New series of posts- The Spinbird Group Year in Review.
Featured Project: The Workology Total HR Blog “The Art & Science of HR”
Jessica Miller-Merrell has been a great friend and colleague- we met Jessica in 2008 in our ramp up of Social Media, and she has been a long time fan and client of The Spinbird Group.
Named one of the top US Branding and Social Media influencers by Forbes in her space, Jessica has made herself incredibly and uniquely positioned in the HR niche- she DOMINATES it!
She achieved this with her flagship blog- Blogging4Jobs, and also ran 3 other blogs.. Secrets of The Job Hunt, Workology, and The Recruiter’s Lounge.
After running these multiple blogs for several years, Jessica decided to combine all of them into one JUGGERNAUT offering- combining everything- podcasts, blog posts, videos, etc into one WordPress install. Whew!
So, the first step was the consultation, gathering all design ideas, logins, etc.. and discovery that normally takes place. We were off to the races!
The Spinbird Group enlisted the help of Jean-François Arseneault, from the Montréal area for the wrangling of the HUGE databases. He was amazing at the initial content architecture- here are some of his notes as to what we needed to achieve:
Integrating two (2) different sites, whether they are using the same technology or not, is always going to be a challenge. So imagine integrating four (4)… (4 HUGE sites)…
The first step in any integration / migration project will be to map out the existing assets, data structures, content and technologies used, and then define what the end result will be. For example, in WordPress, this would mean a complete inventory which plugins are used, which ones include content as well as an item count for every single content type (articles, pages, comments, authors, custom post types, custom taxonomies, custom fields, podcasts, videos, etc).For this particular project, we used a 6′ x 4′ whiteboard to keep track of (and “checkmark”) everything for each of the source 4 sites, in order to ensure “no man got left behind”. 🙂An additional challenge in this particular project was the sheer size of some of the sites, some weighing close to 30 GB (think of thousands of articles and their accompanying hi-res images). So in order to even be able to export the content as a WordPress Archive (WXR) or using commercial plugins like WP All Import/Export, we had to “clean” the sites. A lot. Like 22 hours worth of solid clearing- both from images, and content.Given the size of these sites, the best and fastest way to work was to clone the sites locally on an instance of MAMP Pro, using the same domains as the live sites (so not as to change anything in the database), and then, to perform cleanup, export and other operations required to migrate the content over the “final” site. Said final site was also local, as the final deployment would be equally sizeable – the site of the deployed site ended up weighing 4 GB, and the database a healthy 125 MB. And this was cleaned and optimized.Other technical tricks included:– running scripts to rename all URLs in the imported content to the final site’s domain name– building a mapping of same authors across multiple sites, to reconcile and assign them all their articles– manually import media into the new site, scan it into the WordPress Media Manager, then resize (too) large images, and rebuild all thumbnailsAnd of course, all of these steps had to be performed in a certain order, as some content builds upon others. And every operation spanned thousands of posts or images, or hundreds of authors. One mistake would be critical… backups were being performed before every new operation, just in case.”