Title:Migrating a Complex Museum Website from a Commercial CMS to Drupal
Authors:Jane Alexander, Niki Krause
Publication:MW2013: Museums and the Web 2013

In 2010 The Cleveland Museum of Art rolled out a brand new website, winning online acclaim and garnering numerous design awards based on a high-concept idea: while the museum’s galleries are closed during its $350 million building expansion, make its collections available online. Allow online visitors to explore virtually, getting lost in the world-class art. But although visually distinctive, the website was far from perfect: it couldn’t support the technology or communications goals of the museum going forward, because of its underlying, heavily customized CMS and its shallow information architecture..

To regain financial and developmental control of the museum website, Information Management and Technology Services (IMTS) managed the migration of the website from its heavily-customized legacy content management system (Sitecore CMS) to a flexible, open-source CMS (Drupal) that could be maintained and expanded in-house.

This paper explores the managerial and technical processes required to replace the website with a new one that looked the same, but delivered a better user experience.