Questions to ask your Sitefinity partner when migrating Sitecore to Sitefinity

Questions to ask your Sitefinity partner when migrating Sitecore to Sitefinity

Sitecore to Sitefinity migrations can be very daunting. There are many complexities to be addressed. Many of them cause significant pressure on everyone involved. In this blog post, we are going to explore some of the very common ones, but also - some that get overlooked and could pose significant risks.

The obvious questions: demonstrating past experience

Q: Have you migrated Sitecore to Sitefinity before?
A very logical opening question is to ask if the partner had already migrated Sitecore projects to Sitefinity. This opens the conversations for the next question (and many more).

Q: What were the challenges you faced and how did you manage to overcome them?
Of course each migration is unique, so try to put some more details about your project in the follow ups. Anything that you see as unique in your project should be included here. Do not be soft and challenge the partner. It doesn't have to be they have answers to all the questions, but they should have the questions.

While these questions would help you reduce the risk by ensuring your partner has some experience, remember that every WCM (Web Content Management) migration is unique.
So once you are satisfied with the basic questions, it's time for the challenging ones.

The challenging ones: Addressing Your Unique Needs

Q: What is the budget and the timeline?
If you get a precise estimate before the technical assessment - run.
The best that could be given at this stage is either a big buffer (which may be OK for you at this point, but it is not a precise estimate), or an estimate full of assumptions that the partner outlined for you. To get to your budget and timeline - you need to evaluate the assumptions of the partner together on both ends. 

Q: How will you identify the hidden business logic?

Both Sitecore and Sitefinity are WCMs that address larger organizational needs. In many cases, the Sitecore setup is a legacy one and has been in place for quite a while. This means that there will likely be a significant amount of hidden business logic on which many people worked that are not part of the company anymore, nor did they onboarded anyone. It's the "Don't touch it" part of your project ;).
No judgement here, this is not an uncommon situation.

Check with your partner about their strategy for identifying and migrating this business logic as it can be crucial to your project's success.

Q: How will you identify the pages, widgets, and content types?
This is a more technical question and is a large subset of the previous one. If you don't have a technical background, consider involving someone who does. Listen carefully to whether what you've been told makes sense and aligns with your expectations and the complexity of your content structure (inline advertising - our team has something amazing here).

Q: Addressing SEO: Don't Overlook the search engine impact
When embarking on a Sitecore to Sitefinity migration, it's crucial not to overlook the impact on your website's search engine optimization (SEO). SEO plays a significant role in your site's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and organic traffic. While we won't delve into all the intricate details here, we want to emphasize its importance. Things like URL Structure, Metadata, XML Sitemaps and Robots.txt, Mobile Responsiveness, Page Load Speed, 301 Redirects and Broken Links are sometimes tricky and time consuming but very important.

Q: Usability and ease of use: Empower your content editors army
One of the advantages of Sitefinity is its ease of use for content editing purposes. Make sure your partner will help you utilize this and make your content editors happy. 

Q: Time to market
Another thing that we have heard complaints about (but it is not really the Sitecore platform that causes is) is that more often than not seemingly simple changes require developer assistance. This should be accounted for as well, as it is not the platform in most cases but the implementation. If your deployment process is complex and time consuming (e.g. your organization requires multiple approvals to deploy a new version of the website) - this could be a real problem in operations later down the road.

Q: What Is the Go-Live Plan?
A successful migration isn't complete until your new Sitefinity website is live and fully functional. In many cases - you want to make sure Sitecore is decommissioned, so you don't pay two licenses.

Inquire about your partner's go-live plan. How do they intend to seamlessly transition your website without causing disruptions to your operations? A well-defined go-live plan includes detailed testing, quality assurance procedures, and contingency measures to handle unexpected issues during the transition.

And remember - the goal is to stop Sitecore so you don't pay for both - Sitecore and Sitefinity at the same time.

Want to see how we respond to those? Challenge us