1/0 has been a partner of Ektron since 2007 and we have developed Web sites on every single version of Ektron since version 7.6, which was released in 2007. We have been able to retain long term clients who continue to use Ektron on a daily basis. This gives us a unique insight into Ektron and we like to think that we actually know more about Ektron than Ektron does, in many cases.
Over the years, we have worked with a lot of disparate content management systems ("CMS"). These include Ektron, Sitefinity, Sitecore, Kentico, WordPress, Drupal and many more. This also gives us a unique prospective into what does and does not make a good CMS.
In early 2015 Ektron and EpiServer merged and EpiServer assured its clients that a migration from Ektron to EpiServer would be possible. However given our experience with Ektron, we had serious doubts whether this were true. While many Ektron partners rushed to conclusions on what this would mean for their clients, 1/0 took a more deliberative approach. We did our due diligence on EpiServer and determined that there was no easy path for upgrading Ektron to the EpiServer platform based on the code, database structure and other factors.
EpiServer has confirmed the accuracy of our doubts and admitted that there is no straightforward migration from Ektron to EpiServer. Therefore, we are now comfortable making recommendations to all our clients.
If you are a client using the Ektron platform, your CMS will be sunset by 2019 and this means you will need to move from the Ektron platform within the next three years. You should start planning now and the great news is that you can pick and choose virtually any CMS, as long as you can move your data to a new database.
Some critical items to consider when making the next move for your Web site.
1) The most critical decision is not the choice of the new CMS for your Web site migration but what firm is able to migrate the Web site successfully.
2) The migration from Ektron to EpiServer will be no different than the migration from Ektron to Kentico, Sitefinity, WordPress, or any other Content Management System.
3) Each Ektron implementations is unique and every Ektron site with a preexisting, inherited codebase is drastically different. This is one of the major reasons why we were hesitant to embrace the concept of a clean migration to EpiServer. The good news is that the core database architecture is the same across all Ektron implementations.
4) Data, Data, Data…. The most important thing to migrate is your data. As we noted previously, there is no clean path to migrate your Ektron content to any CMS and all display code will need to be rewritten. However, the data is not lost and 1/0 has a plan in place to migrate all data from Ektron to any chosen CMS.
5) Links- your existing site has URLs (possibly aliased, possibly not). These URLs have been crawled by search engines, bookmarked by site visitors, etc. When migrating, an attempt to keep the same URL for the same content needs to be prioritized.
We know the concept of changing your CMS is overwhelming. Primarily, this is because your CMS is driving the marketing presence for your brand. Our goal is to help guide you through this important process and make the transition as stress-free as possible. The reasons to fear the change and stress are understandable. However, we see this as an opportunity to start fresh with our clients. This includes the following:
1) If your website is not responsive and doesn't support your needs, it is the perfect time to correct this and give your site a fresh new look. This is the optimal time to freshen up your site's appearance while we bring all your data over to the new CMS.
2) In many cases your website has become inflexible due to how the code was written by your current vendor. This is the time to break down those barriers and allow all those things that "couldn't be done" to be done.
3) The Web moves so quickly that your site will benefit from all the improvements such as SEO, Responsive design and Social Media integration.
Why will 1/0 make this a stress free migration?
1) The entire 1/0 staff is located in the United States with the majority in New York City. However, there are several employees who have relocated to other states and still work cohesively with the staff in New York. It can be challenging for even native English speaking employees to gather requirements and work as a single team. One can imagine the difficulties managing a team in a 12 hour time zone difference with both cultural and language barriers. We cannot count on both hands the times that we've had potential clients hire someone in China or India only to come back a year later with nothing.
2) We have inherited many preexisting Ektron implementations and have done these migrations many times before. While many of these code-bases were dreadful, we have never met a code base that we couldn't work with and fix.
3) We are a CMS/Platform agnostic company. Although, many of the clients we support are using Ektron, we have implementations in numerous other CMS's including Kentico, Sitefinity, Drupal and WordPress. This allows us to work with you to evaluate your needs, weigh the pros and cons of each product, and find the best CMS for your company.