Your Guide for Data Migration Best Practices

When embarking on just about any data migration project, it’s important to have a strategy in place to ensure a smooth transition. This might seem like a no-brainer, but often migration services can be performed without adequate testing and oversight, resulting in lost data, reductions in performance, and a negative impact on user experience. What follows is a data migration best practices guide to help you to take into account the proper considerations for a successful migration.


Audit your site

Understand what data you have and what you want to migrate.



Measure twice, cut once. Understand how your data is currently configured in your website (what fields, naming conventions, and file types are used) and map that to your new site’s structure. In your planning, don’t forget to develop a test strategy. If not all data is used on your website, then it is highly recommended that you evaluate that data and the implications of not bringing that over in the migration.


If You Have A Lot of Data, Break It Into Phases

Break up by content types to ensure the migrations go smoothly


Migrate and Test

Migrate your data to the new website, preferably a staging environment where you can test the data to ensure everything was migrated successfully and identify any issues before going live. If possible, perform the migration more than once to ensure that data is captured. If you cannot migrate over and over due to data dependencies or the fear that deletion would occur with a rollback or re-import, then update in place. If you are migrating data into Drupal, a module, such as this one, can be leveraged to keep you sane during the migration. The module I mentioned helps with the mappings, adds the ability to revert a migration, and enables you to migrate data into Drupal from almost any source.



It is always possible that performance could be impacted with a migration of a large amount of data. Check your code on the development server to ensure that everything is optimized and limit impact to the user experience on your live site.


Go Live and Test Again

You should have identified all bugs in the development environment, but it’s best to run another test to ensure that the live version is free of any issues.

If you take these considerations into account the next time you’re planning a data migration project, you will save yourself and your visitors some headache. Do you have any questions about data migration best practices? Contact us today.