Content is only half the equation for building your online presence; content management is just as important, and that’s why the right content management system (CMS) is key for developing your business. A CMS enables you and your team to easily create, store, and publish content on your website so that customers can find it quickly.
However, when you’re scaling up your business, the CMS you started with may no longer meet your needs. When this happens, it’s time to switch CMSs—but if you don’t do the migration correctly, all of that hard work developing content could be for nothing.
That’s why we’re going to cover everything you need to know about selecting and switching your content management system. We’ll provide straightforward explanations and helpful tips so that you can make the right choice at the right time.
After reading, you’ll be sure to feel more confident in your ability to make the CMS-to-CMS transition with ease—allowing your content efforts, and business, to keep growing!
What is a CMS?
You’re probably thinking “wait, what?” Isn’t a CMS the same thing as my website? Well, yes and no. Your website is the domain name and all your pages. A content management system is the web-based software that helps you create, manage, and modify content on your website.
A CMS will:
- Enable you to create and publish content on your website without having to learn to code
- Allow you and your team to manage and modify existing content
- Provide the tools necessary for designing a visually appealing website
- Help keep track of files, images, videos, and other digital assets related to your web development
- Make it easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for quickly
- Aid in managing workflow and scheduling content
CMSs are essential in helping businesses build a strong digital presence and ensuring potential customers have a positive experience with your business.
You likely already know some of the most popular CMSs without realizing that’s what they are. Here are three of the most common:
- WordPress: The most popular CMS, used to create everything from blogs to entire websites.
- Wix: With over 200 million users, this drag-and-drop website builder is one of the most popular CMSs around.
- Drupal: A powerful CMS that has an extensive range of features designed for creating complex online applications and content-rich websites.
Finding the Right CMS for Your Business
Without a CMS, creating websites is not only tedious and time-consuming but can be difficult if you don’t have experience with web development languages like HTML or CSS. This means that even simple updates to your page can take hours of coding!
CMSs save time by allowing users to make changes quickly and with minimal effort. It also makes it easy for multiple people on your team to collaborate and work together on managing your site content.
To save you time, we’ve outlined key features to look for.
You need to think carefully about your budget when selecting a new CMS. Consider any associated costs like hosting, domain name, maintenance, development and licensing fees.
Look for free options if you’re on a tight budget, as well as potential cost savings from adding existing tools or services.
These links are essential for the successful functioning of a website, so it’s important to make sure that your CMS of choice can integrate with the systems you need. Questions you should ask yourself about integrations should include:
- Email marketing: Is there support for email campaigns?
- E-commerce: Does your CMS offer payment gateways and shopping cart integration?
- APIs: Are there secure application program interfaces (APIs) available to allow two systems to communicate with each other?
- Analytics: Can you track user visits and behaviors on the website?
It’s important that you research all of these factors before deciding on a content management system.
Do you need a platform that allows you to create blog posts? Or do you plan on incorporating multimedia such as audio files or videos? Consider if the CMS offers features that make it easy for users to upload and display media files.
Additionally, some platforms may have limitations on file sizes and types, so be sure to double-check these details before settling on a CMS. You want something that can handle all of your site’s needs without any restrictions!
Understanding CMS Migration
As your business develops and scales, your website may need to migrate from one content management platform to another. Understanding why you need a CMS-to-CMS migration and what the process involves is key to making an informed decision about your current platform.
It’s a big task for sure, but there are many good reasons for making the switch:
- Server downtime: If your current CMS is too slow or unreliable, it can lead to long website downtimes that could be costing you customers.
- Website speed: A new CMS platform may offer a more efficient way to deliver content and improve page loading times for visitors.
- Customization: If you’re looking for more custom features on your website, then a new CMS platform might open up more possibilities in terms of design and functionality.
- Security: Your current CMS might not be delivering the security features necessary to protect your site from malicious attacks or data theft. A newer, better platform might provide the security features you need.
- Search engine optimization: A CMS switch may offer better tools to help you optimize your website for search engine rankings.
Why Take the CMS Migration Risk?
Migrating to a new CMS can be a risky move, but the potential benefits could be worth it. You may want to take the plunge if you’re looking for a clean slate, improved performance, optimized content, enhanced security measures and an easier platform that your team will love.
Ultimately, these positives could outweigh any initial hesitations about making the transition.
The Challenges of CMS Migration
If you aren’t careful, the CMS-to-CMS migration process could disrupt your users’ experiences and damage key performance indicators. Your customers could find themselves unable to access or understand the content they’ve already bookmarked and optimized for their use.
An experienced web developer can be your biggest ally when you’re prepping and performing a CMS migration. Consider reaching out to an industry pro to make sure you get it right the first time!
Migrating With Ease
Are you ready to make switching your CMS as easy and stress-free as possible? Follow these steps for a smoother transition:
- Audit your content: Take stock to know exactly what needs to be transferred and what can be left out.
- Get everyone on board: Make sure all stakeholders are aware of the migration and what it will entail.
- Run a trial migration: A trial run will help identify any potential issues before going live with the new system.
- Confirm security regulations: Make sure your new CMS is compliant with any security requirements you may have in place, such as GDPR or HIPAA compliance.
- Create a contingency plan: Have a plan in place for how to recover from any issues that might arise so you’re prepared if something goes wrong.
- Transfer your data: Now you’re ready to move! Transfer all of the content and data over to your new CMS system.
- Optimize your new site: Optimize the site for performance and usability. Ensure all of your pages are loading quickly and navigation is easy and intuitive.
- Close down your old system: Finally, once everything is up and running on the new CMS system, close down any access to the old one so as not to create confusion or security risks with two conflicting systems running simultaneously.
Congratulations! You’ve navigated the challenges of CMS migration, and your website is refreshed and ready to take on the next wave of challenges for your company!
Get Help With Your Next Migration at Buddy
If you’re running a successful business, chances are you’ll eventually have to transfer your content to a new CMS when it’s time to scale up. While there’s no question that undertaking this complicated process is necessary, it can certainly cause plenty of growing pains and headaches if you’re trying to handle it on your own.
Fortunately, the team at Buddy Web Design and Development is here to relieve the pressure. At Buddy, we try to make the design and development process as simple and pain-free as possible to deliver great results that we all can be proud of.
Making the decision to go with Buddy eliminates stress, gives you access to professionals, and saves you time and money. So, what do you say? Let’s work together and make your CMS-to-CMS migration a smooth transition.