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Everyone that’s familiar with Sitecore knows that it’s the most complex and sophisticated .NET Content Management Systems on the market. Unfortunately, sometimes folks get the impression that it always takes 6 months or more to implement, even if your site features fairly standard functionality.
The problem is that many organizations that would like to use Sitecore only have a few months to launch their new site. When time is of the essence, you don’t want to start from scratch — but you also don’t want to skimp on best practices or cut corners.
You need a happy medium. You need an approach that leverages what you do have, streamlines the implementation of standard functionality, and focuses the time and attention on the experiences that differentiate you from your competitors.
At Engagency, we call this a Sitecore Lift & Shift.
Implementing Sitecore in 3 Months or Less: Our Process
In response to this very common need, Engagency developed an implementation process designed to meet the demands of the market. With this approach, in many cases we can implement Sitecore and make any necessary style enhancements in 3 months or less.
Here’s an inside look at how Engagency implements Sitecore using our Lift & Shift process.
Week 0: Sales Demo
To help you get a clear sense of what you’re going to get and demonstrate how fast we can move, we always start with a personalized demo with your branding and images. We find that it’s a lot easier to make a decision with confidence when you can try before you buy.
This personalized demo requires no effort on your part – we’ll gather your logo, fonts, and brand style guide from your existing website. Then, we input those visual assets into a live Sitecore website and walk you through what your site will look like on a new, fully responsive codebase. We’ll also suggest new contrast colors for your color themes to ensure that you’re ADA compliant.
By the way, this all happens before a contract is even signed!
Weeks 1 to 4: Discovery, Setup and Solution Architecture
When you’re ready to move forward, we’ll kick things off with a discovery meeting. After kick-off, we’ll finish the visual design of your site and present it to you for review and feedback.
Once we’ve made any necessary changes, and you’ve approved all of the styles, we’ll apply them to all of the page templates on your site.
Weeks 5 to 8: Implementation and Integration
The next step is to map out your existing navigation menu, and rebuild it in Sitecore. As we do so, we’ll confer with you on any changes you want to make.
Once we have your navigation set, we replicate your content tree. We build all of the pages for your site and map them within your content hierarchy.
Week 8: Training
Personalized Sitecore user training comes standard with every implementation project we perform. So, when you work with Engagency, you can rest assured that your team will be fully equipped to manage your site, as soon as it goes live.
Our Sitecore training includes personalized documentation for each of your team members, illustrated with step-by-step screenshots from your own implementation, plus video recordings of your instructor-led online training.
When we conduct your training depends on whether your team wants to be involved in migrating content to your new site. If your team would like to get practice managing content, we’ll train you during implementation so you can assist with the migration of content. If you’d rather we handle all content migration, we’ll train you just before we go live.
Weeks 9 to 10: Content Migration
Now it’s time to migrate your content over to the new site. To expedite the process, we start by writing scripts to automate the import of all structured content, including your blogs, product details, or directory content.
For unstructured content, which is all that stuff that lives in open HTML boxes, we give you two choices. You can either leave it to us, or get your team to assist. Again, the benefit of getting your team involved is that it gives them hands-on experience, applying what they learned during training.
Weeks 10 to 11: Quality Assurance
Once all of your content has been migrated, we deploy your site to a live User Acceptance Testing (UAT) environment. Here, our Quality Assurance (QA) Specialists will perform thorough testing, going over every single page of your site with a fine-toothed comb, confirming everything is where it should be and that it all looks pixel-perfect.
Next, we’ll invite your team to conduct user acceptance testing, to ensure everything looks and works the way you expected.
Week 12: Launch!
Once you're 100% happy, we’ll be ready to launch! Then we simply move your new site over to production and get everything prepared to direct traffic to your new site – while you break out the champagne to celebrate with your team.
Please Note: Just like our clients, every implementation is unique. So keep in mind that our Lift & Shift process is not a cookie-cutter approach. If your vision involves a lot of unique custom functionality, then your timeline may look a little different. But we can always go live with an SOW that meets your deadline and enhance your site in future phases. This is something we’ll discuss and determine during our project scoping and estimation process.