Moving a News Website to a Different Content Management System

How does a small but nationally visible non-profit organisation go about moving their news-focused website to a different content management system? A good friend of mine works for a non-profit news organisation and asked me this question recently, so I put together some very brief notes based on some of the website migrations I have done over the last few years for similar organisations (a charity, an industry trade body, and a specialist news publisher).

moving books

The client being a small non-profit organisation constrains the solution to license-free (non-commercial) content management system (CMS), because at an industry standard of around $20k and upwards, the license costs for commercial CMS products tend to be out of the range of small non-profit budgets.

There are therefore five key things to consider for migrating an existing news-focused website for a non-profit organisation to a new CMS:

  1. What open-source technology should you use?
  2. To what extent should you customise the technology and how?
  3. What is a reasonable cost – one-off and ongoing support?
  4. Who should undertake the implementation?
  5. Where should the site be hosted?

There are plenty of other problems to solve once the initial decisions have been taken, but for a simple, news-focused website, with content only in English, we don’t need to worry about managing translations or dealing with transactional workflows. So what’s next?

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