Migrate Your Site from One CMS to Another

With big names like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal, there were already a lot of content management systems (CMS) to choose from. Then, you got blogging platforms like WordPress.com, Tumblr, and Blogger. Now, you even have website builders like Squarespace and Wix.

I guess what I’m saying is that you have a lot of options when it comes to making a website…and the CMS that you chose when you launched your site might not be the CMS that you want to use today. If that sounds like you, you’re faced with the daunting task of migrating your website from your original CMS to your new CMS.

CMS2CMS, which we’ll be reviewing today, is a tool that aims to make that process a lot simpler for you. Rather than having to manually move your content over, you can use CMS2CMS to move between an array of different platforms, taking along as much of your content as possible.

CMS2CMS claims to have helped over 100,000 people migrate their websites, and in this CMS2CMS review, I’ll take you through what exactly CMS2CMS offers and how it works.

CMS2CMS Review: What the Tool Does

At a high-level, CMS2CMS is pretty simple – it helps you move between different CMS platforms. And that’s the point I think – the beauty of the service is in its simplicity…especially versus the manual alternative.

To use it, all you do is:

  • Register for a CMS2CMS account.
  • Enter your website details
  • Configure the migration – e.g. mapping content and choosing whether or not to bring over SEO settings as well.
  • Start the migration.
  • Check the results and enjoy your migrated site.

What Platforms Does CMS2CMS Support?

CMS2CMS offers full support for 28 different CMS and forum software platforms, as well as limited support for an even larger number of platforms. Limited means that you can bring over some content, but it’s not a full 100% migration like platforms with full support.

The big-name platforms that CMS2CMS offers full support for are:

  • WordPress
  • Joomla
  • Drupal
  • Squarespace
  • Wix
  • Tumblr
  • Blogger
  • Weebly
  • Mediawiki

And some of the big-name platforms that CMS2CMS offers limited support for are:

  • WordPress.com
  • HubSpot
  • Google Sites
  • Medium
  • TypePad

You can browse the full list of platforms here.

How Much Content Does CMS2CMS Migrate?

Obviously, there are some things that CMS2CMS just can’t migrate. For example, you won’t be able to bring along your exact website theme just because it’s impossible to migrate that. That is, you can’t magically turn a Joomla theme into a WordPress theme, and Squarespace won’t let you export one of the pre-made Squarespace templates.

However, CMS2CMS does offer a pretty comprehensive approach when it comes to your content.

You can migrate:

  • Textual content. Beyond content in your platform’s text editor, this also includes text content from custom fields and other areas.
  • Categories.
  • Users.
  • Post images.
  • Post comments.
  • Tags.
  • Attachments.

It can also help you migrate behind-the-scenes data, like your SEO titles and metadata, as well as your URL structures to preserve SEO. It can also help with automatically setting up 301 redirects and fixing internal links.

Of course, you’ll want to check the exact details for the platforms you’re moving to and from, because the specific migration approach depends on the platforms and whether or not CMS2CMS offers full or limited support.

To check exactly what CMS2CMS can move for your unique situation, go to the CMS2CMS homepage, select your two platforms, and click the See what you can migrate button:

CMS2CMS what's migrated

Then, you’ll see a list of exactly what you can move. Here’s what it likes like for moving from Joomla to WordPress:

List of migration content

Hands-on With CMS2CMS: Migrating a Site

To give you an idea of how CMS2CMS works, I’m going to migrate a real test website. Specifically, I’m going to migrate from Joomla to WordPress, though the general approach will be the same for all the other platforms, as well.

Here’s what my Joomla test site looks like – it’s a mix of the Joomla demo content plus some unique content that I added. For example, I added some new content, menu items, and users to give CMS2CMS more to migrate and make sure everything works properly:

Joomla test site

Here’s how it works…

1. Enter Current Site Details and Connect to CMS2CMS

To get started, you’ll enter the URL of your current site. Then, you’ll need to install the connector extension that CMS2CMS provides. CMS2CMS gives you a video that shows you how to install the connector, which makes things super simple:

Connect to Joomla site

Once you install and activate the extension, you can log in to your CMS2CMS account from your Joomla dashboard (or whichever CMS you’re using):

Enter account details

2. Enter Destination Site Details and Connect

Next, you’ll need to enter the details and connect to your destination site (you basically repeat the process for the site you want to migrate to).

All you need to do is create a blank WordPress install – you don’t need to configure anything yet.

Then, as you did with Joomla, you’ll enter your site’s URL and install the connector plugin at your destination WordPress site. CMS2CMS also gives you the option to migrate to a CMS2CMS-hosted test site, which is convenient for testing:

Once you install and activate the plugin at your destination site, you’ll also need to log in to your CMS2CMS account there.

3. Map Content for Migration

Once you’ve connected both of your sites, CMS2CMS will give you an interface where you can:

  • Choose what content to migrate.
  • Map content from one CMS to the other CMS because the content might not always “line up” perfectly.

For example, you can tell CMS2CMS that you want to treat an “Article” in Joomla as a “Post” in WordPress. Or, if it suited your needs better, you could tell CMS2CMS to treat it as a WordPress “Page” instead:

Map content for migration

For some content types, you can also activate Advanced Mapping, which gives you even more control. For example, you can take the status of a piece of content into account during the migration. So if something is a draft on Joomla, it will still be a draft on WordPress:

Advanced migration

You can also configure other details, like whether to migrate metadata and/or set up 301 redirects. You also get an option to set the first image as the featured image in WordPress.

4. Start Your Migration

Once you’re happy with the mapping, you can start your migration with a test migration:

CMS2CMS review of migration process

I imagine larger sites might have a longer migration process, but my test site only took about 5 minutes to fully migrate.

Once the migration finishes, CMS2CMS will give you a summary of what was migrated:

Migration success

You can also preview the migration at your destination site. I ran through my test site and it does appear that everything was migrated. The only thing I had to manually do was set the position to make the menu items display – CMS2CMS had migrated all the menu items from Joomla, it just hadn’t assigned the menu a display location in WordPress yet (these menu locations vary by theme, so I understand why CMS2CMS doesn’t do that).

Here’s the Joomla content on my new WordPress site:

Migration on WordPress

CMS2CMS also migrated users on the backend, including mapping Joomla user roles to similar WordPress user roles. For example:

  • My Super User on Joomla became an Administrator on WordPress
  • My Registered User on Joomla became a Subscriber on WordPress

If you’re happy with how the test migration worked, you can complete the full migration by paying for the service. Speaking of…

CMS2CMS Pricing: It Depends on the Size of Your Site

First off, I should note that CMS2CMS offers a limited free plan that lets you test migrate up to 10 pages. This is a great way to try the tool out before you break out your wallet, so I encourage you to take advantage of it.

From there, CMS2CMS’ pricing depends on the size of the site that you want to migrate and the platforms that you’re moving between.

To calculate the price of your unique situation, CMS2CMS provides a handy price calculator to give you an estimate. You’ll need to enter the two platforms you’re moving between, as well as the number of:

  • Posts and pages
  • Users
  • Comments
  • Taxonomies

Then, the tool will give you a price estimate (the actual price will depend on the amount of content moved during the migration – so it could be different if you underestimated how much content to move).

For example, to migrate a site from Joomla to WordPress that has…

  • 250 posts and pages
  • 1,000 users
  • 50 taxonomies

…you can expect to pay $75, which I think is quite fair.

CMS2CMS pricing

There are also optional up-charges. For example, CMS2CMS charges $5 each for some upgrades like migrating metadata, setting the first image as the featured image, and some others.

This pricing is for self-service use of the automated tool.

However, CMS2CMS also offers some other options:

  • All-in-One Support Service – these packages offer a done-for-you approach to migration. The CMS2CMS team will do the migration for you and provide you with technical support and a personal account manager. Plans start at $299.
  • Migration insurance – if something goes wrong with your migration, you can restart the migration process without paying full price. Migration insurance costs between 10-25% of the original transfer price.

Final Thoughts on CMS2CMS

As a writer, I’ve written a ton of tutorials on how to migrate between various platforms (usually migrating from other platforms to WordPress). That experience has impressed upon me just how annoying and complicated it can be to migrate a site.

There are so many big and small pieces of content that need to be migrated – images, SEO settings, URLs, comments – that it can be an absolute pain to keep track of everything. Either you lose some content in the process or you spend a ton of time tracking down every little detail.

For that reason, I think CMS2CMS is a great tool and well worth the money. For not that much money, you can save yourself a ton of time and effort. Plus, if your alternative was hiring a developer (rather than doing it yourself), you might even end up saving money by paying for CMS2CMS.

With that being said, migrating a site – especially a live website – is a big endeavor. So rather than just jumping into a full migration, I’d definitely recommend playing around with CMS2CMS’ free test migration first.

This will give you an idea of how the process works, as well as whether or not CMS2CMS is going to migrate everything that you expect it to (though the test plan does have some limits – remember that).

To get started, you can head to the CMS2CMS website.

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