10 ways to prepare for the transition from SharePoint to SitefinityAshley Arens Jan 3, 2019
By now, you have likely heard that the university is undergoing a huge effort to transition all websites from the legacy content management system (CMS), SharePoint 2010, to the new CMS, Sitefinity. If you haven’t heard, SURPRISE! Let’s talk about it. To date, the biggest question the CMS Transition Team has been asked is when and how this website transition will happen. Learn all about the schedule, what to expect and resources for the transition with these 10 ways to prepare for your website transition to Sitefinity.
- Check out “All Things Web” or @Web CMS resource site.
This is your best resource for getting up to speed on the basics of Sitefinity. Official Sitefinity training is reserved for campus units that are actively transitioning their sites, per the CMS transition schedule.
- Review the estimated transition schedule to learn when your campus unit will begin its website transition.
The CMS transition schedule is always subject to change based on leadership priorities and the university's strategic goals. Future adjustments to the schedule will be reflected on @Web as needed. We must transition all SharePoint 2010 sites to Sitefinity by the summer 2020.
- Read about the transition process and what to expect during the transition.
While the CMS transition is a very collaborative effort, each campus unit must identify their own resources for content production (you are the subject matter experts!) and site building in the new CMS (no development/technical skills are required). Hint: Who manages your website now? That will likely be your key project lead on this effort.
- Identify if additional resources will be needed and if so, talk to your leadership team about a budget.
Campus units that have had the smoothest transitions and have moved the fastest through the process have hired outside help to assist. This could be anyone from a student assistant to build out the pages based on your direction, a contract content designer with more experience, and/or a freelance writer to assist with creating, editing or reviewing content for your new site. Interested in vendors that have been used by other units? Contact the CMS Transition Team.
- Until it is time to kick off your CMS transition, continue to update/maintain your SharePoint site.
When it is time to kick off your transition, you will be contacted by one of the delivery managers in OIT Web Services. Until then, your primary audiences are still visiting your current website and relying on it to have accurate information. SharePoint support will continue to be offered via open labs and SharePoint trainings until no university websites are in SharePoint 2010.
- Start cleaning up your SharePoint site.
Begin by requesting a content inventory spreadsheet. This is list of all the pages on your website, along with analytics for those pages, such as number of visitors, bounce rates and average time on page. It will help you understand the size of your current site and will assist you in prioritizing and organizing your content.
Ask yourself: What pages are most visited? What content is most needed by my audiences? Do these pages have content that is clear, concise and accurate? What pages have content that is either out of date or needs editing? What pages or content areas may no longer be needed on your site?
- Plan for a transition, not a migration.
The Sitefinity transition is more than just a move to a new web platform. Think of this as an opportunity to redesign and/or refresh your site based on user needs and your unit goals. The CMS Transition Team will be collaborating with you on how to improve your website with new navigation, site architecture, homepage and most important, clear audience-focused content.
- When your unit kicks off the transition to Sitefinity, take it step by step.
The CMS Transition Team will guide you through the planning stages and will help create the framework for your new website. While you will have ultimate responsibility for transitioning your site, you will receive resources for support from OIT and the two central campus communications units. The CMS Transition Team will help you set goals, but the timeline is driven by your individual unit, prioritizing resources for your efforts.
- Discussions during your CMS transition will focus on providing a great user experience.
Creating websites with audience-based content that is findable, accessible and device agnostic are some of the highest priorities.
- Talk to your leadership team about any questions or concerns you have. The CMS Transition Team works closely with the following stakeholder groups to ensure the transition process and goals are aligned with the strategic goals of the university.
- Web Governance Committee: Provides decision making and prioritization for web-related strategy, resources and goals. Membership includes both campus CFOs, CIO, Registrar (to represent Student Access and Achievement), and leadership from both central campus communications units.
- Web Advisory Committee: Assists with defining and prioritizing features and functionality in Sitefinity. Membership from each school/college/administrative unit was nominated by the senior leadership of each unit.
- University Web Professionals: Serves as an avenue to communicate web related information and updates. Anyone can request to join this group.
Want to know more about the transition? @Web is your best resource. Learn about the progress of current website transitions or how Sitefinity was chosen as the university’s new CMS. We look forward to working with you!
Note: If you don’t see your campus unit in the schedule, its transition may have already kicked off. Learn about the progress of campus units that have begun their transition. If your campus unit's website is currently off domain, your transition will be scheduled after sunsetting SharePoint 2010 in late 2020.