Migrating your website
Here’s what you’ll need to consider to make your migration to the GovCMS platform as smooth as possible. GovCMS hosts Drupal websites only. If you want to migrate an existing website that's not built on Drupal you’ll need to rebuild it.
On this page:
Which GovCMS plan is best for you?
We can host your project for you while you rebuild your website. You don't need to lock in your SaaS or PaaS plan before you get started on your migration. You might choose to start with a development plan and finalise things later in your project.
GovCMS hosting plans don't cover the costs of building, modifying or migrating your website. If you need help migrating an existing website or can see opportunities to modernise and redesign your website, talk to us.
If you're going to use the SaaS hosting option, you need to arrange migration of your website with us. We do this for you, but make sure you leave plenty of lead time. The onboarding team will provide additional information and the steps you need to take.
If you use unsupported modules you'll have to choose PaaS hosting. You need to manage more of the migration process yourself. For PaaS customers, GovCMS will set up your project, user accounts, and give access to your developers or your service provider. You're responsible for migrating your website on the platform. You''ll need to arrange security certificates and testing, and conduct your own IRAP assessment and accreditation. The more customised your website is, the more testing you need to do and you will have a bigger security assessment.
Moving your existing website
Forklifting describes the process of moving your website to the GovCMS production environment. At the time you'll need to provide your site files and all related databases to our team. Forklifting will take about 3 to 5 business days. We'll give you support information and instructions during onboarding, including the site audit report.
Rebuilding your website if not on Drupal
To rebuild your website, you can use an out of the box theme or design your own look and feel. If you choose out of the box that is pre-configured, it will be quicker and less cost to you. In the rebuild you can also apply any design work that helps to modernise your website in this new environment. GovCMS is fully open source so you can reuse what others have developed to save you time and money. If you have chosen SaaS you must use the modules provided in the GovCMS distribution. If you choose PaaS, it’s optional.
You can use the Australian Government Design System and the DTA’s Design Service Standard to help rebuild your website.
On or off the GovCMS platform?
You can rebuild your website on or off the GovCMS platform. Each method has a few differences in process and terminology. The decision to build on or off the GovCMS platform will come down to the individual circumstances of your website project.
Your website is forklifted into the production environment if the website is developed off platform and migrated if developed in the sandbox on the platform. It will be easier to migrate and go live with your website if you build on the GovCMS platform. There's a few more steps involved if you develop off the platform, and getting your website ready to go live will include additional lead time.
Who will rebuild your website?
We created the Drupal Services Panel to help organisations find Drupal specialists and simplify contract management arrangements. The panel has a price book you can use to easily compare suppliers. There are easy to use contract templates, and the GovCMS team will guide you through the process. The 19 suppliers have been reviewed and approved by us as having the right skills to work on GovCMS projects.
Or you can do it yourself, if you have the internal expertise. You could run your own procurement process and approach the market directly. Some of the suppliers on the Digital Marketplace have experience developing Drupal projects. The marketplace is managed by the Digital Transformation Agency (DTA).
If you need external expertise it’s important to start early and get that in place for your website rebuild. If you are using the Drupal Services Panel we need to review and approve the contract before it’s finalised. We can support you through the process.
URL Redirects on GovCMS
When you create or migrate a website to GovCMS you will have the ability to use the GovCMS redirect service for your alternate domain. For example the www.govcms.gov.au site would have its non-www, https://govcms.gov.au, redirect to https://www.govcms.gov.au.
Redirects are arranged by the Finance onboarding team during the build phase. Additional information will be provided.
This service does not support additional redirects for legacy domains. Any legacy domains you wish to redirect need to be organised separately.
GovCMS website shield explained
When created, all environments on GovCMS have a shield enabled that requires a username and password. The shield stops the website from being visible to the public. It also blocks search engine web crawlers from indexing the website to appear in search results.
Shield credentials are separate login credentials for the website. Content editors or site builders need further credentials to login and update the website.
The primary contact will receive the shield credentials via a secure channel once the project environment has been created. This happens at the beginning of the build phase on the GovCMS journey.
Instructions to remove the website shield will be given when your website is preparing to go live.