If you’ve outgrown your website platform and you’re just looking for a CMS that can grow beyond your current site, you may have wondered where to turn.
After all, instead of starting a new site from scratch, it’s likely you want to keep the content you worked so hard to create and just give it a new home.
This is what CMS2CMS, an automated, web-based migration service from a company named MagneticOne, can help you do.
CMS2CMS provides CMS and forum migration services for the major web platforms available today. It aims to be a user-friendly service that doesn’t require programming, installing complex software, or the drudgery of manually copying and pasting code over and over again.
Whether you’re a single entrepreneur or the head of a large corporation, CMS2CMS promises to help you make the move as smoothly as possible. It currently supports a growing list of platforms, including WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Wix, HTML, and many others.
In this review, we’ll take a look at the main features of CMS2CMS, run a demo migration where we’ll move content from Wix to WordPress, and look at pricing, support, and more.
CMS2CMS Main Features
CMS2CMS offers different features, depending on the platforms you choose for your migration, the size of your site, and the services you choose.
• Transfer posts, pages, categories, users, images, comments, tags, meta tags, links, forms, attachments, and more
• Automated web-based service with no need to install complex software
• Easy migration without coding, copying and pasting, and hours of work
• 5 minute setup with an average migration time of 15 minutes
• 100% uptime for source website during migration
• Free demo migration of 10 content pages and related entities (categories, images, users, tags)
• Supports a growing number of platforms, including WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Wix, HTML, and more
• Migration pricing estimator to help you calculate the cost of your migration ahead of time (based on CMS types and number of items to be migrated)
• Immediate migration with no quote or review period needed
• Migration Setup Assistance service option
• All-In-One Support Service packages, including custom design template options
• SEO-friendly URLs (internal links on the new website will be created according to its URL structure)
• Automated 301 redirects after migration (from old CMS URLs to new CMS URLs) helps with SEO, rankings, and visitors
• Move your current CMS menu when migrating between WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla
• Keep HTML formatting for posts and pages
• Move user details with user roles
• Thumbnail creation after migration
• Multilanguage migration supported in service packages from Drupal and Joomla to WordPress
• Fix database broken relationships
• Fix internal links after migration
• Migrate user passwords
• Preserve site navigation, categories and content relations (e.g., posts in the target site will belong to the same categories and contain the same images and tags as the source website)
• Personal account manager when purchasing one of their service packages
• Live/chat support
• Three levels of insurance for restarting a migration due to any unexpected problems arising from incorrect CMS installation, third-party extensions, and customization issues
Setting Up and Using CMS2CMS
CMS2CMS requires PHP v.5 or later, as well as the MySQL database type. Also, to perform a migration with CMS2CMS, the source and target websites must be available online.
CMS2CMS Migration Test: Moving from Wix to WordPress
Services like CMS2CMS are needed because the built-in exporting and importing capabilities of most CMS are insufficient for moving larger websites across different platforms.
While the specifics of using CMS2CMS change depending on what you transfer and the CMS platforms you choose, the general procedure is the same as shown in this demo migration from Wix to a self-hosted WordPress installation.
For the sake of this test demonstration, I set up a simple website at Wix to see how well CMS2CMS performs a migration to WordPress.
Wix has some beautiful templates and an impressive drag-and-drop interface, but it has some limitations that make it a prime candidate for moving to a more robust platform such as WordPress.
Here’s what MagneticOne says you can move over from Wix to WordPress:
Pages (will migrate as posts to WordPress)
Internal and external links
Additional migration options include:
Categories and SEO aliases
Images and attachments
Thumbnail creation after migration
Fix broken relationships in database
Fix internal links after migration
CMS2CMS also allows you to buy insurance and customization services such as custom fields, selective migration, and migrating from a database dump.
Although optional, the recommendations here should be strongly considered before running the actual migration.
• Backup your source website.
Unfortunately, in the case of our Wix example, it’s not possible to backup their websites externally, although Wix websites can be duplicated internally via its account dashboard.
• To clean house and maybe save some money, delete any items on your source website that you don’t need to migrate over.
• Tell your visitors and users that your website will be undergoing migration.
• If you’re moving to a self-hosted WordPress site from a hosted service like Wix, you’ll need to buy your own domain and hosting.
• If you used Wix and purchased a premium domain through the Wix platform, you can transfer the domain to your target site through the Wix admin.
Steps to Move from Wix to WordPress
- Register an account by going to cms2cms.com and clicking the Login button at the top of the page. From there, you can click on either the Sign up or Login link.
You’ll have to provide your name, email, and a password in order to register.
- In the Migration Wizard, enter the URLs for your source and target websites. Also, choose your desired CMS platforms from the drop-down list.
If you don’t have the target platform installed yet, for demo purposes, CMS2CMS supports transferring your content to the following CMS and forum software:
We’re going to use their test WordPress site for this demonstration.
- To set up a data connection between your source and target site, you’ll need to download the Connection Bridge file. This step isn’t necessary with some platform setups within the demo, but it’s always necessary for a full migration.
A. Click the Download Bridge button and save the zip file to your local computer.
B. Unzip the file and extract the cms2cms folder.
C. With an FTP program (e.g., FileZilla, Fetch, CuteFTP, etc.), connect to your source and target websites, and copy the cms2cms folder into the root folder of each site. The root folder is the top folder on the site that holds the primary index.php file.
(If desired, you can also migrate a site with SFTP/SSH.)
If needed, CMS2CMS provides a readme file within the Bridge folder, with instructions for installation.
If you intend to migrate images with your website content, make sure the default image folder (and subfolders within it) on your target website have permission values of 777 or 755 (depending on your server configuration).
For WordPress, the default image folder is /wp-content/uploads/ and the permission value we’re going to set is 777.
D. Go back to the Migration Wizard and click the Verify Connection to Your Sites button.
- Began the demo migration or click the checkbox to Skip Demo and Proceed with Full Migration.
For our test, we’re going to run the demo.
It’s strongly recommended to run the demo migration, whether you intend on doing a full migration or not, in order to see how the service works for your particular situation.
The entities that CMS2CMS can transfer, and the options it offers, depends on which CMS platforms you move between.
With our Wix to WordPress example, our demo migration will:
• Clear current target data
• Transfer up to 10 content pages
• Transfer image files
• Make URLs Seo-friendly
• Give design suggestions (CMS2CMS does not support migration of themes and templates)
As the demo begins, CMS2CMS will automatically run through the following steps:
• Migration initialization
• Source website data dump
• Target website data dump
• Data conversion
• Data transfer to target website
• Images transfer to target website
• Images resize on target website
- After doing a demo migration, you can choose to do a full migration by clicking on the Start Full Migration button.
From there, you’ll be able to see the entities that will be transferred as well as the full migration price.
MagneticOne says that you can close your browser window (but don’t quit the browser), after the start of migration, if you’d like.
When the migration is complete, the service will notify you by email.
According to MagneticOne, the most popular migration services for CMS2CMS are:
HTML to WordPress
Drupal to WordPress
Joomla to WordPress
Wix to WordPress
CMS2CMS does not support flash site migration.
While the average migration time is 15 minutes, how long a migration takes depends on a number of different factors, including:
Number of items to move (i.e., images)
Type of data
Type of CMS for the source and target websites
Once the CMS2CMS migration is finished, you’ll want to look at your site and do some other post-migration activities.
After the demo migration, you can get administrator access to the target site in order to check your migration on the front and backend. You just need to enter:
User login: testuser
The service gives you seven days to analyze the test site, after which it will be deleted.
• For a self-hosted WordPress site, login as you normally do, and check the results for:
Content pages (Pages… All Pages)
Menus (Appearance… Menus)
Images (Media… Library)
Categories (Posts… Categories)
Users (Users… All Users)
• Look to see if you can find any broken links (404 errors) within your new target website.
Tools like Broken Link Checker and Google Webmaster Tools can help you with that.
It’s also a good idea to create a custom 404 page to help your visitors find what they’re looking for.
• To help Google and other search engines find your new pages, consider creating an XML sitemap of your new pages to submit to Google.
• Because CMS2CMS cannot transfer themes from your source site, you’ll need to find a theme as well as replace any functionality (forms, calendars, etc.) that was lost from the Wix site. This can be done through WordPress themes, plugins and widgets.
• If you’d like, you can remove the Bridge file by deleting the CMS2CMS folder from the root directory of your website.
• If you want to keep the same domain for your target website that you had for your source site, you can follow these instructions provided by CMS2CMS.
Video Tutorial: Migrating Wix to WordPress with CMS2CMS
Support & Documentation
CMS2CMS does a good job of covering the various needs of their users, offering a variety of support options:
• Extensive documentation and FAQ
• Live chat support (24 hours a day, Monday-Friday)
• Phone support (24 hours a day, Monday-Friday)
• Ability to submit a ticket
• Tutorial videos
• Complaint form
• New feature suggestions from users
Letting CMS2CMS Handle the Migration for You: All-In-One Support Service Packages
CMS2CMS users who want to let tech-support handle CMS migration for them have the option to buy one of four All-In-One Support Service packages (Basic, Extended, Premium, Ultimate).
Depending on the service package purchased, users get:
• Up to a certain number of pages and hours of technical assistance
• Priority migration assistance
• Personal account manager
• Pre-migration validation of source website
• Migration setup
• Demo migration results
• Migration customization
• Validation of migration results
You can see the cost and feature breakdown of the service packages in the Pricing section below.
Because of the complexities of data transfer, getting the price for CMS2CMS migrations involves many considerations, including:
• Number of pages and posts
• Number of users
• Number of comments
• Number of threads (in the case of forums)
• Additional options chosen (whether you’re migrating images, making URLs SEO-friendly, setting up permanent 301 redirects, etc.)
• Whether insurance is purchased
• Whether a support service package is purchased
Because of these variables, CMS2CMS includes a Migration Estimator to help users get an idea of cost. The estimated price may deviate from the final price if the actual number of entities migrated is different from the number provided to the calculator.
Here’s how the price breaks down for users who purchase one of the All-In-One Support Service packages:
Basic ($299): Up to 1000 pages and six hours of technical support
Extended ($399): Up to 5000 pages and 10 hours of technical support
Premium ($699): Up to 15,000 pages and 20 hours of technical sport
Ultimate (contact for price): Up to 100,000 pages and 50 hours of technical support
Users might also need to factor in the cost of insurance.
Migration insurance is worth considering because refunds are not allowed after a migration. That said, CMS2CMS promise to fix any migration issues whenever possible, although the user may incur extra cost in doing so.
Insurance helps against cases where unpredictable problems arise during a migration, and gives users another chance to migrate (with the same setup and options) from their account page. Users who decide they want extra options need to contact the CMS2CMS support team.
Insurance can be purchased through the Migration Wizard after the demo migration. Here’s how the price breaks down:
Basic Migration Insurance
Cost is 10% of total data transfer
Allows one migration rerun within a seven-day period
Extended Migration Insurance
Cost is 15% of total data transfer
Allows two migration reruns within a 14 day period
Premium Migration Insurance
Cost is 25% of total data transfer
Allows four migration reruns within a 30 day period
Other Cost Considerations
CMS2CMS offers some other options as well, including a Remigration Service for 50% off the price of a standard migration, and Migration Setup Assistance for help in setting up your migration configuration.
As you can see, determining the price for a CMS2CMS migration is something that takes consideration of many options.
Understandably, trying to meet the needs of both novices and experienced users when it comes to data transfer between complex CMS platforms is not an easy task, and it looks like the people behind CMS2CMS do a pretty good job of that.
Still, it would be nice to see a more intuitive pricing structure for the service, instead of having to consider so many discrete options. For users, simplicity and clarity is better when it comes to understanding the choices and moving on to the purchase.
Conclusions & Recommendations
CMS2CMS offers many options for website owners to move from one CMS platform to another, without the headaches and time involved with trying to manually do it yourself.
While these options help accommodate the full spectrum of customer needs, from novices to web developers, the sheer variety of them may be a bit overwhelming for some people. And even though they offer a Migration Estimator tool, final costs may be hard to know ahead of time, especially for large and complex sites that may need some customization help. To that end, it would be great to see the service offerings for CMS2CMS more streamlined.
That said, if you’re considering moving your website to a different CMS platform, CMS2CMS is worth looking into.
I would definitely follow their suggestion of first running a demo to get a feel for how the service handles your specific situation. Also, make sure you look into their FAQ section if you run into any problems—it’s pretty extensive and answers many questions.
And if your site is complex or large, I would seriously consider buying one of their all-inclusive service packages and let them handle the migration for you. With their service packages, they’re able to accommodate more custom migration needs.
So if it’s time for you to upgrade or move on to something a bit more user-friendly, and you’d rather focus on running your business instead of painstakingly moving your content yourself, you can check out all the offerings of CMS2CMS right here.