Content Migration - How to make the switch to Storyblok
Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.
I am sure you’d agree that new beginnings are exciting! It’s also exciting to redesign a website, get moving in a new direction, and start fresh! However, a new design does not always mean new content as I am sure you have spent years building an empire of assets for your business's online presence and losing all this effort because of a redesign would be devastating. So, what happens when you are faced with looking at a blank website without content? You don’t stress, but you find a solution to migrate your content to the new design! The question is: How do you migrate your content successfully?
We, at Storyblok, know how difficult and confusing the content migration process can be. We understand that it is a pain point for you, our partners, and especially your clients. For that purpose, our partners are given the opportunity to participate in a technical enablement session designed to answer all of our partners’ technical questions, including content migration. This session is led by one of our fantastic Developer Relations Engineers who make sure our partners’ technical team is taken on a guided tour through Storyblok to help them learn how to use our solution. This then helps our partners educate their clients on the same topics. During these technical enablement sessions, we come across a very popular question: How to execute a content migration to a new and redesigned website?
In addition, we understand that there are those of us who have little to no coding experience and need this process simplified so it’s easy to understand. If you recognize yourself, welcome to the club! I hope that what you're about to read next is going to help you get a better understanding of our processes and tools.
First thing is first: Where is the content migration from?
When faced with migrating content projects, most of our partners and clients often switch from a monolithic CMS like WordPress to Storyblok, a headless CMS. However, a headless to headless content migration is not rare either. So, what role does Storyblok play in both scenarios?
Understanding the need for Management API (MAPI)
Regardless if your content migration is from a monolithic or a headless CMS, Storyblok’s MAPI should be utilized to write and edit your content regardless of the source or script origin.
Storyblok’s MAPI offers a programming approach to creating and updating content. Based on REST, it allows users to create, edit, and update content using a common interface. In addition, it allows users to get their data in JSON, upload assets, and migrations. You will find all these examples in this documentation.
Switching from monolithic to Storyblok
When it comes to migrating content from a monolithic CMS like WordPress or Drupal, it can be a very complex and enduring process. To make it much easier, Storyblok provides users with the necessary starter tools that are flexible and customizable.
For example, the most common content migration we see is from WordPress to Storyblok. For that purpose, Storyblok provides users with a starter tool kit called WordPress Importer, which is an excellent starting point for migrating content from WordPress to Storyblok. Although intended for developers, this script is very easy to follow and the best benefit of all is that your developers have a tool available for customization for your unique migration project and do not need to create such features from scratch.
The WordPress Importer can be used as-is, or it can be tailored to fit your specific needs. In addition, it can be utilized as the base for migrating content from other monolithic CMSs to Storyblok. The following video is an excellent tutorial on how to create a migration script from a monolithic CMS to a headless CMS. The use of Storyblok’s Management API in combination with these tools is also necessary, for the purposes mentioned above.
Lastly, I strongly encourage you to go through this presentation as it will help you understand when and how migration is done. It’s a great resource for a non-developer as it gives a clear and concise idea of the benefits that a headless setup can bring to a project, in addition to a step-by-step guide to execute the migration and give you an initial idea of the work required.
Switching from headless to Storyblok
Migrating content from a headless CMS to Storyblok is not so common and is usually more straightforward because of the similarities between the different headless CMSs and the use of APIs to retrieve data from the source and transfer it to the new system.
For that purpose, we encourage the use of Storyblok’s Management API to create, edit, and update content using a common interface. In addition, the MAPI offers upload assets and migrations.
To make your project run smoothly, Storyblok provides an official CLI for quickly scaffolding ambitious web projects. Programmers, experienced computer users, or administrators may utilize Storyblok’s CLI for content transformation.
Once a content migration is executed, it needs to be organized and delivered to different channels. To deliver content to your users, you can use the Content Delivery API or the GraphQL API. Both APIs are optimized for response times and are heavily cached. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Another addition to the tools provided by Storyblok is our Content Delivery API which helps users deliver content to their audience. It is designed around the REST architecture principles and aims to deliver content onto multiple platforms. It provides better security and allows users to manage the entire content platform from a single location. I also suggest referring to this documentation for further clarification.
In addition to our traditional REST API, users can also use Storyblok with GraphQL, which offers a number of advantages, like automated documentation and strongly typed responses. The API is a read-only endpoint and optimized for fast content delivery. Because it is read-only, you would need to use our Management API if you are looking to write, update or delete your content or migrate from another solution.
You can find more helpful information about Storyblok’s APIs here.
Last but not least, Storyblok’s Visual Editor is a game changer as it gives editors the ability to edit and organize their content with an in-context preview, including the possibility to click on components on their website.
Successful content migration & delivery projects with Storyblok
Throughout the years, we have witnessed some extraordinary projects done with Storyblok and successful content migrations are part of those projects.
For example, Virtual Identity, a web development agency and a Storyblok Certified Partner, developed an entirely new platform to serve as a flagship for digital communication for a client in the healthcare industry with the help of Storyblok. When asked about their content migration experience, they told us that there was one feature that Virtual Identity found particularly helpful during the content migration & delivery process.
"Storyblok's Visual Editor has sped up the migration tremendously," said Anna Dufner, Project Manager at Virtual Identity. "The feature is an important factor for the adoption of the new CMS by the editors."
Another example is Fundbox, a financial platform for small businesses that offer fast and easy access to business credit, converted all of the website components to Vue, migrated the data to Storyblok schema, and went live within five weeks.
Lastly, we will mention Education First who provide life-changing education for global citizens, as an example of an excellent content migration experience. With Storyblok, EF saw agility within their practices and processes, making it easier to breach silos, retrieve content from different products and teams, and automate. Having a programmatic API that could hook them up to and handle component schemas and content migrations was one of the unique attributes that EF uses in handling automation.
Migrating a website and its content can be a stressful process for you and your clients. A process that needs to be handled with great care. Whether you are moving from a monolithic to a headless or a headless to a headless setup, this is a step that cannot be avoided. Because of that, we at Storyblok have fantastic developer engineers who have a lot of experience in content migrations and would be thrilled to guide you, our partners, through the process of migrating to Storyblok. They know all the ins and outs of such projects and can show you where the most common issues can occur and how you can either avoid them or fix them.
As your next read, I suggest an excellent article on things to consider when migrating to Storyblok, which you can find here.