Pacific Forum

Migrating to WordPress for Easier Content Management

Industry

Research & Development

Services

Website Migration, SEO Retention, Mobile UI Optimization

Technology

WordPress

Client Objective

Migrate Content to New CMS and Remove Redundancy

Introduction

Founded in 1975, the Pacific Forum is a non-profit, foreign policy research institute based in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Forum’s programs encompass current and emerging political, security, economic, and business issues and work to help stimulate cooperative policies in the Indo-Pacific region through analysis and dialogue undertaken with the region’s leaders in the academic, government, and corporate areas. 

The Forum collaborates with a network of more than 30 research institutes around the Pacific Rim, drawing on Asian perspectives and disseminating its projects’ findings and recommendations to opinion leaders, governments, and the public throughout the region. We regularly cosponsor conferences with institutes throughout Asia to facilitate nongovernmental institution building as well as to foster cross-fertilization of ideas.

Challenge

Access Control

The content management workflows required very fine-grained control of both the access and the search index. Fully implementing the complex access control across the site, document repository, and site search was the biggest challenge of the migration.

Content Cleanup

For optimal performance and clean install, it was essential to remove redundant data including clean-up of unwanted posts, removal of spam comments & authors, and resolving duplicate content.

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What We Did?

Understanding the needs of the client is the foremost step in any project. We sat down with the stakeholders in Pacific Forum to discuss their requirements, expectations, and limitations. For clients to make a well-informed choice regarding their website’s migration, we provide them with a brief outline of the migration process and how it will affect their website performance.

First, we started with content sorting, to simplify the overall migration and shorten the project timeline. The content that generates the highest amount of viewership or is necessary for the functioning of the website is termed as high-priority and shifted first. After checking for redundancy, the rest of the content is either rewritten or discarded.

Second, we preserved the SEO, which included identifying pages and posts that are responsible for driving the visitor count. This information is collected by using the Google Webmaster tool, and analyzing the report of the past six months to one year of the website’s performance. Special attention is paid to the popular segments to retain the SEO of the old website.

The search engine ranking for the site was maintained by customizing URLs for post types such as Forums, Blogs, and Pages. Creating post types with the same slugs as current website, and keeping the post titles and aliases consistent helps keep the URL format same post-migration. For the unique non-post type categories, tags and such, slugs are manually created for different sections and categories in WordPress.

Project Initiation

Requirement Gathering

Design

Project Planning

Development

After the content and SEO were dealt with properly, thus began our work to migrate the website by first creating a staging platform. Our developers ran scripts, executed queries, and exported the SQL files. Before converting to WordPress, all original taxonomies were correctly labeled. Our migration experts utilized a blend of automated as well as manual coding on WordPress to deliver the product.

Once the migration is done, we ran tests to find any existing bugs or errors that could hamper the performance of the new site. These flaws were instantly corrected by the team till there were no errors found at last. Satisfied, we made the new website available to its users.

Outcome

The migration from Drupal to WordPress CMS was successfully implemented as per the client’s requirements. The off the shelf theme was perfectly customized as per Pacific Forum brand guidelines to ensure the incoming visitors landed on a fresh yet familiar website which ensured better user experience and high adoption rate.

With WordPress, we were able to easily define user roles and provide associated access to required staff at Pacific Forum. Using custom queries, we successfully removed unwanted posts, spam comments, authors, and resolved duplicate content. This ensured a clean installation on the WordPress site.

Design elements such as scalable vector graphics, standardized clickable areas, buttons, and CSS3 media queries were added to ensure the website is mobile-first. The entire SEO including meta tags, meta titles, and page titles of the Drupal website were successfully migrated and retained on the WordPress website which ensured that the ranking of the website didn’t drop after migration. Finally, redirections were successfully taken care of as part of the SEO retention strategy.

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