the use of semantic intelligence to take advantage of the always delicate migration to improve taxonomy, among other aspects. If the migration is successful, the new CMS is not only faster and more agile for journalists, but also better organizes the information, allowing the media to increase its audience significantly.

To better understand this improvement process thanks to semantic intelligence, it is necessary to explain that Iter WCM scans editorial content and uses many dictionaries of various topics, people, geography and companies to propose improvements in the categorization of news. In this way, by improving the taxonomy, not only is the information better organized, but “engagement” is increased and even the search engine is positively affected.

Media migrations: Quite a challenge

The importance of redirects

One of the biggest challenges when migrating from one CMS to another is for search engines - and Google in particular - to perfectly understand the process. In the case of Protecmedia, this process is carried out with care and the redirection of each and every one of the urls is ensured automatically. The system also provides automatic sitemaps to help search engines optimally index new content.

Media migrations: Quite a challenge

Bad migration is bad for traffic

A bad migration can easily lead to a huge drop in viewership. Because of this, larger media outlets usually take a long time, even months, to prepare it, and the same time to execute it.

A migration is nothing more than the transfer of data from one CMS to another. This may seem simple at first glance, but really it isn’t, since the source and destination CMS may not use the same technology, something that adds complexity to the operation. The company responsible for the source CMS must also collaborate, or at least remain suitably neutral. And finally, the media outlet, both its technicians and its journalists, must recognize the importance of migration, since their collaboration can be decisive, and provide sufficient interest and resources.

The latter, journalists, for example, on many occasions act before the migration to prepare the site and reduce errors that the CMS may have at its source, such as uncategorized articles, broken links and an endless number of actions. And during the process of passing from one CMS to another, there is a moment in which both coexist - what we at Protecmedia call “the parallel” - and journalists must generate content on both platforms. Finally, they should also, together with the technicians, carefully review the migration result. In other words, migration is not just for technicians.

Media migrations: Quite a challenge

Phases of a migration

1. A good migration must have a good preparation and planning phase. First of all, you have to keep a backup copy of everything and verify that it can be restored. Once this is done, the information from the destination CMS is analyzed to obtain its urls, taxonomy, authors and a long etcetera, and the migration script is prepared.

2. Then, the second phase begins, in which the migration itself is carried out. For media outlets, it is usually done automatically through successive dumps of information in a previously reviewed test environment.

3. One of the great challenges is fitting the source taxonomy into the destination taxonomy. Iter WCM proposes using the famous IPTC taxonomy, although it is totally and absolutely customizable. Usually, in the case of large media, the levels of information are really high and are sometimes even distributed in different systems, which adds even more complexity to the migration. This is why the migration must first be done in a test environment and be reviewed and refined as many times as necessary.

This reduces risks such as loss of information, duplication of information, bad or no categorization and many other problems that can occur.

4. Finally, when everything is perfect and the redirections complete, it goes to production and the last phase of review in production begins. Do not forget to carefully review the elements embedded in the body of the news, to make sure that they continue to work, as well as the AMP version, for example.

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