“It Was Simple And It Worked” – Interview With Ben Meehan

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We are always in a search of smart solutions to bring up the cream of CMS conversion experience and knowledge to you, our cherished clients. This morning we came across a swell feedback of a man, who had the chance to test out the service we provide and we could not do but share it. The interviewee, Ben Meehan, who is the managing director of QDATRAINING, reveals why and when aisite accelerates online migration. Get ready to absorb the story of both below.

Please, tell us a bit about yourself and your company?

My name is Ben Meehan. I’m the Managing Director of QDATRAINING Ltd which is a small company that specialises in training qualitative researchers to manage rich and unstructured data using technological solutions such as a software tool known as NVivo. We run workshop seminars, one-to-one sessions and online training. We also run a consultancy service for clients that choose to outsource this work. Our clients include universities, government agencies and the private sector. We have been in business for fifteen years.

What was the reason you decided to migrate from your current CMS solution to another one?

We built a Drupal website in 2008. We had a static website prior to that and we wanted to get into the dynamic environment of “content management systems” (CMS). We chose Drupal because it is open source and very powerful. We added quite a few modules over the years and were very pleased with our site in all but one arena, that of maintenance. We are not a big enough to company to employ a full time technologist to manage our website, so all website maintenance is carried out by us. Despite Drupal being an incredibly powerful CMS, it is labour intensive when it comes to updating modules and the core module requires a great deal of work to move from one version of Drupal to another. Administrative tasks such as updating modules are distractions from our core enterprise so we made the decision to move to WordPress which requires almost zero maintenance as updating all modules, including the core module, is a one click operation.

What alternative ways have you been considering and why did you choose the aisite converter for this task?

Once we had made the decision to migrate to WordPress, the next question was how? We did not want to have our website down during this process as our web presence drives a lot of our business, especially in the US market. We had built up quite an amount of content in the seven years we ran the Drupal site. We knew the SQL database structures used by Drupal and WordPress would be different and we could not seamlessly migrate. In addition, we added quite a few customised fields over the years. We were worried about the time it would take to map the fields and this caused us to postpone the migration quite a few times as we never seemed to have the time available for this non-revenue raising exercise because our business has grown significantly in recent years and our clients take all of our attention. I suppose we were in a classic small company dilemma where the work needed to be done but not at the expense of customer service. So, we decided to outsource the work and focus on our core business. We ran some Google searches and found a company who said they would do the work for $1,000 USD. We thought this sounded expensive and were not satisfied that this company were prepared to take responsibility for the transition. They sounded like they were prepared to abdicate their obligation if there were any problems. Put simply, their narrative did not engender trust. So we searched the WordPress website in the hope that there would be a plug in that could make this job more affordable. We found aisite and our problem was solved.

What did you like most about the aisite service? What were the challenges in using the tool?

aisite is a very user friendly plugin that allows clients to test their migration, free of charge, to see how the data will migrate. It was simple and it worked. We immediately signed up for the service including the “support service package”, for a fraction of the competitor’s quote. We were contacted by the person who was going to do the work and exchanged some emails as questions arose which required us to make decisions about mapping fields and whether certain links would work in the new structure. This was very reassuring as we felt the work was being handled and we were free to focus on our business. The work was completed to schedule and everything went over perfectly. We knew there would be some inevitable cleaning up to be done afterwards but we were delighted with the results and ongoing support.

Do you find any features that are necessary to be added and any to be done away with?

No! Had we just used the tool without the support service, we may have found likes and dislikes with the software but as we had the support package, we knew we were in good hands as Kate, our account manager, was very proactive and responsive during the work and we trusted her completely.

What problem did you solve using the aisite?

Apart from solving the aforementioned maintenance issue, not to mention the time and energy we would have used up in non-revenue raising work had we done it ourselves, we also used the opportunity to move to a responsive website as our old website was not at that standard. We also preserved our user history as this was very important to us. We are now well positioned to run this site for several years to come.

What is the major value of aisite in your opinion?

It’s affordable for small companies, it will be done right, it allows small enterprises to get on with what they do best and avoid distractions that can eat up copious amounts of time when it can be done better, cheaper and faster by specialists.

If you were to recommend our service to other people, who would that be?

Any company that does not have full time IT professionals and wants to move their CMS from one platform to another whilst preserving their history and data integrity from the original site. It’s a no brainer really! It really is that simple!

We want to thank Ben for sharing his own experience and pleasing insights. There could not be other reward better than the joy of our clients and we do highly appreciate the last one.

aisite might be your option when to migrate a website, too. Ready to undergo an experiment of your own? Test out Drupal to WP conversion, or any other platform of your choice for free.

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