Ohio University

Web CMS Migration Overview

Migrating a departmental website from CommonSpot to the new Web CMS is a collaborative process between the site owner and OIT staff. Each phase of a migration depends on successful completion of the previous phase.  

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Phase 1: Pre-Migration Planning

OIT will schedule a short meeting with you before we are ready to start your project. We will give you two essential assignments designed to improve the efficiency of the entire process.

Client Migration Survey

The Client Migration Survey will help clarify your specific goals for having a website and the target audience(s) you wish to reach.

Website Audit

Before OIT can start migrating your site, you will need to verify that its content is current and identify which pages should be migrated. You will do this by conducting a website audit: reviewing every page and uploaded document in your site and deciding if that content should be migrated or deleted. OIT will email you two documents to help with this process:

  • An Excel spreadsheet that lists all pages and documents in your website with columns to identify which pages to migrate and what actions, if any, need to be taken before migration starts.
  • A Google Analytics report showing all of the traffic to your website in the past year.

Depending on the number of pages in your website, a site audit could take anywhere from an hour to a couple weeks to complete. If you are not ready to start your on the date specified in the email, OIT will work with you to determine an appropriate timeframe.

Learn more about how to perform a website audit.

Phase 2: Structure and Design

Kick-Off Meeting and Card Sort

OIT will schedule a Kick-off Meeting on the date your project is planned to begin. Everyone involved with this website should attend this meeting. We will review the results of your Client Migration Survey and your Website Audit. If needed, we also will take you through a card sort exercise to help you find the best organization for your content.

A card sort is like having an old recipe box full of index cards with recipes. If you dump that box out, you can sort recipes by region, by cooking style, by complexity, or by meal. A card sort can help you figure out the best way to categorize your content so your target audience can find what they are looking for quickly and easily.

Site Structure

After you finish your Website Audit, OIT will create a visual sitemap of your website which looks like an organizational chart. It will not contain all the pages in your site but will give you a structural overview. Once you approve the new sitemap, OIT will send you a spreadsheet that lists all of the pages we will build for you in the new Web CMS, including URLs.

During this time, you should begin making any content changes you identified in your Website Audit.

Also, keep in mind that many URLs in your site will change once migration is complete. You should identify any URLs that have been published in other media (print, signage, etc.) that are not easily changed. OIT can create temporary, six month redirects for those URLs to allow you time to get your publications and signage updated.

Design And Scope

We will work with you to determine which content types you will need (basic pages, staff directories, forms, etc.). You will be able to choose from professionally designed layouts that meet OHIO brand standards.

OIT will then deliver a Statement of Work (SOW) that identifies what we will be responsible for, what you will be responsible for, and all appropriate deadlines including a launch date. The SOW also will identify any items outside of the scope of the migration process. This document will require a signature from a Planning Unit Head before website development work can begin.

Keep in mind this is a migration from one CMS platform to another. While there will be a new design for your site to match the current theme, this is not the time to do a complete redesign and rebuild of your website. The best time to redesign your site and create new content is after the site has been migrated and you can use the powerful editing tools of the new Web CMS platform.

For more information on the design elements currently available, please review the Web Catalog.

Phase 3 | Migration

Site Building

OIT will create your website in the new Web CMS according to the specifications from the planning process.


All content contributors will be required to attend a training session before being granted access to the new Web CMS. You can expect this training to last about one hour. You may bring a laptop with you to training if you want to follow along. If you have content ready to add to your site, bring that as well so we can tailor the training for your needs.

Phase 4 | Validation and Launch

Quality Assurance

Once your content has been migrated, OIT staff will conduct a thorough quality assurance (QA) check that includes:

  • Verifying that navigation and hyperlinks are working correctly
  • Testing for accessibility

Once the QA check is complete, you will need to go through each of your new pages, verify that they are set up as you expected them to be, and mark them as published in the Web CMS. Once you have marked all pages as published, your site will be ready for launch.

Website Launch

Launching a site involves disabling the old version, making the new version visible to the public, and activating any temporary redirects that were requested as part of the planning process. For most sites, this step only takes a few minutes to complete.

Phase 5: Post-Launch Party

We like pizza and balloons.