Welcome to part 3 of my top 5 tips for a successful migration.
In part one we discussed how to recognise if your migration team can be trusted with your most precious of commodities; your data.
Part two explained why you shouldn’t use the migration as an opportunity to perform development upgrades.
In part 3, we look at why it’s not advisable to get your developers to do your migration.
3 – Don’t Ask Your Developers to Perform Your Migration
Developers are really, really good at developing. So good, in fact, that people employ them to do development! Sensible choice. Unfortunately, developers are not the best choice when it comes to migrations. Through no fault of their own they will try to approach a migration in the same way that they would approach development; it just makes sense.
Unfortunately, the process that they are most likely to come up with is likely to be flawed because, well, they try to adopt the approach that seems to make sense as a developer!
Migrations are a different beast to development. There are distinct stages which, unless you have been through them, are not readily apparent.
What separates a developer from a migration expert?
There is a wealth of experience to be gained by, as I have done, performing thousands of migrations. Different approaches yield different results.
I would never claim to be a developer but I often end up having to update code to make something work on new platforms. At a push, I can develop something that you can be really proud to own. It will cost you an arm and a leg because it will take me some time to do. If you ask me to do it I will tell you this. I will recommend that you get in someone who specialises in development because it will be cheaper in the long run.
In the same vain, unless your developer has good migration experience, they should suggest that you get in a migration expert. A good migration team likes to work in cooperation with your developers where possible.
A successful migration involves migrating, troubleshooting and fixing. The migration team handles the first and the developers handle the last. Troubleshooting is a joint effort between the migration team with extensive experience of tracking down problems and the development team who have all the experience in the world of managing their code.
A word of caution
Finally, be wary of anyone who offers to move your site on the condition that they move it to their own hardware or hosting. I am not talking about hosting companies when I say this. This is specifically related to unscrupulous hang ’em high, sell ’em cheap migration companies. Once they have your data you will be reliant on them, for better or for worse.
All too often I have been asked to perform a migration away from this type of company and they may be uncooperative and, on rare occasions, deliberately obstructive. Ask yourself the following;
If their business is migrations, then why are they trying to take over your hosting?
In part four of my top 5 tips for a successful migration, I will explain why you should perform your own functionality testing.