Planning your migration to Drupal

I’m often asked what’s involved in migrating a site to Drupal. The following is my typical answer (when responding in writing) .  I hope this helps both clients and Drupal service providers in their next planned migration to Drupal. 

In general migrating a site and upgrading to Drupal involves the same process as any other migration to a modern system.

Things to consider and come to your developers with include:

  1. A well defined vision for the new site (ideally agreed upon by all key decision makers)
  2. A set of business goals to meet
  3. An overall idea of desired traffic levels (which helps dev teams evaluate and plan the Drupal system set-up that will best meet your needs)

The following things are usually identified and developed along the way to building the web site.  Clients generally come to me with some to none of these completed.

  1. A desired feature set
  2. An understating of the target audience and goals for what you want them to do on the site
  3. For large enterprise sites an understanding that the site launch may typically be 6 to 9 months out, after development has started.  So this needs to be planned for.
  4. An internal team set-up that can answer questions, participate in the process, and has authority to make decisions which truly represent the company’s goals. 
  5. Functional Specifications - which list all features and functionality from the user perspective.  This usually contains user stories, wire frames, and sample screen shots.  A functional specification may be technology agnostic.  
  6. Designs in Photo Shop or something comparable
  7. Technical Specifications - based on the functional specification, this is the actual system design.  Choosing the coding and modules needed to make the system work as the functional specifications describe.

What other things would you advise people to prepare for a migration to Drupal?  Please leave your comments. 

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