Continue reading this blog post to discover the key considerations when strategizing a SharePoint Server upgrade or migration.

Each successive iteration of SharePoint Server outperforms its predecessors in aspects such as features, functionality, interface, storage capabilities, and performance. Transitioning to the latest version can be achieved through two distinct approaches: an Upgrade or a Migration. Nevertheless, users often grapple with the decision between opting for an Upgrade or utilizing the SharePoint to SharePoint Migrator, unsure of the most suitable choice.

When discussing the concept of an upgrade, it refers to the process of advancing the existing SharePoint system to the next accessible version. This migration might entail moving data from either a SharePoint Server or another data source to a SharePoint Server.

Comparison table for SharePoint Upgrade Vs. Migration

To help you choose between upgrade and migration, we have created a comparison table of the situations suitable for both. Have a look!

Ideal Conditions for



No requirement of taxonomy/architecture modification Taxonomy/architecture needs to be redesigned
The existing version is 2010 or higher The existing version is 2003 or one of the earlier versions
Need to shift to the next higher version A movement to more than one higher version is required
Content is well-distributed Content is not well-distributed
Folder structures are not shallow Folder structures are quite shallow
Site Template includes Team Site, Records Center, Document Center Custom Site Template used for document repository site collection


Note: If the user desire to move from the existing SharePoint Server version to SharePoint Online, then only the migration option would help.

The above table will clear your doubts and help you to make a good decision regarding the migration or upgrade. Let us discuss the points more.

An upgrade is recommended in the following situations

  • Upgrading is recommended only if re-designing is not needed (as upgrading the version moves the data with the same taxonomy).
  • Upgrading from the SharePoint version 2010 or higher version is only recommended. Upgrading to older versions is not beneficial as the older versions lack the new features and functionalities.
  • The user can move to the next newer version only as upgradation to even one version higher is not possible.
  • Content is arranged properly with no shallowness and has to be moved just like that to the newer version.

A migration is advised in the following situations

  • When the user needs re-designing the taxonomy of the SharePoint content.
  • When data is to be moved from older versions like 2003, 2007 to the latest versions.
  • When migration from an existing version to a one or more than one higher version is required (like from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2016 or SharePoint 2019)
  • When the content arrangement is not proper (with too shallow folder structures).
  • When it is needed to move even customized site templates without causing any issues

SharePoint users can use any of the two options based on their current business or personal requirements. Still, the migration option has the upper hand and is popular with Microsoft SharePoint Server users. However, manual migrations are complex, lengthy, and always indirect. All these make this process almost infeasible.

However, there’s no need to despair, as we offer a solution that ensures a seamless, fast, and effortless transition between various SharePoint versions or SharePoint Online – introducing Kernel Migrator for SharePoint. This tool excels in efficiently migrating data from the file system to SharePoint Server or SharePoint Online, enabling you to transfer specific SharePoint Sites, Subsites, Lists, Documents, items, and more, all while preserving permissions. What sets this advanced SharePoint Migration tool apart is its compatibility with all SharePoint Server versions and SharePoint Online plans. To gain insight into the software’s functionalities and features, users can explore the free demo version available on our website.

Migration tool


We’ve explored the essential considerations when undertaking an upgrade or migration within the existing SharePoint environment. While manual migrations between different SharePoint versions have their limitations, it’s advisable for users to employ a proficient and secure SharePoint migration tool to streamline the process.