On the ASAE Technology List, someone asked for the top three tips you would give for someone who is about to embark on a content conversion project (defined as moving content from an old site to a new site). Great question!
Here are my top three based on one completed mirgration and another that is in the planning stages:
1. Inventory current content and delete as much of it as possible. Remove anything that is out of date, incorrect, etc. If you are migrating to a new site structure, the inventory can be used to map existing content to its home in the new structure. This page has some good tips and a spreadsheet tool for conducting a content inventory.
2. Budget for html temps to assist in migration and clean-up. This is essential if you do not have tools to automate portions of the conversion. The temps can focus on brute force cut-and-paste (if necessary) and content clean-up to use new style sheets, etc. Staff can then focus on overall content organization, template design, etc., which is a better use of their time. BTW, you need to do the content inventory/mapping for temps to effectively do the brute-force work. No budget for temps? Then you need to allow for extra time (lots of it) for staff to do this themselves.
3. Force yourself to assign metadata during the conversion. If you don’t do it now chances are you will never have time to go back and do it later.