Manually Migrating Websites

If you are importing a site that is not from a WordPress server, the Import/Export tools available in Aurora will not work. Instead, you will have to manually migrate your site over to the new Aurora-based one. It can be a daunting task to do this, especially if your site has more than a few pages! Below are steps to help you efficiently and completely migrate your site onto Aurora.

  1. Review Your Old Site
    • Go through all of your pages and decide what content you want to keep and what content you can omit from the migration.
  2. Decide on a Theme
    • You can choose between the Sherman theme and the Hale 2015 theme.  To change themes, go to Appearance > Themes. Then, hover over the theme you want and click Activate.
    • Both theme options have several color combinations that you can choose from. For live examples of these, view our Live Sites with Default Template page. To change your theme colors, go to Appearance > Customize > Colors. Choose an option, and click Save & Publish.
  3. Recreate Your Pages
    • First, notice that your new site came with a handful of pages and posts. If you do not want these, delete them.
    • For each page that you are keeping (excluding the homepage -- we'll get to that later), create a page on your Aurora site. Add the title but do not add any content yet. Doing so might send you off track if you have a page containing links to other pages, menus, or people that you haven't created yet.
    • For each blog post or news article that you are keeping, create a post on Aurora. Add the title but do not add content yet. This stage would be a good time to add any sorting Tags or Categories that you might use when creating different pages with the Blog template or Post widgets.
  4.  Add Menus
    • Start with editing your top navigation menu.
      • Note that even if you deleted the pages that came with your website, they will still appear as items in the top nav menu, so you will have to delete these when editing this menu.
    •  Next, create any other menus, including sidebar menus or menus that you would like to appear on your homepage.
  5. Create Sidebars and Add Widgets
    • Think about how many different sidebars you need to build for your site. Go to Appearance > Manage Sidebars to create and name each sidebar.
    • Next, go to Appearance > Widgets to add content to your sidebars, including any sidebar menus you had created during the previous step.
    • You can also take this time to edit the content of your Default Sidebar, which is automatically present next to any Archive page, Search Results page, or Post, or your Mega Footer, which is present at the bottom of every page on your site. Both of these can be edited in Appearance > Widgets.
  6. Add People
    • If you are migrating any pages that list faculty/staff/students/other people, you probably want to create People profiles for each person. Later, you can change those pages' Template to People and easily insert the desired information about specific people.
    • Note that your site came with one People profile -- Jonathan the Husky. If you do not want to keep this profile, you will have to delete it.
  7. Add Content
    • Now, you can go back through each page and add content from your old site as well as designate sidebars to specific pages.
      • Plain HTML should go in the Text editor.
      • If you're copying the content from a browser view, this should be pasted in the Visual editor.
    • Be careful with any internal links/images. Copy/paste works for most material.  Any image will need to be uploaded and re-linked to the current site.  Also links within the page that go to the source site will need to be updated.  Review documentation on how to upload and replace any media (images, pdfs, etc.).
  8. Edit Your Homepage
    • Some homepages are easy to migrate and others are not. You might even wish to consider a complete overhaul of your homepage as you build it on Aurora! For a comprehensive guide on building your homepage in Aurora, see our Homepage Customization guide.
  9. Go Live
    • See our Going Live guide to review the steps you should take immediately before and after going live with your site.