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WiscWeb - Migration policy and procedures

This document outlines the various steps involved with requesting a migration of your WordPress site into WiscWeb.


Migrations are a great opportunity for any site to revise, restructure and clean up it’s content to enhance the user experience, adhere to industry best practices and gain efficiency in content maintainability. We understand that every site has different levels of complexity and functionality and are committed to helping you and your team through this transition and change. During the migration process outlined below, the service will help Site Owners/Administrators understand roles, responsibilities and support offered in the base level, campus funded service. Please see the Terms of Service for specific roles and responsibilities.

Preparing for the migration

We recommend going through the following exercises and processes prior to any type of migration.

Understand user needs

  • Review the site’s analytics to understand what content users are looking for, where they might be getting stuck and how they are using the site. If you are new to analytics or need a refresher, the service offers training and other resources to review. 
  • Conduct user research and interview the site’s user base to clearly define areas for improvement. 
  • Look at and compare competitor and/or similar sites in your industry to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses relative to your site.

Conduct a content audit

  • Identify all your current pages, posts and content types. We recommend using a spreadsheet to maintain all of this information. 
  • Document your current information architecture. Based on the users’ needs, identify where improvements could be made.

Identify website roles and responsibilities

Each site is required to establish a Website Owner (please see our Terms of Service for definition). Additionally, the service recommends deciding who your administrative users are, who will have access to add/edit/delete content and who will have access to administer site wide functions before you go live. Roles available to WiscWeb sites are as follows: 

  • Administrator 
  • Editor 
  • Author 
  • Contributor 
  • Subscriber 

For a breakdown of access and abilities associated with each user role in WiscWeb, please reference our KnowledgeBase documentation: WiscWeb - Understanding User Roles


It is imperative that Site Owners communicate with all site administrators and editors about the migration process. This is one of the most important pieces to a successful migration and usually the piece that is thought of last. A few helpful questions to help answer for recipients of these types of communications are: 

  • What is happening? 
  • Why is this happening? 
  • How does this affect me? 
  • What do I need to do and by when?

Review training offerings

All users that are responsible for managing content and/or administration tasks on a site are strongly encouraged to review WiscWeb training during the migration process.

WiscWeb training course in Canvas

Reviewing the training materials provides the following benefits: 

  • Basic understanding of the abilities of the UW Theme and how WordPress works 
  • Troubleshooting issues that have occurred 
  • Guidance on how to build out and structure your site 

Migration types

**Note: After experiencing issues with user roles, plugins, and site content of migrated sites and our multisite as a whole, we are no longer using the All-in-One Migration plugin to facilitate migrations into our multisite environment.

Single site migrations

There are a few options for single site migrations.

Rebuilding the site (most common): This type of migration involves evaluating current site content and rebuilding your site using the UW Theme and it’s predefined page elements. For this, simply request a new site using our New Website Request Form.

This option also has the most benefits to your site and its users:

  • Opportunity to redesign
  • Helps to organize and clean-up media, documents and pdfs
  • Up-to-date and relevant content for your users
  • Built-in training for WordPress and UW Theme components 

WordPress to WordPress: The service uses the native WordPress importer plugin for this. If this is an option for you, please see the related KB documentation: WiscWeb - Migrating a WordPress Site into WiscWeb

Multiple site migrations

The WiscWeb Service team has worked with multiple schools, colleges and departments on campus for large migration efforts:

  • Division of Student Life 
  • Nursing 
  • AIMS 
  • College of Engineering 
  • L&S Learning Support Services 

We understand that migration efforts can be stressful for all of those involved and require a great deal of thought and planning; thus, we require a meeting between the service team and the party looking to migrate. In this meeting we will discuss scope, roles and responsibilities, communications, timeline, needed documentation and any constraints either party has. Please send your request to

Please note, this option is cost recovery and the service will provide you with an estimate for time and materials, as well as a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) establishing each party’s commitment to the effort. Also, as a cost recovery task, the timeline for this approach is subject to team member availability. 

As a reminder, you always have the option to create sites through the normal site creation process, even if there’s multiple. 

Testing your site(s)

As a part of the migration process, we highly recommend testing your site with users and stakeholders to make sure everything is functioning as intended and organized in a manner that promotes the best possible user experience. It is the responsibility of the Site Owners, Admins and Editors to ensure the site is ready to launch.

Go live

Once the sites are in the WiscWeb system, you will need to follow the “Prepare to Launch” process outlined on the Service’s site.

Please note: we require two weeks' notice for all site launch requests.

Keywordsmove, migrate, policy, policies, steps, new, migration   Doc ID102893
OwnerJenna K.GroupWiscWeb
Created2020-06-09 08:43:53Updated2023-12-01 10:53:36
SitesDoIT Help Desk, WiscWeb
Feedback  1   1