Tech for good | Top Tips

QnA: How does content migration work?

When it comes to being a charity and exploring the potential of digital, sometimes it can be the simple, straightforward questions that are hardest to get answers to. At Reason, we've decided to put an end to that. We answer the question, how does content migration work?

By Reason Digital · March 26, 2019

What we did

Working with charities to understand the stuff that they really want to know, we’ve created a series of videos featuring our expert team answering some of those burning questions.

How much does a website really cost? How much does content migration cost? Do we need an app? What is a digital strategy? These are the types of queries we want to give you a real, transparent answer to.

Let’s get back to basics with our Questions Never Answered video series…

How does content migration work?


Migrating content from your old site to your new site through the click of a button is simple, right? We put a man on the moon like, 50 years ago, and we figured out how to clone a sheep. So how hard can it be to automatically move content from one site to the other? Turns out – really difficult.

The main reason for this is that while content management systems like WordPress and Drupal are easy for us to use, they’re powered by complex technology, with a lot going on behind the scenes that we can’t see.

Moving content from your old site to your new site is a bit like moving content from a word document to PowerPoint. All the words are still there, but it doesn’t look great – or even good. You then need to spend ages re-formatting everything, and halfway through you realise it probably would’ve been quicker and easier if you had just done it from scratch. Or, you realise that some of the content is out of date, and doesn’t really reflect the image or message that you want your new site to put forward.

Content migration becomes even more difficult if you’re changing CMS. It’s a bit like when you open up a word document in Google Docs. Although it can appear to be more time-consuming in the long run to re-do and refresh your content, it’s a great opportunity to review your analytics and figure out what is working well. If your audience aren’t engaging with specific content and there’s no statutory need to publish it – just don’t feature it on your new site.

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