Moving To Sitecore QuickStart

Sitecore is a powerful but complex platform. Many individuals and companies have produced lots of guides and modules to help get you started both with the initial build and extending functionality. As there are large volumes of these tools TechGuilds has started to compile some of your options as you start.

Step 1: Choose An Accelerator Or Roll Your Own

Before starting a new Sitecore Instance an important decision needs to be made: should you take advantage of one of the existing accelerators or roll your own. This decision should not be taken lightly as your foundation will be built on and will be more difficult to change later. Here are your options:
  1. BrainJocks - This accelerator focuses on the needs of marketing, filling the gaps on the Experience Platform in page editor. They make it easy to share across sites, brands and campaigns.
  2. Keystone - This accelerator focuses on the needs of developers, making it easier for developers to build complex solutions without performing all those repetitive development tasks.
  3. Zen Garden - This accelerator focuses on the needs of Digitial Marketing Agencies that need to quickly generate wireframes, get CSS and HTML applied to them then get them back in Sitecore with minimal rework.
  4. Roll Your Own - This is a much heavier lift but if you are rolling a smaller project and do not have budget for an accelerator this is an option. TechGuilds understands and has created a few modules to help you get started. MVPs and other companies understand too and have created a variety of free modules to get you started.

Step 2: Content and Functionality Matrix

At this stage, you will examine the old site page by page, determining its type and dividing the page into a matrix. Each item in the matrix will be labeled and added to a list. In the list will be the page and matrix co-ordinates along with the content and functionality that will be needed to reproduce the item.
This will give you something the client can sign off on. Any new pages not in this set can be deemed out of scope.

Step 3: Functionality Prioritization and Implementation Methods

Once the index is generated you need to be Santa Claus and check it twice. On the second pass determine the priority of the functionality. Now that you have all the required functionality listed, you must then review your decision in step 1 and determine if it is still valid.
Regardless of which option you choose in step 1, the next step is to fill in the gaps but before you do custom development it is a good idea to check marketplace and other sources to see if any existing modules exist that will perform that functionality.

TechGuild developed a Functionality Guide that can save you some time finding possible modules, QuickStarts or sample code for given functionality gaps.

Step 4: Content Migration

This is generally the part of the project that is underestimated. There are a few choices when it comes to content migration:
  1. Siteport: This tool will automate content migration.
  2. Kapow: does similar in realtime
  3. Sitecore Migration QuickStart: This quickstart provides a few tools to help you bulk upload media items and fix internal links and img src links.
  4. Manually import content
Regardless of method it is important to have a way to audit that content mapped in the matrix makes it into the new location in the new site.

The other thing to consider are 301 Redirects. If your pages have good ranking you may not want to lose it.  You can roll your own handler or there is a 301 Redirect module in the Sitecore Marketplace that may meet your needs.

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