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How do you migrate a large, static HTML site to DotNetNuke?

By Dave Gambino

How do you migrate a large, static HTML site to DotNetNuke? NACADA asked Engage that very question and we were happy to oblige them with an answer.

If you still had one, moving from a static HTML site to a CMS would seem a given these days, and of course choosing DotNetNuke as the CMS would be the smart play. Easy enough if your site is a simple brochure with a few pages under a standard navigation bar, but what do you do if your site is old, unwieldy and made up of thousands of static HTML pages of content that you don't want to lose? A little more complex, right?

Not going to lie. “Complex” is a buzz word around here. It gets people pumped. They geek out.

NACADA (National Association of Academic Advisors) came to Engage with this very problem, among many, many others. It was time to make the switch. Their site had become overwhelming and challenging to navigate, and nearly impossible to effectively manage.

A two step approach to migration

First and foremost, we advised them to look at their content strategy. We ran a content audit and found a fair amount of the site wasn't finding an audience online, and a large portion of the articles had become outdated and in need of deletion or revision. While their team moved into content curation mode to whittle down their pages to the very best ones, Engage went to work on building a custom tool that migrated their static HTML to DNN. Once complete, the tool handled the migration beautifully and today the site looks, navigates, and reads better. Good news for an organization who has a priority of getting out quality content and education to their membership.

Both efforts were very successful. While the site has nearly half the number of pages it had before, traffic is about the same (in fact, it’s up if you focus on the U.S.). Better still, the traffic that comes to the site is clearly getting more out of their experience. Page views per user are up nearly 30% and average visit duration is up over 20%. People are finding what they’re looking for and, perhaps most importantly, the team at NACADA is happy.

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