Strategies & Best Practices of SharePoint Migration

SharePoint is amongst the most widely used content management and collaboration tools developed by Microsoft.

It offers rich intranet capabilities, better document management system, communities, blogs, news and discussions and many other useful features that brings entire organization together and enables them to work more efficiently and collaboratively.  

SharePoint comes in two varieties- Online and On-premise. On-premise versions of SharePoint include SharePoint 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016 and SharePoint 2019. 

With every new release, SharePoint adds tons of new features and improvements that meets modern business standards. With the addition of new features, Microsoft also depreciated many older features, for example InfoPath forms and sandboxed solutions. This makes moving from older version of SharePoint to newer one essential, in order to fully leverage all new functionalities and stay by today’s standards.  

Storing the data and managing them with in the same tenant might be an easy task but migrating them across tenants & SharePoint versions is a very tedious task. There are many 3rd party tools available in the market to support this kind of migrations. But, strategic planning and execution is required even with any one of them. Let’s review what strategies and practices will help us go with hassle free SharePoint migrations. 

Inventory Your Data 

This should be the first step of any migration plan. Preparing an inventory report of your data prior to migration enables you to review what data is important and what is not.  What can be migrated and where it is supposed to be migrated and what data can be archived.  

Analyze and remove the data, which is irrelevant to your organization. Existence of irrelevant data will mess up your work, occupies storage space, no more useful further. 

If there is any sensitive data, you can plan accordingly based on your business compliance standards and migrate it to appropriate location on the target 

Inventory run provides a report of total assets of your SharePoint like how many sites, lists, libraries exists and their total size. You can use these reports to customize your migration behavior by choosing the required data to be migrated, removing irrelevant files, unwanted metadata and decide how your data should be organized at the target and can plan the migration accordingly.   

Preparing Your SharePoint Migration Plan 

From the previous step, we identified what need to be considered for migration and what can be ignored. Now we need to plan what to do with it. In this step we need to identify where this content should be migrated and how it should be migrated and maintained. Plan an information architecture like Identify which users, permission levels, groups, documents, items & managed metadata need to be migrated to required destination and how efficiently they can be maintained at the destination.  

Research the best practices for SharePoint Migration and prepare your plan for migration.  

As this is a very crucial step, migration must be taken care by choosing the migration tool which best suits our requirement. Prefer migration tools which supports on-premise to online migrations and vice versa with no restrictions. And, some other essential features include-

Pre-Migration Check 

Once the plan is completed and you are ready to start the migrationrun a pre-migration analysis.  

Pre-migration analysis helps you to give the detail report of possible errors and warnings that might occur at the time of migration before even starting the migration itself.  

Using this report, you can analyze what items can fail at the time of migration and what is the reason for the fail.  This will enable you to fix all possible errors before even the start of the migration so that your actual migrations would run smoothly without any issues or fails.  

We will come across many interesting features while working with migration tools. Here is the one, it allows the users to pre-check the content, this feature helps users to get a glimpse on what all the issues are going to occur at the time of migration with a single button click.  


Migrate the prepared content to required destinationResolve if any issues occur during migration. 

There are many third-party tools available in the market to perform migration tasks from one version of SharePoint to another. Give a trial for each one of these and Pick the right one that perfectly suits for your needs.  

Post-Migration Check

Just because you performed migration with standard migration tools, don’t assume everything got migrated successfully. The important step after every migration is to perform post migration check to determine everything got migrated without any issues.  

Validate moved content in target by comparing it with source and ensure everything got migrated as same as in source. This comparison should include actual content itself and metadata associated with it, permissions, users and groups, versions and everything that you want to be migrated to destination.   

Few migration tools even provide post-migration check feature which will help you to validate the migrated content. This will help you to not only ensure the success of the migration but also saves lot of time by automating the manual validation process. 

Still after running a post-migration check with tools, you can perform a manual validation in a high level to ensure a successful SharePoint migration.  

Along with these strategies, you can consider the below best practices during the migration process.  

Best Practices Of SharePoint Migration 

  1. Do not prefer lengthy URLs, the URLs exceeding maximum URL length are difficult to maintain. Names must be logical and short. 
  2. When migration is in progress, do not make any changes either in source or destination. This disrupts the entire flow of the migration where source and destination doesn’t tend to be same after migration. 
  3. Avoid maintaining large lists and libraries as this causes list view threshold issue i.e. view fail to render if items in the same level exceeds 5000 items. Instead split the data into multiple lists, this helps to retrieve the data quickly. 
  4. Go for pre and post migration check practices, pre migration checks whether the content is good to go for migration & post check will make sure whether the content migrated is as same as in source. 
  5. Check whether user accounts are available in the required destination, unavailability of users at destination results in preserving incorrect authors and editors. You can perform desired user and group mappings to use when there are orphan/dead accounts.  
  6. Prefer to maintain flat structure for subsites instead of maintaining nested subsites. Maintaininsubsites as site collections helps you define individual structure, permissions can be individually handledURLs exceeding maximum limit issues will be sorted, no more dependencies on site collection feature activations.

Saketa SharePoint Migrator 

Try Saketa SharePoint Migrator which supports seamless and hassle-free migrations to SharePointThis tool supports many essential migration features like pre- and post-migration options, inventory, turbo migrations, schedule migrations and PowerShell migrations and many more helpful features all in one place.  


  • SharePoint to SharePoint migrations (On-premises to Online & vice versa) 
  • Import date from file system to SharePoint, Office 365 or one drive for business sites.  
  • Import from Google Drive, Drop Box, One Drive, Box to SharePoint.  
  • Export data from SharePoint to File System 
  • Bulk update: Update list & library metadata in bulk 
  • Import excel data to SharePoint list 
  • SharePoint Security manager – Manage your entire SharePoint security from one place.

Make a good plan for your SharePoint Migrations and choose the tool that aptly fulfills your requirement and guarantees you a success rate of 100%.

Plan better, execute with perfection with the right tool.

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