Join Jen Kramer for an in-depth discussion in this video Planning for migration: Identifying ROT (redundant, outdated, and trivial) content, part of Migrating from Joomla! 2.5 to Joomla! 3.3.
- If you wish, you can just start clicking buttons and start migrating your Joomla site to the next version. However, this is a wonderful opportunity to look at your website and figure out if it's still serving you. You might have built the site a year or two ago, and maybe you haven't looked at it much since then. Or maybe you've got a pack rat in charge of website management, nothing ever gets changed or thrown away on the site so it's just packed with new stuff. Maybe your organization shifted its focus since the website was launched. These are all great reasons to inventory the content on your site and find out if there are changes to be made.
One of my favorite tools for doing this is to look for ROT on your website. ROT stands for Redundant, Outdated, and Trivial. Ideally you say things once on your site and then link to them from elsewhere, which reduces maintenance and keeps your message consistent on your site. However, it's easy to repeat yourself, so look for anything that's redundant. Outdated happens so easily. Ancient press releases, events long passed, this type of information piles up so quickly.
Also consider product information that's no longer current, items you no longer stock, broken links, old contact information, or an entire focus of the business that's disappeared. There may also be information about your business or products that's not even on the site but should be. Look for this type of outdated information, and remove the old and add the new. Finally, trivial content should be eliminated as well. This is the sneaky content that may not be apparent at first. For example, "Welcome to the website", as Steve Krug of the book Don't Make Me Think is fond of saying.
Of course you're welcome to the website, or the website wouldn't be public now would it, happy talk must die. Landing pages might be trivial, do you really need another page and another click to get people from one piece of content to the next? So look for these on your site as well. This is also an excellent time to look at any analytics information you may have about your site, from something like Google Analytics or another software package. Where is traffic going on your site? Are there any 404 page not found issues on the site, or perhaps some broken links? What kind of errors are people getting? What are the popular pages on your site? What are people entering in the Google search box to find you? And when they get to your website and use the internal search box on your site, what terms are they typing in there? This may also drive some changes to your content.
If you do wind up making changes to your page structure, you're going to change URLs that make up your site. In that case, you'll need to track which URLs for your website have changed. Joomla's redirect component, which is part of Joomla's core, can be incredibly helpful for directing an old URL to a new one on your current site. If you've eliminated pages entirely, the redirect component can be used to direct people to an appropriate page of information. I'll cover how to do this in another video.
- Understanding the Joomla! release cycle
- Planning for migrating
- Making a copy of your site
- Creating a local test site
- Migrating the site
- Evaluating and fixing issues
- Installing a different template