As your migrating organization’s Site Manager, you will have help from DMA’s migration team throughout the migration project. The migration team aims to keep the transition to the DOD WEB.mil Program as easy and smooth as possible, considering you have other daily/weekly responsibilities. To that end, an individual migration specialist will be assigned to work with you to ensure a complete and effective integration with the program.
Below are the six phases of our cradle-to-grave migration process:
Phase I – AFPIMS Training: To kick off the migration, you must complete the required training found at our AFPIMS Training Center site. This phase is crucial since it prepares you for the AFPIMS environment and imparts the fundamental knowledge for site/content management within the system.
- For AFPIMS 5.0 training: You must register for training by visiting the training site, https://webtraining.dma.mil/ and follow the instructions for creating a new account.
- With your new account and being logged in, go to https://webtraining.dma.mil/AFPIMS-U.
- Follow the instructions at the top of the page to enroll in training.
- Make sure to choose your website and user role, and enter your site manager’s contact information (if you are not the primary site manager for your organization). Once you have fulfilled the registration, you will have access to our dynamic Learning Management System in which you can complete the training available on your “My Plan” page. You can also enroll for any additional training by expanding the folder under the “Catalog” tab.
Phase II – Content Inventory: After completing the training, you must determine exactly what and how much content you have. This is your chance to make sure nothing is missed or overlooked in the transition to AFPIMS. Mapping out your current site architecture is the key here. What are the main sections of your site, as well as the subsections/pages beneath them? What content types do you have—photos, news stories, biographies, fact sheets, or anything else? If you have photos, do they all have VIRINs and the proper IPTC file info embedded in them? Do you have any important files on your site such as PDFs? As you go through your content inventory, keep in mind that your respective DOD service has likely implemented a standardized top navigation bar for all websites hosted in AFPIMS. So, as you are thinking through what you have currently and where it is going to go on your new site, try to associate them as closely as possible. Because this is such a critical phase in the process, please refer to your assigned migration specialist if you need any guidance or assistance.
Phase III – Content Evaluation: Armed with your content inventory, you can formulate a game plan and decide which legacy content to migrate or to discard. A strategy should be created for prioritizing legacy content. Is it a low, medium, or high priority to keep the material? Further, how current is the content? Has it been updated in the last month, year, two years, or five years? Based on these criteria and the results, you should be able to decide whether something is going to migrate to AFPIMS or face the chopping block. This phase can be a difficult one to tackle because it forces you to make some hard decisions, but the bottom line should be: if a content item does not provide any service or value to your visitors, then why have it on your site? You must answer that.
Phase IV – Map Out Your Metadata: Categorizing and tagging content becomes a really important organizational tool during the content migration process. Using a spreadsheet to track how content relates to each other across different sections of the website and other variables using tags and categories.
The overarching goal of mapping out metadata is to make all of your content easy to search, sort and filter within the back-end and front-end.
Phase V – Migration: Once you have evaluated your legacy content and have a game plan for moving forward, the manual grunt work begins—your new site must be built in AFPIMS. Essentially, this entails uploading files, copying and pasting text from your legacy site, building Web pages, and setting up all of the necessary modules for functionality and content. Certainly, your assigned migration specialist will be there by your side, virtually, to assist you throughout this entire phase as needed. But the old adage holds true here: practice makes perfect. The more you use AFPIMS and become familiar with it yourself, the easier your site management duties will be in the long run. You cannot be totally hands-off and expect the migration specialist to complete this phase without your involvement. Remember, it is your site and your overall responsibility to finish the migration in a timely manner.
Phase VI – Site Deployment: Once the migration work is done, several tasks must be fulfilled, and specific protocols must be followed to ensure and prepare for a proper site deployment:
- The migration specialist, along with other DMA administrators, will perform a quality assurance check on your site.
- You, as the Site Manager, must sign a Memorandum of Agreement that will be provided to you by the migration specialist. Once signed, you must return it to the migration specialist.
- You, as the Site Manager, must complete a Website Launch Approval form that will be provided to you by the migration specialist. Once completed and signed, you must return it to the migration specialist.
- In some cases, the migration specialist will coordinate the DNS changeover and/or your new URL setup request for you. This is the first technical step in taking your site live. However, please note that you may be responsible for this yourself, depending on your specific DOD service. Should you have any questions about this, please refer to your migration specialist.
- DMA’s system administrators will handle your site’s configuration and deployment on our forward-caching content distribution network.
- One of DMA’s administrators will handle your site’s profile setup within the USA Search program, which leverages the Bing™ index.
- One of DMA’s administrators will handle your Google Urchin Analytics account creation and site setup.
Phase VII – Post-migration: When your new site launches, marking the end of the migration process, the migration specialist will alert the WEB.mil Service Desk operators to let them know that you have officially transitioned to the DOD WEB.mil Program. In the future, should you encounter any system errors, problems, or issues, or should you have any other program-related requests, the Service Desk must be contacted and not your previously assigned migration specialist. The migration specialist will have moved on to other migration projects in DMA’s queue and will no longer be available to you as a resource.